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Districts Describe Process of Choosing Learning Management Systems

Districts Describe the Process of Choosing Learning Management Systems

Learning management systems (LMS) have become more commonplace in K-12 classrooms. Teachers can personalize instruction and increase communication in their classrooms by using software such as Edmodo, Google Classroom, Blackboard, Pearson, and Moodle.

According to TheJournal.com, what educators look for in LMS now is more than just traditional course management support. Now, according to the site, educators are looking for a LMS to have:

  • An intuitive interface that mimics consumer social networks;
  • Collaboration that goes far beyond standard teacher-student communication;
  • Assessments with analytics responsive enough to drive instruction for that day, week or month; and
  • The capacity to provide a structure for organizing digital learning resources and sharing them locally and broadly.

T.H.E Journal spoke to two different school districts about each one's experience with what LMS have worked for them and how they have been working.

Roaring Fork School District in Colorado is in the middle of LMS evaluation right now and is trying out both Google Classrooms and Schoology. Evergreen School Division in Canada used a two-year assessment process to select the LMS provided through Edsby. Both have a lot to say about their experiences.

Roaring Fork liked Schoology and Evergreen Edsby because when considering social interface, they both compared the ability to easily connect to social media tools like Facebook.

Both districts like using LMS because they provide the function of easily forming virtual groups in the school system, which leads to seamless and necessary collaboration efforts.

"Not only have teachers begun using the LMS to share resources for instructional purposes...but committees within the school system have adopted it as well," said one member of the Evergreen team.

Further, both districts praise their respective favored LMS for providing the "critical" function of pulling data to help guide instruction, allowing for teachers to design lessons based on what works.

But both districts agree that there is room to develop ways to share contents of digital learning. "At the district level in Roaring Fork, teacher teams are developing curriculum and assessments, and there's no way for them to share those other than in a Google Drive folder," the article said. This makes sharing students and clear organization difficult.

While the Evergreen has ultimately decided on Edsby as its LMS tool, the Roaring Fork district will continue to mull over its choices and possibly look at others besides just Schoology and Google Classrooms. One thing is for sure- with all the functions LMS have to offer, picking the right one is a task in itself.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/12/2015

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