Students are using video calls to fulfill their work. Video calling platforms allow students to be able to collaborate as if they were in person, but remain socially distanced.
EWU has chosen to use Zoom for their web-based conferencing.
“Both students and faculty can benefit from real-time interactions outside of the classroom as a way to include interactive media, hold review sessions, and support learning communities,” said EWU on their Information Technology page.
There are many different types of video calling platforms available. Students have expressed why they prefer some applications over others.
Danielle Flinn, visual communications design major at EWU, said she uses Skype for Businesses (which is now transitioning to Microsoft Teams) for her job and Zoom for class.
“I really like Zoom because of the screen sharing capabilities and the annotation features are really nice for collaborating,” said Flinn.
Flinn prefers the video calling length in Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams because there are no time restrictions. On Zoom there is a 40-minute time limit on meetings of more than two people without paying for Zoom Pro.
Tracy Ann Aldan Fejeran, majoring in communication studies at EWU, is blind in both eyes with no light perception. Fejeran likes Zoom for her virtual health appointments, class meetings and workshops.
“I think it has a great feature of organizing and managing multiple participants,” said Fejeran.
However, Fejeran said Zoom is not completely accessible.
For more social uses, Fejeran says she uses FaceTime because accessibility for the blind in Apple products is good. But the biggest con of FaceTime is the reception quality decreases when she is not connected to Wi-Fi.
Kayla Lambert, computer science major at EWU, says she uses Zoom for school. Lambert says she thinks Zoom works just fine, but prefers to use Discord with her friends.
“I like [Discord] because it feels more organized and we can usually separate conversations with different channels,” said Lambert. “It also allows for the voice and video features which is also handy.”
Discord calls themselves a video calling and text application marketed toward gamers with over 56,000,000 monthly players.
“I use Discord a lot because I play video games with my friends,” said Jaiden Haley, a studio art major at EWU. “It’s good because you get a lot more options.”
Haley said she prefers Discord because you can split a group of people into different chat and video calling sections. Discord also lets users see what games their friends are playing. She said the one downfall of Discord is that the servers have been very full lately, so people will sometimes drop out of calls.
When Haley is not gaming with her friends she said she prefers to use Facebook for video calls.
“I feel like it works way better than anything else I’ve used before.” -Jaiden Haley, a studio art major at EWU
“I think that Facebook Messenger Video chat is underrated,” said Haley. “I feel like it works way better than anything else I’ve used before.”
Monique Reese, environmental chemistry major at EWU, uses Snapchat, Google Duo or Discord. Reese said she usually uses Snapchat for quick video calls with friends but her family doesn’t have Snapchat so she will use Google Duo with them.
Reese said her only problems with Google Duo are that the video quality can be lacking and sometimes people will cut out. If Reese is gaming then she prefers to use Discord.
Overall there is a wide variety of video calling resources used by EWU students. Each platform is styled differently, in accordance with everyone’s various needs.