In September we see the return of students to mainstream schools, closely followed by language academies and universities returning to a full timetable after a summer break. Summer can be a time for school or academy directors to reflect, to plan for the future and maybe think about how they can grow and improve their centre. In recent years we have witnessed a sudden growth in the use of educational technology, LMS, virtual classroom tools and online learning. These are all elements we should nowadays consider when re-evaluating processes, systems and methods for the new academic year.
So, a question that some headteachers or directors of studies may be asking themselves is “Should I be making greater use of educational technology in my centre?”
LMS: Educational technology is not the future but the “now” in language learning
LMS (Learning Management Systems) are innovative pieces of software which bring together in one safe place the important elements of integrated management tools, administrative tools, learning platforms and engaging multimedia content. Brought together into a virtual campus, teachers, administrators and students can communicate quickly and easily in a personalized environment.
How would my academy or school benefit from this educational technology?
#1. Motivated students
Without the students, we have no educational centre. They are the lifeblood of any school or academy, and to keep them motivated, attending classes and engaged in the content of classes we must embrace 21st century educational technology. 21st century students are what is known as “Digital Natives”, they have grown up with technological devices in their lives, and to have an area of their life where they don’t make use of them is rare.
To effectively engage with students, you need to be on their technological wavelength. Let them be involved in their learning, interacting with mu
ltimedia learning content, chatting to fellow learners online, playing educational games. This and a lot more is possible through implementing an LMS at your educational centre.
#2. An LMS makes learning synchronized and mobile
Students and teachers can access content from wherever they want and at any time, as it can be accessed from all devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC etc.). What’s more is all course content and lesson/unit completion is synchronized automatically to the LMS meaning the student can pick up where they left off no matter where they log in from.
#3. Monitor student progress in a more simple way
An LMS provides you with various educational technology tools which help you to effectively monitor student progress and see them evolve as a learner. This can motivate teachers too as it is one way in which they can see all their hard work coming to fruition! With an LMS you can:
• Create tests using a multitude of question formats, choosing from a bank of questions or creating your own.
• See how long the student takes to complete an exercise and which questions they spent the longest on etc.
• Take advantage of detailed reporting on student or groups progress.
• Create revision content for students, or let the educational technology automatically assign this for you.
• Allow parents access to the LMS to see what their child is learning, how they are performing and communicate with you if you so desire.
#4. Educational technology (LMS) is efficient and reliable, saving time and money
If your academy or centre has numerous students, it can be a great benefit to keep all of your information in one safe place. An LMS stores information in the cloud, so there is no need to back up data on large, expensive servers which clumsily take up space in your centre. Student information, classes and groups, learning materials, interactive content, virtual classroom tools, SCORM compliant courses and communication platforms are all kept neatly together in one place. This streamlines processes and can save you hours of time and hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on administration costs.
Change can be a scary thing, but a change can also be as good as a rest. After a rest we feel refreshed, re-energised, more focused and are more effective in our work. Perhaps changing the systems in your school and embracing educational technology like LMS could help to revamp and re-energise your school or language academy, at the same time motivating your students, boosting your reputation and increasing your profits.
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