The Battle Between Google Classroom and Canvas: Who will Win?

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The battle between Google Classroom and Canvas has been going on since 2016 at Ozark´s School District, and still no one can agree on which learning management system (LMS) wins.

Some faculty at Ozark Junior High say they don’t like either or like them both equally. But most say they like one or the other. ¨I only use Google Classroom, I think that students feel like Canvas is more confusing, which is fair.¨  Matt Fox, the eighth-grade history teacher explains,¨ We are a Google-based school. We have pushed Google Drive a lot, so using something so integrated with Google makes things easier. I can have copies of a Google Doc pushed out to students with three clicks and can watch their progress as they work from my own screen if needed.¨

Others feel differently. ¨I personally was excited for Canvas, but not so much anymore. It´s not really what we had hoped for. But it is just a growth process and it will get better the more we all use it,¨ said Mr. Hubbard, principal of Ozark Junior High.

But how do the students feel? Most students like Google Classroom for many reasons. ¨It is simple and easy to use. It gives directions on how to use it,¨ said Breeanna Barnett, an eighth-grade student, ”and it reminds us of missing work or upcoming work.¨

Google Classroom has been being used by millions of active users around the world since 2014. Google Classroom is free, users can sign in faster, it´s very organized, and is consistently updated to offer the latest and greatest.

On the other hand, Canvas is liked by many students as well for a number of reasons. ¨I like the way that everything is set up,¨ said Natalie Donovan, an eighth-grade student.¨ It´s just so organized and has a tab where you can check your grades. But I do know that many others think it´s too busy.¨

Canvas is attached to Tyler SIS, ( the school´s grading website). Which means when a grade from Canvas is entered, it goes straight to Tyler SIS so that teachers don´t have to go through the trouble of going from Canvas to Tyler SIS and back again.

¨ Canvas is more efficient and saves time for the teachers.¨ Mr. Hubbard explains. Some teachers have said that they will have to switch to Canvas permanently if they are required to do so. Mr. Hubbard said,¨ I don´t know if I would say that we have to switch. We have emphasized it, but don´t require it.¨

Alan Wilson, also an eighth-grade teacher, agrees with Mr. Fox,¨ I think students do not like Canvas for many reasons. It is not user-friendly, It´s too busy looking and harder to find things and more organization is needed greatly. Plus, if teachers set up their work in different ways, then students have a harder time knowing how to turn in things for the different teachers. My students have told me they like Google Classroom much more for the same reasons.¨

It seems Google Classroom may be the winner. However, as Mr. Hubbard stated, the school will continue using Canvas in hopes of getting not only the students but also the staff, to become fond of it.