Google Classroom Vs Zoom: Which is Better for Learning

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Google Classroom Vs Zoom

Remote learning is on the rise, and at some point or another, even in-person educational institutions will need to use a remote solution (if they haven’t already).

Running your classroom virtually can be difficult to pull off, especially if you want things to be as interactive as possible.

Regardless of the classes you’re teaching or the functions you need to facilitate learning, you’ve probably considered both Google Classroom and Zoom.

But how do this two compare, and which one should you choose for your remote classroom? Keep reading to learn more about Google Classroom Vs Zoom detailed comparison.

What Is Google Classroom?

Google Classroom is branded as an all-in-one platform to both teach and learn.

With Google Classroom, both teachers and students will have access to a variety of tools to facilitate the remote learning experience.

This is a free blended platform developed by Google, and it aims to bring remote learning to anyone, wherever they are.

Google Classroom can be used by anyone with a personal Google account, but it’s usually used by schools and non-profits.

With a Google workspace or school account, there’s no limit on the number of classes you can create.

You can join up to 1000 classes, hold a class with up to 1000 members, and have up to 50 teachers per class.

With a personal Google account, the numbers are slightly different.

You can create up to 30 classes a day, join 100 classes max (30 per day), hold classes with up to 250 students, and a maximum limit of 50 teachers per class.

Google Classroom: Key Features

Considering Google Classroom for your educational needs? Before you take the leap, let’s take a closer look at the key features of Google Classroom.

Grading System

With Google Classrooms, educators can choose from a grading system and select different categories. Different grading categories include:

  • Weighted by Category: With this option, different grade categories are established by weight. With this method, the average of each grade category is calculated and multiplied by the designed grade weight to provide a final grade weight out of 100%.
  • Total Points Grading: You can divide the number of points your learners gain by the maximum points.
  • No Grade: If you choose not to grade your learners, you can select this option.

Live Classes

One of Google Classrooms’ most popular features is live classes. With live classes, you can host real-time classes with your students via the platform.

If you’re hosting a live class, you’ll be able to incorporate up to 250 people in your call, and up to 10,000 viewers can live stream your classes.

The live classes feature is great for meetings and lectures, especially those that need to be recorded and uploaded to be watched later.

Virtual Discussions

With the virtual discussion features, educators using the platform can invite their learners to take part in a question-and-answer style discussion on the platform.

This feature pairs with Google Docs; Google Docs can be used to facilitate a discussion between learners and educators, making it a great way to provide feedback.

This also helps keep learners engaged, and you’ll have the option to mute commenting by specific learners if required.

Announcements Feature

If you’re an educator on the platform, you can share important updates with your students via the announcements section.

These posts can be shared with your students (separate from assignments) to provide notices for learners about important tests, deadlines, and any upcoming classwork.

You can also control replies and comments on your posts from your students.

Link With Google Calendar

You can link your Google Classroom features with the Google Calendar.

Teachers can link their schedules and meetings with the Google Calendar and share their information with students and their parents.

Google Classroom: Pros And Cons

After testing Google Classroom for ourselves, we’ve developed a list of pros and cons to help you decide whether this popular learning platform is right for you.

Pros

  • Simple Interface: You’ll find Google Classroom easy to use even if you’re not an avid Google user. All features are easily laid out and labeled, and you can access most functionalities with just a few clicks.
  • Accessible: What’s more, Google Classroom is accessible from most devices. Google Classroom is delivered via Google Chrome, so you can access the platform via your mobile, computer, or tablet. This makes it easy for learners and educators to stay connected.
  • Good Communication Features: With Google classroom, you can link up with Google Docs to share documents online, save them online, and control access to your files. This makes it easy for everyone to access the resources they need whenever they need them.
  • Good Assignment Process: With Google Classroom, you can create and share assignments in just a few clicks. You can easily check which assignments have been submitted and who’s still working on them, and you can provide feedback in an instant.

Cons

  • Limited Integrations: Unfortunately, there are limited integrations with Google Classrooms, which may be a restriction for some users.
  • Issues with Editing: Sometimes, when you create an assignment and share it, learners automatically become owners of documents and are free to edit it, meaning that they could delete parts of the assignment if they wanted to.
  • Limited Automatic Updates on Newsfeed: Unfortunately, there are limited automatic updates to learners’ newsfeeds, meaning that your learners will need to refresh the page to view your most recent announcements.

