Use a Variety of Tools and Spaces

By choosing the best tools and giving your students a variety of learning experiences, both you and your students will have more fun. Don't get stuck in an LMS rut! [next]

Variety is delightful.

Additional comments:

In the same way that I am very frustrated by the closed-by-default design of the standard LMS (see this earlier slide), I am very frustrated by the way the LMS encourages people to faux tools instead of real versions of those same tools in other online spaces. For example, the so-called blogging tool in D2L is laughable compared to a real tool like — yet it only takes students a few minutes (literally) to get their own Blogger blog up and running, a blog that they can customize in ways that express their own interests, building a truly personal presence online. Here is how students get their blogs started in my classes: Create Your Blog and Picture a Favorite Place.

For reasons unclear to me, many people want to promote the monotonous mediocrity of the LMS as if that were a good thing. Worse: as if college students and faculty were incapable of learning how to use different kinds of tools for different purposes! We certainly don't configure all our classrooms in the same way, and nobody is shocked when there is more than one book on a class syllabus. Students don't get confused going from one classroom to another on campus, and they don't get confused by having more than one book on their bookshelf.

So too with digital tools: learning how to use different tools is both a challenge and a pleasure, but the LMS would deny us both. It may be the main learning space that your school supports, but there are plenty of other learning spaces out there that you can use, both for your own learning and also together with your students.

The image above is another of the LatinLOLCatsVarietas delectat. Variety is delightful.

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