2. Students at all grade levels need to take ownership of their learning
An important element to great learning experiences at any grade level is helping students take ownership of their learning. This approach is the best way to ensure students develop skills for success throughout life. How does an LMS do that? By providing transparency into the learning process, encouraging active learning, enabling easy access to course materials and reports, and providing opportunities for students to interact with their peers both in, and beyond, the classroom.
Districts could accomplish a similar result with a handful of tools, but there are immense benefits to having everything in one place. “Our vision as a district is to continue integrating all things related to a student’s school experience into Schoology,” says Kevin Whaley, director of instructional technology at Lee’s Summit (MO) R7 School District. “This includes providing access to daily assignments, assessments, portfolios, external tools, calendars, and extra-curricular groups for students.”
3. Districts want to engage parents
LMS adoption allows for parents to be involved in their child’s learning from the first day of school. Research shows parent engagement in the early years of student learning is traditionally higher in the younger grades and declines steadily as students progress through the school system. Successful implementation of an LMS bridges the gaps between the classroom and the home, creating a shared learning experience between the student and parent throughout the student’s academic career.
Adopting an LMS throughout the district also allows the entire school community to have a single place to look for information. During Lee’s Summit’s first phase of its Schoology adoption, Whaley shared that the desire was to create a one-stop shop for students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Parents of multiple children within the district are now able to find information about each of their children without having to search through multiple backpacks and folders looking for information.
LMS platforms, if used correctly, help prepare students for learning in middle school, high school, college, and business; enable teachers to work more effectively because they’re able to collaborate at all grade levels; and provide opportunities for self-pacing and differentiation to meet all student’s needs.
The truth is, younger students are not too young to use technology, and using the same technology in the classroom that students will continue to use throughout their lives has its merits. It’s time we stepped beyond this question about whether or not an LMS can or should be used in elementary education but, instead, how and in what use cases an LMS is best integrated for long-term student success.
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