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

NEO vs. PowerSchool

Introduction

NEO is a word-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. NEO is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.

PowerSchool Learning is a cloud-hosted LMS, formerly known as Haiku Learning.

NEO School portal

User interface

The NEO interface has 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. NEO offers native mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows.

The PowerSchool Learning interface is a little on the "dry" side, with mostly text and only a few graphical flourishes. For example, there is no tile-based dashboard, no graphical class catalog, and no customizable portal. The content is organized into "content blocks" that allow users to add pages, different files and links, which can become confusing and hard to organize.

The user interface is not so responsive, so users must download their mobile app to use their site from a mobile device, which lacks the full functionality of the desktop version. The LMS has apps for iOS and Android.

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.

PowerSchool Learning is somewhat easy to understand and use, offering guides, a help center, a community support forum and help via email.

NEO Help center

Features

NEO provides the range of functionality you'd expect in a modern LMS, such as support for classes (instructor led, blended, self-paced, and micro learning), twelve kinds of assignments, full-featured gradebook, content authoring, beautiful lesson layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, mastery and competencies (including US common core standards and Next Generation Science Standards), question banks, class templates, rubrics, collaboration tools, resources catalog, a customizable portal, 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, Office 365, OneDrive, Calendars (iCal), Turnitin, Zapier, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, SIS, Equella, and more.

PowerSchool Learning provides a smaller feature set, which is not as visually attractive and is a little harder to configure and use.

For example, instead of creating a class with different tiles/sections options, users have content blocks and customizable themes, which do little to add to the visual appeal of the class. PowerSchool Learning also offers little in terms of student engagement aside from the option to add class badges.

Here is a list of key features included in NEO that PowerSchool Learning does not support:

User interface

  • Customizable visitor portal
  • Graphical class catalog
  • Graphical resources catalog
  • Graphical dashboards for users
  • Support for more than 40 languages
  • Automatic language translation of messages and forum posts
  • Customizable terminology
  • Native Windows app
  • Branded mobile apps
  • Accessibility features

Content

  • Content sync
  • Gamification
  • Automation
  • Drip content
  • Learning paths
  • Micro learning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Compliance
  • Printable PDF certificates
  • Prerequisite certificates
  • Waitlists
  • Class ratings and reviews
  • Custom reports
  • Scheduled reports

Collaboration

  • Chat
  • Social networking
  • Public blog
  • Teams
  • Organizations

Integrations

  • Integration with your own email server
  • xAPI
  • Equella
  • MathJax
  • Integration with 1,000+ apps via Zapier
  • Unicheck
  • CometChat
  • Gotomeeting
  • Gototraining
  • Zoom
  • Skype for Business
  • Panopto
  • MailChimp
  • PayPal
  • Authorize.net
  • Stripe
  • Payubiz
  • PayU Latam

Other

  • Student help desk
  • Account types such as monitor and teaching assistant
  • Terms and conditions
  • Archiving students
  • E-commerce functionality
  • SEO features
  • Trash can for restoring deleted content

NEO Class catalog

Cost

NEO has a free plan and charges 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.

PowerSchool Learning can only be used for free by individual teachers with up to 5 active classes. Their website states that their pricing ranges from $4,95 to $30 monthly depending on the number of active classes for individual teachers. By comparison, the NEO free plan offers an unlimited number of active classes and unlimited storage.

Users can purchase a school or district plan for a minimum of 200 accounts. The pricing is not available for premium plans, however to obtain a fuller set of features, users might need to purchase the PowerSchool Assessment and PowerTeacher Pro tools, which will significantly rise the total cost. NEO LMS offers a similar set of features at a much lower cost.

NEO Class page

Summary

This was a comparison of the most important features between NEO and PowerSchool Learning.

NEO is a more attractive, easier-to-use LMS than PowerSchool Learning, at a lower cost for both small and large schools, and even the free plan offers more benefits for individual teachers. If you require additional information on NEO, please contact us at contact us.

Disclaimer

This comparison paper was written in April 2018 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.