Nampa School District 131 becomes first in Idaho to implement the itslearning LMS

As part of its on-going efforts to improve communications, foster collaboration, and bolster student achievement, Nampa School District #131 (Nampa SD) in Nampa, Idaho has become the first school district in the state to implement the itslearning learning management system. With 24 schools, Nampa SD serves 15,000 students in grades preK – 12, and will begin using the itslearning system this fall.

Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a cloud-based digital learning platform that gives teachers, students and parents access to as appropriate course materials, assignments, communities for collaboration, progress reports, and more. According to Dr. Nicole MacTavish, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Nampa SD, it was the system’s ability to centralize so many resources, data, and processes – and interact with other district systems – that sold them on itslearning.

“We wanted to provide our teachers with a way to easily access a wide variety of content, as well as the ability to collaborate on best instructional practices. Another priority was to improve parent communication and participation,” said MacTavish. “We know from past experience that adding more or different systems wasn’t the answer. If we are truly going to support teachers, students, and parents we need to streamline processes and eliminate barriers. For over a year our task force researched options and spoke with other districts and concluded that itslearning is the platform that will allow us to taking teaching and learning to the next level and beyond.”…Read More

Florida Virtual School migrates to Brightspace

Florida Virtual School (FLVS), a statewide public school district in the state of Florida and international provider of education products and services, has selected D2L, a global learning technology provider, to deploy its Brightspace platform as the district’s new learning management system (LMS).

FLVS, the largest fully accredited online state public school in the U.S., had nearly 400,000 completed semester enrollments in the 2015-16 academic year.

The Brightspace platform includes a number of advantages that were key elements in its selection by FLVS. Since the platform incorporates personalized learning, teachers can deliver their lessons with much greater flexibility and give each student the personal experience they need to succeed. Brightspace was designed with modern students in mind and offers a clean, responsive user experience as well as integrated social media, chat and advanced video features.…Read More

Pearson Realize course content now works with any LMS

Interoperability certification gives teachers, students freedom to assign and use any Pearson content regardless of LMS

Pearson announced a new iteration of its main content delivery system for K-12 schools that will allow them to experience learning, assessment and data applications seamlessly, saving thousands of hours and dollars in the process. Traditionally, teachers, students and administrators have to deal with multiple logins and repetitive data entry. Pearson Realize is now fully compatible with IMS Global’s Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI™) standards, making almost all of the company’s K-12 content and data easy to use, access and analyze, regardless of the school’s learning management system (LMS).

IMS Global is a non-profit organization that sets standards for digital educational content. Leading IMS members like Pearson are committed to creating content and applications that “play nice” with one another so that accessing content from multiple sources and publishers is a unified, continuous experience.

“When we say we put digital content at teachers’ and students’ fingertips, that should be the reality. Now fully compatible with all learning management systems, the digital content delivered through Pearson Realize should make learning and assessing student performance easier, and that’s why we’re committed to interoperability,” said Marc Nelson, vice president of product management at Pearson. “We’re proud to support IMS and the future of digital education, where educators can easily select the digital products that meet their students’ needs without having to worry about whether or not they work together.”…Read More

Edsby making cloud service available on Microsoft Azure

Forthcoming cloud service from Edsby will build on earlier integration work

Edsby, a cloud-based learning management system for K-12 school districts that connects teachers, parents and students using modern technologies, will soon be available on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s hyperscale, enterprise-grade cloud platform, as part of a global relationship between the two companies.

Edsby will be making its Edsby cloud service available in Azure data centers in the U.S. for American customers. In Canada, Microsoft Corp. recently announced plans to establish Azure cloud data centers in Ontario and Quebec and Edsby will be available in these Canadian facilities in time for the 2016-2017 school year. Shortly after, Edsby will be made available in Azure data centers in Australia, Europe and elsewhere.

