The school’s learning management system (LMS) is an indispensable tool for blended learning, personalized learning, and instruction in general.
School administrators are the ones in charge of making decisions about which edtech tools to buy, often on a tight budget. It’s no wonder that it’s hard to keep up with the lightspeed changes in the edtech market. Choosing an LMS that works for your school is overwhelming enough as it is. There are many things to consider, including setting up a pilot program, onboarding, and training teachers on how to effectively use the new LMS.
On the upside, the hard work pays off in the long run for everyone - including school leaders. I would say, especially school leaders. Having the right LMS helps you keep track of student progress, reduce costs, and even improve teacher training.
Here are some ways in which an LMS can help school administrators achieve their goals:
Progress overview and monitoring results
Being able to access valuable data is just one of the perks that come with an LMS. It’s not only helpful for school board meetings, but it can also transform the way educators teach students every day.
An LMS helps you keep track of that progress for all students in a school or district. Having real-time analytics helps teachers make important decisions regarding what to teach and when to teach. Most importantly, each student can get the help they need to succeed.
A big bonus is that all the progress can be demonstrated with reports that you generate directly using the LMS. In this way, you can discuss the effectiveness of a new program, make sure that everyone is following the curriculum standards, or even decide to allocate more resources in areas that could use some improvement.
Professional development for the entire school year
Professional development for teachers has an overwhelmingly positive impact on student success. While schools offer personalized learning programs to students, they often forget that teachers also have different levels of proficiency and a need to learn at their own pace. A more experienced teacher can learn faster and skip some modules, while a newer teacher could find it useful to revisit training material whenever needed. A good training system for teachers takes into account their busy schedules.
That is why making teacher classes available online is a no brainer, with the added benefit that you don’t need another platform to host them. Just use what you already have and make those classes only available to teachers. Plus, an LMS reduces the need for face to face training. A teacher coach or trainer is available to help teachers using the LMS throughout the school year.
Read more: How to succeed with online PD for teachers
Getting your message across is easier
School administrators don’t have to only react to parents’ requests for meetings. Proactive communication is appreciated by parents because it makes life easier. They’ll feel more prepared to deal with any problems if they’re up to date with their child’s progress at all times. Plus, not everything has to be discussed face to face - those meetings can be reserved for specific situations.
With an LMS, simply setting parent accounts will make a big difference. It’s easier to reach parents when you’re already using the same communication tools such as chat. Posting school-related announcements will also encourage them to be more involved in school activities.
Make inefficient meetings a thing of the past
Are all your staff meetings as effective as they can be? If so, this step isn’t for you. However, if you feel that some things could be communicated online rather than calling a meeting, the LMS is definitely your friend.
Instead of relying on email, you can post announcements for all teachers to see, whether it’s in a dedicated teacher group or directly to the main announcements area. As we’ve mentioned previously, teachers get notified when you post something new so they can continue to teach without disruption.
Plus, adding events to the calendar for everyone to see makes it so much easier to keep track of all school activities (including meetings). Teachers will be reassured you’re there for them at all times, both offline and online.
Going paperless and reducing costs
Teachers spend a lot of time photocopying assignments and handouts. Students have to carry textbooks, remember to print essays, have a filing system in place and so on. Schools are embracing the paperless classroom as they’re looking to become more environmentally friendly and reduce costs. To achieve this, administrators need edtech with the capacity to replace paper-based materials.
Of course, nobody is going to banish printers from schools or eliminate note-taking - there are other ways to save such as uploading online versions of textbooks and lessons. Other materials such as homework, quizzes or practice quizzes can be substituted easily. Oh, and these can’t be lost or eaten by the dog!
In all seriousness, my dog did chew off my Math textbook back in 6th grade, so these things happen.
As a school leader, you can fully take advantage of the LMS, which yes, is a great hub for storing all learning materials and assessing students, but it’s also a way of tracking results, helping each student succeed, communicating with parents, and all in all having a better overview of all school activities, regardless of the size of your school.