By Will Phillips
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Eminence schools plan to deploy a new learning management system, or LMS. The new system, called It’s Learning, will ideally allow students, teachers and parents to all check students’ schoolwork, keep track of their progress and streamline education.
According to Eminence Superintendent Buddy Berry, the new system completely meets the needs of his district.
“It’s the most student-centric [program we’ve found], and it’s the best product for the best price,” Berry said. He hopes the program will allow students to continue learning on snow days so they won’t fall behind with school work. The system will effectively help students during unusually harsh winters and storm events similar to this year.
Although It’s Learning won’t be fully up and running until the 2015 school year, the teachers will have their hands on it before this year is out — ideally allowing them to become familiar with the program before it is implemented.
Instructional Supervisor Thom Coffee hopes that bringing all of the students into one LMS will aid the learning process for children in kindergarten through graduating seniors.
“Right now, the high school students use the learning management system Haiku,” said Coffee. “With going one-to-one [third grade] and up…we want the place for teachers to store course content where it can be accessed at home, so that’s really the purpose for Learning Management System.”
Among It’s Learning’s unique features are student blogs, calendar overlays and RSS-like feeds that allow students to ‘follow’ different clubs and classes, much like on Twitter and Facebook. According to Coffee, students could subscribe to the basketball team and would be given updates periodically on their status. Members of clubs could utilize the calendars in a similar fashion. For instance, someone who plays on the basketball team and is also in drama club could place both calendars on their own page in order to see all of their upcoming events.
The new system is more of a streamlining of the things that teachers are already doing with the current systems, according to Coffee.
“I think the streamlining is the biggest part. [Teachers] are doing all of this stuff now. It’s having one website for a district that it’s all housed under one umbrella.”
Coffee said the school is planning to work with parents to answer any questions and that parents will have their own login information in order to keep track of their children’s progress. He also implores patience, saying that the program will take some time to be fully integrated, even after it’s been launched next year.