How to get started with Blended Learning: Part 4
Step 4: Selecting the proper Learning Management System
The decision to adopt a new teaching approach is both exciting and angst inducing. Blended learning offers a new way to reach students, so it makes sense that districts want to harness it's potential. As school districts explore the possibilities of blended learning they are also faced with challanges and obstacles that must be acknowledged and planned for. If you are thinking about how to get started with blended learning, this 7 part blog series will explore the steps you should consider as you adopt this new methodology.
It's helpful to read these posts in order, so before continuing:
The LMS is an important piece of the overall blended learning puzzle as it provides the platform for various forms of learning to take place.
Teachers should be confident in the LMS and its ability to meet their needs as well the needs of their students.
(In theory, as we've stated in Part 3, your teachers will have worked through a portion of their PD within the LMS or the same type of technology you are planning to extend to your students.)
The LMS selection process should allow for teacher participation and encouage teachers to share their concerns and needs. Teachers will be charged with implementing the new technology and should feel comfortable with what is selected.
Some things to keep in mind when selecting an LMS:
- First and formost, as stated before, it should meet the needs of your teachers and students.
- Designed with your users (teachers, students) in mind
- The ability to track learning outside of the LMS (i.e. track informal learning experiences)
- Features that are effective and efficient for their classrooms
- Open and free access to learning data
Past perceptions and pre-conceived notions of LMS technology can stand in the way of implementation. These obstacles can be overcome by encouraging teacher participation in your LMS selection process and then using said LMS to deliver some of the Professional Development materials.
Want to go deeper and get the step-by-step guide to getting started with blended learning?
In part 5 of our 'How to Get Started with Blended Learning' series we'll spotlight how important it is for your LMS to be able to collect formal and informal learning data and how all that data will help your admins, teachers and students.