Monday, 30 July 2007

LMS Decisions? Wait Just Another Minute!

I have been working with one of my schools as they investigate Learning Management Systems (LMS). It's something their teachers have been asking for (Yahoo! - quick strike while the iron's hot!) but it seems these are unsettled times in the area of LMS in NZ so we should just taihoa for just a bit longer and see what develops.
One reason is the work going into developing interoperability between SMS & LMS. This is currently being trialled & the MOE will be taking Road Shows around the country to inform and advise schools on their LMS decisions. Read more about it here.
Another reason is the review around the continued support of Interact which is used to support many of our learning communities - TaraNet & BardWired are both hosted inside Interact as well as the ICTPD network. Glen has set up a site to explore LMS directions.
Add to this new LMS appearing on the scene every time you turn around - for example Scholaris supported by NewEraIT turned up for the 1st time on my radar screen today.
The MOE released guidelines earlier in the year for choosing MOLEs (managed online learning environment :-) These are helpful for looking at what questions you should ask your LMS vendor & trying to match up your schools needs to an appropriate LMS but they are not as conclusive as the SMS guidelines that provides accreditation of products against the guidelines
There are so many things to consider - for example Scholaris & Mindspring are both based on a school being an existing user of Microsoft Office Software - which might be fine right now. But what about when the Microsoft Schools Software Agreement comes up for renewal in another 3 years - (buzz is it might not be renewed) - where will that leave schools who have a LMS based on Microsoft?
So many variables, so many things to consider, so confusing - even for me & I have spent the last 4 years investigating various LMS. Its so much like dancing on the shifting carpet right now with LMS. I just hope that when schools do make their decisions that the carpet doesn't get pulled away from underneath.
The advice i am giving my school? Narrow your choices down to 3 or 4 LMS, get demo sites up & going so you can have a play, and wait for further information from the MOE roadshow before committing. After that just go hard out with your choice & have lots of support for your staff as they develop in their use of your LMS because at the end of the day it won't be the system you choose thats the most important thing but the people who are using your system.
My LMS Delicious Links.
Post a Comment