LMS is the framework that handles all aspects of the learning process. An LMS is the infrastructure that delivers and manages instructional content, identifies and assesses individual and organizational learning or training goals, tracks the progress towards meeting those goals, and collects and presents data for supervising the learning process of organization as a whole. An LMS delivers content but also handles registering for courses, course administration, skills gap analysis, tracking, and reporting.The Derry School District has evaluated and supports the following LMS for use by staff in the district:
- Sakai - https://sau10.sakaizone.org/portal
- Edmodo (free version) - http://www.edmodo.com/
- Schoology (free version) - https://www.schoology.com/
At this time, Sakai is the only system that is paid for by the district. Edmodo and Schoology are currently free - but we have no control if they decide to charge in the future; similar to what Glogster (http://edu.glogster.com/) did 2 years ago. So my word of advice, make sure you can duplicate your efforts if needed.
According to the LMS Survey we conducted in January, only 24% of staff use an LMS in their classrooms, 60% using Sakai and 40% using Edmodo. If there is enough interest, we can have a Tech Leader Workshop this spring on how to use these LMS software applications most effectively in your classrooms.
Also, the new AUP will be addressing the use of LMS in the classroom with more clarity in regards to "the babysitting" of these sites. In a nutshell, no, they do not need to be babysat by the teacher using them - just monitored in the same way you monitor the activity in the classroom during the school day.