What Is Zoom?

Zoom is a secure, cloud-based video platform that allows you to meet with others virtually.

With Zoom, you can hold conference calls, audio calls, and chat online.

Zoom can be used to host a wealth of online events, and it can be used by anyone with a strong internet connection.

At the time of writing, Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms on the web, and it’s used by thousands of businesses to keep in touch with their employees and host online events.

Zoom is also popular with learning institutions looking to host virtual meet-ups or classes. With Zoom, you can set up a Zoom room.

With the Zoom room, you can create Zoom meetings from your own conference rooms.

This physical hardware setup will allow creators to schedule and run Zoom meetings with just a few clicks.

To use this feature, you’ll need an additional subscription on top of your Zoom subscription (more on this later), but it’s just one example of how larger companies and institutions can use Zoom to interact with their students and colleagues via the web.

Please note: Zoom room requires the following equipment:

  • A computer
  • A tablet so attendees can launch their Zoom meetings
  • A camera, speaker, and a microphone
  • Up to 2 HDTV monitors so you can display different meeting participants during a screen or presentation-sharing session
  • An HDMI cable so that you can stream different computer screens on a TV, and an internet cable to secure your connection

Zoom: Key Features

Google Classroom Vs Zoom

Unsure which software is right for you? Let’s explore some of the key features of Zoom.

Team Chats

With Zoom team chat, you can encourage team collaboration by streamlining communication between your teams and other external Zoom members.

With Zoom team chats, you can:

  • Use folders, starred chats, and customized notifications to get your priorities straight and filter through different notifications
  • Send various text, video, and audio messages to your teams, and share additional files, screenshots, and even emojis
  • Find different contacts, files, and messages by storing everything that’s important to you in one place

Note: to use Zoom team chats, you will need:

  • Zoom PWA
  • Zoom for desktop
  • Zoom for mobile
  • Allow your account to chat with others by enabling the feature

Virtual Meetings

One of Zoom’s most notable features is virtual meetings.

With the virtual meetings features, you can host more private, interactive meetings that encourage more participation.

These are different from webinars (which we’ll discuss later), and they’re usually for two or more participants.

Virtual meetings are ideal for training sessions or small meetings, and there are options for both free and paid subscriptions.

Online Whiteboard

With Zoom online whiteboard, you can collaborate with any other user with a Zoom account.

When you’re talking in a meeting or a conference, you’ll be able to use the whiteboard feature to expand on your ideas and offer more clarity.

You can access the online whiteboard feature with a web browser, the Zoom client, or by using Zoom rooms for touch.

Although you can use the whiteboard from within a Zoom meeting, you can use it outside of Zoom meetings, too.

You can also share your whiteboard with others by using the Zoom share sheet, and because your whiteboards will be saved automatically, you can access them anytime.

Webinars

Zoom webinars are slightly different from Zoom meetings.

With the Zoom webinars feature, you can broadcast your Zoom meeting with up to a staggering 50,000 viewing attendees – however, the exact number will vary, depending on the size of your webinar license.

Zoom webinar licenses start with a capacity of 500 participants. In a webinar, hosts also have the power to mute and unmute their attendees.

Zoom webinars are ideal for any business or educational event that’s going to be viewed by a large audience and doesn’t require much interaction by the attendees.

VoIP System

With the VoIP system for Zoom, you can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world.

This is essentially a cloud-based phone system that has been built specifically for the Zoom platform.

This feature includes unlimited SMS messaging, voicemail transcription, domestic calls, call recording capabilities, and even app integrations.

Plans for the VoIP system start at just $10 per user.

Conversational Intelligence

Zoom’s conversational intelligence, also called Zoom IQ for sales, is a software designed for sales teams and Zoom meetings.

The conversation intelligence features allow teams to develop meaningful insights from their interactions with clients – this sort of feedback can help improve the customer experience, as well as the performance of your business.

