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Community Building With Your Learning Management System

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Enable Communication and Collaboration With School Stakeholders With This Unique LMS

For large schools with hundreds and hundreds of students, it makes sense that they need learning and student management systems for record keeping and communications in one place, but it might not be as obvious why smaller independent schools need similar tools. In addition to organizing a multitude of aspects of school life, the learning management system (LMS) has tremendous potential that reaches far beyond daily task and information management.

Educators and school leaders might not think about technologies like an LMS as a tool that can also help build an online school community. For example, an LMS frequently enables students to have mobile conversations with their peers and teachers outside of school to ask about homework and grades; gives a place for teachers to update and manage classroom information and student information; and allows parents to stay involved and play an active role in their child’s education.

My school, The Arbor School of Central Florida, is a varied exceptionalities school, which means we have kids that have all kinds of learning abilities and challenges. The school is unique because we’re not only providing academics to our students, but also with the therapy support they need to succeed. Our students are successful because they have a team of teachers and therapists collaborating daily to help them learn, a team of supportive parents at home, and classroom technology that encourages independence. When all these aspects are combined, you see an active school community that rallies around the success and progress of our students.

Here are a few ways our LMS Twine helps us build and maintain an active school community:

Helps teachers collaborate

For our teachers, the LMS not only helps streamline classroom management, but also enables our staff to openly and easily collaborate and communicate. From teachers, administrators, therapists and more, the Arbor School lives by the idea that there’s a whole team that supports every individual student that walks through our doors. Keeping all these staff members in the loop on what is happening with individual students can be a challenge, but with our LMS we’re able to maintain and update student profiles in one place.

Furthermore, the LMS is effective when teachers are collaborating across subjects or classrooms and keeping current with each of their student’s needs. For many of our teachers, the LMS is making a difference in their classroom every day. Many of them are communicating with parents and students online if there are questions, and we have other teachers that are trying to learn as much about the platform as possible so they can serve as a resource to other staff members as new groups or classes are set up.

Encourages student independence

We hear a lot about digital citizenship and what it means to help student learn, communicate and collaborate safely and responsibly online. I believe that if our students are to become good citizens, they need the tools and resources analogous to the real and social environments they are in every day. At its core, education is about helping our students learn how to navigate their world, and the technology they use should provide more than just a space for them to download homework and check grades – but also give them a space to ask questions, collaborate and manage what they need to do independently.

Prior to implementing our LMS, our students weren’t online checking grades, assignments or communicating with teachers. Today, the number of students wanting access to our online community has increased significantly and students are encouraged to be independent with their lessons and classroom materials. They’re learning valuable skills that they are going to have to be able to do when they go off to college or other pathway.

Keeps parents in the know

Technology used in and out of the classroom helps build parent relationships and keeps parents active in their child’s education. Our LMS gives parents immediate access to their student’s grades and academic progress all on one platform, as well as the ability to connect with teachers and administrators should they have any concerns or questions.

Final thoughts

The community-building potential of LMSs makes them a valuable asset to schools large and small. By giving teachers and students the chance to connect both in school and at home, LMSs help build a bridge between in-school activities and at-home learning.

 

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