Learning Management System

Broward County Schools Adopts New LMS To Support Personalized Learning

Florida's Broward County School District has selected a new learning management system (LMS) in an effort to better support personalized learning.

"Foregoing the traditional RFP process, Broward County School District began its exploration for a new LMS platform in January 2015," according to a news release. "Broward spent considerable time evaluating different vendors and weighing the pros and cons of different capabilities. With the help of an outside consultant, who sent trained observers to classrooms to measure where/how technology was being used and where it wasn't, the district's administrators were able to identify the needs of educators and students and search for a platform that catered to these pain points."

Eventually, the 265,000-student district settled on Instructure's Canvas for its current features and ability to grow with the district in the future.

"The acquisition of Canvas will support the district as we strive to personalize the learning experiences of both our students and our teachers in its use as a tool to deliver instruction and professional development," said Daryl Diamond, Broward's director of innovative learning, in a prepared statement. "It will help to encourage students to take ownership over their own learning while also developing deep, personal connections with each other, their teachers and other adults. We anticipate that the use of Canvas will sustain students' enthusiasm by fueling engagement in lessons that apply students' interests and choice. Canvas also facilitates learning by enabling teachers to design and deliver instruction, and then act on the results. It helps teachers orchestrate their instruction by creating learner pathways, synchronizing learning activities and fostering meaningful dialogue between students and teachers."

The LMS will also be flexible enough to serve a diverse student population, according to Diamond, whose district includes 34,000 students in special education and 32,000 English language learners.

"Canvas provides a central place to access information about our diverse student population and to implement specific strategies for unique individuals, such as our special needs population with accommodations from their individual education plans and the implementation of WIDA instructional strategies for our English language learners," added Diamond. "When proficiency levels vary significantly between groups of learners, additional online modules can be created to help remediate. Through the use of multimedia content and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model Canvas can help us in developing flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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