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How is SpacesEDU different from Google Classroom?
How is SpacesEDU different from Google Classroom?
Alasdair McMillan avatar
Written by Alasdair McMillan
Updated over a week ago

Google Classroom is a learning management system that is designed to manage your class, students’ work, and grades online. If you are looking to document and share student growth, provide descriptive feedback, and engage families, SpacesEDU is the tool for you. While Google Classroom and SpacesEDU share similar features, SpacesEDU is more creative and flexible for differentiated learning and communication between teachers, students, and families. Unlike Google Classroom, SpacesEDU acts as an assessment, digital portfolio and communication tool. In addition to empowering students to maintain their own digital portfolio Individual Space, teachers can also add content on behalf of students. In sum, our platform centralizes assessment and reporting while strengthening home-school relationships.

SpacesEDU elevates your assessment and reporting practices

Connect student work to all curriculum standards

From student Posts to Activities, teachers can link every piece of student documentation to specific curriculum standards using the Curriculum Tags feature. Furthermore, teachers assess and report on students' level of achievement for learning goals using a Proficiency Scale. The Curriculum Tags combined with the Proficiency Report inform teachers on areas requiring improvement, or alternatively, students who have exemplified a strong understanding of learning objectives. While Google Classroom can be used for assigning activities, student work cannot be tagged with curricular outcomes.

Build a meaningful record of student progress

Teachers can easily bookmark artifacts of student learning throughout the year and add these learning artifacts to a Reporting Space to visually demonstrate their growth. Teachers can outline milestones in a Summary Statement and highlight Areas of Learning. The Reporting Space can be shared with family and/or students at various progress points. Students can engage with the Reporting Space, even adding their reflections in the comment section of each learning artifact. Furthermore, families can provide feedback on their student’s learning in the comments as well. Due to Google Classroom not being a portfolio, student work is not presented in a visual format. Growth is seen through grades and not the amazing learning artifacts that are created throughout the school year.

Digitize and centralize the reporting process

The Proficiency Report allows educators to monitor coverage of curriculum outcomes (standards, competencies, etc.) via Curriculum Tags and proficiencies within their classroom to easily track student and class-wide progress. Align your report card outcomes with the Curriculum Tags outlined on the Proficiency Report to make your reporting process seamless. Google Classroom allows teachers to see submitted work and assigned grades, but since learning is not tied to curricular outcomes, coverage of the curriculum and overall proficiency is not available.

SpacesEDU enhances feedback and communication among teachers, students, and families

Involve families in daily learning

As students upload multimedia, family and teachers can communicate directly on the artifact. Teachers can also decide the number of online learning environments (1:1 or collaborative spaces) they would like to make visible to family members. On Google Classroom, Family visibility is limited to scheduled email summaries that report on missing and upcoming work, and teacher posts. SpacesEDU offers families 24/7 access, so they can actively engage with their student’s learning via Reactions and Comments. Furthermore, they can see Posts created by the teacher and the student alike. As a result, student progress is visible and accessible in real-time.

Empower your students to take ownership of their learning

Since Google Classroom does not allow teachers to link content to curricular objectives, it makes it difficult to showcase skills mastery and student performance. These are important elements to consider in an edtech platform, especially in competency-based learning. On SpacesEDU, teachers can spark incredible conversations with students about their growth by showing them the Proficiency Report. When seeing their performance illustrated on the table, students are inclined to make calculated decisions about what areas to invest their efforts into based on their lacking proficiencies and competencies. This visual depiction of formative assessment prompts students to reflect on their learning and progress, and as a result, students immediately apply the feedback they receive from you.

Learning Management Systems, like Google Classroom, fall short in this area. Students’ involvement in their learning stops at the point of submitting their assignment. Without a visual representation of their growth, students cannot adequately reflect on their progress. On SpacesEDU, teachers can leverage the aforementioned features to empower students to take ownership of their learning.


Google Classroom

Learning & Assessment Portfolios

Document learning and showcase growth over time with student-driven online learning portfolios

Student work is not displayed; students can't add additional reflection and teacher feedback is not visible.

Multimedia Tools to Capture Student Learning

Create posts with one or more photos, videos, audio, text journals, files, and links - and autosave in-progress work as a draft

Google and Microsoft Integration

Easily add files and media directly from Google Workspace for Education or Microsoft Teams (OneDrive)

No Microsoft Teams (OneDrive) access

Class Spaces

A shared Space to build a community and celebrate growth and learning - with granular teacher access controls

Individual Spaces

Teacher to student Spaces for subject and unit specific work, reporting, and Student-Led Conference portfolios

Group Spaces

Collaborative asynchronous breakout Spaces for teachers and students to support group work, peer review, and projects

Student Reflections

Built-in rich-media commenting tools encourage student to reflect on their growth and progress

Feedback & Reactions

Teachers (and students/family, if enabled) can start a conversation with real-time feedback and visual reactions ❤

Family Access

Invite parents and guardians to have a ‘desk-side’ view of their child’s learning

Custom Access Controls

Teachers are in control of the classroom from who can view, post, or comment to how students interact with each other’s work

Privacy and Security By Design

SpacesEDU is built with privacy and security in mind. FERPA, COPPA, and PIPEDA compliant, hosted in highly secure regional USA or Canada Microsoft Azure datacenters, with data encrypted at rest and in transit. Learn more at

Classroom Management

Create unlimited classes and invite students, co-teachers, and family

Class Feed

The home for all the Spaces in your classroom and a dashboard view of all the action

Co-Teachers (Share Class)

Invite up-to 10 co-teachers to collaborate to any classroom


Send multimedia messages to individual students, groups, teachers, and family - and decide if and when to allow replies


Quickly access channels to message all students, all family members, or both

Rich-Media Activities

Create unlimited activities with multimedia attachments and responses from students

Activity Portal

Quickly access all of your activities, modify them (as needed), and assign to a new class or select students

Differentiate Learning

Create activities for the entire class, or differentiate instructions with adapted activities for individuals or groups

Schedule Activities

Add a start or due date to pre-plan and schedule activities throughout the year, or assign open ended activities to be completed at any time

2-Way Activity Dialogue

Allow students to ask questions, request clarification, and review your notes directly within an activity

Quick Review & Feedback

Easily view student activity submissions, provide timely feedback in multimedia format, or send back for revisions to promote a growth mindset

Searchable Database of Standards

Add local and national assessment standards and outcomes (in collaboration with the Common Standards Project)

Curriculum Tags

Align and track mastery of learning using standards, outcomes, and competencies

Curriculum Goals

Set “power standards” or objectives for your class and make them visible to students and families to increase transparency

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