Top 6 Online Live Class Platforms for Remote Learning in 2020

online live latform

Online learning has made education more accessible to students around the world. Students who live in rural Georgia can attend classes in Los Angeles. Students with day jobs can log in to complete their school work in the evenings.

The value of online learning has come to light in some tough situations, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and other natural disasters that force campuses to close down.

Live streaming, in particular, is a very useful technology for distant learning. Video allows for real-time interaction and a virtual classroom-like feel. Capturing lectures also gives professors the ability to save and upload the videos for students to playback if they missed the session or need to go back and rewatch part of the lesson.

In order to bring your live streaming classroom to life, educational establishments need to invest in proper video streaming software

There are a few powerful online lecture solutions that are helpful for creating an online live class platform for education. Let’s check them out.

Table of Contents

  • The Growing Demand for Digital Learning 
  • Key Features of Live Streaming Classroom Platforms
  • Top 6 Platforms to Live Stream Classes
  • Tips for Online Educators
  • The Future of Education

The Growing Demand for Digital Learning

online lecture platform
Live video streaming allows students to watch content at home and attend lectures remotely.

Technology has found its place in the American classroom over the past five to ten years. The old school projectors and bulky televisions have been replaced by interactive smartboards

Even in traditional classroom settings, homework involves the use of online tools. Many schools require children to have iPads or other tablets as young as elementary school. High schools and universities are even further advanced.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in spring 2020, online learning has become the new norm for many students.

At the start of the pandemic, many educators relied on Zoom exclusively since most had all of two weeks to shift their curriculums from semi-digital to fully online.

The break during the summer gave schools time to prepare for the fall semester, and many have found that the solution for online learning for grade schools and universities requires more than Zoom. 

Many schools have created online live teaching platforms on their websites with the help of professional video hosting platforms with both live streaming and VOD capabilities. This allows them to live stream classes and upload lessons for students to access video on demand for schools.

Some video hosting platforms, including Dacast, now support Zoom integrations. This means that they can rely on their own servers and professional streaming tools while accessing Zoom’s video conference function with real-time latency.

Key Features of Live Streaming Classroom Platforms

Live Streaming Classroom Platform for Education
Choosing the perfect live streaming classroom platform makes a world of difference in your students’ digital classroom experience.

A live streaming platform is a web or cloud service that allows you to live stream, upload videos securely, manage video content, and share video content worldwide. 

Though varied in specific features and cost, these live streaming classroom platforms typically provide a similar range of tools for video broadcasting. Professional online school video platforms give you more control over your content than popular free consumer-based platforms, like Youtube.

When it comes to hosting and broadcasting videos, educators have several specific needs that differ from other industries.

Here are a few features that are particularly helpful for creating a platform for live streaming lectures and other educational materials. We urge you to look out for these specific features when choosing a live streaming platform.

1. Security and Privacy Settings

video security and privacy
Security and privacy tools that allow you to control access to your e-Learning videos are essential.

Educational videos are typically restricted to authorized viewers, which makes privacy and security tools absolutely essential. 

Look for a live streaming video platform that is fully loaded with security features, including password protection, end-to-end encryption, secure video upload, domain restrictions, and more. These tools allow you to control access to content on your own terms.

2. White-Label Service

white-label video streaming
White-label video streaming, compared to free consumer-grade platforms, provides a more professional learning atmosphere.

Free video hosting providers, such as Youtube, keep their own branding on the video player and landing page that houses it which is both unprofessional and distracting to students.

White-label video streaming refers to streaming video content that doesn’t include branding except for your own. Most paid video hosting platforms allow you to stream without a single mention of their name to your viewers.

White-label video players also typically do not contain third-party ads unless you set them up for the sake of video monetization.

3. API Access

video api
API is short for “Application Programming Interface,” which is a tool that allows broadcasters to create custom programmatic interactions and integrations.

Application Programming Interface (API) is a tool that allows broadcasters to create custom programmatic interactions and integrations. API gives you capabilities that range from building custom web and mobile applications to creating online portals. 

It can also help you integrate video tools into existing web applications, such as Virtual Classroom Software. 

This feature is now more important than ever since many schools are trying to keep things simple for their students but want to provide a virtual classroom experience that is as consistent with in-person learning.

4. Video Monetization

video monetization tools
Video monetization allows you to easily begin making money from your live streams and video on demand by selling directly.

If you operate an educational platform that is not publicly funded or tuition-based, you may consider monetizing your educational video content to generate revenue.

