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Blue Skies Thread, Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE in General; As a school you need to decide if your VLE is to be used for active learning, distance learning, collaborative ...
  1. #16

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    As a school you need to decide if your VLE is to be used for active learning, distance learning, collaborative learning, assessment, for differentiated learning or more than likely a combination of all the above.

    As a school we created a development plan with regards to TALMOS which is our chosen VLE. These are the steps we have taken so far:

    We have chosen 3 departments to LEAD the school on the implementation of our VLE, the 3 departments chosen are the three we feel to be at an advantage stage of collation of electronic resource sharing within the department already (a sharing culture is a must for a successful VLE).

    All classrooms ideally will need a whiteboard / mounted projector and a dedicated teaching computer to aid the delivery of content within lessons.

    In order for a VLE to be successful there needs to be complete support from all staff. This begins at the top with the leadership of the school; the senior management have a vital role to the play in helping to change the learning and teaching culture of staff.

    Teaching staff will need to know the most about how the VLE works etc, but other groups of staff within the school need some training and awareness training also:

    Support staff (Cover Supervisors, Classroom Assistants) will need to be familiar with how learners use the VLE in order to help support them

    Technical Support staff need to be aware what the VLE does and how teaching staff are expected to use it in order to make sure the school network supports rather than hinders usage

    Budget holders may not need to know too much about operating the VLE, but they do need to be aware of its potential for supporting teaching and learning, the financial demands that hardware, software and training will make in the long term and the best ways to maximise potential

    All teaching staff will have at least one day of VLE Training. Some teaching staff will need to be convinced of the value of a VLE, at least after the initial training session some may become really enthused and start to use the VLE regularly without any other prompting.

    Through the LEAD departments training will then be cascaded to another 3 departments in the next stage of implementation and so on until the whole school has been trained in house by members of staff from the LEAD departments.

    Incentives may need to be offered to get some departments off the ground with the VLE, e-Learning Credits for example could be used to purchase ready made content for the VLE in the first instance for some departments with very little electronic resources already created - VLE's with content already added is also a good incentive to sell to staff.

    Being able to access the VLE from home is also I feel a key priority for both staff and students, however I personally feel student access should not be rolled out until all teaching staff are on board and comfortable in using the VLE.

    As a conclusion I feel it will take between 2 - 4 years as a realistic time frame to get a fully working VLE setup within a school although the initial 6 months will be the most crucial.

    Sorry for the long winded post........

  2. #17

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Erm ... preparing for a VLE?

    Join a LA based working group looking at what should be purchased on behalf of the LA schools, see quite a number of them in action, get feedback from other LAs / Schools abot what they have done so far, prepare an SoR, whilst that is being dealt with have the LA consultancy team continue to prepare an implementation strategy aimed at a number of early adopters that can build ideas that can be rolled out to other schools.

    The last bit is a little hazy as it is being worked on by others within the group and once they have the nugget of the plan it will be thrashed out between the group.

    So ... shortening the process ...

    1. work out that what we have doesn't cut the mustard
    2. join an LA based group looking at the whole LP thing
    3. Sit back and let others do the work ...

    erm ...

    Did I say that last bit out loud?

    Damn ... I'll get my coat.

  3. #18
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Our approach is one step at a time.

    We started with the student area that gives them their assessment, attendance and curriculum data (with a tandem one for staff).

    This has got our students used to logging on to the website out of hours - particularly when we introduced blogs, buddies and simple email for them as a reason for logging on.

    We are now working on the resource side of it which is basically a document management system but with add ons like resource schduleing, tagging to particular units, topics, lessons etc.

    This is not going to be done centrally, but in true web 2.0 style it is going to be collaboration between staff within departments where every member of staff can upload resources within a structure defined by the department.

    We are training and developing with just one or two departments at a time, giving support for training and any development the system needs to meet requirements and ideas coming from those departments.

  4. #19
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Dare I suggest the Becta Learning Platform matrix? Along with the ICT SEF matrix it helps with the all important planning.

    clicky

    Look under the ICT Infrastructure heading, about halfway down the page.

    The South West Grid produced some guidance for our schools that includes the hows and whys. Download for Primary and Secondary from here . The SWGfL bits won't apply to other areas, but from page 20 (Stages on the Journey) of the guidance, the advice could be applied to any school.

