The last several years have been an amazing time for the EdTech ecosystem. With the widespread implementation of devices like iPads and Chromebooks, schools have found new ways to engage students in learning.
Innovative classroom apps like Nearpod, Remind, Class Dojo, Kahoot!, Google Classroom and Showbie have all emerged to directly address teachers’ needs in this new environment. Today we’re incredibly proud to have played a small part in helping over 2.3 million teachers, students and parents streamline their assignment management in 1:1 device classrooms.
Having a prior background working with teachers to implement Learning Management Systems, I was witness to overly complex, often confusing, and rarely fully implemented LMSs. As classroom device rollouts took flight in the past several years, schools and districts often maintained their legacy LMS, while teachers had to cobble together a variety of apps to help their 1:1 classroom.
Fast forward to today and we’ve seen a fundamental issue emerge: traditional LMSs were simply not designed for use in 1:1 classrooms. Most LMSs instead were designed for delivery of a virtual learning environment where courses were taken online or for communication of grades.
On the other hand, if a traditional LMS isn’t essential to supporting a 1:1 classroom’s needs, then is having to use multiple different apps together more efficient? Recently, I’ve heard a lot about app fatigue among teachers in 1:1 rollouts. This happens when teachers are overloaded with ‘apps for that’ and there are simply too many to keep organized. After some paring down, the result of this seems to be 6-8 common go-to classroom apps.
However, this is probably still too many, and we think there is a sweet spot for an app that handles most of the day-to-day 1:1 classroom needs. Today we’re referring to this new category of app as a Lighter Learning Management System. It borrows the idea of a broader platform that does most things teachers need while ensuring the system is relevant for today’s 1:1 classroom needs. Above all, a Lighter LMS needs to be intuitive, simple, easy to use and enable the teacher to be the conductor of this new type of classroom.
We feel a Lighter LMS should have several fundamental components in order to work well. At the same time, if the system does significantly more than this, it will become too cluttered to be useful. Simplicity and ease of use for everyone is paramount, so here are the key pillars of a Lighter LMS:
- Optimized for common 1:1 classroom devices like the iPad and Chromebooks
- Designed for teachers and students first
- Manages a wide variety of assignments, projects and assessments and effective tools to deliver rich feedback
- A hub for communication & sharing in your school
- Effortless deployment and management
Today, we’re pleased to share a Preview of what’s coming to Showbie in the next few months. We hope these new features — many part of our free edition — will help you streamline your 1:1 classroom and allow you to focus on relationships with students and parents, and less about how many apps you’re using.
We look forward to continuing to innovate alongside you and play a small part in making your classroom an awesome place to learn!
CEO & Co-Founder