Face of Your Classroom
Resources for creating a LMS as your Face of the Classroom
Teachers that want to create a blended learning environment often select a Learning Management System. An LMS contains a variety of tools which help create an online presence, support an online course, and provide a collaborate and blended (online and in the classroom) environment. An LMS requires a login by students, a system administrator, and in some cases has a fee for use. Popular LMS systems include Blackboard and Moodle. Some important features of an LMS include: grading, discussion forums, online assessment, plagiarism checkers, community portals, posting and uploading of assignments, and tracking of usage statistics.
As teachers create courses within a Learning Management System, they have the opportunity to post assignments, monitor student progress and work, post content (videos, documents, links, and more), and to flip their classrooms!
Schoology was created by four college students who wanted to build an LMS aligned with the needs and learning style of education in the real world. Schoology makes it easy to build courses that leverage new and existing content. Teachers can quickly create media-rich lessons, reuse their past courses, and even embed content from Google Drive, Microsoft Office, YouTube, and countless other web tools. Students can be paced and tracked individually. They can also be placed in collaborative groups. Grading tools enable teachers to access their students’ work, easily switch between submissions, provide written and video feedback, and record grades in one fell swoop.
- Schoology has a massive library of help videos
Google Classroom is an option for a classroom face in GAFE (Google Apps for Education) districts. Districts that purchase Chromebooks for students often install GAFE and recommend Google Classroom for their teachers. It contains some of the features of a Learning Management System by allowing teachers to create, assign, and collect student classwork and homework while allowing for integration with Google Drive and Gmail. Learn more about Google Classroom.
Moodle is a popular LMS system which is completely FREE. There are some administrative costs associated with having a Moodle system, as you will need a server, system administrator, and some start up costs. Teachers can create a course, upload content, create discussion forums, and track and assess student progress. Moodle is a popular platform for creating an online learning environment, and is an inexpensive way to flip the classroom.
Check out the following resources about using Moodle in an educational environment.
Edmodo is a FREE and secure social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and districts. It provides an easy to use environment supporting collaboration and sharing of information online. Teachers can post assignments, a calendar, content, homework, grades and school notices. Edmodo provides a means to create badges for award student achievement. While Edmodo does not have all of the features of a traditional LMS, it's a good place for teachers who would like to try out a collaborative learning platform with their classrooms.
- Edmodo has an excellent Help Center that includes tutorials.
Blackboard is a subscription/fee based service that provides educators with the tools to create online courses, content, and assessments within a secure environment. This is a popular platform that is used by many secondary and post-secondary institutions. Blackboard has mobile apps, web conferencing, web site hosting, and anti-plagiarism tools.
There is a FREE version of Blackboard that is available called Coursesites, and is a good alternative for classrooms where Blackboard isn't provided. Teachers can create up to five courses for free.
Check out additional resources for Face of the Classroom!
After completing this Thing, the educator will:
Know how to create a course within an LMS
Understand how to add and edit content, (documents, audio and video), create discussion forums, and manage assignments and assessments
Make connections with technology standards and best practice
Transfer the learning to professional practice by creating and monitoring an online learning environment
Addressing the ISTE Standards For Educators
1a. Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
2b. Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
3a. Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
6d. Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
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