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Tech Buffs An instructional technology newsletter for the herds @florence

Learning Management Systems

Google Classroom , Schoology, Canvas, and Blackboard are all what education technology industry refers to as LMSs or Learning Management Systems. These systems all range with different capabilities & can work for you-like really work for you, taking some of the work or the management out of teaching. Not only do most grade items for you, but they will remind students of homework, missing assignments & save your lesson plans with attachments/videos/ and images. When I first started using a LMS, it was alot of upfront work BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT! By the next school year I had the entire first semester ready to go in the first two days of in-service. I found myself teaching so much more and managing much less. The students' learning improved & so did my instructional strategies, because I had more time. Educators are always needing more time, here's one way to get some time.

Schoology: Skool-lu-gee

A learning management system designed for K-12, Schoology has plenty of perks for educators & students. It is fairly easy to get started. Teachers create their class and share the code with students to get started. Classes can have folders for organizing documents/assignments/references. There are class discussion tools, assignments-both graded and ungraded, quiz features & built in question banks. For the younger students, there are even built in badges (digital stickers) teachers can assign. For the older students there are E-portfolios where students can add images of their work or even pull work from assignments. Everything is Google synced so Educators and Students can submit or use anything that is saved in your Google Drive.

Schoology for Educators

In addition to students getting accustomed to drive their own leaning, so can the educator, with shared resources, shared folders, and quizzes. When I first started the process I shared everything including the workload which was most important with my content area partner. This made it much less work and we could lean on eachother when we needed assistance. Schoology also has a built in professional groups/ and question and answer forum. If you ever have a question on how to do something, just post the question, and just like that someone will answer. Schoology educators like to share-everything! Ever need a new idea or learning strategy to jazz up a lesson-just ask! The best thing about Schoology, it's FREE, you could start using it today. I'll help-just ask.

Schoolgy Student Basics

Parent Access Codes

Google Classroom

Classroom was designed as an application to work seamlessly with all the other Google Apps for Education. Although it is not a full blown LMS, many educators use it in a way that works like an LMS. "Google Classroom is your mission control for class. Create classes, distribute assignments, send feedback, and see everything in one place. Instant. Paperless." The amazing thing about Classroom is educators are able to see student progress LIVE, while they are working towards completion. For teachers, this would be one of the simple start ups when choosing to use an LMS. 1) Create a class 2) Add your students by sending them a class code or by adding t directly. You can also import t for a Google Group.. 3) Create your first assignment. A copy of it can be sent to each student, you'll be able to see whose completed the assignment and who's still working in it.

Google Classroom for Teachers

Google Classroom for Students

There are ALOT of Learning Managment Systems, but these two are my favorites for two reasons, ease of use for everyone: teachers, students, & parents & they are FREE. Each student is a 21st century learner and these are some tools that can help them learn in ways that are innovative & efficient. Students will become more in charge of their own learning & we want to prepare them for the next step whether it be middle school, high school, college, or the workforce. LMSs put the students in charge, & you get the teach. There really isn't a more powerful tool out there, than the use of an LMS in your classroom.

~Marisa Mejia, your Instructional Technology Specialist. Thanks for the read! Please reach out anytime if you would like some help or just a friendly face to help implement these instructional tools into your classroom.

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