“By utilizing Microsoft’s global network of Azure data centers, we can streamline how we provide Edsby in multiple regions around the world. This also enables us to meet customers’ regional or national data sovereignty requirements,” said John Myers, Edsby President. “In addition, the dynamic scalability and high availability of Azure will enable Edsby to scale to handle the millions of new users required by provincial, state and national level deployments.”…Read More

It’s called blended learning (not blended teaching) for a reason

Is your Learning Management System paradigm teacher- or student-centered? Long-term success depends upon the correct answer.

blended-learning-teachingMany educators now accept the need to provide course materials online in a Learning Management System (LMS) or Online Learning Environment (OLE) for blended learning to occur successfully. This allows students to review learning materials at any time and from anywhere, and it opens significant other possibilities.

However, this is only part of the solution as we move toward blended learning. Building these resources and online courses with an effective paradigm as the guiding force is also vital. Without this, we are simply moving an old industrial model to a different medium.

An incorrect paradigm might appear to be subtly different, but the ramifications can be large and long lasting. A historical analogy helps to clarify this.…Read More

Using a learning management system to meet digital content needs

An LMS with a professional community ocan enable cross-curricular lesson sharing.

As new learning technologies and digital tools appear in classrooms, educators may become overwhelmed as they try to integrate these ed-tech tools into their lessons. But they might find help in their district’s tried-and-true learning management system.

The typical learning management system has evolved to manage digital content, and can organize and provide access to that content so that digital resources are delivered in engaging ways, said Gail Palumbo, former director of curriculum and technology in New Jersey’s Montgomery Township Schools, during a series of edWeb webinars on learning management systems’ potential. Palumbo is now the Lead Faculty – Area Chair for Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Phoenix Online.

According to Palumbo, a learning management system has the capability to include a multitude of digital content, defined as any and all materials or programs stored on an electronic or digital medium that can be transmitted or used by computers and over networks and the internet.…Read More

How an LMS can help with digital content integration

With so many technology-based resources–such as video, eBooks, and Google Docs–now available to help teachers deliver dynamic lessons, many teachers still find it challenging to incorporate digital content seamlessly within their lessons. But some experts say that’s exactly what a learning management system (LMS) can help educators do.

“A robust LMS pulls all of your digital content together,” said Gail Palumbo, lead faculty and area chair for curriculum and instruction-teacher leadership for the University of Phoenix Online, and national consultant for schools, districts, and corporations, during a recent webinar hosted by edWeb.net.

Palumbo said that a robust LMS can help teachers deliver quality lessons with minimum preparation, since many teachers still struggle with incorporating digital content in the classroom.…Read More

Nine templates to help educators leverage school data

Educators need a practical system that organizes school data in a way that is easily understood.

Educators and administrators are collecting an enormous amount of data about the progress of their students and schools. Now that this information has been collected, how can it be used to improve education?

What administrators and teachers need is a practical system that organizes school and student data in a way that is easily understood and readily available during the school day, according to a collaboration by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and Gartner Inc.

School districts are looking to purchase student information systems and learning management systems to help them with this task.…Read More

Report: Mobile app use exploding on campus

The number of private universities deploying mobile apps rose to 50 percent from 42 percent in fall 2010.

Colleges and universities have made significant gains in deploying mobile applications over the past year, according to the 2011 Campus Computing Survey, the largest continuing study of higher-education technology use in the United States. But the survey also suggests that colleges have been slow to move key operational and research functions to cloud computing, and budget constraints continue to affect campus ed-tech services.

The 2011 survey shows big gains in the percentage of schools deploying mobile apps, and these gains appear across all types of institutions.

More than half (55 percent) of public universities have activated mobile apps or plan to do so in the coming year, compared to a third (33 percent) in fall 2010. Public four-year colleges also posted good gains (44 percent in 2011, up from 18 percent in fall 2010), while the numbers more than tripled among community colleges (41 percent this year vs. 12 percent last fall).…Read More

Can Twitter use help improve grades? Some researchers think so

Twitter use helped students communicate more with their instructors.

Twitter use might be more than an extracurricular activity for college students, according to researchers from three universities whose work suggests that using the popular microblogging service to discuss academics could help bolster student engagement and success.

In an article published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Nov. 12, researchers unveiled findings from a midsized college campus that suggest students who communicated through Twitter during and after class had a GPA of about a half-point higher than students who didn’t use the social media site.

Students who used Twitter also scored higher on a student engagement exam administered at the college, which was unnamed in the article, titled “The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades.”…Read More