Many independent online educators create packages of video content sold as-is. With monetized content, viewers simply enter their payment information directly in the video player window. After their payment processes, viewers can access the video.

Monetization tools are key for quickly and easily generating revenue from your educational videos. Again, monetization is used more by independent educators as opposed to grade schools, universities, or even technical schools. 

If you operate an accredited institution, video monetization should not matter much to you, since you are either funded by taxpayers or tuition.

The Top 6 Platforms to Live Stream Classes

There are many platforms that are suitable for hosting and streaming online lectures. You should choose a platform based on its ability to meet the specific needs of your institution.

Here are a few of the best online lecture platforms for live streaming virtual classes and other educational content.

1. Dacast

Dacast Live Streaming Video Platform for Remote Learning
Take into consideration how many students will be using your platform and how many videos teachers will be creating.

Dacast’s online video platform for education is a great option for small educators and major institutions alike. 

Our unified streaming solution’s new Zoom integration makes real-time latency streaming possible which makes our platform well-suited for conference-style virtual classes.

Key features include:

Monetization features such as pay-per-view, subscriptions, and ad-based on-demand video are supported on all plans. It is also important to note that every plan on Dacast is fully white-label.

Dacast also supports more powerful video uploading, optimized CMS, more security, and China video hosting. The platform is ideal for institutions and schools with a large video on demand library. This is perfect if you have large numbers of instructors creating content for different subjects and courses.

Pricing for Dacast’s live streaming for education solutions starts at $39/month. Pricing plans include:

  • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 100 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
  • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
  • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)

Dacast also offers custom pricing for higher volume streaming.

2. IBM Cloud Video

ibm cloud video live streaming video platform for online learning
IBM Video Streaming is a cloud-based platform for external delivery of live and on-demand content to audiences, including virtual classrooms.

IBM Cloud Video uses the technology behind the service formerly known as UStream. Due to its years of experience in online streaming, the platform features many powerful options and supports academic solutions included in their live streaming and broadcast tools.

Most inclusive packages run at nearly $1000 a month, making the software a better option for educational institutions with larger budgets.

Native features include webcasting, content management, password protection, worldwide delivery, cloud transcoding, and HD streaming. Advanced e-learning features include AI-based speech to text, automated closed captioning, live polling, real-time monitoring, and video analytics and insights. Video monetization is included through ad integration. 

Full white-label branding control starts with the $999/month Platinum plan, and the IBM Cloud VideoAPI is included on custom Media and Enterprise plans.

IBM Cloud Video pricing starts at $99 per month for a Silver Plan, $499 per month for the Gold Plan, and $999 per month for the Platinum Plan. Users can negotiate custom plans individually.

3. Kaltura

Kaltura Video Cloud For Education
Live teaching platforms like Kaltura are cloud-based and do not require servers, making them great investments for educational institutions.

Kaltura is a powerful, large video management platform geared towards large institutions. Kaltura’s platform powers live and on-demand learning experiences through their cloud-based video services for education.

Kaltura’s security features include DRM, encryption, and access control tools. They also offer a wide variety of monetization tools. The service is also fully white-label, and an API is available for programmatic interactions.

Pricing for Kaltura is not available on their website. Users negotiate contracts on a case-by-case basis. In general, these range from $500 to $1000 and up per month.

4. Livestream

vimeo's livestream video hosting
Livestream includes easy-to-use live engagement tools, including live Q&A, live polls, audience chat, email capture, and custom calls-to-action.

Vimeo acquired Livestream in 2017, and the service now provides a live streaming platform through Vimeo Live.

Their education video solution

includes powerful content management features for both live streams, as well as hosting video lectures for on-demand playback. However, most of these are only available with the most inclusive plans.

This service offers some interesting hardware integrations. Security features, including advanced privacy controls and password protection, are supported only on the Enterprise plan and above. 

The same goes for white-label branding and monetization options. The Vimeo LiveAPI is available on this plan, and custom plans are priced at even higher levels.

Vimeo Livestream pricing plans offer 3 different packages suited for online classes and starts at $75/month for the Premium platform. They no longer offer a basic plan at a lower rate. 

To get access to important features like monetization, security, white-label, and branding control, you would have to step up to the Enterprise plans. Custom plans are also available at higher rates on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Livestream directly to determine pricing for the plan that best suits your needs.

5. Muvi

Muvi e-learning video portal
With Muvi, it’s very easy for professional educators, teachers, and coaches to launch their own e-Learning or Training with video.

