In recent times, there has been a surge in tools similar to Google Classroom. While Google Classroom is often regarded as a leading LMS for schools, it's essential to consider other available options, especially if there are budget or accessibility constraints. Many alternatives, both free and paid, potentially rival Google Classroom in terms of features.
In this article, we'll delve into the top 10 Google Classroom alternatives for 2023, examining their strengths and weaknesses. Before we begin, let's briefly review what Google Classroom brings to the table to provide a comprehensive perspective.
Why is Google Classroom Popular Among Users?
Google Classroom is a good way of streamlining online education. With this software, teachers can give feedback, share assignments, and communicate with their students. But it lacks some things that other Google Classroom alternatives make up for.
On a surface level, Google Classroom is great. The tool is ambitious and hopes to make education accessible worldwide. Moreover, it’s software that shoots for paperless education everywhere, which falls in line with Google’s environmental goals.
However, as effective as Google Classroom may seem, it’s only available to educational institutions at the moment. What’s more, is that the efficiency of this software severely depends on the specific needs of every institution. In other words, Google Classroom is great, but it’s not for everyone.
But before we dive into the Google Classroom alternatives, take a look at the features that come with Google’s very own LMS.
What Does Google Classroom Offer?
Google Classroom stands out among LMS because it was designed to compete with world-class software. Firstly, it includes the key components that any designer would look for in a learning management system. Secondly, it gives you access to Google’s Suite of apps, including Google Docs Spreadsheet, Slides, and the like.
Moreover, Google offers some features that make the lives of learners and educators alike. This includes the following:
- Real-time feedbacks
- Video calls
- Mobile use
- Ability to attach material to assignments
- Collaboration tools
Furthermore, features like built-in authoring, activity dashboard, asynchronous and blended learning, or assessment management aren’t available in the software yet. Though this doesn’t mean that Google will leave these features out forever, it makes the option less attractive. This begs the question: is Google Classroom worth it? And could you benefit more from Google Classroom alternatives?
Is Google Classroom Worth It?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of an institution or not. If you’re looking to invest in Google Classrooms, you’ll want to know if this software is worth the time. Both students and teachers can benefit from Google Classroom, because it makes education a breeze. But don’t get the impression that everything is rainbows and butterflies with this software. Because some Google Classroom alternatives offer better features.
After all, even the best learning management systems have their flaws.
Google Classroom Pros:
Google Classroom was designed in such a way that it makes education easier for all age groups. You don’t need to have a ton of tech knowledge, or even be a regular Google user, to participate in classes.
Some general pros include:
- Ease of use
- Great feedback flow
- Increased speed with the assignment process
- Enhanced communications
Google Classroom Cons:
While Google Classroom has some solid pros, it doesn’t meet user expectations in every aspect. There are a number of things that require improving in order to achieve a smoother workflow.
Some user complaints include:
- It’s hard to manage your account
- Might be uncomfortable for people who are not familiar with Google
- You can only interact through Google Docs.
- Students have less control
Again, this is just the current situation with the software, and things may change in the future. But for now, if these don’t satisfy your LMS needs, you might want to check out some Google Classroom Alternatives.
Google Classroom Alternatives
So far we’ve covered what you can get out of using Google Classroom and whether it’s worth the trouble. Now let’s talk about the ten different Google Classroom alternatives that can perform just as efficiently.
Teachfloor is a cutting-edge online learning platform that empowers educators and organizations to create dynamic courses enriched by the power of social and peer learning. With its intuitive interface and an array of robust tools, Teachfloor enables seamless course creation, management, and engagement.
What sets Teachfloor apart is its unwavering commitment to fostering collaborative learning experiences. Through its sophisticated social learning functionalities, learners can interact, share insights, and collaborate on projects, amplifying the educational journey.
Additionally, Teachfloor's peer learning features encourage active participation, allowing students to learn from each other's perspectives and experiences.
Whether you're an individual instructor or part of an institution, Teachfloor redefines online education by harnessing the power of social and peer learning for a truly transformative learning experience.
- Dynamic Social Learning: Engage learners through social interactions, fostering collaboration and community.
- Peer Learning: Facilitate active participation, enabling students to learn from diverse viewpoints and each other's experiences.
- Intuitive Interface: Streamlined course creation, management, and engagement with a user-friendly interface.
- Customization: Empower instructors to tailor the learning experience to their teaching style.
- Live Classes with Zoom: Seamlessly integrate live classes using Zoom, enhancing the learning experience.
- API Access: Extend functionality and integration possibilities through API access.
- White Label Option: Customize and brand the platform for a seamless organizational experience.
- Currently, Teachfloor doesn't offer a dedicated mobile app for on-the-go learning.
- Teachfloor does not currently offer free account options.
Schoology is one of the best ways to go if you’re looking for a Google Classroom alternative for institutions. Furthermore, this software can be extremely helpful with class management, because it caters to K-12 teachers, students, and administrators. In doing so, the platform is able to simplify the learning process while keeping parents in the loop. Moreover, you can use the basic edition for free. And then, upgrade to Enterprise if your institution requires more refined tools.
- User-friendly interface for both educators and students.
- Robust communication tools, including discussion boards and messaging.
- Integrates well with third-party apps and tools.
- Limited customization options for the interface.
- Certain advanced features might require a paid subscription.
