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Jayne Miller By Jayne Miller • September 13, 2016

10 Signs You Need a New LMS

Contemplating an edtech switch? Consider this your sign.

People Don’t Use It

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You have a school-wide LMS, but that surely isn’t a guarantee that a teacher will use that LMS in his or her class. Maybe it’s even a big inside joke for anyone who dreads logging on and figuring out how to submit work or grade assignments.

You Dread Teacher Training

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A good tool is intuitive. Training might not be your favorite thing to begin with, but you should at least have confidence that you can give an new educator an overview of a platform and they’ll be able to get up to speed. It should be something you deeply dislike doing because of how hard it is to use something.

If the tool you’re using is so clunky and outdated that you actually dread teaching people about it, you might want to consider upgrading to something a little more user-friendly.

It's Not Being Used for Communication; It’s Being Used as a Website

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This is an interesting one. A learning management system isn’t a class website that students go to in order to find out what pages to read before the next class. At least it shouldn’t be. (Even if that’s useful to have, it does little more than replace your classroom blackboard - except you pay a ton for it. And it’s not a particularly innovative use of technology.)

Rethink your tech setup if the expensive LMS you have working for you is providing only unimaginative, one-way communication between students and teachers.

It Looks Like it Was Built in 2000

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You know exactly what I’m talking about. If your monolithic LMS resembles anything once hosted on Geocities, it’s time to move on.

It Doesn’t Connect With Other Tools You’re Using

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It’s not silly that you’d want your LMS to connect with the other tools that keep your school up and running. If your tech administrators - or teachers - are spending too much time developing complicated workarounds to accommodate multiple platforms, we recommend doing a little research on edtech that would, you know, not make you do that.

It’s Not Actually Connecting Your Entire Community

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If your LMS is leaving out key members of your community like parents, advisors, co-teachers, and support staff, it’s not actually connecting your community. If it’s a tool that you can’t leverage for school clubs or faculty groups, how exactly is it doing more than assigning homework?

You Don’t Even Really Know How to Use It

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You don’t need to answer this out loud. Blink once if you’re totally into your current LMS. Blink twice if you’re actually not even sure you understand all it can do/how to do it/why you’re using this awful technology.

Classrooms Have Started Using Other Tools for the Same Purpose

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That’s a red flag. When you see a wave of freemium tools infiltrating classrooms in place of the tool you’re paying for, it’s worth asking if perhaps you should cancel that LMS contract altogether or begin paying for something that classrooms are more likely to adopt.

You’re Being Charged for All Sorts of Extra Nonsense Regardless

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On that note. Are you being charged extra for training and support? Is your LMS trying to nickle and dime you on all sorts of nonsense? Just say no! An LMS that loves you would never do that.

Just Hearing the Words “Learning Management System” Hurts

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If the term LMS leaves a bad taste in your mouth, it’s possible that you’ve been wronged by bad tech. A learning management system doesn’t need to be bad. It doesn’t need to be clunky or outdated. It can do more than a class website! It’s possible to see a high adoption rate with a truly collaborative, innovative tool. We promise.

Rewriting the Procurement Playbook: