Flipping Tip: Choose Your LMS Wisely

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" - United States Declaration of Independence

Blackboard Mobile Learn opening screenMy nation is built upon the principle of equality but we are not identical. Yet we each have a right to a quality education!

We each learn at different paces. We possess individual cognitive gaps. The "flipped" model of teaching addresses these truths by placing primary focus on the pupil rather than on the curriculum. Simply stated, the student is the first priority.

Students in a flipped classroom are responsible for studying curriculum on their own time and demonstrating mastery in class. This simple reversal is helping students learn. Consider Greg Green's success in turning around Clintondale High School. Its amazing what can be accomplished when teachers are freed to work on filling cognitive gaps one student at a time.

Let's be clear. Flipping classes is not about technology. Its about learning. And its about the special relationship between teacher and pupil.

That said, there are many technologies we can use to help implement the flipped classroom such as books, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, handouts, audio recordings, and videos. These are the same technologies we've used for ages. However, all of these can be made readily available anytime anywhere using the Internet.

How accessible do you want your school to be?

If you want it to maximize accessibility you must go online. Your only decision is to select a LMS (Learning Management System) to act as a secure portal to your curriculum. This can be daunting without expert guidance.

The are many competitors in the market. Each has the same basic set of capabilities. The vary less than the profess! Their most significant distinguishing characteristic is in the level of compatibility with mobile devices. You need a LMS that students can access on the Internet using a variety of computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Tablets and smartphones are problematic due to incompatible platforms. Physical dimensions differ between smartphones and tablets so each requires a uniquely formatted application. The two major operating systems are iOS and Android and each of these requires a unique app. That's four mobile apps!  At this time I know of only two qualifiers; Blackboard Mobile Learn and Edmodo Mobile. Both are free.

Explore both and decide which is best for you.

New competitors will undoubtedly emerge, and quickly. So please let me know when you discover one so I can test and possibly write about it.

Which LMS you choose is a local matter but be sure you can provide training and support in "flipping", the LMS, and the creation of content before trying to implement it.

Sent from my iPad

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Dr. Winegar is available to help your organization wisely use technology. Email him directly at mark.winegar@mac.com or visit www.facebook.com/MobileLearningStudio.