Recently, I switched jobs and I'm now working at St. Norbert College. (Also I do not speak for St. Norbert this is my opinion only) It's been a great move for me so far. I knew there would be differences between K-12, where I have been for the past 14 years, and Higher Ed. I have also had the privilege of teaching in Higher Ed at both Marian College and Wisconsin Lutheran College so I'm familiar with what is going on in Higher Ed.
One thing that is similar in both K-12 and Higher Ed is that everyone is looking for or in need of a Content Management or Learning Management System (CMS or LMS). These systems currently allow for faculty to give access to their course materials, turn in assignments, and interact with each other.
To this point schools have mostly used the following: Moodle, Canvas, Haiku, and Edmodo. Lately, we have seen things like Schoology and Google Classroom. What is interesting is that everyone is trying to figure out what a LMS/CMS is supposed to do. Is it just a place to put stuff and grade some things or should it do more?
What about a Learning Platform or LP? If it should be more than just a repository, what should a Learn Platform do? A LP should be easy to use, extensible, social, and mobile. It should allow for chatting, video instruction and submission, have no storage issues, and give great analytics to administration, faculty and students.
I would take it a step further and say that it needs to be something that allows its use beyond just learning. For example, it should allow for student groups, athletics, administration and even outside groups to be able to use and interact with it. Parents need access in K-12 too.
So let's start looking for that Next Gen LP. Over the course of the next few weeks I'm going to write a few follow up posts that relate to several LPs that I have had recent contact with in order to help others out there find what is right for their institution. As I come across others I will add a post about them too. If you have experience with any of these or with others and want to add to the discussion, please leave some comments!
Here are a few: