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Saturday, August 7, 2010

How do you define an LMS?

Details | LinkedIn

And the debate continues...my response:

When you say, "Why would I choose or reccomend an approach to others if there are more appropriate ways of doing it", you are assuming that your interpretation of "appropriateness" is the same for others. I will not assume that I know what is appropriate for the infinite number of educational contexts that exist today as well as which have existed in the past.

I'll extend my perspective once again but I realize that the fundamental difference in our opinion appears to be the definition of an LMS. I understand your meaning of the term as a Moodle-like platform that tends to be closed and content is pre-fabricated, probably linked to standards where learning tends to be linear - and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I define a "LMS" as a personal learning network (PLN), where a "typical" Moodle application would only be one part of a PLN. If we can't agree on definitions as I suspect we can not, perhaps this warrants a new post (smile). But this is where I am coming from.

An example of structuring content not using what most people consider an LMS.

Web 2.0 tools: Google Wave, Blogs, Wikis, websites, Google search, email, etc.

Can you envision how content might be structured using some combination of these tools? Do you see how integrating technology can be an alternative to using an "LMS" (i.e., Moodle, blackboard, etc.)?

Conversely, do you see how an LMS might be used to provide "just-in-time" content? Do you see how integrating technology and an LMS might change the playing field?

I can truly put my hand on my heart and say that learning and teaching are too complex for me to generalize in saying that the LMS (however it's being defined...and I assume we are referring to Moodle-like platforms) is the devil. Guns don't kill people, people kill people.

PS As we are unlikely to agree on this (which is fine), I would like to shift this discussion to more specific educational contexts where we can address the "appropriateness" of particular web tools. This would lead to a more constructive conversation. (End of post.)

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How do you define an LMS?