I get sooo excited everytime I see a new ELI “7 Things You Should Know About…” posted on Educause. This one, focused on “Navigating the New Learning Ecosystem” seems especially relevant, since my school will be transitioning to a new LMS in the near future. I hope this transition can serve as a catalyst for faculty and administrators at my school to think about how the LMS interacts with other student tools and apps (students at my school all have student email via Google Apps for Education. I’m jealous, since I’m still stuck with MS Outlook for work email!). When the focus is solely on the LMS, there are a lot of opportunities for learning spaces and interactions that are excluded or not captured.
One of the examples from the factsheet is University of Mary Washington, which offers UMW Blogs to faculty and students for classes, organizations, personal learning portfolios, etc. Last November at a local “Leading from the Classroom” workshop devoted to open learning, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Jim Groom who was instrumental in implementing UMW Blogs. This man is brilliant and that project is truly innovative in its approach to learner engagement. I hope my institution can think outside of the LMS box, but it might take some time to get there.