The next of the online live class platforms we’ll take a look at here is Muvi. Muvi’s e-learning video portal has a wide range of features to live stream classes.

This platform supports video monetization via all three major methods: subscriptions, pay-per-view, and ads. Muvi also includes access to this API and white-label video players.

As for pricing, Muvi offers a wide range of plans that start at $399/month for the Standard plan. Additionally, Muvi has a Professional plan that costs $1499/month, the Enterprise plan that costs $3900/month, and an Ultimate plan that costs $8900/month. Their Black plan is custom priced for custom needs.

Each plan is subject to additional fees for app and technology use. The main difference from plan to plan is the amount of bandwidth, storage, and concurrent viewer capacity that comes with each.

6. Panopto

panopto video platform for education
Panopto has the tools to manage recorded lectures, classroom videos, and media assets in a secure, searchable video platform.

A leading video platform for education, Panopto is an online lecture platform that was designed to serve universities and other large institutions. Their solutions include dedicated software for lecture capture and video search.

However, the Panopto platform doesn’t include video monetization. Security features include the ability to make content private. Additionally, users can integrate with existing authentication systems. All plans are white-label, and API is available.

Panopto does not publicize pricing plans on its website. For educators, pricing depends on full-time equivalent student pricing. Plans are available starting at 500 users.

Tips for Online Educators

Online education is a beast of its own. Teachers who have been in the classroom for even decades have been forced to take on a brand new role that can be quite overwhelming.

We’ve put together a few tips to help educators navigate these new waters.

1. Plan with Technology in Mind

This may sound like a no-brainer, but preparing presentations for a live stream is different than presenting it on a large projector in front of a class. You’ll need to make sure that your presentations are easy to read on a small window.

If you’re going to be screen sharing, make sure that any tabs with private information are closed out so that you don’t accidentally expose something that you shouldn’t.

For example, if you know that you’ll be switching screens to show different presentations and documents during your live class, make sure that your online grade book is closed out so that it doesn’t accidentally fash on the screen.

2. Have a Backup Plan

The internet has proven to be a phenomenal tool for online learning. However, the internet and related technology are far from perfect.

Always have a backup plan in case something goes awry. For example, have your presentations available for download at a later time so that students have access if their internet connection fails in the middle of class.

Let students know in advance what to do if the stream stops working on your end. Perhaps have extra reading assignments or a supporting worksheet available so they are not left confused if they cannot connect with you.

3. Incorporate Pre-Recorded Media

Showing a movie or other pre-recorded media in your live class is possible as long as your live streaming platform or encoder support multi-source streaming.

The ability to show a movie in an online class is valuable since sometimes a documentary or film adds context to a topic that would be difficult to do with the resources you have access to.

Setting up a movie should be as simple as adding a second source and then switching to that source when it is time to present it. This will look a little differently on each live streaming platform. We recommend contacting the tech support team for specific instructions.

4. Don’t Apply Too Much Pressure

Online teaching may not be your preference, and it may be way out of your comfort zone. The same likely applies to your students.

Don’t stress about doing everything “right” because teaching over the internet comes with a bit of a learning curve. Keep in mind that your students are learning with you.

Guide them with grace, and try to redirect your frustration if your students are not grasping things as well as you’d expect them to in a traditional classroom setting.

The Future of Education

live teaching platform
If you’re new to online lectures, you want to pick a live teaching platform that is affordable and easy to use.

While the current state of the world has put many educators in a bit of a pinch, online learning has proven to be valuable beyond compare.

Live streaming classes as opposed to simply uploading notes helps students to truly digest the materials, especially if they are used to watching their teachers lecture in-person.

Even if online education is not the preferred option for all students, it is necessary to keep students on track when schools are closed down or it’s safer for them to learn from home. Consider implementing live streams, lectures available for playback, and other digital education tools to help your students through this time. With all of the uncertainty in the world, let education remain a constant. We owe it to the students.

Interested in live streaming solutions for your organization? We recommend signing up for our 30-day free trial. That way you can test out all of our features for yourself before you commit.

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Lastly, did you find this article helpful, or do you have other comments or feedback? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading, and good luck choosing the right live streaming service for your online classes!

49 thoughts on “Top 6 Online Live Class Platforms for Remote Learning in 2020

  1. Tricia Greeley says:

    I am looking for a platform that will allow for two way streaming from my instructors location into our classroom. Does your platform offer that? What equipment would be required?

