As elearning continues to grow in popularity, teachers and administrators alike are asking what they
should be looking for in a Learning Management System. While cost is one factor in the decision-making
process, it should not be the only factor. Identifying how you intend to use the solution—for blended learning,
a classroom supplement, 1-to-1, flipped or fully online courses—is also incredibly important. What follows
is a comparison of some of the many LMS solutions on the market. Each school has its own needs and must
decide what are the most important areas to address. Each of the solutions explored offers Web-based
hosting, with secure SSL. All solutions offer a gradebook with the ability to export as CSV, and all except
Desire2Learn offer parent access to courses and grades.
Is Google Classroom the LMS
We’ve Been Waiting For?
By Carl Hooker
A bomb was dropped during Teacher Appreciation Week
when Google announced the arrival of its much-anticipated
app, simply called “Classroom.” This new app promises to
fold in all the tools of the Google Apps suite, including Gmail.
By helping teachers “create and organize assignments
quickly, provide feedback efficiently, and communicate with
their classes,” Google promises that this new app, which is
free for GAFE schools, could mean the death knell for platform
monoliths like Blackboard and Canvas. Google also hit
the nail on the head for the timing of this announcement as
it arrived during the budget cycle process for many school
districts, many of which are in active discussions about
adopting new LMS systems.
Before we exude complete adulation for this gift from the
Google gods, the following questions still remain:
■ How will “Classroom” tie into existing Student Information
Systems that carry Fort Knox-style protection for student
■ Who will own all the course content?
■ Will higher education institutions embrace this platform
in the future?
■ Will there be a whole new marketplace of “Classroom”
apps by third-party companies?
While these questions remain, the bigger question is how
will all of those Learning Management Systems out there
Carl Hooker is director of innovation & digital learning at
Eanes ISD in Texas and a 2014 Tech & Learning Leader of the