• Introduction
  • User interface
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Cost
  • Summary

NEO vs. Google Classroom


NEO is a world-class, award-winning LMS for use by schools and universities. The platform is known for its easy-to-use and beautiful user interface, comprehensive set of innovative features, and pricing that provides great value for money. With NEO it's easy to create great classes that students will enjoy anytime, everywhere.

NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, which also provides a similar LMS for use by businesses called MATRIX. Both NEO and MATRIX are used by over 20,000 organizations, support 40+ languages, and have millions of users.

Google Classroom provides some rudimentary classroom features such as a news feed for each class and the ability to give and grade assignments. It is tightly integrated with Google Drive as its storage system. Google Classroom is not an LMS.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface is a modern, 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, a graphical class catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation. Many features can be enabled or disabled to suit young children through to college students. It provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize lesson material.

The Google Classroom interface is modern, and based on the new Google "Material design" interface. It does not seem to currently work well on mobile devices.

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.

Google Classroom is easy to understand and use. The large class "theme" picture at the top of each page takes up quite a lot of room, so a lot of scrolling is required on each page.

NEO Help center


NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, and self-paced), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, rules engine, learning paths, drip content, curricula and proficiencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, chat rooms, resources catalog, blogs, wikis, a customizable portal, e-portfolios, and more.

NEO supports many important industry standards such as SCORM, Common Cartridge Format, LTI, QTI and LDAP. We also integrate with a wide variety of systems, including Google Drive, G Suite, Single sign-on with Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and SMTP/POP3.

Google Classroom provides a very limited feature set. Specifically, it only allows a teacher to create a class, add students to the class, create a news feed per class, set simple assignments, such as a Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides, and grade those assignments online.

Even basic LMS features are missing from Google Classroom, such as:

  • Grade book
  • Quizzes and Question banks
  • Curricula and proficiencies
  • Attendance tracking
  • Rubrics
  • Resources catalog
  • Administrator features

More features that NEO provides and Google Classroom is missing are:

  • Graphical dashboards for students, teachers, admins, and parents
  • Graphical catalog with categories, subcategories, cross-listings, and more
  • Gamification
  • Rules engine
  • Drip content
  • Learning paths
  • Support for 40+ languages
  • E-commerce integration
  • Customizable portal
  • Student help desk
  • Click to chat
  • Rubrics
  • Integration with your own email server
  • Comprehensive set of built-in reports
  • Automatic language translation for messages and forums
  • 12 types of assignments including team, discussions, debates, and more
  • Instant teacher feedback on assignments
  • Support for blogs and wikis
  • Personalized assignments

NEO Class catalog


NEO has a free plan and costs about $6 per student per year for its Small school plan and $7 per student per year for its Enterprise plan. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.

Google Classroom is free, and is available to schools in the USA that are using G Suite for Education.

NEO Class page


NEO is an LMS designed for use by schools, whereas Google Classroom is a rudimentary set of tools for individual teachers. The NEO free plan is more attractive, easier to use, and far more comprehensive than Google Classroom.

Schools that need LMS "power" features can upgrade to a NEO premium plan, which is typically half the price of similar products.

This was a comparison of the most important features of NEO and Google Classroom. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us.


This comparison paper was written in March 2016 based on publicly available documentation on both vendor's 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.