Google Classroom vs. Microsoft Teams: Compare Core LMS Capabilities and More

Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams are two learning management systems (LMSs) for the education market. Both solutions allow teachers and students to collaborate together via virtual meetings and chats, and teachers can set up lesson plans and assignments with just a few clicks.

Here, we compare Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams on several factors.

What is the Difference Between Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams?

  • While both solutions have LMS functionality, Microsoft Teams is more well known as a collaboration tool.
  • The number of participants in a virtual meeting is only limited to 250 for Google Classroom, while it’s 300 for Microsoft Teams. However, this difference may not be noticeable for small classrooms.
  • Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams both support advanced analytics functionality. But Google Classroom doesn’t have tools for analyzing students’ emotional well-being, while Microsoft Teams’ Insights feature does.

Product Overviews

The following excerpts from our Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams reviews summarize each software solution:

Google Classroom

Google Classroom targets teachers and students in both K-12 and higher education markets. One of its biggest benefits is it’s simple to use and encourages collaboration between students and teachers. Teachers can create a class and list educational apps, such as 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).

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.

Microsoft Teams integrates with other Office apps (e.g., Word, OneNote, PowerPoint) and third-party software (e.g., Flipgrid, Turnitin, MakeCode), so students and teachers won’t need to use multiple solutions.

Features Comparisons

Content Development/Content Management

Google Classroom

Teachers can set up assignments directly within Google Classroom, including uploading the necessary files. Not only does the software support other Google Apps (e.g., Docs, Forms, Sheets), but teachers can also upload videos, images or PDFs. Once the assignment is ready, students receive a notification. Additional content development features include the ability to distribute the same assignment to multiple classes, save templates for future use and the ability to schedule a distribution date.

Microsoft Teams

Teachers can use the Class Notebooks, a digital binder within OneNote, for creating lesson plans. Students can use these notebooks to write essays or other content, and teachers can provide feedback directly within the assignment.

There’s a separate Assignments tab where teachers can set up assignments, add content from other Office apps, create a grading rubric, edit due dates and customize the assignments to the individual students. Students can see their grades and upcoming assignments, as well as turn in their assignments within this tab.

There’s also the Grades tab that gives teachers at-a-glance access to all of their assignments to track progress. It has a feedback loop feature that lets teachers edit and grade assignments and leave comments.

Bottom Line

Both solutions have similar content development and management features. We also want to note that schools can integrate Google Classroom with Office 365 or Microsoft Teams with Google Drive, but in some cases, this may require using a third-party integration service company (e.g.,

Virtual Learning

Google Classroom

Teachers can host virtual classes with up to 250 participants via Google Meet. They can opt to have up to 500 students in one meeting if their school is enrolled in the Google Workspace for Education Plus pricing plan. Google Meet allows them to record the sessions, turn on captions and receive questions from students via chats.

All Google Workspace for Education products, including Google Classroom, have accessibility features. In addition to captioning in Google Meet and Google Slides, those features are text magnification, voice typing and Braille support. Schools can also enable Chrome extensions to add on more accessibility features.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams allows teachers to host virtual classes. They can schedule classes, send invites to students and record classes so students can access them later. Teachers can hold classes with up to 300 students at once. Students can decide whether to appear on video during classes and mute or unmute themselves. They can also send chats to the teacher or other students.

Teams has features that help make learning accessible for students, such as American Sign Language (ASL), closed captioning and Immersive Reader, where students can read chats by listening to the words or adjust the text of the chat to their preference.

Bottom Line

Depending on the pricing plan their school selects, teachers can host Google Meets with up to 250 or 500 participants per meeting. Microsoft Teams has recently upgraded its meeting limits to 300 attendees. This likely won’t be a concern for smaller classrooms.


Google Classroom

Students and teachers can access the same Google file, such as Docs or Sheets, simultaneously (based on specific access permission settings), including leaving comments, sending chats or making edits within the file. In addition, Google Classroom has a Stream feature, similar to a social media feed, where students can create a post or comment on other posts. Teachers can use the Stream to make announcements. Another feature of Google Classroom is Questions that lets teachers set up short questions for students to answer.

Students can collaborate together via breakout rooms set up during a Google Meet. Teachers can set up a breakout room by navigating to the Activities tab within the Google Meet, where they can also randomly or manually assign students to a specific room, move between rooms or close out a room.

