Today we went to Heritage Park on a field trip. It was a great day, the kids were wonderful and they were engaged and interested. I had asked them to bring a camera to take pictures of what they saw. Well on the bus ride home, one lost camera later, I was thinking about the amount of time it would take to upload all their pictures to their school accounts so we could use the pictures in an assignment and if I would ever even see their pictures again (Will grade 5 students remember to bring their cameras to school next week?). Could using a Learning Management System (LMS) be my solution?
I have been investigation LMSs for classroom use for the last couple of months. I want something that is free, accessible to students and myself, easy to use and will engage my students. I like the idea that a LMS can help my students personalize their learning and extend their learning to outside of the classroom as describe by John Baker on the Blackboard session about his LMS, Desire2Learn.
The potential to create, personalize, extend and expand learning has huge potential in education but I find my enthusiasm is tempered with caution. McNeill, Arthur, Breyer, Huber and Parker (2012) state that LMSs can be seen “as a move to provide a competitive advantage…they offer students access to learning at any time and in any place.” (p. 58). There are lots of reasons to get excited about the implementation of a LMS into the classroom. Baker (2012) describes his system as being used to “Improve the learning experience throughout someone’s life”. The ability to have students connect in a new way with their learning is exciting. I am somewhat cautious however about relying too heavily on one system of learning. To be able to personalize, student need to be given choice and different opportunities to demonstrate learning. LMSs are still a tool that requires teacher effort, knowledge and keenness to be effective in any classroom.
As I continue on my quest to find a LMS that will work for my classroom and students, I will have to remember that to have a LMS work in the classroom it takes effort on the part of the teacher. It is a tool to improve learning in the classroom. And in the end my students won’t remember what LMS they used to download their Heritage Park pictures, all they will remember is the memories they made, the information they learned, the pictures they took and that long awaited visit to the candy store.
Baker, J. (2012, February 15). D2L Story and Overview: EDER 679.29 eLearning in Canada – LMS discussion [Recorded Elluminate Live! Session]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.ucalgary.ca/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_2_1&url=%2fwebapps%2fblackboard%2fexecute%2flauncher%3ftype%3dCourse%26id%3d_147065_1%26url%3d
McNeill, M. A., Arthur, L. S., Breyer, Y. A., Huber, E., & Parker, A. J. (2012). Theory in Practices: Designing Moodle Training for Change Management. Asian Social Sciences, 8(14) 58-64. Retrieved from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/view/21836