Course Management System vs. Learning Management System

A hot topic in today’s 21st century districts continues to be the learning management system and how it is being used in and out of the classroom. In alignment with the current trend of districts moving to 1:1 and BYOD environments, districts are taking a look at their Course and Learning Management Systems to determine if they are meeting the necessary learning objectives for their teachers and students promoting 21st century teaching and learning. Throughout these conversations, I have noticed that most educators are using the term Learning Management Systems (LMS) when they are referring to Course Management Systems (CMS). This is an easy mistake to make that I have made myself when referring to systems like Moodle, Google Classrooms, Schoology, Canvas, Desire2Learn, etc. Are these systems really Learning Management Systems or are they indeed a Course Management System – or even do some bridge the divide between the two?

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