Learning Management Systems (LMS) are an integral commodity in education today! As more and more school systems move toward online classroom tools there becomes a need to centralize communications, collaboration, and learning. This is where learning management systems like My Big Campus (MBC) come into play. MBC is part online schoolwork, part social network, and part classroom management. It gives teachers a place to have online discussions, video chats, post announcements, share teacher resources, give assignments, store documents, and model good citizenship all in one. There are many great features, but I’d like to just share a few for our purposes in the 30 Day Challenge. Please check out this short MBC intro video.
Collaboration is the name of the game in education. As a matter of fact, that is what we are doing now! The challenge itself is a way to learn new ideas from each other. Along with all the standard features of any LMS (assignments, discussions, announcements, etc) My Big Campus has created multiple ways for teachers to collaborate their ideas.
One collaboration option is through the MBC Library. The library is a place where educators can share websites, YouTube videos, documents, lesson plans, images, assessments, any online media, and practically anything else in online packages called “Bundles”. This collaboration is pretty simple and comes in an attractive social networking feel. Currently there are tens of thousands of teacher created resources based on educational standards spanning practically every subject and grade level K-12.
Another great collaboration tool in MBC is called EduTalk. EduTalk is a Twitter-like interface that allows teachers and administrators to create short posts that are searchable by hashtag (#). EduTalk can also be integrated with Twitter so that your Tweets are pulled and displayed in EduTalk. This allows teachers a safe location to discuss educational topics with an educator only audience.
Safety is one of the greatest added benefits of My Big Campus. MBC is owned and created by Lightspeed Systems, which is a web filtering company for education. MBC is integrated with the filter to provide the best web tools with the fewest clunks of overblocking that many other LMS solutions face. Because MBC and Lightspeed are one in the same, we can allow teacher guided YouTube videos and otherwise blocked sites through the filter by individual teacher request. The teacher simply links the website or video to the students through the Library of MBC and when the students access it, they are there without being overly blocked.
Digital citizenship is also modeled and monitored by “Bob Campus.” Bob is a group of real people from Lightspeed who respond to student interactions and comments online through the social aspects of the website. Bob monitors inappropriate behavior and reports it to the schools emergency contacts, even if the teachers/administrators of the school didn’t know about the behavior, Bob keeps them in the loop. Bob is always there 24/7 and models good digital citizenship at all times.
Please provide at least one example of how the tools in My Big Campus could be used in your classroom. If you have links to Bundles or Groups that you use, please share them with the group!
Note: While My Big Campus is not the only Learning Management System out there, we use it as our primary system in the EVSC. For the purposes of the challenge, you may choose to discuss uses of any LMS (ex: Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, Haiku, Canvas, Blackboard, etc.) as the base features are the same for most systems.