Hello, everyone, and welcome to the unit on Learning Management Systems. The videos in this unit are only four to seven minutes long, but they're full of information, examples, and tips. You may want to watch them more than once.
There are so many Learning Management Systems and products available for teachers and administrators, and even students, that it can be extremely overwhelming. The main objective of this unit is to learn about what you will need to know when selecting and using one that will meet your needs and the needs of your organization. So let's get started.
In many of my videos, you'll find that I like to open with a story or an anecdote to get you thinking about the topic. As I went through the process of creating these videos, I was reminded of the path that I took to end up living in the house that I do now.
It started with deciding whether to buy or rent. Once the decision was made to buy, we had to decide on the town and the style of home. Next, we looked at features, like garage, fireplaces, and yard. We looked at the pros and cons of the location, and services that the town provided. That was the path to buying our home.
In this unit, you will follow a similar path, beginning with finding out what Learning Management Systems are and what they can do, then examining the features and tools available, and ultimately, selecting a product that is right for your situation. We will also weigh the pros and cons of some of the better known systems out there.
Moving to a Learning Management system is a big step for a district, a school, and even for an instructor. In this unit, we will begin by identifying what to consider before making that decision, focusing on the needs of the instructor.
We should be teaching 21st century skills in the context of the four C's, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. A solid Learning Management System can support and enhance the ability for teachers to do that. For example, using video production tools in order to flip a lesson, while creating a Wiki for students to interact with each other.
Another topic we'll touch upon in this unit is that once a Learning management. system is in place, the instructor's role isn't diminished at all. In fact, I think it brings it to a higher level. With so many more options for teachers, they have important decisions to make regarding finding ways of helping students achieve their learning goals. Using tools like TenMarks or IXL will help teachers gain the information they need to target enrichment opportunities, as well as needed interventions.
And speaking of choices, in this unit, you'll be introduced to some of the choices you have in terms of selecting a Learning Management System that works for you. But first, we will identify some of the criteria you will use. For example, assessment options, communication tools, and the ability to create play lists.
As instructors develop courses, they will find that a Learning Management System can help make the process more efficient and effective. By creating class lists and providing different rights to different groups, this individualized approach can really help a teacher drill down and address the needs of all students.
As we look at a whole student, having a strong LMS as the hub of such information has huge benefits, even at the elementary level. For example, if a district is using a system like Aspen, all data, notes, grades, contact information and so on are all in one place, making the transition from grade to grade successful. If you are taking bits and pieces from a number of Learning Management Systems, you are very likely to let important pieces fall through the cracks.
At the end of each lesson, there will be a brief summary of what we covered. For example, in this lesson, we introduced Learning Management Systems. We talked about the needs of the instructor. We looked at the criteria for selecting and using a Learning Management System. And we talked about course development.
At the end of each video, I will also leave you with something I like to call Food for Thought. I know for me, at the end of a learning experience, I like to walk away with something to think about or try. So with that in mind, here's today's Food for Thought. How many of the following have you heard of? Moodle, TenMarks, IXL, Sophia, Aspen, and Schoology.
Thank you so much for watching. Good luck with this unit. And we'll see you next time.
(00:32-01:27) House Story
(01:28-02:58) Selecting an LMS
(02:59-03:52) Using an LMS
(03:53-04:44) Summary/Food for Thought