    HTH!

  5. #20

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Until you have the teachers in the mindset of actually doing something for themselves without having it done for them then i fear the VTLE,s which are chosen are bound to fail.

    until a company comes up with all the resources that are needed and wanted by the teachers then it is doomed from the start no matter which VTLE you chose to go with.

    I have had a look at all types of VTLE's (Virtual Teaching and Learning Environments new spin on the acronym) and they are far reaching, some better than others in the way the end user interacts but alas i fear that there is still something missing for some teachers.

    on a good and positive note i was at a Talmos Brittanica VTLE conference last week and watched first hand a lesson being taught from the VTLE. The teacher who incidentally was leading the way with Talmos showed us the structure of building the lesson and setting the schedule for this particular class. Really good in the way the software integrated with Sims but it was not dynamic so a change in the students classes would have to be updated by hand or the click of a button. Then there was the content which i must consisted of a video clip (not sure about copyright here) which had been obtained from a DVD and some text relating to some questions about the video clip. To gather this content must have taken all of 10 mins showing that it could be done in a tight schedule to which all teaching staff are accustomed to.

    The point I am making is that not all teachers are concerned over using technology and quite frankly some don't want it and actively dig their heels in just to make a point. I feel until it is written into teachers contracts of employment that they have to undergo a set amount of training time using various forms of technology whilst doing their teaching practise then nothing is going to change.

  6. #21

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    While doing some research into the very same question myself I came across this document http://ferl.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?page=390

    Not strictly aimed at secondary schools, however a lot of it is common sense. Sometimes it helps having it written down in a document to bring to the attention of people who think they know best.

  7. #22


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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    until a company comes up with all the resources that are needed and wanted by the teachers then it is doomed from the start no matter which VTLE you chose to go with.
    There are already a few good SCORM complaint free resources available. Now what would be a good idea is that if teachers actually produced some resources (did what they are paid to do) and shared them with others (the point of teaching being spreading knowledge) tehn we wouldn't need to rely on buying resources. Even in our school there are a couple of teachers who aren't lazy f***wits.

  8. #23

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    CyberNerd: couldn't agree with you more but they may turn that around in the fact that they gave up 25 admin duties and they could always say that this is an admin task eh! you know what some teachers are like.

    BTW I actually had a quote from one teacher who had been in the teaching profession 30 years and told me to my face "why should i share what has taken me thirty years to acquire with some newly qualified teacher" well nuff said on that. I must add that not all teachers are sanctimonious old farts with blinkered approaches to others.

  9. #24
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Same issue here really, we have a moodle server under construction and I decided to get aa department to test it for me to see how they get on. After spending 3 hours showing them through the VLE all aspects of course creations and other modules they say "Can't we stick up a link to MEtro Electro and be done with it?". Grrrr......no you are meant to design content for it for the pupils, "when are we going to have time to do that". VLE's will just become an expensive white elephant because most teachers will not create content.

    You may still be able to access our VLE here http://193.122.27.47 I can't check it from here as we can not go out and then back into our firewall.

  10. #25

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    on a good and positive note i was at a Talmos Brittanica VTLE conference last week and watched first hand a lesson being taught from the VTLE. The teacher who incidentally was leading the way with Talmos showed us the structure of building the lesson and setting the schedule for this particular class. Really good in the way the software integrated with Sims but it was not dynamic so a change in the students classes would have to be updated by hand or the click of a button. Then there was the content which i must consisted of a video clip (not sure about copyright here) which had been obtained from a DVD and some text relating to some questions about the video clip. To gather this content must have taken all of 10 mins showing that it could be done in a tight schedule to which all teaching staff are accustomed to.
    As you have said David really likes the use of TALMOS but it is the bringing on of the whole school which is likely to be the major stumbling block for all VLE's as you have said. We have chosen TALMOS here as well, but it would be interesting to see the use of TALMOS across the whole school from all departments.

    From all the VLE's and VTLE's that I have seen in other schools TALMOS was certainly the best from both a Teacher and Student point of view, up to now they have been flexible with requests for changes etc. The Senoir Management need to as you have said ensure that all teachers are given the chance to attend mandatory training sessions so they have no excuse not to use the system. Hopefull once our 3 lead departments start using it, and see the benefit it will cascade throughout the school.

