5 Best Practices for Large Blended K-12 LMS Adoption
Here’s how states, provinces and district school boards can make sure their LMS implementations are a success.
At D2L we typically work with large, complex LMS implementations in K-12, often an entire state or province at a time, as well as individual districts. These are huge projects with extremely large and diverse groups of teachers, students and schools represented. So, building strategies and programs to ensure adoption of these massive learning environments is essential to make these efforts worthwhile when it comes to serving student outcomes.
Over the years we’ve picked up a lot of best practices in driving LMS adoption with teachers in a blended environment. The most important ingredient for success is having an idea of what the actual outcomes being sought with technology are – organizations that understand what their teachers, children and parents need will have a much easier time making sure that the technology works effectively for them.
With that guiding principle in mind, here are five other key best practices for successful large-scale adoption of edtech in a K-12 blended environment:
Have a clear goal and the plan to get you there
Take a “Plan, Achieve, Measure” approach. If your goal is 25% adoption by the end of the first year, you need a plan to get you there, as well as resources, a list of barriers and how you will overcome them, and a timeline of tasks.
Establish the right team and leadership
Having the right team in place is important. You need a solid collaboration between teachers, consultants, leadership, and IT. It’s just as important to have an executive or administrator sponsor who can help maintain forward momentum when certain decisions have been made and ensure that everyone stays on track with their goals.
Teaching with technology is not new, but it has required a paradigm shift. Teachers are encouraged to be innovative in their use of technology in the classroom – take the same approach in your LMS adoption strategy.
Be innovative in how you help empower teachers to explore new ways they can engage their students using technology, like getting students to use the LMS to document their learning in an online digital portfolio.
Consider professional learning
Don’t underestimate the need for professional learning and training. In order to have teacher evangelists who love using the technology and will tell others to use it, you need to foster awareness and enablement. Being innovative is also important here. Take professional learning and development, for example health and safety training, and put it into the learning environment.
This is a great approach, allowing teachers to use the technology for their own learning before trying to apply it in their classrooms. This naturally creates comfort with the online environment, and we all know teachers naturally seek out new ways to teach. This approach tends to naturally lead to more inquiries like, “Hey, I was using that LMS for Health and Safety – can I get some help in using this in my classroom?”
An integrated learning solution
There are tons of technologies out there and teachers should use the tools they love in their teaching. One way to encourage adoption is to put all of these products and technologies in one, easily accessible location, like an LMS, to create a centralized learning “hub” that helps to drive traffic while keeping things simple.
In our experience, it’s the organizations that follow these best practices and keep an outcome-oriented mindset towards edtech that get the most gains from it.