Like many K-12 districts and campuses still using the ANGEL LMS, Hamilton Southeastern Schools recently found themselves at a crossroads. Faculty and staff enjoyed the familiarity and robust nature of ANGEL, but a new iPad initiative and emphasis on technology adoption and innovation led the district to evaluate their options and determine a next step.
“About a year ago, our district began planning a one-to-one tablet initiative,” said Jeff Harrison, Director of Educational Technologies at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. “We had to make sure the LMS selected after ANGEL would be elegantly designed but still powerful enough for our 1,200 teachers and 20,000 students.”
After an LMS evaluation that included My Big Campus, Edmodo, and Brainhoney, the district selected Blackboard Learn to replace ANGEL. “The other systems just didn’t do the things we were accustomed to,” said Harrison. “Plagiarism detection, post-first discussion boards and other inspired-by-ANGEL features were just things that our teachers needed to have, and it quickly became clear that Blackboard was the best partner to move us forward.”
“We’re really excited to roll out Mobile Learn with our iPad initiative,” continued Harrison. “The iPad application for students is fantastic, and when we saw that Blackboard had a mobile grading experience for teachers on their product roadmap, it was icing on the cake.”
While Mobile Learn will be a core tool for teachers and students in the district, Blackboard Collaborate will primarily be used for professional development, allowing departments and staff to exchange best practices and engage in training initiatives without ever leaving their respective campuses.
“It’s a great tool, especially now that Blackboard Collaborate has a mobile component for iPad, iPhone and Android devices,” said Harrison. “We are more excited than ever with the technologies and tools available to us, even though a move away from ANGEL was bittersweet.”
Hamilton Southeastern Schools finalized their move to Blackboard Learn for the fall 2013 term. They join Indian Hills Community College, Hilbert College, DeSales University, North Central Michigan College, Bowie State University, Lindsey Wilson College and a growing number of ANGEL schools that have completed the transition.
Want to learn more about a migration from ANGEL to Blackboard Learn? Join an upcoming Blackboard Learn Migration Cohort.