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Blue Skies Thread, Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE in General; Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE Same as before question being asked across different forums ...
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    russdev's Avatar
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    Question Of The Week: How Do You Prepare For A VLE

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

    Same as before question being asked across different forums with names removed to protect the guilty.

    So how do you prepare for a VLE think about this not just from technical, but education and whole school issues as well..

    What do we as schools need to do make VLE's successful.

    Regards

    Russell

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

    Is this your sneaky way of getting everyone to do your homework again? :P

    1. Ease of Use for all users from Admin to students.
    2. Minimal cost implications.
    3. Access to create and use resources.
    4. Intergration with current and upcoming technologies

    (Just to start the ball rolling )

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

    Train the teachers.
    or they will use it as a powerpoint dumping ground and not really get the point of how to use VLE effectively.

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

    A good place to start might be to find out how many members of staff have electronic copies of the materials they are using to teach to gauge (sp?) the amount of typing required to put it all into the VLE or whether it can be a copy and paste / upload job.

    At my old school there wasn't a VLE as such, but instead SSL WebDAV access to the public shared area. So that way there was less of a difference between how users accessed files from the network and from home. Less training required that way.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    Is this your sneaky way of getting everyone to do your homework again? :P

    1. Ease of Use for all users from Admin to students.
    2. Minimal cost implications.
    3. Access to create and use resources.
    4. Intergration with current and upcoming technologies

    (Just to start the ball rolling )
    Deny it all......



    To be fair questions I come up with are often things I am currently thinking about or working on.

    You see half my job is to start ball rolling with these things and then someone takes over the project as it starts.

    Russ

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

    In my case I became interested in VLE's through this forum, and quickly became excited by the possibilities. I set a moodle site up in my own space, just to see how it worked, and managed to blagg some material from the NWGfL to put on the site. (If you visit the link you should have guest access to some of the DiDA and ICT courses). From following the posts here and keeping an eye on BECTA and the DFES I realized that they would soon become a requirement for schools, so I set about planning a strategy for getting staff involved.
    At the time I figured we'd go with Moodle, but things are moving rapidly now, and it seems as if we'll be using something based on Sharepoint. To me that doesn't matter, as first of all, it's the quality of the material delivered which is paramount.
    After populating parts of the site, and getting some teachers to use it during lessons as they saw fit, they saw it as a resource to draw on. One member of the ICT staff asked if her pupils could be given a logon just for one lesson to work at their own pace. I forgot to delete that account at the end of the day, and at the end of the month I got a bill from my ISP as I'd gone over my data transfer limit. I checked the logs in Moodle, and sure enough, the pupils were accessing the site from home.
    Our school has a group called ICTAC (ICT Across the Curriculum) which consists of one teacher from each faculty being responsible for the integration of ICT into and across, their subject. The Head of ICTAC was a teacher in ICT. I began by giving them access to the site and sending them emails, with links, points of interest. If I added anything new, they got an email, whether it was their faculty speciality or not. This process has been going on since January 2006.
    A new web/VLE server was purchased before last Christmas, and I've slowly been bulding a new Moodle site (you can't access it outside school yet) and transferring work, as well as being on the lookout for new stuff.

    What I did, I did on the hoof, but I've tried to take time out to analyse what worked, such as using the ICTAC staff, what could be done better, and how I could manage the massive change involved in getting a full blown VLE off the ground.

    Some of the points apply to VLE's managed in house, and those remotely hosted. Others only to in house. I've no experience of having a VLE remotely hosted so I can't speak for how you'd manage change in that situation.
    Staff need to have a point of contact they can turn to when problems arise. Some need to have their hand held all the way through.
    A VLE isn't the electronic equivalent of a lesson handout. You know, read this short passage and then answer the 10 questions. That's just a waste of everyone's time and effort.
    You're not going to get a VLE off the ground in a couple of months. It's a long term project. With normal school resources, you're talking a minimum of a year to 18 months before people get used to it.
    Managing a VLE properly will also become a full time job, possibly running in tandem with managing the school website. There are members on this forum, who manage to do both, as well as being techies. Any school with any pretence of wanting a full blown VLE is going to have to employ somebody full time.
    Think about the percentage of pupils who don't have computers at home. They're certainly at a disadvantage. How will you cater for them? After school clubs and possibly providing extra computers in libraries.
    Get to know you're chain of command, the weak links. Tell them, "If you've got a problem, come to me."
    Get staff to plan lessons as if they were going to deliver them electronically. Most of them have school laptops on which they draw up these plans anyway.
    It's not always the young staff who take to VLE's readily, but make allowances.
    Plan staff time out of lessons to attend instruction on managing their work space online.
    Develop central (online) areas where staff can collaborate on ideas.
    Provide them with perks, the ability to book rooms online, though not necessarily part of a VLE, is another method of directing thinking into an online menatlity.
    Always show them the benefits.

