Tag Archives: education

To force or not to force. That is the LMS question.

To force or not to force: that is the LMS qeuestion.  Obtained from Stefan via Flickr

To force or not to force: that is the LMS question. Photo from Stefan via Flickr

Should schools mandate the use of one single Learning Management System (LMS)?   This was the question that grabbed our attention during recent visits to area districts implementing 1:1.

Some mandated a district-wide LMS and others did not.  An example of an LMS would be Moodle, Edmodo, Schoology or comparable products.  Basically, an LMS is a online web site that a class uses to post resources, assignments, anything related to the course.

Here are some of the reasons we heard for why a district should or should not mandate the usage of one single learning management system (LMS).

So what do you think?  Use the comment box below to let us know if you think an LMS should be mandated or not.

 To Mandate….

 Do NOT Mandate….

If all teachers were forced to use the same program, it would make training and professional development easier.
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If all classes were forced to use the same software program, it would be easier for kids to find the resources they need, as they would be in one single location, with only one userid/password needed.

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If all classes were forced to use the same LMS system, parents would have an easier time finding class resources and assignments. 
Mandating gets everyone on the same page and builds consistency.
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Mandating is the only way to get everyone on-board.

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One single tool provides everyone with one single user name/password – making it easier to remember where to find the resources needed.

Mandating kills innovation.  Let teachers decide what product is best for their students needs. It’s highly unlikely that there is one single program that will meet everyone’s needs. It becomes a scenario where some individuals are forced to use a product that doesn’t meet their needs.
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Take a look at all the free available resources such as Edmodo, Schoology, etc.  We can’t stop folks from using them as they are free and openly available to all, so why try to mandate something that can’t be enforced?

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Don’t mandate an LMS… instead, mandate that all courses have an on-line presence.  The specific tool shouldn’t be required, but the basic information (syllabus, resources, assignments) should be mandated – but just to be online.  For example, many districts mandate that each course have a website presence and the link needs to be on the district staff directory associated with the teacher so there is a common place for all students and parents to find the information.

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Mandating can be useful… but only when trying to bring on board the last remaining portion of users.  Mandating up front to everyone with out any buy-in only creates resentment.

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In our own school district, we once used a product that enabled every teacher to make a web page.  We mandated that everyone had to use that one single product – and everyone did, but honestly, the quality wasn’t great.  Wouldn’t it have made more sense to mandate that everyone had a web page - but they could use that product or select another option for themselves?

“Standardization, the great ally of mediocrity, always wins out over imagination.” ~ Sergiovanni

You are what you eat,brought to life with Wordfoto App

wordfotoCrestview Elementary third graders are bringing the phrase “You are what you eat” to life. During Spanish language instruction ( also known as FLES or Foreign Language in the Elementary School), they are using the iPad app Wordfoto to practice Spanish nutrition vocabulary, as part of their nutrition unit.   Using Wordfoto, student combine a list of foods they eat with their own photo to create a word mosaic of themselves.

wordfoto_app

Tammy Dann
dannt@wdmcs.org
dann