8 Learning Management Systems

A Learning Management System (LMS) houses online classroom activities. The program is available anytime and wherever a user has Internet access. An LMS can be a supplement to a face-to-face course or the principal delivery mechanism of a fully virtual course. Learning management systems range from pricey to free open-source. An LMS simplifies content delivery, assignment submission, discussion, and grades. This chapter discusses LMS choices and their basic functionality. Blackboard\sCanvas\sMoodle Powerschool Google Classroom BLACKBOARD Web-based LMS Blackboard. The most popular (and expensive) course management system in higher education is Blackboard. Blackboard lets teachers design and administer mixed and online classes, give assessments and grades, and customize their course using a range of tools. Any pedagogy can be used with Blackboard. Ultra is the updated version of Blackboard Learn. Blackboard allows for many student interactions. Discussion Boards are popular. Students can embed videos or write text discussions. Instructors can grade and change the Discussion Board post criteria. Blackboard also has Yellowdig. Yellowdig is a Blackboard-integrated social networking site for discussions, assignments, and more. Point values communicate directly with the grade book. YouTube is one of Blackboard’s third-party connections. Canvas is an open and dependable web-based software that helps institutions manage digital learning, educators produce and present online learning materials, and students engage in courses and receive feedback on skill development and learning attainment (community.canvaslms.com). Canvas is a commercial LMS used in academic and K-12 education. Canvas organizes everything. Canvas has rubrics, modules, calendars, schedules, quizzes, syllabi, and analytics. Canvas works with G Suite, Microsoft Teams, Adobe, and more. Teacher, Student, and Parent applications provide mobile Canvas access. Students can access class content directly through Canvas, conduct homework, and submit assignments in one place. Canvas educators can create and share information using Assignments, Discussions, Modules, Quizzes, and Pages. Canvas Gradebook provides reporting and feedback tools. MOODLE\sMoodle Open-source LMS. Open source develops software. Open-source software is produced by a peer community, not a firm. Users can download and use free software, and the code can be edited and improved. http://www.opensource.org/docs/osd has more about open source. Moodle is similar. Its simplicity of use, course activities, and cost make it popular with schools. Strong K-12 product implementation. GCLASSROOM ClassLink Google’s free online classroom offering incorporates Google Apps for Education. Google Classroom simplifies assigning, distributing, and grading. Google Classroom combines Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, and Calendar into an easy-to-use interface. These features make it easier for a class to work on a document simultaneously. Classroom simplifies teacher-student file sharing. Google Meet allows face-to-face connections anywhere. Google Classroom works on any device, allowing for flexible teaching and learning. Sending a private code lets teachers invite students to class. Import students from a school domain. Google Classroom lets teachers create, distribute, and grade assignments. Google for Education offers free training classes for educators of all levels. The Teacher Center offers free online classes on basic and sophisticated Google products. Education GoogleAs seen on the websites, most systems target K-12 and post-secondary education. Teachers today have free and simple choices for integrating an LMS into the classroom. The SIS (SIS) Student information systems track not simply grades, but all aspects of a student’s K-12 experience. Electronic tracking has replaced paper. Modern student information systems are web-based tools that let teachers/administrators submit attendance, transcripts, and lunch money bills. These web-based tools allow students and parents to examine information. Many systems have app access. Students and parents can check attendance, assignments, grades, etc. online. Student information systems are plentiful today. Powerschool illustrates a student information system. Some pricey systems have many functions, while others are free with few. You may use a different system; run a Google search and evaluate each system’s features and pricing. Powerschool Pearson bought PowerSchool from Apple. It’s the most popular and robust student information system. One of a school district’s priciest options. Two links follow. First, visit Pearson PowerSchool. The second is a PowerSchool overview video. Explore PowerSchool’s website and video.

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