    I've rambled a bit as I'm writing this off the cuff. I hope I don't give the impression I'm obssesive.

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

    I hope I don't give the impression I'm obssesive.
    never. you raise some good points.

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

    Yes - agree with CyberNerd!

    Thanks very much for that beeswax

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

    Planning, planning, planning and planning. Also involving the right people.

    We've got a VLE in our school at the moment. I's a moodle installation hosted remotely. IMO it's poorly done, not maintained properly and its S L O W!

    The reason? Because it was implimented by the head of ICT in our school with very little involvement of us, or many other people in the school, so it became his little baby. Now we're planning to use a VLE to base a lot of the curriculum around, suddenly this task is a bit daunting for him, so we've been handed it, not that I mind really. Problem is I'm now faced with the task of moving the moodle installation from the off-site server to on-site servers and setting it up and getting it working properly. If it had been planned properly in the first place and the right people had been involved, it would have been done like this in the first place!

    Training is also vitally important. Most teachers won't have used one before, and will probably be warey of what they don't understand, so definitely some properly scheduled staff training to get the most out of the system is a must.

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

    I should have said that all that stuff above comes after you've decided which system you're going with. For some the choice is easy; you can't afford to pay for a VLE, so you (generally) go with Moodle. Others have the choice made for them by the LEA or whoever is running your school these days.
    VLE's can hit the buffers very quickly if you don't keep on top of them. It's very difficult for a techie to say to a teacher, "Look, you promised you'd produce x, y, and z for the VLE. Where is it?"
    We've all read here of the troubles encountered by techies when getting information off teachers for websites.
    I don't know, for instance, how VLE's will feature in school inspections.
    A VLE is an engine which can drive online learning forward. er, I think that's enough for now.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    You see half my job is to start ball rolling with these things and then someone takes over the project as it starts.
    Russ
    Are you being groomed for senior management

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

    VLE's can hit the buffers very quickly if you don't keep on top of them. It's very difficult for a techie to say to a teacher, "Look, you promised you'd produce x, y, and z for the VLE. Where is it?"
    This reminds me, one of the biggest problems we encountered was the two seemingly opposing teaching methods being pushed onto teachers. The white(elephant)board phenomena and VLE's often appear to be conflicting for teachers. Some of our departments are aggessively pushing staff to produce IWB resources that in general do not integrate easily into VLEs, thus the teachers are then required to produce the same work twice, once for VLE and once for IWB. This is mostly a problem with IWB software (promethean) who's resources save as zipped xml, but sadly not compliant with any standard known to man or VLE. I spoke to promethean who just came across as out of touch.

    IMO the best strategy to populating a VLE is to have it as the basis of interactive presentations - questionaires, flash etc and leave the IWB software for emergencies, this may get the teachers more onboard with VLE's.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by NetworkGeezer
    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    You see half my job is to start ball rolling with these things and then someone takes over the project as it starts.
    Russ
    Are you being groomed for senior management
    I resemble that remark ... erm .. I mean resent ... damn

    I'll get my coat.

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

    Lovely theme on your Moodle beeswax - did you make that yourself?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Lovely theme on your Moodle beeswax - did you make that yourself?
    I messed with another theme (can't remember which it is off the top of my head), tried to get some tones and stuff to fall in with the school website (click the link below). My view was that people might be on two separate sites, but they had to know they were related. I didn't want them hitting the VLE link on the website (I know there isn't one on the present site, but the revamp will have one) and bringing up something which looked completely alien.
    Ideally, I'm looking for a seamless experience (R) for our customers...sorry, I'm losing it here

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