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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Hello educators, and welcome to another week of Teacher Tips. This is week, we're going to be taking a look at learning management systems. In particular, we're going to explore three of the top free learning managing systems that are available. Now if you're not familiar with learning management systems. They're essentially an online portal that allows you to manage all of the events that happen inside of a typical learning environment. For example, most LMS's give the teacher the ability to upload an overview the objectives for the course. Teachers can also build in the assignments for the course and those due dates.
With these two areas, the Learning Management System or LMS functions a lot like a digital syllabus. Essentially, students can access this online portal to get information about what's happening in the class. As LMS's have changed over time though, now, many of them allow students to turn in work, or take test directly online. And even more recent, some LMS's are allowing for student to student interaction to take place directly inside the class portal. Now, when LMS's first came out, a lot thought they were meant just for online classes.
But that's not necessarily the case. We find that a lot of face to face classes can benefit from an LMS as well. For example, it takes time during class to tell students what their homework is. Using an LMS, you can post the students' homework online. Every single day, students can log on and figure out what their homework is. That simple step can save two to three minutes of class time every single day, which can add up to huge learning opportunities for a student. And we also find that LMS's can be beneficial during class. With students having the ability to collaborate online. To take tests and quizzes online.
And for their results to be immediately compiled, you can use that during the actual class session for different instruction. As LMS's are evolving in education, we also find that there's a variety of ways in which you can use an LMS. Here's a few ideas to get you thinking outside of the box of just using an LMS with your students. Professional development can be a tought thing to manage. You've got teachers around the entire building with different planning periods. And sometimes helping all of your teachers get exactly what they need in professional development so they can do their job the best is a huge challenge.
While using an LMS you can streamline the professional development process, you can make resources available to your entire staff, you can set due dates and deadlines. This is a great way to help your staff feel like they have control over their professional development as well. The Flip Classroom Model is becoming really popular. And an LMS is an integral part to the Flip Classroom. If you're not familiar with flipping your classroom, essentially you take your introduction and new material, whether it be your lecture, or a Power Point presentation. And you create a video of that content. You then post that video online, and students can watch it prior to the class session.
When students show up to class, 100% of the class time is dedicated to helping them master that content, as opposed to just introducing them to the content. You can also use an LMS for differentiated learning. Inside of most LMS's these days, you have that ability to choose which assignment goes to which students. Because of this, when you create modified or differentiated assignments, you can quickly select which students receive which assignments. And using an LMS to assess students online can be a huge timesaver inside of the classroom. Typically, I have to set aside a large chunk of time every couple weeks in order to assess my students, to understand where they're at in the learning process.
Creating online quizzes and assessments, and allowing students to take them online at their own time, has saved me countless hours inside of the classroom. And I can also collect assignments online, this saves both ink as well as paper. Often my students are typing there papers on a computer instead of having them print that paper out and give me a paper copy that I then have to manage, they can go into the LMS and attach that digital file to the assignment. Many LMS's also give you the ability to grade that assignment directly inside the program and even assign a grade and send it straight to your grade book.
Now we've explored a few unique ways to use a LMS, let's go ahead and dive into exploring a few LMS's and see which one is right for you and your students.
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