Monday, July 6, 2015

Article Review #8: How to Choose the Right Learning Management System

Ash, K. (2013). How to choose the right learning management system.  Educational      
           Week, 6. Retrieved from:

     In the article How to Choose the Right Learning Management System, Ash (2013) has compiled suggestions, based on the research of various experts, to evaluate the different learning management systems available.  It is necessary to take the time to make the right decision because once an LMS is in place, changing it can be quite burdensome to teachers, students, and parents.
     Ash (2013) gives seven tips on how to choose and LMS that is a best-fit for a district:
1.      Start with determining what you want from your LMS and how it fits in the overall                    teaching and learning structure of your district;
2.      Include a mix of people in the decision making process;
3.      Play an active role when viewing and exploring LMS product demonstrations –    
         request to see functions work;
4.      Pilot the LMS;
5.      Talk to people from other school districts already using the LMS your evaluating;
6.      Evaluate the price of the product;
7.      Remember that this is a relationship that will continue for years so make sure the 
         company is a good fit and it is reputable.
Taking these seven suggestions into consideration, I can begin to reflect on how a cloud-based LMS, like Google Classroom, can impact my district and whether or not it seems to be a best-fit.

     When thinking about Google Classroom, I know that our wants as a district include the use of Google since we are moving to Chromebooks with 1:1 technology.  I also understand that there is a need to organize classrooms via assignments, grades, and learning materials that Classroom can offer while integrating other Google apps.  The decisions making process to go Google has been a long one, spanning 2-3 years by our district Technology Committee consisting of multiple teachers from each of the three schools in the district as well as a Technology Director.  I personally have yet to explore and use Google Classroom but know of several teachers in the district who have piloted it this past school year.  My goal is to become familiar with it to determine how it best fits my classroom as my students move to 1:1 this coming school year.  What is a definite positive about Google Classroom is that it is free; however, with the constant updates and changes that come with Google Drive, I am sure Classroom will have similar occurrences.  We, as teachers, just need to be open to and willing to “roll the punches,” so to speak.
     So is Google Classroom a good fit for District 13?  When taken all of the above suggestions into consideration, at the moment - yes.  But I am sure with the ever-changing world of technology, I will be re-evaluating this question in the years to come.

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