Schools today are incorporating technology in their classrooms at an unprecedented rate. The use of technology in question, such as a K12 LMS, has not only become necessary for teachers but is equally popular among students. In a survey, more than half (53%) of the teachers report that their students use digital learning tools every day to learn. This illustrates the need to have the right kind of a Learning Management System for every institution out there. 

Institutions must make an appropriate judgment when it comes to choosing a K12 LMS that meets their specific needs. When considering LMS vendors, it is crucial for institutions to research their own requirements and make sure that their choice of a K12 LMS benefits them. Let’s have a look at the kinds of features that schools must consider when it comes to choosing an LMS platform.

Aligning LMS According to Institution Goals

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing an LMS is whether it suits the institution’s needs. It is imperative not to get sidetracked by aimless features that may or may not help schools achieve their learning goals. Instead, schools should carefully consider what learning aspects they value the most and should look for in a K12 LMS. 

For example, some schools put an emphasis on building individual student portfolios. To this end, there are K12 LMS platforms that offer the ability to make ePortfolios that can be shared with people outside the school network, and be maintained even after the students leave the institution. If an institution requires this functionality, it must look for an LMS platform that provides the best ePortfolio options.

Personalizing the Platform

The ability to personalize learning via LMS is a feature that cannot be matched in the traditional classroom alternative. Traditionally, there is only so much manpower available, making it impossible to alter course structure and delivery to suit each individual student’s needs. With a K12 LMS, however, it is not only possible but also preferred.

Giving students the option to go through courses at their own pace and learning preferences fosters better understanding. Students can choose which order to study various modules in and in what format they prefer to take classes in and give assessments. Having this choice makes students feel better equipped to handle classes and in turn, enhances performance.

Providing Parental Access 

One big stakeholder in K12 education is the parent. Parents need to be kept abreast of all that is going on with their children’s education. A good way to ensure parental participation is by giving them access to the K12 LMS platform. 

Through the LMS, parents can view their children’s progress, check grades, announcements, and notifications. The LMS is a good platform to keep in touch with the teachers and communicate any concerns they have. Parents can also access the calendar on the platform, which makes it possible for them to plan ahead and anticipate future assessments and lesson plans.

Scaling the K12 LMS

It is important to not just evaluate a potential LMS platform based on an institution’s current needs, but also on needs that may arise in the future. Student enrollments can shift dramatically over time, especially in a time as uncertain as the pandemic. Lessons can shift from in-person to online with very short notice. Enrollments can also increase as schools expand. 

Anticipating all this, schools need to make sure that the K12 LMS of their choice is scalable and flexible. Making an informed selection in this regard saves schools from future purchases and migrations to other platforms. 

Integration Friendly

Integrations can prove to be a useful addition to existing LMS platforms. Having a K12 LMS that is easily integrable into a wide range of software makes it possible to expand the platform’s functionality. Integrations with student information systems allow a combination of student data to be evaluated at the same time. Other integrations, like that of video conferencing software, make it possible for students to take online classes right from within the LMS.

Some other useful integrations include the incorporation of Single Sign On (SSO) to enhance the security of the platform, or integrating social media with the K12 LMS, allowing students to access their personal social media contacts from the platform.

Customizability

Having the option to alter an out-of-the-box K12 LMS makes it possible for schools to meet their own specific needs. Customizing themes add a touch of personalization to the platform and enable schools to take ownership of their own LMS. Other examples of customization include enhancing the UI and UX of the platform to add preferences and make the platform culturally diverse.

In addition to that, customizing LMS platforms make it possible for differently-abled people to adjust settings in accordance with their own needs. With the help of XBlock plugins, customizing LMS platforms has become exceptionally seamless.

Features to Consider When Choosing a K12 LMS

Reporting Tools Availability

LMS reporting tools in K12 education can truly be a game-changer. Data from K12 LMS can help measure learning outcomes. With the help of data like student enrollments, grades, attendance, and teacher evaluations, it is possible to determine what is working for students in terms of better learning, and what isn’t. It helps teachers identify and address learning gaps. In the modern world where data is a precious resource, it is very important to have the right analytics tools to help make sense of it.

Ease of Use

An underrated feature that in truth, is extremely important to consider is that the K12 LMS must be user-friendly. In schools, students of all ages and backgrounds may use the platform. This means that the interface must be simple and intuitive enough for young or non-native students to be able to operate. 

Additionally, many older teachers and parents are novices when it comes to operating software, meaning that the K12 LMS must be easy to switch to and operate. Anticipating these user-level complications is what sets good quality platforms apart from others.

Mobile Friendly

Modern times require mobility. Having a K12 LMS that can be switched over to a mobile version adds a kind of flexibility that has made accessing education more convenient than ever. 

Many students come from families that have limited devices such as laptops, to access their LMS. However, mobile devices are much more commonly used and available. According to an EdWeek report, the time children ages 8 and younger spent engaging with screen media on mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, has tripled since 2013. This means that learning can be much more accessible if LMS platforms are made available on mobile devices.

Choose The Right K12 LMS

With so many factors to consider while choosing an LMS platform, it is up to the institution to define what features they give more weight to. Some schools prefer a platform that keeps the parents involved, while others prefer a more scalable K12 LMS, that grows with the institution. No two institutions are expected to have similar preferences.

One factor that perhaps all schools should give more weight to, is how well the K12 LMS aligns with the institution’s goals, and how user-friendly it is. Since kids of all ages are expected to use the platform, having an intuitive LMS interface goes a long way.

Advance Your K12 Performance With Edly

Edly’s K12 LMS solution is carefully built to aid classroom learning for users of all ages. Providing the best K12 LMS experience means knowing student habits and developing the courses around them. If you are an institution looking for a well-equipped K12 LMS that incorporates all your specific needs, feel free to contact us and book a free demo!