Best Google Classroom Alternatives 2022

Google Classroom is a cloud-based learning management software (LMS) system that targets the K-12 and higher education markets. It has many features, such as branding, course management, chats, integration with School Information Systems (SIS) and Originality Reports (to check for potential plagiarism).

Although it has strong features, especially its collaboration features, Google Classroom doesn’t offer dedicated accounts for parents. Instead, parents receive email summaries on their child’s work and cannot connect with their child’s teacher via the software.

For school districts and teachers that prefer that parents have their own accounts or if they simply want to look at other LMS software solutions, we’ve compiled five alternatives for comparison.

Best Google Classroom Alternatives

About Google Classroom

Google Classroom is part of the G Workspace for Education package that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and other apps. It’s targeted to teachers and students in both K-12 and higher education markets.

One of the biggest benefits of Google Classroom is it’s simple to use and encourages collaboration between students and teachers. Teachers can create a class and list apps and assignments in a few clicks. They can add students by name or send them a code to join. Students can then see what assignments are due, participate in discussion forums or message the teacher (either in private or via group chat).

Pros

Strong collaborative focus, easy to set up classes and assignments, virtual classes with Google Meet.

Cons

Accounts for parents aren’t offered.

Bottom Line

Learning management solution intended for schools in virtual or hybrid environments.

Pricing

The Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals platform is free for qualifying institutions and includes features such as Google collaboration tools (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Slides), communication tools (e.g., Meet, Gmail, Chat), data loss prevention for Google Drive and Gmail, and compliance with GDPR, FERPA and COPPA.

There are three paid plans:

  • Google Workspace for Education Standard – This plan costs $3 per student, per year and includes all of the features of the Fundamentals platform, plus a security center, advanced device and app management features, Gmail and Classroom logs for export into BigQuery, and audit logs.
  • Teaching and Learning Upgrade – This plan costs $4 per license, per month and includes all of the features of the Google Workspace for Education Standard, plus advanced Google Meet features (e.g., meetings with up to 250 participants, interactive Q&As, breakout rooms), unlimited originality reports and the ability to check for peer matches across a private repository.
  • Google Workspace for Education Plus – This plan costs $5 per student, per year and includes all of the features of the other plans, plus livestreams with up to 100,000 in-domain viewers, syncing rosters from SISs to Google Classroom, personalized cloud search and prioritized support.

Google Classroom Alternative #1: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 for Education product suite that allows teachers to deliver online learning to their students. Teachers can set up virtual classrooms and create, send, track and grade assignments and tests. Students can complete their work, access their grades and engage in conversations. During a virtual class, students can decide to appear on video and mute or unmute themselves, as well as send chats to the teacher or other students.

Pros

Remote access to coursework for students, ability for teachers to create and grade assignments, variety of collaboration features included.

Cons

Not intended for corporate training.

Bottom Line

Collaboration tool that helps teachers deliver virtual learning to their students.

Pricing

Microsoft Teams is one of the products offered under Office 365 for Education, which has three pricing plans.

  • Office 365 A1 – This plan is free for students, teachers and staff and includes Office apps like Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, SharePoint and School Data Sync.
  • Office 365 A3 – This plan costs $2.50 per user, per month for students ($3.25 per user, per month for teachers and staff) and has all of the features of the A1 plan, plus Access and Publisher (on PC only), the ability to install the Office desktop apps on up to five PCs/Macs per user, and the ability to install the Office apps on up to five tablets/phones per user.
  • Office 365 A5 – This plan costs $6 per user, per month for students ($8 per user, per month for teachers and staff) and has all of the features of the A3 plan, plus intelligent security management, advanced compliance and analytics functionality.

Google Classroom Alternative #2: Moodle

With Moodle, users have a choice of either installing their account on their servers or using the solution in the cloud. MoodleCloud has several benefits, such as accessibility anytime, scalability and a very short implementation process.

There’s also the Moodle Workplace solution, which allows companies to customize the LMS to fit their unique needs. It includes features such as the ability to build learning and compliance programs, multi-tenancy, a report builder and social learning.

Pros

Flexible deployment options, the ability for teachers to choose their own content and activities, dedicated Moodle mobile app.

Cons

MoodleCloud plans only accommodate up to 1,000 users, and some users say the interface isn’t always intuitive.

Bottom Line

Open-source platform with a modular design for teachers to build their own curriculum.

