There are a lot of questions in the Canvas Community that ask which is the better conferencing tool to use with Canvas, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. But the better question is "Why does Canvas not have a built-in conferencing tool like Blackboard's Collaborate Ultra.
Zoom and Teams are meeting tools for industrial use. Consequently, Zoom and Teams do not have an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent. Blackboard's Collaborate has both an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent. To add "insult to injury" Canvas allows Blackboard's Collaborate to be integrated into Canvas as an add-on LTI app. But to do this Collaborate integration Canvas customers must purchase a subscription to Blackboard's Collaborate on top of the subscription paid for Canvas.
Canvas allows the LTI app called "Conferences" to be integrated into Canvas. But "Conferences" is a FREE WATERED DOWN VERSION of BigBlueButton. "Conferences" is a very weak Blackboard Collaborate wannabee. Perhaps BigBlueButton has the educational features that is needed but here again after purchasing Canvas a Canvas customer would have to purchase an additional subscription for BigBlueButton.
Canvas customers should not have to pay extra for features that should already be built into Canvas which advertises itself as an educational LMS.
The COVID pandemic has made academia realize the importance of conferencing tools that support the needs of their education medium. Remote synchronous teaching is here to stay in one degree or another even after the COVID pandemic is finally over. Virtual office visits are also here to stay. Faculty agree that students are more apt to participate in an on-demand virtual office meeting any time of the day than to visit a professor's physical office as per a strict, non-flexible office visiting schedule.
So Canvas MUST create a viable built-in conferencing tool that supports both an educational vocabulary and an educational environmental intent.
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