21 Things – Using a Learning Management System

Learning Management Systems (LMS) provide structure and workflow organization possiblities for the classroom. During my five of most recent student experiences I have had the opportunity to engage in the learrning process  through five different LMS. Three of the LMS were specific to the school, but the other two were Blackboard and Moodle. As an adjunct instructor, at a local college, I have been able to use my growing knowledge of Blackboard for developing a paperless classroom, where all assignments are submitted and graded online. 

For this class, 21 Things 4 iPads, I have had the opprtunity to explore and engage with two other LMS, Edmodo and Schoology. While I had heard of both, I did not have the purpose to explore them until the completion of this assignment. 

Edmodo and Schoology provide free access to teachers. They allow teachers to create classes and enroll students. They allow you to post documents, discussion topics, and assignments. Students can access the assignments and participate in discussions, from any where at any time. 

I created a sample exploratory class, added an assignment and sent a note with a link to view a Kid President video. Here is a screenshot of my Edmodo classroom with a video to view and an assignment to complete. I have attached adocument to the assignment so students can have the document available to complete and return electronically.

Edmodo Classroom
  

I found Edmodo easy to operate and navigate. Creating assignments and other items can be done with a tablet or PC/MAC. Students can click on links to view Web sites or dowload documents. Assignments may be submitted  and graded electronically. 

 

Schoology – Course
 
Similarly, I found Schoology easy to navigate and operate. I was able to create an assignment and add a discussion topic for students. In this case, the sample class is a potential technology PD opportunity for educators.  Here are two  screenshots from my sample Schoology classroom. The first is a screenshot of the assignment with a photo attached in my schoology classroom. The second is a screenshot of a discussion topic with a video attached.

 

Schoology – Assignment
    
   

Schoology – Discussion
 I have not had enough experience with Edmodo or Schoology to have a definitive preference. With my limited experience, I would choose Schooology over Edmodo because I like that the assignment,  notes, and discussions  are listed rather than providing a lengthy description until students click on the item.  I believe this would limit issues with students not scrolling far enough down the page to view all the items. Schoology does require the submission of a verification if the LMS is being used with students under 13. This verification is designed to protect students and schools. Otherwise, I have found little differences in my exploration.

Do you have experiences with LMS, such as Edmodo or Schoology? Which do you prefer? How well do they work with your students? Share your experiences and learning in the comments or email me at marc@marcdaly.com. I look forward to continuing my exploration of LMS  for use with students and teachers.