Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Learning Management System

LMS's. Purely for use in virtual schools - right? Well, give this some thought.

In your brick and mortar school, are you looking for ways to connect parents and teachers? For example, how many tools do you currently have in place that allow parents to quickly have access to all of the homework assignments? That one is tough -- I will wait while you count......

Ok -- so, now you have counted. You may have come up with a few. So, I would love to hear them. Post a comment and let me know. HOWEVER, even if you do have some tools, are they centralized, easy to distribute, easy to archive, easy to secure?

This is just one example of the great conversations to be shared regarding the use of LMS's in ANY school system, virtual or not. I've put together a list of topics that I will cover over the next several weeks regarding LMS application to some really complex school challanges.
  • Progress Reporting
  • Course Content Delivery
  • Homework Assignments
  • Group Projects
  • Gradebook use and distribution
  • Direct Parent Communications
  • Enhancing Teacher Preparation Skills (and Instructional Design)
  • Delivering Media
  • Assessments
  • Community Building
  • Recording Live Sessions for review
  • Reaching Non-Participants (from your class)
  • Assisting with Absenteeism
  • Substitute Teacher Prep (thanks Dr. Karl Kapp)
Although these ideas can be applied to any LMS, my experiences come from using Blackboard. I found a similar posting on their site. You can see their brochure at: (pdf) Blackboard School Central.

To kick this off, my focus will be on use in a brick and mortar school. I never assume however that Virtual Schools make the best use of an LMS. I think in reality, they have the same struggles and can apply the same thinking as I will discuss for B&M schools. But, they have slightly different stakes, audiences, partnerships, contracts etc. that have to be considered. So, we will come back to Virtual Schools over the course of these conversations.

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