What is a learning management system and why should you use one?
A learning management system is a software application that a teacher or school can use to house and deliver all educational materials. A teacher can give assignments, tests, content, videos, messages, and receive analytics on all of those items to students in the course.
Many schools and teachers are turning to LMS systems to provide organization, consistency, and analytics for themselves and for the students in their school. The big decision teachers and schools have to make is what LMS system to choose.
Our school started our 1:1 program a little haphazardly because of our circumstances, so we did not begin with a specific LMS system. Most of us started with creating websites and using those to deliver content along with Google Drive. It worked but it wasn’t really consistent and had some limitations with free versions of websites. Then teachers began to experiment with different software systems that we could get for ourselves and not pay for it.
Most teachers I know that used this LMS, used for organizing class materials and as an easier way to have students turn in assignments. Our teachers liked that it somewhat resembled Facebook.
This program I actually used as my first website and communication tool for parents. I know that they have expanded their features since I have used it, but I honestly like it more for the parent communication. It was almost like a newsletter for me to let people know what was happening in class.
This was my favorite LMS to use on the free version. I was able to send announcements, collect assignments, give quizzes, have discussions, and receive analytics on the students. I also like to social media look it had which made it easier for students and allowed me to interact with other teachers and groups around the world.
This is popular college LMS system. I have used it a lot as a student in college and my district experimented with using as our LMS as a school. The issues most of us have had with it is that it is not really that user friendly in terms of navigation and in terms of creating and sharing on the teacher end. Students seemed to have a hard time using it as well.
This seems to be becoming more popular. I have not used this, but I like that it seamlessly works with the google suite. Most schools are moving to using a google suite which makes sense. The question I have with it is whether or not it has good analytics, and what kinds of test security it has.
This is the learning management system that we use at my school. I have to say that I really love it! It is very easy to create material in and allows the teacher a lot of options of how to put material together and organize it for your classes. Another great thing about it is the apps and programs that be put into the course. It has great analytics for data use on tests and student engagement. Another function that I really like is the communication abilities to message students in the class and have reminders.
Overall benefits of using a LMS.
Honestly in this post I am really just trying to encourage teachers to explore their options when it comes to LMS options. If you are going to a 1:1 setup in your school, you definitely need to consider using some type of LMS and encourage your school to look at one incorporating one for the entire building.