What appeals to me most when thinking about learning management systems is housing everything in one space so students don't have to hunt all over and switch between a variety of programs. The idea of a "home-based" website makes it possible to house everything in one place, even if learners are linking elsewhere for resources, surveys, content, etc. Google Drive is such a rich, practical and dynamic resource. I like the idea of using Google Forms as a way to learn about my students. The students could also develop surveys to ask questions of each other. Collaboration, mentoring and discussion could happen through Google Docs and discussions through the class blog. Students could take turns posing a question to which others would respond. What I like about website blogs (weebly, etc.) is how the layout is conversation-like.
My online teaching experience is, at present, limited. Non-existent, actually. What I'm most excited about is blending learning and using a learning management system to support personalized learning in my classroom. I'd like to use well-known and multi-use tools which work well with each other to develop community, enable authentic collaboration and facilitate meaningful discussion. I appreciate the way in which Weebly or Wix sites can provide a home-base to house links to Google Drive files.
Content & Organization
As far as organization goes, my priority is to present my dashboard and other pages in a clutter-free way. While I envision learning to look much like a twitter visualization (see an example below) - crazy, dynamic, unpredictable, connected - I would like my course organization to be free of unnecessary distraction. My reason for this is so that students can create their own sense of place within my course without being bombarded by my own design agenda. I don't want my learners to have to struggle to make sense of what I wish for them to pursue and explore. I'd like the design/organization of my course to inspire and personalize learning for my students. I don't wish for my students to enter my mind (which design, I think, can reflect). I wish to provide a space through which each student can be led to the threshold of her/his mind. (This last thought I borrowed, indirectly, from Kahlil Gibran).
My system to manage learning for my students would be visually appealing and less text heavy. I'd include videos and slideshows to attend to the multiple intelligences.
A Twitter Visualization
(A metaphor for learning?)
Evernote could also work for older students who have their own account. Each learner could be in charge of adding content and email me (the teacher) the link when s/he is ready to share.
Google Drive is another ePortfolio option, especially for older students who can have their own Google account.
*Note to self: as soon as I get my *own* class I will start these immediately at the beginning of the school year and teach the students to add to them regularly.
Assignments: I would use dropittome as an assignment dropbox. Handy, private and user-friendly.