Microsoft Teams

Within Microsoft Teams, students can chat with each other or with a teacher one-on-one or in small groups. They can share Word, Excel or other Office files, as well as add edits or comments to a file. Microsoft Teams supports multiple people editing a file simultaneously.

There are two additional collaboration features: Breakout Rooms and Whiteboard. Breakout Rooms let students collaborate together in smaller groups during a class. Teachers can set up a breakout room and assign students to a particular room. Students can share files and chat among themselves. A Whiteboard can be shared during a Teams meeting, and attendees can add text or images to the whiteboard. The whiteboard can be made available for further collaboration after the meeting ends.

Bottom Line

Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams have very similar collaboration features (e.g., file sharing, chats, breakout rooms). And even though both solutions have whiteboard functionality, Google Classroom requires integration with the Google Jamboard solution.

Student Performance Tracking/Analytics

Google Classroom

With the Gradebook feature, teachers can see all of a student’s grades in one place, grade their assignments and share their feedback with the student. They can export the students’ grades to a Google Sheet or a CSV file. Google Classroom also has an unique feature called Originality Reports that detects plagiarism within a written assignment. Students can check their work for any recommended citations, while teachers can scan the piece for authenticity.

For more advanced performance tracking, Google Classroom integrates with Schoolytics, a student data platform. Educators can track student performance, compare competency patterns across different classes and measure grades against benchmarks. It has an early warning system that notifies teachers if specific students are failing or becoming disengaged with their courses.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams’ new feature Insights, from Microsoft’s Education Insights Premium solution, allows teachers to measure their students’ assignments and engagement via a dashboard with a variety of metrics (e.g., Inactive Students, Average Time Spent Per Day on Digital Activity, Missed Assignments). Teachers can see all metrics from their classes on a single page, as well as filter down into specific data. There’s a Spotlights feature that provides updated trends within the data by using color-coded labels that indicate positive trends, issues or other factors. Teachers can opt to export the data to Excel for additional analysis.

We also want to point out the Reflect feature that helps schools improve students’ well-being and create a safe space. Teachers can gauge their students’ emotional and mental well-being with over 50 built-in emotion words that students can select from. Teachers can also schedule daily or weekly check-ins with their students.

Bottom Line

Google Classroom’s advanced analytics features require integration with Schoolytics, a third-party company, while Microsoft Teams can integrate with any dedicated Microsoft product. Also, Schoolytics doesn’t have features for analyzing a student’s well-being, while Microsoft Teams’s Insights feature does.

Download Comparison Guide


Google Classroom

The Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals platform is a free version for qualifying institutions and includes 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 live streams with up to 100,000 in-domain viewers, up to 500 participants per Google Meet session, syncing rosters from SISs to Google Classroom, personalized cloud search and prioritized support.

Microsoft Teams

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 has all of the features of the A1 plan, plus Access and Publisher (on PC only), the ability to install Office desktop apps on up to five PCs/Macs per user, and the ability to install Office apps on up to five tablets/phones per user.
  • Office 365 A5 – This plan has all of the features of the A3 plan, plus intelligent security management, advanced compliance and analytics functionality.

Note that pricing is only available as a custom quote.

Bottom Line

Both vendors offer a free plan for students and teachers with more advanced features offered in paid plans. However, Google provides pricing info upfront, while Microsoft now requires prospects contact them for a custom quote.

Customer Support

Google Classroom

Google Classroom has the following resources for teachers and administrators:

  • The Help Center knowledge base includes articles and troubleshooting tips on various Google Classroom topics.
  • The Community forum is where users can ask troubleshooting questions and share advice with other users.
  • There are dedicated IT guides for schools’ IT administrators.

Google Classroom also provides monthly updates to clients with new features and other product upgrades.

Microsoft Teams

Users can browse resources (e.g., guides, articles) in the Microsoft Teams help center and access the community forums to connect with other users. Admins can contact Microsoft directly via chat or email for additional support.

Bottom Line

Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams both offer similar support (e.g., a help center, community forums). However, Google Classroom doesn’t offer email or chat support, and Microsoft Teams provides this for administrators. In addition, Google Classroom has priority support in its highest-priced tier, but this isn’t available for Microsoft Teams.

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