The global adoption of online tutoring due to various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to educators embracing video conferencing tools to conduct classes. While there are dozens of choices in the market, the most obvious choice for tutors is either Skype or Zoom.
For educators just starting out tutoring online, free video conferencing tools would be more inviting. Two of the most commonly used video conferencing tools in the market currently are Skype and Zoom. Zoom vs Skype is the most extensive debate that happens among online tutors who are just entering the world of digital education. As an independent educator, which platforms among these are the best for tutoring online?
This blog intends to look into the benefits of using zoom for teaching and what makes tutors choose Zoom over Skype.
What’s better, zoom or skype
We once lived in a time when everyone “Skyped” each other. Skype was the ultimate choice once, but it was replaced by “Zooming. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and people were confined to the home and remote working culture, everyone started turning to Zoom.
So if you ask whether Skype or Zoom dominates now, people who chose Skype initially start turning to Zoom. So, what is the real reason? Zoom is relatively simpler to use than Skype. It means even the non-tech-savvy people can easily use Zoom without any friction. And Zoom is as close to that as you can get when it comes to classroom-based teaching, as the powerful features allow educators to teach as in real.
To know what’s better, Zoom or Skype, let’s take a close look at the features of both.
Zoom vs Skype- Ease of use and user-friendliness
Both Zoom and Skype features are easy-to-use and have straightforward interfaces, making setting up and attending meetings a breeze. When setting up meetings on both, hosts are provided with a unique link that they can share with their invitees.
Zoom vs Skype: Scalability
To understand which is better, Skype or Zoom, it is great to look at the scalability of both platforms. One of the main capabilities a video conferencing platform for online tutoring must have is the ability to hold large video meetings. Skype supports up to 50 members on one call. Zoom can support up to 1000 people, which better suits educators who host classes with a large group of students.
Zoom vs Skype: Plans tiers and pricing
Zoom comes with a free plan and the other three paid plans. The pro plan for Zoom costs $14.99/month and comes with features like social media streaming, 1 GB cloud recording per license, and supports about 100 participants per meeting.
The business plan comes at $19.99 every month per license and can host up to 300 participants. Users receive perks like receiving recording transcripts and more.
The last one, the enterprise plan, is for businesses to buy 50 or more licenses. The cost per license comes around $19.99 every month. This plan can support up to 500 participants in every meeting and comes with features like unlimited cloud storage and recording of transcripts.
All Zoom premium plans come with a large meeting add-on that allows you to level up the participant limit to 1000 for a fee of $50 per month.
When it comes to Skype, it has a free video calling service for personal use and small business teams. Microsoft teams have replaced Skype’s Business solutions ranging from $5-$12.50 per user per month.
Zoom vs Skype- Security
Skype has end-to-end encryption and has a good reputation regarding system security. It leverages Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), also called as Rijndael (A standard used by the US Government to secure sensitive information).
Skype uses strong 256-bit encryption while it is not responsible for the content of external websites. All skype-skype conversations, including audio, video, instant messages, and file transfers, are encrypted.When it comes to Zoom vs Skype regarding security, Zoom has end-end encryption available on all plans. However, Zoom’s security has been questioned recently due to Zoombombing.
Zoom vs Skype: The common features and differences
First, let’s see what’s common between Skype vs Zoom. Zoom and Skype have many features in common. Both provide a free plan and allow users to access meetings, record sessions, share screens, and chat within the live class, all without signing up for an account.
Both video conferencing solutions are available on different OS, including iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, and Linux. While educators tutoring on Zoom and Skype can set up meetings, learners don’t have to join either platform to attend the sessions.
Now let’s explore the difference between the two software. Skype doesn’t not offer a premium plan for organizations, whereas Zoom has three premium plans ranging from $14.99-$19.99 per license per month. The maximum participant capability of Skype is 100, and that of Zoom is 1000.
Skype allows video meetings for up to 24 hours, whereas Zoom’s free plan limits the meeting duration to 40 minutes. But one-to-one sessions can go up to 30 hours.
Zoom offers breakout sessions, whereas Skype doesn’t. With the premium plans of Zoom, you can live stream your sessions on social media, whereas this feature is not available with Skype.
Now, why do we use zoom instead of skype?
Zoom features polling and whiteboards for interactive and engaging sessions, which skype does not. Both Zoom and Skype offer the ability to change your virtual background, which is great for educators who want to look more professional during their classes. Users can use Skype with an Alexa device and Xbox, but Zoom doesn’t support these options.
Benefits of using zoom for teaching
While both Zoom and Skype are popular video conferencing tools, we see a trend of most educators relying on Zoom instead of Skype to conduct their classes.
If you wonder why do schools use zoom instead of Skype, there are several reasons Zoom wins the battle.
Zoom records the classroom with ease; Skype can’t
One of the biggest benefits of using Zoom for teaching is that it comes with an in-built recording feature. Skype has added the feature for voice calls but not for video calls. Skype supports video recording through third-party programs, which makes Skype less reliable when compared to Zoom.
So if you ask what’s better, Zoom or Skype, if you have attempted video conferencing with Skype, you will know how it lacks reliability. With Skype having difficulty in finding users via the search function and frequent connection issues, Zoom is better in many aspects.
The integrated recording feature of Zoom is very useful for educators as learners can get a copy of the sessions. They can revisit areas they struggle with and revisit the concepts explained in the class.
Zoom was designed for online teaching
Skype has its reputation, and that is for casual use and casual users. In contrast, Zoom was designed to conduct video conferences with multiple participants while also having features like screen sharing, instant, group messaging, and a lot more.
When you analyze Zoom vs Skype, the former is becoming the go-to solution for educators who want to tutor online as it comes with all essential functionalities for a dynamic and interactive classroom environment. Whereas Skype was designed for simple classes, you get all you need to build an outstanding online tutoring environment if you plan to adopt Zoom tutoring.
Learners can be invited with no user names
Many users have reported issues with not being able to find each other on Skype. But Zoom is simpler to use. One of the main reasons most online tutors rely on Zoom for online tutoring is that they can easily invite learners to attend their online sessions. No user names are required, no need to add people; things happen with a single click. This leads to an excellent user experience for all involved parties and allows the educator not to worry about learners missing their classes.
Zoom has a free plan
While you are just beginning with just a couple of students or have a vast fan base, Zoom can accommodate you. It must be noted that Zoom has a free plan for users. So when should you upgrade if you want to use Zoom for online tutoring? When you expand your user base and plan to have a lot of students in the classroom at the same time, you can consider upgrading to pro plans of Zoom.
Additional features that make Zoom better
Zoom allows users to take screenshots, create groups, mute participants, send invitations and other relevant files during the classes.
Zoom supports virtual backgrounds, which is important for online educators. (Skype has launched the feature of virtual background recently, but it doesn’t match the quality of Zoom.)
While there have been talks about security issues related to Zoom, it is a superior choice for most online tutors over Skype. Long story short- Zoom offers more robust business features than Skype, which makes it the ultimate choice for online educators over Skype. With Zoom, you can even hold meetings with up to 1000 participants, whereas Skype limits you to 100 members per meeting. Zoom has whiteboards, polling, social media streaming, breakout sessions, great tech support, and a lot more.
To know better, go ahead and put it to the test to understand it yourself.