A version of this post was origianlly published on April 14, 2020, on FE News.
Schools have a lot of data to manage. The problem is, many schools still rely on legacy systems and even paper-based processes to manage their administrative and student data, which is time-consuming and costly.
Poor student data management makes it harder for educators to form a complete picture of each student’s learning progress and provide timely and personalized recommendations to boost student achievement. Without the right systems and processes in place, this can eventually lead to poor academic performance.
Education technology can assist schools in many aspects, but especially on the data management front. Edtech can reduce a school’s administrative burden through various systems and automated processes, and also improve the student learning experience through engaging learning materials, targeted support during the learning process, assessment of mastery and progress tracking.
However, the mere presence of edtech in a school setting doesn't guarantee any results. It’s therefore very important that school managers choose the right edtech and that teachers use it effectively in the classroom.
Edtech comes in different forms and it can be quite hard for teachers to identify which is going to be the most beneficial resource. After all, each school has many specific needs and so does each classroom.
The solution to this? An LMS (Learning Management System), which addresses numerous challenges schools and teachers face and is one of the most comprehensive solutions capable of meeting many various needs — of the students, of the classrooms, and of the school.
7 Ways an LMS supports a school’s edtech strategy
Supporting schools with the technology and other digital resources to reduce the administrative burden and improve the learning experience of students is one of the key objectives of an edtech strategy. Here are seven ways an LMS can support schools to achieve these goals:
A central repository of all learning resources
Educators can upload any type of digital file for each lesson and make these resources available to their students through the school LMS. They can then reuse and only update the same materials every year. Also, they can share these resources with other teachers teaching the same subject, to offer and receive support from their peers.
Better student engagement rates
Teachers can include a variety of learning materials in their online lessons and make learning more interactive with the various collaboration tools of the LMS. Also, they can make use of gamification features throughout lessons or an entire course. These techniques are an effective way of contributing to higher engagement rates from students.
An LMS can ease the workload of teachers through the many automated rules that can be set up. A teacher can be notified when a student struggles with certain parts of a lesson, or equally when another one flies through all learning materials. From this, the teacher is able to adapt the requirements and lesson activities and provide guidance for each student on an individual basis. What's more, if the LMS has a number of adaptive learning features, the system can then identify and provide personalized recommendations for students automatically - helping to reduce teacher workload without compromising high-quality learning.
Teachers can create many types of assessments for students within an LMS, depending on the type of learning activity and other factors. Whether we’re talking about formative or summative assessments, both teachers and students can form a clear picture of their learning progress, making the process of evaluations more accurate.
All student data in one place
An LMS gathers all types of student data that is generated every time a student uses the system and it can even incorporate more data from third-party tools. Having all student data in one place offers a bird's-eye view of the overall, and individual student performance within the school. This helps both teachers and school managers to consequently make more informed decisions.
Anytime, anywhere learning
An LMS ensures learning is not confined within the four walls of the classroom. With an internet connection and a computer (or even a mobile device) teachers and students can log in to the school LMS and engage in teaching and learning activities, almost just as they would in the regular classroom. This is particularly useful in times such as now, where students will need to continue their studies and learning from home.
Secure learning environment
It’s no secret that the online world has its own set of challenges in terms of security of information, but educators can count on the fact that an LMS offers a safe environment for all learning activities. More often than not, there is more than one strategy put into place to ensure that every user, from students to teachers to school admins, can access it in a secure manner.
All in all
A school LMS is probably the most important part of an edtech strategy, supporting schools with reducing the administrative burden and creating a better learning experience for students.