L is for Learning Management System (LMS)

What can you do with an LMS?

what can you do with an LMSLMS stands for Learning Management System. An LMS is an application for planning, delivering, managing, and assessing a learning process.

Likely, your school or district will choose which commercial LMS package to deploy (Canvas, Haiku, Schoology and Google Classroom are a few), but how you use it is entirely up to you.

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?

the ABCs of edtechLMSs are (and will be) essential for freeing teachers from lower-order delivery, tracking and reporting tasks in order to make time for personalized, more student-directed learning.

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. 🙂

Need to catch up on your edtech ABCs? Check out the full series here.

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Rachel Mark

Rachel Mark joins the Tarrant Institute as a Professional Development Coordinator in the southern part of Vermont. Prior to working with TIIE, Rachel was a middle school literacy and social studies teacher at Tarrant partner school Manchester Elementary-Middle. As a teacher, Rachel loved exploring new content and new methods with inquisitive young adolescents. She thinks middle schools are the most dynamic learning centers in the state. Rachel is passionate about supporting teachers and helping them overcome obstacles; it’s her mission to break down the barriers that teachers face in implementing change. She is interested in student reflection and portfolio based assessment, inquiry and project-based learning When she's not reading, researching and supporting teachers, Rachel loves to play. She balances her life shuttling three busy kids around by getting sweaty and zen - yoga, exercise, and being outdoors are how she recharges her metaphorical batteries.

7 thoughts on “L is for Learning Management System (LMS)

  1. LMS platforms may be beneficial when implemented in the process of school teaching. As you wrote they may make the teachers work easier and I bet also students will be pleased they have an occasion to learn in a slightly different way: more varied, less boring.

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  3. Pingback: 4 ways to help middle school students organize their tech – My Blog

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