Hi Everyone,

My school (and district) currently uses BlackBoard as a course-management system. Without going into too much detail, we're looking for a change. What do you use that's working? Which systems should we avoid? Any suggestions would be helpful :)

Thanks!

Tags: blackboard, course-management

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You'll probably hear this from a number of peopole, but my recommendation would be to look at Moodle, http://moodle.org

Its an Open Source application that has been around since the late 90's, developed by an educator/computer scientist from Australia, Martin Dougiamas. It has many programmers committed to its evolution. It runs on Linux, Apple, or PC platforms and has modest system requirements.

Moodle has an enormous user-base, that includes universities as well as K-12 schools. My district has been using it for the past 4 years and we're quite happy with its features. Every year more and more teachers are making use of it.
We've used Blackboard, a couple of smaller LMSs, and are now using Desire2Learn (D2L) for the past few years. Our instructors love it and it is a good company to work with.

Tom, we've considered Moodle in the past, but we needed hosting and technical support that doesn't tax our already overworked IT dept. Who provides your Moodle hosting and technical support?
Actually, we do it in house. Its installed on an Apple Server. Our IT guys installed it and I manage it (Moodle) for the district. Our guy has it tied to Active Directory so once set up, they don't have to do much else. I set up teachers, courses etc. There are companies that host Moodle and offer subscription services, one called Moodle Rooms.
Moodle is great!

There are simpler online options you can look at es well. These are teacher/student/parent friendly and useful for elementary and middle school.
They are FREE and have admin options which are also great for student follow-ups and big picture.

Edu 2.0
http://www.edu20.org

Engrade
http://www.engrade.com
Moodle seems to be the most popular choice and it's free. However, if your school has some money to spare, Scholar 360 is another good option. In my practicum last year, I was the one leading the discussion on technological tools for the classroom and came across Scholar 360 in my discussions on Linked In. I talked to a representative and it seems pretty cool. We use Blackboard Vista here though. I looked into Scholar 360 just as a class assignment.

http://www.scholar360.com/

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