This post has been updated on February 16, 2020.
Another year has flown by and stores everywhere are yet again full of school supplies, one more useful (or eccentric) than others. The back-to-school season is a stressful season, for students, parents and teachers alike. But stress is a part of life and back-to-school stress is supposed to be worth it: educated kids will turn into smart adults who’ll ensure everyone’s future. We’ve only taken just a few steps into the 21st Century, after all.
With smartphones in our hands, virtual assistants in our homes and various ed-tech tools in our classrooms, we all rely on technology to make our lives easier during this stressful period. Technology does help; this month, next month and next year as well.
Using technology in the classroom and especially an LMS to deliver the digital part of blended learning — which is probably the best way to learn and will become the norm in education — is a great way to equip students for the 21st Century world.
5 LMS benefits for K-12 Students
A learning management system for schools provides more than an organized manner for teachers to deliver lessons and manage student outcomes. New features are developed constantly in order to meet the learning needs of students, from kindergarten to high school, and beyond. The target is to achieve the highest degree of personalized learning experiences for each student as possible.
Using an LMS for classroom instruction comes with a few other advantages for students. Here are five of them:
Access to learning materials anytime, anywhere
An LMS ensures that students can get access to their learning materials no matter where they are and at any time they want. Teachers may remember a time before the Internet, but most students today grew up immersed in the digital world.
For them, accessing learning content without limits should be a given. For teachers who flip their classroom and need students to do their part before the class starts, so that the class time is more about solving problems and exploring the subject deeper and less about lecturing, this also should be a given. Using an LMS with a responsive design and maybe even a corresponding app makes this a given.
Printed handouts can be fun and useful for various classroom activities, but they can also be misplaced, lost or damaged. They can become a thing of the past (and help preserve the forests) if educators choose to use of an LMS instead, because all study materials and even homework get into the same location: in the cloud.
This centralized hub of learning materials means students can find anything they need within just a few clicks or taps away. They will always get the latest version of any document and can quickly exchange various resources, because they're all in the same place.
Through the use of an LMS students can collaborate on different tasks easily, as they don't have to be in the same physical place to speak with one another; they only have to be active in the system at the same time. This comes in handy even for introverted kids, who may find it easier to participate to class discussions, as the fear of being in the spotlight or being interrupted before finishing their thoughts diminishes.
Students can make connections and exchange opinions with others colleagues thanks to the various collaborative features they can use. They also stay updated with the latest news from teachers and their school friends easier.
Studying becomes more personal
Students can study in their own rhythm, especially if the school LMS has support for self-paced courses. Once peer pressure decreases, they can actually focus on what they need to learn, no matter how fast. They can dwell more on a difficult subject if they have to, or they can fly over the content they already master.
Online courses can include rich and engaging content, from eye-catching imagery to educational videos and interactive learning scenarios. As students get more involved in the activities of the course, learning becomes more effective.
Not only can students find the most relevant learning materials within just a few clicks, but they can also submit their assignments as easily. They may not be able to use the “the dog ate my homework” excuse, “lose” an essay, nor hand it in with peanut butter smears on it. How long it takes to make an assignment is up to each student though.
What's more, an LMS can parse, sort and create targeted reports based on learning data, so students can get fast and extensive updates on their learning progress. This means they can adapt their learning strategy accordingly.
All in all
Using an LMS to support classroom instruction will not solve all the problems related to education. But students who do use an LMS — to access learning materials just when they need them, to find these easily, to collaborate with teachers and peers, to feel they have agency over their learning process and to submit assignments — have a few advantages over those who don’t. And in a world of constant stress, that matters.