Conversational intelligence analyzes a number of insights, including questions, the longest spiel, and provides clear next steps for your customers while providing insights on how the team is able to encourage customers to interact with the business.

Zoom: Pros And Cons

Want to see how Zoom compares to Google Classroom? Explore this comprehensive list of pros and cons for more information.

Pros

  • Easy to Use: Like Google Classroom, Zoom is simple and easy to use. All you need to do is download, set up, and you’re ready to go! It doesn’t require any complex configurations, so it’s great for users of all ages and technological abilities.
  • Good for Webinars: Zoom is great for hosting webinars. You can also record your webinars with the recording feature, meaning that you can save your webinar to view later.
  • Secure: Thankfully, Zoom is also an incredibly secure platform to use. Video conferences are secure, which can help preserve sensitive information. Zoom also offers extra security encryption such as SSL, AES 256-bits encryption, HTTPS access, and more, meaning that any virtual thieves will struggle to steal your information via Zoom, and even if they do, they won’t be able to encrypt it.
  • Test Premium Features for Free: If you want to try Zoom’s premium features before you buy them, you can get started with their free plan.
  • Whiteboards: With the whiteboard feature, you can create brainstorms or share ideas in real-time in your meetings or outside of them. Whiteboard is a great feature for learners, educators, and workers who benefit from additional methods of communication and collaboration.
  • Team Chats: With team chats, you can share files and images and talk to your colleagues, students, or learners before, during, or after meetings. This makes it easy to share files and information directly through the platform without needing to use another software.

Cons

  • Can Be Expensive: Unfortunately, if you want to use some of Zoom’s premium features, you may end up spending a lot of money. Although it’s reasonably priced for its basic features, extra add-ons can be a steep cost for organizers wanting to connect with masses of participants.
  • Unpredictable Quality: Unfortunately, the audio and video quality of Zoom is not consistent. Even with strong connections, users can experience issues with blurry images and distorted audio. It’s unclear what the issue is here, but it can be a nuisance for both organizers and participants.

Zoom And Google Classroom: How Do They Compare?

Evidently, Google Classroom and Zoom are both pretty powerful platforms and some of the most trusted names in the industry.

They both have some impressive standout features; however, you may not be able to use these platforms interchangeably.

Ultimately, your choice will depend on your reasons for using the platform. If you’re an educator, you’ll probably benefit more from Google Classroom.

You can live chat with your students (just as you can with Zoom).

However, you won’t need to rely on any third-party software to issue and grade assignments, as you can do it all straight from Google Classroom!

If you’re only teaching a small class, you probably won’t need to pay for any additional features, either, which makes Google Classroom a cost-effective option.

For online learning, Zoom isn’t as comprehensive.

Sure, you can video chat in real-time and even use the whiteboard feature to share ideas, but for issuing assignments, grading assignments, and sharing calendar updates with your learners, you’ll probably need third-party software.

This is why Zoom is usually more popular with businesses rather than educational institutions.

If most of your communications are via video conferencing, with a limited need for any extra add-ons, you’ll probably find Zoom will suffice.

Ultimately, we would argue that the weaknesses in both platforms seem to complement each other.

This is why some learning institutions use both Google Classrooms and Zoom to facilitate their learning – Zoom’s video conferencing features are usually better, but educators can still use the Classroom features to share important documents and manage assignments and exams.

Both of these platforms are changing the ways we learn and communicate with each other; however, we argue that Google Classroom is better for educators.

Classroom is the one-stop shop for all your remote learning needs, and as incredible as Zoom’s features are, it just can’t compare to Google Classroom in this way.

Final Thoughts

We’re always looking for new ways to stay connected, share information, and collaborate with others.

This is what makes platforms like Google Classroom and Zoom so popular.

Although both platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses, these companies have a great track record of listening to their consumer’s needs and making the right changes.

For this reason, we can probably expect plenty of changes in the future.

Ultimately, though, Classroom is probably the best platform for both learners and educators right now.

With all sorts of features at your fingertips, there’s almost no virtual educational need that Google Classroom doesn’t meet!

Martin Barrett

Martin is the editor in chief as Edwize.org. He has taken more courses than cares to remember. If he’s not watching back to back documentaries he is geeking out in the E-Learning space.