What can you do with an LMS?
Use your LMS as a space for students to collaborate with other schools
5th grade Peoples Academy Middle Level teacher Hannah Lindsey used edmodo and Schoology to create an online book club where her students could connect with other Vermont schools online.
Lindsey admitted she learned a lot not just about her students through the book club, but also about how to make the most of different aspects of the two different LMSs, such as threaded commenting and digital badging.
Use your LMS to create differentiation
Edmunds Middle School 6th grade Spanish educator Sarah Wright used features of their school’s LMS, Canvas, to create a self-paced Spanish class.
Use your LMS as a holistic workflow environment
Jonah Ibson, a 9th grade teacher from Harwood Union Middle School in Moretown Vermont, put together an exhaustive tour as to how he and his team uses Schoology in the school’s 1:1 iPad-based environment. Schoology provides a self-contained feedback loop for students to submit work directly from their iPads to Ibson and his colleagues — and for them to return the work with feedback and comments.
Schoology also provides a blogging space for the educators to post announcements to their students, and for students to post comments and questions on the announcements. Not just assignments, but also supportive resources. Ibson embedded a poll made with Google Forms to get an idea of how students reacted to the supplementary resources. In this case, the LMS is providing a framework for Ibson to create and sustain a dialogue with his students.
As another example of the intrinsic workflow of Schoology, Ibson made a screencast for his students showing how to send their final iMovie projects to him via the LMS. (Just go subscribe to his whole YouTube channel. It’s unendingly fabulous.)
Use your LMS with Google tools
Recently, many schools and educators have become interested in Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. The suite of products work seamlessly with Google Drive, and the cost is free. The power of Google Apps for Educations is the connectedness of each of the components, the anytime and anywhere access, and all work is viewable to parents/guardians, students, and teachers.
LMS’s send and receive information from a central location. So you can log in, see messages, assignments, calendars, resources, as well as communicate and collaborate in real time. Organizationally, there are tremendous benefits to both students and teachers accessing and managing work.
In many LMS’s teachers can attach rubrics or standards to assignments and track progress accordingly. Teachers have the ability to analyze assignments to better plan for learning. The immediate feedback to students also helps them understand their learning and plan for next assignment.
How to explain an LMS?
The easy of use and power of transparency help all involved in support the learning. For schools, I think it is helpful to have common agreements on what and when goes into the LMS, including frequency of date dating content and feedback. Additionally, it is helpful to show students and parents how to use this tool as soon as possible. I would suggest a working this into an open house or curriculum night.
What’s the best way to use an LMS?
Ideally, they will be more permeable, supporting extended learning communities on an as needed/desired basis and make PLPs/portfolios more manageable and thus deeper.
But that’s another blog post. 🙂
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