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hello Tricia!
      Everything is possible, but if this is only a 2 ways conversation inside your classroom where you are the only one watching/responding, a conference type of service would be better for you. In case some of your students (that are at home) want to join the virtual classroom, then our platform would be useful.
      We would help you, for example, having a teacher streaming his classroom to a lot of viewers/students but they would only be able to respond by chatting with the teacher and would not be recorded.
      As your project looks very specific, please give us a call on the +1-855-896-9300. We would be glad to answer more of your questions!

  2. Vincent Valentino says:

    I am looking for a platform that would allow 20 or more students in a music learning environment. I would want to hear evaluate students as they play. So I would need both audio and video on both ends. I am currently using Skype but there are limitations.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hey Vincent! Right now what looks to be more convenient for you is not a streaming platform but mostly a conference type of platform. A two way streaming of sorts! Best!

      • Zak Salleh-Chew says:

        Hi there. Currently delivering face to face English lessons for adults and kids.

        We also want to save the videos online for up to 2 weeks after conducting it live. The lessons recorded are actually face to face lessons.

        Yes.. we want it white label and only people with a login can access it.

        The viewers can be
        1. Current in-class students who have logins.
        2. Viewers who find us online and never visited us. They are not our in-class students.

        They can do a free online level check and that will direct them to the right class to watch. They can buy one lesson and get a temporary login and password.
        Or they can choose to buy a series of lessons to view.

        Now…. what hardware do i need for each classroom. We may have 5 classes/levels.

        • Etienne Noualhat says:

          Well the hardware is going to be a tough one!
          You will mostly need 1 camera, 1 encoder and 1 computer per classroom if they are far away from each other and you plan to stream simultaneously.
          Best for you would be to ask one of our business developer and give them all the details of your set up! Have you try to call us yet?

  3. Anand says:

    Hey,
    I am looking for a platform with below features
    1. Live Stream support.
    2. Audio and Chat Interaction from both participants and presenter.
    3. Presentation to be viewed by intended audience only.
    4. Good Bandwidth and Secure.

    • Etienne Noualhat says:

      Hello Anand.
      Well here at Dacast we have all of that (apart from the 2 that you would need to set up yourself)
      You should check out our free trial and see if that works for you!

  4. Madhu says:

    I’m looking to conduct live steaming class for multiple students at different locations simultaneously. What do you recommend and what are the costs for that?

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

  5. Sachin says:

    Hello, we want to stream classes to approx 50 -100 students. Few questions
    (1) Can we stream a prerecorded lecture?
    (2) how to avoid the downloading/ screen captures of classes.
    (3) cost?
    .

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

  6. Jana Muller says:

    Please can you assist with listing low data usage video teaching apps. I work in a low / middle income country with variable bandwidth with service providers and university students who do not have a lot of money for extra data costs and are in lockdown,
    I need an app / programme that is:
    1. low data usage
    2. allows interactive discussion (voice, possibly video and messaging)
    3. access for about 50 participants

    Thank you

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

  7. Max Hutton says:

    Hello I am looking for a platform that I can essentially run a live workout class that can be embedded on my website. I would like to be able to view multiple users via their webcam like zoom and they can see me as well. I also would like to be able to record each session and upload to my on demand service on my website so my members can view when ever they please. is this possible with your platform? If so what sort of cost is it.

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

    • Dacast Team says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. I have forwarded your inquiry to either our sales or support team and they will reply to you shortly. Have a great day!

  8. Attila Szkukalek says:

    Hello I am looking for a platform that I can essentially run a live dog training class that can be embedded on my website. I would like to be able to view multiple users via their webcam like zoom and they can see me as well. I also would like to be able to record each session and upload to my on demand service on my website so my members can view when ever they please. is this possible with your platform? If so what sort of cost is it.

    • Maciek says:

      Thank you for your interest in Dacast’s Streaming Solutions. Please
      contact our Customer Support team at this link and someone will be
      more than happy to assist you. Have a great day!

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Dr. Subhash, That’s correct, you can share a pre-recorded video with whomever you want, as there is no limit for pre-recorded videos. Do not hesitate to contact us at the following email: team@dacast.com, if you need further details. Also, I invite you to test our platform for free for 30 days. Have a great day!