Pricing

MoodleCloud has a 45-day free trial that includes 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage. Then, there are five pricing tiers that include all the features of Moodle, such as unlimited courses and activities, a mobile app, a personalized site name, session recording and web conferencing with BigBlueButton. Pricing is in U.S. currency.

  • Starter: $120 per year for 50 users and 250 MB of storage
  • Mini: $210 per year for 100 users and 500 MB of storage
  • Small: $370 per year for 200 users and 1 GB of storage
  • Medium: $870 per year for 500 users and 2.5 GB of storage
  • Large: $1,670 per year for 1,000 users and 5 GB of storage

Moodle is now providing Premium and Enterprise hosting plans for organizations with over 1,000 users, with higher storage requirements or that want more customization and flexibility. Pricing for both plans isn’t available, so companies will need to contact Moodle for a quote.

Moodle Workplace is only available via the Moodle Certified Service Provider network.

Google Classroom Alternative #3: Canvas LMS

Instructure is a software provider focusing on dynamic learning management systems that streamline teaching tasks for various settings. One of those systems is Canvas LMS, which was created for educational institutions to better engage users in the teaching and learning processes

Instructure has an integrated and inclusive video platform for online teaching called Canvas Studio. With Canvas Studio, students can easily upload and share videos to a digital classroom, as well as let students and instructors comment on videos to create conversations.

Canvas can also be integrated with third-party solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Google Assignments and Discovery Education.

Pros

Canvas Studio, a new-generation tool that makes educational videos more collaborative.

Cons

No built-in gamification features, but Canvas can integrate with third-party tools that allow gamification.

Bottom Line

An LMS created for educational institutions, Canvas was designed to better engage users in the teaching and learning processes.

Pricing

Canvas offers a free account for educators, even if their school isn’t a Canvas customer. However, it doesn’t contain all the options available to paid Canvas users, such as a calendar scheduler, Slack notifications and the ability to post grades to a Student Information System. The free teacher account also accommodates students and parents.

Educational institutions that want to purchase a subscription to Canvas will need to contact Instructure directly for a quote.

Google Classroom Alternative #4: Schoology

PowerSchool’s Schoology is a learning management system (LMS) solution designed for collaboration between any kind of learner and instructor.

A core focus of Schoology’s LMS solution is to enable collaboration, with frequent checkpoints to ensure learners are engaging with the material. The most recent addition to the solution is assessment management, which brings learning management features to assessments.

Pros

Strong collaboration features throughout the solution.

Cons

Posting Google Assignments can be time consuming, and there’s a learning curve due to robust features.

Bottom Line

Schoology allows instructors and learners to communicate easily, and it has built-in grading and assessment tools.

Pricing

Schoology has a Basic plan that’s free for teachers. They can simply sign up via the Schoology site. The Basic plan includes many of Schoology’s features, such as content tools, mobile learning, discussions and grading.

For schools, there’s an Enterprise plan with advanced features such as SIS integration, phone/chat support and system-level administration. Note that Schoology doesn’t provide pricing details, so schools would need to contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Google Classroom Alternative #5: Edsby

Edsby is a learning management system (LMS), digital learning and analytics platform intended for the education sector, specifically kindergarten through 12th grade. Students can view their in-class or homework assignments, class schedules and grades and communicate with teachers or each other via a social media feed. Teachers can manage their course plans, and maintain attendance and grade materials.

Administrators can access real-time information about what’s going on with their students and teachers in their school or district, while parents are able to log into Edsby with a free account that allows them to see all the relevant information pertaining to their child (e.g., classroom assignments, tests, grades) and communicate directly with teachers and administrators.

Pros

No manual data entry needed as Edsby integrates with School Information Systems; parents can view student’s schedules, grades or assignments online; more efficient course management for teachers.

Cons

Not intended for colleges or corporate offices, an on-premise system isn’t offered.

Bottom Line

Learning management system specifically for the K-12 sector that helps foster learning and collaboration between students, teachers, parents and administrators.

Pricing

Edsby doesn’t publicly release its pricing information, so school districts will need to contact them directly for a price quote.

Conclusion

Google Classroom doesn’t provide parent accounts, but all five alternative solutions do in some capacity. Although Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a dedicated parent app, parents can connect with their child’s teacher via chat with its “Parent Connection” feature.

7 Critical Questions To Ask A Potential LMS Vendor

Choosing a LMS vendor is all about finding the right fit. Download our free whitepaper to make sure you're asking the right questions.Download Now