    TALMOS have assured us that as of september it will be dynamic and will have 'right back' features to the SIMS database to update attendance / assesment data etc.

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    I can't really specifically talk about any single vendor I have spoken with or seen at the moment but be aware that there are a few different methodologies for using LPs (Learning Platforms).

    Some are aimed at document and resource storage to aid the teacher deliver a lesson, some are aimed at learners following specified routes as part of courses ...

    Basically ... you have student driven and teacher driven ... I have yet to see a solution where I was happy that there was sufficient balance between both models.

    The first model suits the 'old guard' of teachers who want students to absorb knowledge from them ... the latter suits those that want students to work independantly with no teachers around.

    Neither model is completely suitable in most present-day school environments so the methods that teachers and students use to teach and learn need to adapt.

    How you get people to adapt and what will be the outcome is a more important part of the discussion than what vendor to use ... once you have worked out which way you want your school to teach/learn then you can choose your platform. Doing it the other way round is like picking a type of medicine out of the pharmacist's catalogue and then deciding how you are going to produce it (only having a rudimentary level of chemical engineering), who you are going to treat with it and what it is actually going to cure.

    Discuss ...

  12. #27


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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Some are aimed at document and resource storage to aid the teacher deliver a lesson, some are aimed at learners following specified routes as part of courses ...
    Sounds like a web mashup of all these different approaches would be a good idea, moodle for VLE, Eduspaces for collaboration, Alfresco for document management, Zimbra for email. I wonder how hard it would be to tie some of these together and let the teachers/learners have all.

  13. #28

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    This is a very difficult question and one that has been discussed many times in the Moodle forums. "Russdev" correctly, in my opinion, uses the word "VLE" rather than pointing to a specific VLE. Anyway. To answer some of the points already made:

    a) a dumping ground for files doesn't, to my mind, constitute a VLE.
    b) a VLE should be accessible via the net ie everywhere.

    Now to be more positive and answer the original question....

    a) get the senior staff FULLY on board. Not just ticking a few boxes to say that they have a VLE. Make sure that they realise that it is the first part of a revolution in education. One of the problems we have had, and it will happen everywhere, is the the senior staff are generally set in their ways. Powerpoint is often their limit.

    b) get evangelists in every department. This tends to be the young and enthusiastic ones. Let them filter the new techniques down to other members of the department.

    c) training is critical. We were very early in the VLE arena but now, in Cumbria and Lancashire, training is free to all Moodle users. Within school we have regular updates and sessions on specific aspects of the VLE.

    d) expand the horizons. Persuade staff that if pupils are using new communication techniques (forums, blogs, wikis, etc) they also ought to be. "Cybernerd" mentioned that there might be a split between the VLE and the Whiteboard users. Not true. Capture the whiteboard (I think as avi) and then convert it to something that will run on the VLE. Replay it anywhere.

    e) get students involved. I may regret this but one of our students is designing a new "graffiti" type logo for a new theme. Year 9's are playing with "Scratch" which allows them a little bit of programming of games whilst they are actually learning about control. They have control over a Wiki with examples. With Moodle roles you can create a trustee student who can monitor the forums.

    f) for the less enthusiastic departments buy in some teaching materials. Eventually they will want to customise/improve it.

    g) this is the most difficult - get teachers to SHARE!!! Which is easier getting a 1000 Maths teachers to create one question each or 1 teacher to create 1000 questions? Often it seems to be the last Persuade them that they can save themselves time and effort if they co-operate.

  14. #29


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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    "Cybernerd" mentioned that there might be a split between the VLE and the Whiteboard users. Not true. Capture the whiteboard (I think as avi) and then convert it to something that will run on the VLE. Replay it anywhere.
    A good idea, but is this easy to do for average teacher? - flash export might be better than avi - what with codec problems. still requires creating vle page, text etc. I was thinking a better approach would be the other way around - have the interactivity on the VLE in the first place with quizzes flash movies etc.

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    Re: Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    Until you have the teachers in the mindset of actually doing something for themselves without having it done for them then i fear the VTLE,s which are chosen are bound to fail.

    until a company comes up with all the resources that are needed and wanted by the teachers then it is doomed from the start no matter which VTLE you chose to go with.
    I will know have to kill you for using that term hate rm for using it to be fare to them they are dropping in the next version...



    Russ

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