My Students Think Your Students Need A Learning Management System

logoA Learning Management System (LMS) is software or a website that allows you to deliver traditional classroom learning to students online via the computer, tablet, and/or phone. When a student learns at least in part through this online delivery of content and instruction via a Learning Management System it is called Blended Learning. My students have recently finished filling out their Marking Period 1 feedback form and they wanted me to tell you that blending your classroom by using a Learning Management System is something you need to do for your students.

This summer I tried out many Learning Management Systems. Moodle, Edmodo, Blackboard, Openclass, Canvas, Desire2Learn, etc., but it wasn’t until I found Schoology that I knew I had a LMS that was right for my class and me. Schoology works and looks very similar to Facebook. This was important to me because I wanted my students to be able to “get it” without me having to hold their hand. Schoology is very intuitive and teaching them how to use Schoology was way easier than I anticipated… because I didn’t teach them. I was so confident in Schoology, I literally told my students to sign-up, gave them the link to the help section, and told them to figure out the rest. Within an hour, everyone was signed up and working on their first assignment. Those who didn’t understand right away checked the help section and/or asked a friend. I did not have to answer a single question about using Schoology, they just “got it!”

Since then, Schoology has been the head quarters, the central hub of my classroom. We use it every single day. Don’t believe me? You don’t have to take my word for it! Take a look at my classes’ Schoology data (I love data!):Schoology5

This year, my students have logged into Schoology over 16,000 times. Over the last thirty days, you can see they have mostly logged in during the week, but they even log in on the weekends. And, as you can see, we’ve just hit our 1000th comment on discussions, peer journals, and assignments.

Look at that Pie Chart. I can tell you from doing the math, I have a homework submission rate of almost 85% this month. You can see this reflected in how many times they’ve viewed the assignments page. I don’t know what my homework submission rate was before I started using Schoology, but it definitely wasn’t 85%.

I hear you, though. I hear you saying, “Hey, Teched Up Teacher, just because they use it doesn’t mean they like.” I wondered about that, too. So, in their Marking Period 1 feedback form, I asked them 1 being you hate it and 10 being you love it:

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“Ok, fine, Teched Up Teacher, they like it, but do they really think it’s easy to use? Is it having a positive impact on their learning?”

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It sure is.

“Ok, Teached Up Teacher, but is this preparing them for college and the real world?”

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Studies show that 90% of colleges and 40% of business use some type of LMS. My kids will be ready to use a LMS when they get there.

“Ok, Teched Up Teacher, but what do they SAY about Schoology?”

Go, Go, Word Cloud:

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They like Schoology, but their reasons for liking Schoology, like mine, are many. I most often hear that having everything in one place is great. Having all the handouts posted online and much of the work turned in via Schoology makes it easier for them to stay organized. They tell me they love when I post updates and reminders. They like the App and how accessible Schoology is. They like that they can communicate with me and their classmates whenever, wherever they want. They like the feedback and sense of community Schoology creates. For some, they just like to hang out on it.

Earlier this year, I coined a term: Teched Up Moment. A Teched Up Moment is when, thanks to technology, something so awesome happens in your class or with your students that you’re actually taken back by it. Most of my Teched Up Moments this year have happened because of Schoology. Getting work immediately to sick or absent kids. Students keeping up with work while on vacation. Getting my students their work when I had an emergency and wouldn’t be in school. Answering questions about an assignment via the Schoology App while I was chaperoning a field trip. Posting pictures and videos of an Edgar Allan Poe play I attended because I have a lot of Poe fans in my class. Seeing my students help each other over Schoology and many more Teched Up Moments. Schoology isn’t perfect (HTML5 grading, please!), but it’s damn close. While you don’t have to use Schoology (you should), when I asked my students if every high school in America should use a Learning Management System the answer was a resounding yes! So, tell me again why you don’t use an LMS?

Until next time,

GLHF

 

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