Canvas is an open-source learning management system for teaching, learning, and even designing. Within a single platform, the program provides content, grades, communication tools, and analytics. What makes this option so appealing is that it offers several customizability and integration options. Canvas is more feature-rich than most of its competitors and provides a unique experience for each user. Therefore, the platform a great Google Classroom alternative.
- Highly customizable to suit various teaching styles.
- Comprehensive analytics and reporting tools.
- Open API for seamless integration with external apps.
- Learning curve for new users due to its feature-rich nature.
- Interface might appear cluttered to some.
Not every Google Classroom alternative has to cost money. After all, Google doesn’t charge for its software. That’s one of the reasons why Moodle is a favorite among people who are just starting out. This platform is free to use and highly customizable. Moreover, it’s vetted by Forbes as the best open-source learning management system. The software is highly viable and currently on the rise thanks to an intuitive interface. Not to mention Moodle encourages global communications through its large community of developers – which, some Google Classroom alternatives don’t offer.
- Open-source platform.
- Strong community of developers.
- Highly customizable through plugins and themes.
- No cost for the core platform.
- Easy to navigate, even for first-timers.
- Interface design might feel outdated to some users.
If you want to opt for a tried and true Google Classroom alternative, Blackboard Learn is the way to go. This learning management system largely caters to higher education. Although, the company has been gearing its services toward business and government entities as well. Consequently, Blackboard has added a new LMS version called “Learn Ultra.” What’s more, is that Learn Ultra has actually been coexisting with Blackboard for the past five years. Which means it’s a streamlined and reliable way of teaching. But that’s not all, because Ultra can work simultaneously with Blackboard to combine design with functionality. Here’s the rundown of what you can expect from this Google Classroom alternative:
- Offers a variety of assessment options, including quizzes and assignments.
- Supports various learning formats, from traditional courses to competency-based education.
- Mobile-friendly interface.
- User interface can be overwhelming for new users.
- Pricing might be higher compared to other alternatives.
- Some might find it hard to download the course packages.
Eduflow is a versatile and interactive online learning platform that empowers educators to create dynamic courses. With its user-friendly interface, customizable features, and collaborative tools, Eduflow supports educators in designing engaging learning experiences for students of all levels. From peer reviews and quizzes to discussions and personalized learning paths, Eduflow transforms traditional classrooms into interactive online environments
- Intuitive Interface
- Encourages collaboration and communication.
- Integration of educational apps for enhanced learning experiences
- Limited advanced features for higher educational institutions
- Some users might find the interface too informal
Microsoft Teams for Education
Microsoft Teams for Education is a great Google Classroom alternative for courses that require both teacher-to-student and peer-to-peer activities. So if your e-Learning storyboard includes points where students need to work in groups, this LMS by Microsoft works great. It’s an organized way of tracking assignments while staying on top of your progress. Finally, it offers more integrations than most Google Classroom alternatives, and even surpasses Google Classroom itself on that count.
- One of the closest-cutting Google Classroom alternatives
- Works with Microsoft 365 apps.
- Virtual classroom features, including live lessons and assignments.
- Strong focus on real-time collaboration.
- Primarily for existing Microsoft users.
- Might not be suitable for simpler teaching needs.
As you can tell by the name, Schoox is listed as a Google Classroom alternative because it was designed for institutions. But this software is a little different because it strives to create a realistic classroom environment. The interface to this Google Classroom alternative is simple to use. Moreover, there are different tabs to help you organize your material. That said, the software comes with pricing options that other Google Classroom alternatives might not have.
- User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop course creation.
- Emphasis on skills training and certification.
- Custom branding and white-labeling options.
- Advanced features might be lacking for complex training scenarios.
- Pricing tiers for certain features could add up.
Brightspace is a Google Classroom alternative that’s used by institutions and businesses. With Brightspace, you can manage course material and assignments in one place. But one of the most convenient features of this Google Classroom alternative is that it lets you add images and videos in course material.
- Intuitive interface with customizable dashboard.
- Robust analytics and assessment tools.
- Accessibility features for diverse learners.
- One of the most inclusive Google Classroom alternatives.
- Pricing might differ based on scale.
- Initial setup and course creation can be time-consuming.
- An open-source platform for collaboration and pedagogy.
- Highly configurable and adaptable to institutional needs.
- Strong emphasis on user privacy and data ownership.
- Limited official support compared to commercial alternatives.
- User interface may not be as modern as some competitors.
Nearpod is one of the best Google Classroom alternatives on the market. It's highly focused on learning outcomes, while offering ease of use and enhanced communication. Much like other Google Classroom alternatives, Nearpod allows collaboration, gamification, and matching.
- Streamlined interface with drag-and-drop functionality.
- Personalized learning for students.
- Strong emphasis on accessibility and inclusivity.
- Filters aren’t as functional as other Google Classroom alternatives.
- Some advanced features require a learning curve.
Google Classroom is an efficient way of going paperless for institutions. But if this tool isn’t available to you yet, there are several Google Classroom alternatives that you can consider.
Of course, not all of the Google Classroom alternatives will perform in the exact same manner. However, with such diverse options, it’s highly likely that you’ll find a Google Classroom alternative fitting for your needs.
Either way, when you’re looking for a Google Classroom alternative, you should consider individual teaching needs and institutional requirements. So make sure to thoroughly review these Google Classroom alternatives and make an informed choice based on your specific context.