NEO vs. Google Classroom
This is a detailed comparison between NEO and Google Classroom, taking under consideration the features, functionality, and cost of each platform.
NEO is a world-class, award-winning learning management system (LMS) for schools and universities. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, such as creating and delivering educational content, assessing students, tracking their results, and promoting communication and collaboration between students and teachers/faculty.
Google Classroom is an LMS for K-12 schools developed by Google. There is also a version that is open to all users that have a Google account.
NEO School portal
The NEO interface has a responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for students, teachers, and administrators, as well as a graphical class, resources and users catalog. Users can also see to-do items, upcoming events, groups, calendar, and more. NEO also has a unique “activity display” feature that indicates the level of activity within classes and groups using a pulsing indicator on their tiles together with real-time widgets that scroll through the latest activities.
The Google Classroom dashboard is simple, but not as graphical. Instructors and students can only see the courses that they are teaching or are enrolled in.
NEO offers a simple pop-out navigation system with shortcuts and easy access to all areas of a site no matter where you are in the platform. Users can access the classes, groups, settings, and more from the pop-out menu in the left bar instead of loading another page.
In Google Classroom, the main menu can be hidden or unhidden, but there is no pop-out navigation for the main items on the menu. All classes are displayed in the left menu so users have to scroll down the left bar to find a class if there are more than a few on the list.
The NEO class layout is very intuitive and users can choose from a graphical tile or row format. Each tile displays important information such as the badges, points, and certificates that the lesson awards. Students can see their progress through a class and lesson indicated with icons on each tile.
The Google Classroom class layout is divided into three pages: the stream or news feed, classwork and people. The classwork page is the most important since the stream only shows notifications. However, teachers can only add a limited amount of class materials and there is no HTML editor for content pages. They have the option of adding the materials under the same topic.
NEO offers native mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as branded apps for schools that require them.
The platform also has many accessibility features, such as hidden content that improves screen reader use, a 'skip to content' shortcut, underlined links setting, and a high contrast theme.
Google Classroom is available for iOS and Android devices and is less accessible for students with disabilities since it only supports screen reader use. There is no option for custom mobile apps.
NEO Student dashboard
Ease of use
NEO is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. NEO also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.
Google Classroom is somewhat easy to understand and use, has a help center with tutorials and a help forum.
NEO Help center
NEO has all the essential features that help teachers save time and make learning more engaging for students. Google Classroom provides a very limited feature set as it lacks many essential tools such as a built-in authoring tool, a grade book, automation and has a small range of available assignment types.
NEO offers a wide range of class types to suit any teaching style, whether it is instructor-led, blended, self-paced classes, or micro classes. In addition, NEO has a built-in authoring tool that allows teachers to easily create beautiful classes for their students.
In Google Classroom, teachers can add instructor-led or blended learning classes. It does not have a built-in authoring tool, only the option of adding an assignment, question, material or Google Drive files to the “classwork” page.
NEO offers 15 assignment types, including quizzes, essays, team, debate, Dropbox, Turnitin, discussion and survey. Google Classroom has very limited options as teachers can create assignments, add a question (discussion), and the possibility of attaching files from Google Drive. To add a quiz, teachers have to use Google Forms.
NEO also has a powerful gradebook tool with a centralized view of all grades, which allows users to quickly add results and make changes. There is no gradebook functionality in Google Classroom.
In NEO, it’s easy to track and measure student progress. Teachers can make sure class content is compliant with standards by adding competencies to it through mastery. They also have access to powerful analytics, built-in reports, and custom reports.
Google Classroom does not have any competency-based learning functionality or skill tracking tool. Administrators can see classroom usage reports, but there are no scheduled or custom reports. In addition, teachers cannot access reports or analytics.
Communication and collaboration
NEO helps users collaborate through various tools such as chat, messages, groups, teams, social networking, news feeds, wikis, blogs, and more. Users can also share resources via a Resources catalog that is organized into categories and subcategories.
Google Classroom has limited functionality for communication between teachers and students, most notably missing chat, built-in messaging, groups, and social networking.
Personalization and engagement
In NEO, teachers can choose actions that should be performed when students complete classes, enroll in groups, fall behind on their mastery levels, and more. This helps them save time and make teaching more personalized. In addition, they can create fun site-wide, class and learning path games for their students, as well as use adaptive learning to dynamically personalize the content that students will see in classes.
Google Classroom does not have any features that can make classes more personalized and engaging.
In NEO, schools can customize many aspects of the platform including its color scheme, fonts, terminology, and more. They can also create a visitor portal with their own logo, portal images, panels, carousel, custom HTML, and more.
The Google Classroom interface is not customizable, aside from small aspects such as changing the main theme of a class. This might be an inconvenience for schools that wish to add a customized visitor portal, logo, color scheme, or generally want to make their portal feel like their own.
NEO integrates with the most popular and useful education tools such as Zapier, iCal, Turnitin, Unicheck, xAPI, Office 365, OneDrive, Panopto, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Zoom. In addition, it integrates with Google Drive, Google Workspace, and more.
In Google Classroom, you can only use tools such as Google Drive or tools which are part of G Suite for Education.
Here is a list of key features in NEO that Google Classroom does not support:
- Customizable visitor portal
- Graphical dashboards
- Graphical resources catalog
- Graphical lessons layout
- Automatic language translation of messages and forum posts
- Custom URL
- Branded mobile apps
- Activity display
- Built-in authoring tool
- Learning paths
- Drip content
- Micro learning
- Adaptive learning
- Competency-based learning
- Content sync
- Class ratings and reviews
- Seating charts
- Graphical badge gallery
- Offline mode
- Public profiles
Assessment and analytics
- Assignment types such as team, debate, essay, attendance, LTI, and more.
- Attendance tracking
- Personalized assignments
- Scheduled and custom reports
- Peer reviewed assignments
- Question banks
- Integration with 1,500+ apps via Zapier
- LTI, QTI and CCF
- MS Immersive Reader
- MS OneNote
- Safe Exam Browser
- PayU Latam
- MS Teams
- Account types such as teaching assistant, parent, and monitor
- Archiving students
- Trash can for restoring deleted content
- SEO features
- Student help desk
- Terms and conditions
- Purchase orders
NEO Class catalog
NEO has a Free plan with a comprehensive set of essential LMS features and a Premium plan for schools that need more powerful functionality. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs. Teacher, faculty and parent accounts are not taken into consideration.
Google Classroom is free and is available to schools in the USA that are using G Suite for Education and for any user with a Google account, if they are using it individually, and not for creating classes for a school or university. However, larger schools or universities that need features such as shared calendars and unlimited cloud storage can opt for G Suite Enterprise for Education at $4 per user user per month for faculty, staff, and students.
NEO Class page
This was a comparison of the most important feature differences between NEO and Google Classroom.
NEO is a more attractive and comprehensive solution than Google Classroom. NEO helps schools manage all classroom activities, while Google Classroom has limited functionality and can hardly be categorized as an LMS.
If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us.
This comparison paper was written in August 2020 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.
Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.