District Administration & THE Journal on the rise of Edsby

Two of the top educational journals in the U.S. have published articles illustrating the rise of Edsby as a leading learning management system (LMS) in K-12.

In an article titled LMS enhances K12 instruction, District Administration writes that widespread use of digital learning materials, an intensifying focus on achievement and the influx of digital devices into classrooms are increasing districts’ need to have some form of LMS.

The article cites Edsby as an example of an LMS that can foster communications on a broader scale.

Evergreen School Division in Canada uses Edsby in K12 to share lesson plans, assignments, classroom announcements and other information with parents. Parents can access their child’s attendance, grades and report cards. Online groups can be created for parents and other members of a school committee or advisory council.

In 4 Features to Look for in a 21st Century LMS, THE Journal writes many of the 13,600 public school districts in the United States have not yet adopted an LMS, and are looking for features not offered in traditional systems. K-12 districts want features like the following, writes the magazine:

An intuitive interface that mimics consumer social networks; collaboration that goes far beyond standard teacher-student communication; assessments with analytics responsive enough to drive instruction for that day, week or month; and the capacity to provide a structure for organizing digital learning resources and sharing them locally and broadly.

The publication profiles how Evergreen School Division in Manitoba, Canada, sought an LMS as a way to consolidate the functionality being provided by different software its schools had adopted through the years. Superintendent and CEO Paul Cuthbert said a two-year assessment process whittled the choices down to only one: Edsby.

One of several aspects of Edsby that is getting a lot of use at Evergreen is the ability for the educators to collaborate by forming “groups” across the school system, Cuthbert said.

“Essentially, these have become like professional learning communities for us,” explained Cuthbert. Not only have teachers begun using the LMS to share resources for instructional purposes, he added, but committees within the school system have adopted it as well. “It gives us that common repository where we can archive important files. It’s really been a very powerful tool for us in that way.”

In addition to system customizations Edsby performed for Evergreen, Cuthbert said Edsby’s proven ability to pull information from and push information back to the district’s student information system (SIS) was a key factor that worked in Edsby’s favor.

“Vendors will often say, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ll integrate with that product,’ but when it comes down to the actual integration, it’s a nightmare,” noted Cuthbert. In this case, the company could back up the promise with a “track record” of integrating with the specific student information system that Evergreen was using.

The article identifies SIS integration as one of four key elements a district should look for when evaluating LMS systems, along with a system’s ability to be customized to a district’s unique requirements, strong references from other customers and competitive pricing.