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Learning Management Systems and Educational Technology: What's the Difference?

Educational technology can be a confusing topic. There are hundreds of learning management systems (LMS), educational apps, and other tools available on the market. When was the last time you heard someone mention an LMS? Are they together in some sort of virtual marriage? Or are they polar opposites who will never get along? Educational technology and management systems are two different things. While some elements of each can overlap, they serve very different purposes. Let’s take a look at what those differences are and how they can benefit your school or learning center.

What is a Learning Management System?

A learning management system, or LMS, is software that supports the creation, storage, and delivery of online courses across multiple platforms and devices. A course might include lectures, quizzes, assessments, or other learning activities that students can take part in.

Depending on the type of software, an LMC could include features such as content management, organization by platform, analytics, and the ability to assign and track student assignments. If a school or learning center uses an LMS, it allows teachers and administrators to create an online course for their students from scratch.

Teachers can access course materials, grades, 66 easy persuasive speech topics , and other data from any device. LMSs offer a range of features. Some, like Blackboard and Canvas, are more robust and geared toward universities. Others, like Desire2Learn and SparkNotes, are designed for education at the K–12 level. All of them, though, are designed to help teachers create engaging online courses.

With an LMS, teachers can record video lectures and assignments in one place, allowing them to collaborate with students, communicate more easily, and track student progress. LMSs are convenient because they allow students to participate in online courses from their desks or mobile devices. Students can complete assignments and exams on their own schedule, rather than being forced to attend class or participate in a class at a particular time.

What is an Educational Technology Management System?

Some popular features of technology management systems include asset management, remote support, and security software. Some of the key features of an educational technology management system include:

- Ease of use: With an LMS, you might be creating a course from scratch, but with an E-Tailoring system, you can start with an existing course. With an E-Tailoring system, you don’t have to worry about finding the right documentation and templates to get your organization started.

- Security: An important part of managing your technology is protecting it from misuse. With an E-Tailoring system, you can find a system that helps keep your data safe. - Lower cost of implementation: With an LMS, you might be responsible for creating and managing the software, hiring tutors and instructors, and keeping everyone trained on new technology. With an E-Tailoring system, you can outsource some of these tasks.

- Flexibility: An essential part of managing your technology is adapting to changing needs. With an E-Tailoring system, you can change course formats as your organization evolves.

Differences Between LMS and E-Tailoring Software

When talking about the difference between an LMS and an E-Tailoring system, you might think they’re unrelated. But they aren’t quite as different as you might think.

- Functionality: LMSs are designed for online course creation, and E-Tailoring systems are more focused on managing technology assets.

- Cost: E-Tailoring systems are generally less expensive than LMSs.

- Implementation: LMSs are designed for a variety of devices, but E-Tailoring systems are used more for asset management and IT management.

- Scale: While LMSs can be scaled, the need to customize content for various devices and platforms makes scaling difficult.

- Extensibility: If a system is designed for extensibility, then it’s an E-Tailoring system.

Benefits of an E-Tailoring System

With an E-Tailoring system, you can save time and money by outsourcing certain administrative tasks. You can also more easily scale your technology, as you won’t need to customize content for a variety of devices and platforms. Your E-Tailoring system can also help you manage your technology more efficiently by providing asset management, remote support, and security. Some of the key benefits of an E-Tailoring system include:

- Save Time and Money: In addition to saving money on administration, outsourcing reduces wasted time. With online courses, a teacher’s workload is often increased as they have to do more hands-on work.

- Scale Your Technology: As you won’t need to customize content for different devices and platforms, you can scale your technology.

- Manage Your Technology More Efficiently: With an E-Tailoring system, you can keep track of your technology, manage assets, and keep your data secure.

Limitations of an E-Tailoring System

Though E-Tailoring systems can save time and money, they also come with limitations. For example, you can’t use an E-Tailoring system to create a full-featured LMS unless it also includes some type of technology management functions.