Learning Management Systems
Schools Adopt LMS/SIS Combo
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Three K-12 organizations have gone public with their adoption of software that integrates the functionality of both a learning management system and a student information system. KIPP: Chicago, a charter school system; Boise School District in Idaho; and the Khan Lab School in California are all trying out Alma from Alma Technologies in the current school year.
The program includes features for administration, curriculum, communication, instructional management and reporting and analysis. For example, Alma tracks attendance, bus routes, rosters, standards management, scheduling, text alerts, parent notification, grades and ad hoc reporting. (State reporting is available as an add-on.) The software comes in four packages: base, lower school, upper school and district.
In June the company announced that the program would allow teachers to set up a Google Classroom with a single click. Google Classroom is a free LMS from Google with basic course management functionality. That was a draw for the Boise school system.
"We were looking for a management system that was as intuitive and efficient to use for our teachers and parents as the applications they regularly use in their daily lives," said Technology Administrator David Roberts. "Alma fit that criterion, and more, with simplified Google Classroom integration and standards-based grading and reporting tools. We're excited to roll it out in several schools this year and lay the groundwork for greater operational and instructional effectiveness in the district."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.