Archive | Blended Learning RSS feed for this section

Resources from EdCamp Baltimore 2012

15 Nov

On November 10, I attended Edcamp Baltimore and had a great time! I came back with a host of new resources to check out and strategies to share with other teachers at my school.

Below are links to online resources that I wanted to check out, as well as my notes of all the sessions I attended. To access other resources shared during Edcamp Baltimore, check out the Edcamp Baltimore website and Storify. To learn more about Edcamps, visit http://edcampfoundation.org/vision/.

Links and Resources:

Tools for Flipping the classroom/Blended Learning

Tools for Collaborative Learning

Social Media sites for teachers

  • Tioki – Teachers connect with other teachers based on mutual interests.
  • Teachercast  – A place for teachers to help other teachers
  • Portfoliyo – free program to communicate with parents through text messaging
  • Kickboard – a social media site to develop classroom culture, academics, and build strong relationships with students and parents.

Smackdown – Teachers shared their favorite Web 2.0 tools

  • Mural.ly – Creative collaboration to map content in one space, collaborate in groups, and show your ideas
  • Wunderlist – a free task manager accessible on multiple platforms
  • Themeefy – grab links, photo and videos to allow students to tell a story
  • No Red Ink – Practice grammar and writing skills
  • Conceptboard – Instant whiteboards for teams and projects
  • Ten Marks – Interactive math website focusing on practice, instruction, assessment, and intervention

Twitter in the Classroom & Infographics

  • Hootsuite – Social media management dashboard
  • Twiducate – Social networking for schools. Free for teachers.
  • Visual.ly – Create or search for visual infographics
  • Easel.ly – Create and share visual ideas online
  • Infogr.am – Create interactive infographics

Blogging Resources

  • Clustrmaps – Know who is accessing your blog from across the world with this visual.
  • Quadblogging – read and comment on other blogs – share with other classrooms

Blended Learning : Learning Management Systems – 2 of 3

14 May

Blending EducationIn the previous post, I reflected on various attributes of blended learning. In this and the next post I will focus on tools that can help K-12 teachers organize their classroom content and implement a blended learning model.

About Learning Management Systems

There are many different names for the organizational systems that teachers can use to structure their course content: classroom management systems, learning management systems, and virtual learning environments. Each of these systems does basically the same thing: organize classroom content and learning through the use of online learning objects, discussion forums, and even interactive assessments.

Learning Management Systems, or LMSs, are essential tools for blended learning.

Some LMSs emphasize the organization of content, and others prioritize social networking functions, even going so far as to mimic the look and feel of Facebook. There are also sites that do one thing well, focusing on grading systems, or tracking progress and assessing students based on standards.

Implementation Models of LMS in K-12 Schools

There are several ways that teachers and schools can implement Learning Management systems. Some schools mandate which platform teachers must use to ensure consistency, while other schools give teachers freer reign. Here are some of the most common ways these systems are implemented:

  1. Teacher creates her own system for her class to address specific classroom needs
  2. Group of teachers create a shared system for their division or department
  3. School or district provides consolidated system for ease of use & consistency of student experience
  4. Teachers or administrators facilitate students’ independent progress on an online course taken for school credit.

Evaluation of Classroom and Learning Management Systems

In order to best evaluate learning management systems, I have developed a criteria based on the most common and expected functions of LMSes. I used the Joomla LMS Learning Management System Comparison as a basis for this evaluation. The evaluation includes a weighted column so that teachers can track important software functions. This evaluation is a work in progress, and I hope to revisit this document in future months.


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvGiOvWvIk7xdHV3VlVJU2tOQWdmdU1wXy1kSWp1Z2c#gid=0

Examples of LMS

Below are just a few of the Learning Management Systems currently available for K-12 schools. These systems range from all-in-one content management resources to systems specializing on a specific function.

District or All-School Managed Solutions

These LMSes require district, or school-wide adoption.

Blackboard This industry-standard company offers a variety of solutions for multiple educational markets. Ideal for district-based solutions, or schools willing to invest heavily in a learning management solution
Moodle This open-source learning platform is the major competitor to Blackboard. Ideal for district-based solutions, or schools looking to implement a consolidated system.
Canvas K-12 This LMS company offers a variety of services to a variety of markets, including K-12. “Canvas K-12 is a single, integrated system that bundles attendance, assessments, grading, state standards tracking, messaging, learning analytics, and more.”
Desire 2 Learn This LMS company offers a variety of services to a variety of markets, including K-12. Ideal for districts or schools looking for specific services.
Haiku LMS This LMS, specifically designed for K12 institutions is another competitor to Blackboard and Moodle.
Project Foundry This LMS is designed specifically to facilitate project-based learning, allowing teachers to monitor progress on student work. Ideal for schools or districts hoping to implement a consistent experience.
Sakai Sakai is a community based “Collaboration and Learning Environment” that provides a core set of functions. Additional modules, such as an eportfolio solution can be installed. The software can be accessed through a hosting services, or managed on in-house servers.

Systems with Varied-Management Options

These LMSes allow for different levels of implementations. Schools or districts may implement these tools to provide a standard system for all teachers and students. Teachers could also use these tools individually to create their own course management system, independent of their school.

Brain Honey This LMS allows teachers to create their own free course. The site offers paid solutions for “a variety of learning settings”.
Edmodo Edmodo is a social-based LMS, allowing for discussions, collaborations and online grading. While Edmodo is designed for teachers to create and manage their own courses, Edmodo can also be configured by districts and schools for central management.
Schoolology Schoolology is a social-based LMS with a variety of features. Teachers can create and manage their own courses with Schoolology, although schools and districts can also implement Schoolology to ensure a consistent experience.

Teacher-Managed Solutions

These LMSes allow teachers to create their own customized courses, independent of a district or school-based solution. Many of these systems are new to the market, or in beta form.

Collaborize Classroom With Collaborize Classroom, teachers can create an online LMS with a strong mobile presence, emphasizing social networks.
Diipo Diipo is in beta, and allows teachers to create an LMS for their particular course, implementing an interface based on social networking sites.
Lore (Formerly Course Kit) While seeming to focus on the higher ed market, this startup allows teachers to create and manage their own courses.

Other Solutions

While the above listed LMS tools have a variety of options, the below systems incorporate some, but not all, functions of an LMS. Many of these systems would be best used in conjunction with another LMS.

School Loop Offering a variety of services, School Loop focuses on achievement management systems, to enhance student learning. They also provide a gradebook system.
Jupiter Grades This online grading system helps teachers keep track and share assessment information with students and families online.
Active Grade This standards-based grading system is designed to help teachers collect effective feedback and manage their classrooms.
Class Dojo This real-time behavior management system advertises a boost to classroom engagement.
Mastery Connect With this system “teachers can effectively assess core standards, monitor student performance, and report student mastery to parents and administrators.”

What’s Coming Next?

Learning Management Systems have been growing and changing since the advent and mass adoption of social networks. In the upcoming years, many educators expect that much will change in this industry. Many of the new LMS companies focus on higher education, with subsequent roll-outs for K-12 and other markets. With more and more competition from various publishers and start-ups, some of the K-12 web sites listed on this blog post may not be around for long.

Bibliography

Bates, Tony. “e-learning outlook for 2012: will it be a rough ride?”
http://www.tonybates.ca/2012/01/02/e-learning-outlook-for-2012-will-it-be-a-rough-ride/

Joomla LMS Learning Management System Comparison
http://www.joomlalms.com/compare/

Watters, Audrey. “Why Every Education Company Needs an API”
http://www.hackeducation.com/2012/04/13/education-api/

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 454 other followers

%d bloggers like this: