Learning Management Systems | News

Tennessee Districts Adopts New LMS for Online Learning

Tennessee's Putnam County School System (PCSS) will adopt a new learning management system (LMS) in an effort to provide a more flexible and secure platform for online and blended learning.

The district's previous LMS was incapable of adaptive release, which allows instructors to set conditions for what materials are available to users, such as date and time or scores on previous assignments. Administrators also had concerns about the previous system's security with regard to student information and a lack of flexibility related to exporting courses.

"We were looking for flexibility—a broad solution that would not just address virtual learning, but something we could build out as our expertise in using online tools grows," said Sharon Anderson , 7-12 curriculum supervisor at Putnam County School System, in a prepared statement.

A committee of faculty and administrators reviewed commercial and open source options and visited Georgia's Cobb County School District to consider how other districts in the area were using technology in the classroom, eventually selecting Blackboard Learn.

The committee said it chose the platform in part because of its range of features, support for IMS Common Cartridge standards for exporting content, and flexibility for course creation. "Putnam County officials were impressed with [Cobb County School Distict's] use of Blackboard technology for blended learning, professional development, and a virtual learning program," according to a news release about the move.

The platform will eventually house an online personal finance course designed to help students meet a requirement that they take at least one class online. It will also be home to professional development courses and most of the district's blended and online learning classes.

"Working with Blackboard will allow us to push the envelope of virtual and blended learning without compromising the security of our students' personal information or limit what we can do in the future by restricting course content," Said Anderson.

In addition to the LMS, PCSS will use Web conferencing through Blackboard Collaborate for professional development and synchronous courses and Blackboard Mobile Learn, for student access via mobile device.

Putnam County School System enrolls approximately 11,000 students at 10 elementary schools, four middle schools, three high schools, and three non-traditional schools.

More information about PCSS is available at pcsstn.com. Go to blackboard.com for more information about Blackboard Learn.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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