      • Bantu Chaudhary says:

        मै dacast पर अपने स्टूडेंट को पड़ाना चाहता हूं मुझे क्या करना चाहिए

        • Harmonie Duhamel says:

          Hi Bantu, I am not sure to understand what do you mean by putting your student on Dacast? Could you explain a little bit more about your project? Thank you.

          • Rahul says:

            Bantu Chaudhary has written that he wants to teach his students through dacast, what should he do?
            (he has written it in “Hindi” (Indian) language )

          • Harmonie Duhamel says:

            Thank you for the clarification Rahul. So the first question would be: Does he wants to stream live or on-demand? Here are some example of how exactly video can be used in education: https://www.dacast.com/blog/how-and-why-to-use-online-video-in-education/
            Also, we offer a 30-day free trial. So you can test our platform and see how this can work for your project. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email team@dacast.com so we can help you with your project creation. Have a great day!

  9. Reshma says:

    I would like to stream my online class to about 75 students. I have a few queries
    1. Can we live stream a prerecorded lecture ?
    2. Can we prevent downloading of lecture?
    3. Can we restrict these lectures to be accessed from only a single device so that students don’t share their pass words?

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Reshma, I hope you are well. So the response is yes for the 2 first questions. I would suggest you create your 30-day free trial account so you can review our different features. Feel free to reach us anytime if you have further questions. Best,

  10. Hannah says:

    I would like to stream my online class to about 50-100 students. I have a few queries
    1. Can we live stream a prerecorded lecture to an intended audience with password?
    2. Can we prevent downloading of lecture?
    3. Can we restrict these lectures to be accessed from only a single device so that students don’t share their passwords?

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Hannah, I hope you are well. So the response is yes for the 2 first questions. I would suggest you create your 30-day free trial account so you can review our different features. Feel free to reach us anytime if you have further questions.

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Ken, I hope you are great. One of my colleagues, Michael Cloward (mike@dacast.com), will contact you shortly. If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach us anytime. Best regards

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Samy, thank you for your message. Could you please contact the account manager of your region with further details of your project. Here is his contact: gary.dhillon@dacast.com
      So he can give you further assistance based on your needs. Best regards

  11. Kurt A. says:

    Many schools have canceled elective classes, so I am looking for a tool that will enable me to offer the same classes that I used to teach in the classroom, but now offer it online and be able to charge per student per course. All classes would need to be live , but also be recorded so that students can see what they missed if they miss a class. The recording should only be available for the period that the course runs. Also, I want to be sure to discourage sharing an account so is there a way to maintain a roster of students and keep information private?

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Kurt, Absolutely with Dacast you can keep your videos secure and privately share your content through advanced video security and privacy features, as well as a robust video upload manager: https://dacast.com/private-video-sharing/
      I invite you to test the platform for free with our 30-day trial https://wwww.dacast.com/ , or you can also contact the account executive for your territory to get more information regarding our platform and features. His name is Mike Cloward: mike@dacast.com. Let us know if you have any further questions, and we would be more than happy to help you!

  12. Claude Brickell says:

    I am an instructor. I want to set up classes (1 per mo) with DaCast. The first month’s session is free to viewers (I have the email address: 20-plus). This free session is to excite viewers to the class sessions to follow. I will be talking alone with no videos. The first session is introduction to professional screenwriting. The following months’ sessions will be charged for (probably $20 ea). Possible date would be the 1st or 15th of every month for about six months. Per your chart, that would be $20 ea including the first session which is viewer free. I assume for all sessions, the viewers would go online to DaCast and click on a free code for the first session, and after that, they would enter their credit card for payment each session afterwards. I’m new at this. Do you offer a free trial for me to get used to the platform? I need advice. Please have someone get back to me to set this up. Thanks

  13. Sima Singh says:

    Very helpful and Great information,
    I appreciate advice especially coming from a professional.
    And you included some great points regarding platform for learning platform for school management system to the equally great article.

  14. Vinayak says:

    I have a question, Can we stream a prerecorded video on any of these platforms?
    Also, I have a batch strength of 40 students, which platform will be most suitable?
    And thank you for this amazing post!!

    • Harmonie Duhamel says:

      Hi Vinayak, I hope you are great. Sure thing, you can stream a pre-recorded video with the Dacast platform: http://www.dacast.com
      I invite you to test our platform for free with our 30-day trial (no card required). So you will be able to test the different features of our online video streaming solution. As soon as your sign up, one of our account managers will contact you to help you get set up. If you need further information, do not hesitate to contact us at any time at team@dacast.com or via our chat online. Have a great day! Best regards

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