East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC) Thread, LP+ Alternatives in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Thanks Tony, look forward to seeing the news on parental engagement.
Have you any experience of Frog? I've heard it's ...
16th March 2010, 12:41 PM #16
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Thanks Tony, look forward to seeing the news on parental engagement.
Have you any experience of Frog? I've heard it's expensive but it looks a lot easier to use than most VLE's.
16th March 2010, 04:28 PM #17
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I'm warmed and touched that my previous comments were obviously recieved in the manner they were intended. (blush)
I wouldn't begin to try and sway anyone from doing due diligence over the growing multidude of products in this area, but I'm aware of how limited time is for non-resident techs and how scary unfamiliar technology can be for teaching staff. Frog (and others mentioned above/below) provide locally hosted solutions, which inevitably represent extra overhead - they have to be set up and integrated into the local network, plus whatever nursing or modifying that comes along. Frog in particular don't (currently) provide an off-the-shelf solution for primaries but suggest that local secondaries host and support the platform for their feeder schools, kind of acknowledging the skills and support gap between primary and big school. It's a high spec product with value-added like their own remote access system onto the school network - and anyone who's tried to get ports opened in Northamptonshire fill in their "rejected by Tony" story here - but probably not something many smaller schools might really need.
Last word, because I really don't want to wear out the welcome mat, especially with a my size 11 carbon footprint. Local hosted solutions aren't going to help anyone save the planet - see what I did there? - but seriously, it's not just the setup and maintenance but the whole running cost, servers left running all day everyday, plus extra stress attached to things like additional local backups ...
As Tony's said elsewhere, it all depends what a school wants to do and what they can support. Northamptonshire picked a broad church solution with "enable", but there is some virtue in being a common denominator. It suits the needs of many...
... which, as we all know, outweigh the needs of the one.
And now I'm off to polish my shrine to St. Shatner.
16th March 2010, 05:19 PM #18
Thankfully after a sit down with most of my schools most of them have agreed that sticking with LP+ will be the best way forward - especially whilst they can currently get the training they need for nothing.
I do have a couple of stick in the muds though which I'll speak with Tony about directly after I try again after Easter.
I will echo some school's comments though that they felt very much over a barrel about the whole situation and don't have a great deal of choice as a result, but needs must - there are requirements that need to be met and going unprepared will punish those who feel complacent about it.
16th March 2010, 05:20 PM #19
The event will be on 28th April and we are just getting the booking system sorted out with LASI at the moment.
Frog can be really good too ... but is a tad more than people expect ... mainly because they, like LP+, do more strategy work to make sure you know what you really want it for.
I worry that some schools might end up as platform hoppers until they find something 'easy' rather than spending time working out what they want ... and that applies to pretty much all platforms / VLEs.
17th March 2010, 11:49 AM #20
With schools in Northants exploring their options we have had quite a few enquiries from primary schools in the area about our platform. As a result of this we have demo'd to a few schools in the area who have signed up. If you would like a login to a demo account or would like to speak to a local school using DB Primary please PM me.
18th March 2010, 08:14 AM #21
I was told yesterday by my head that all the special schools in the county have written to Branda Scoble complaining about lack of training regarding LP+.
If they want more training or something easier to use I don't know.
Last edited by themanfromict; 18th March 2010 at 09:30 AM.
18th March 2010, 09:25 AM #22
Does anyone know anything about an LP+ event (demo/talk/conference ?) in Corby next week? Someone from Southfield mentioned it in passing to me...
18th March 2010, 10:42 AM #23
A few quick updates then ... (would have done this earlier but an eye test got in the way ... it was good to hear the optician tell me that I need to continue wearing my shades as much as possible ... see, it is not just me being cool!)
Yep, the letter that has gone out from LP+ to schools is not a bill from the LA but a quote from LP+. Thanks for the chat about this earlier, Neil .. much appreciated.
The events next week are the LP+ roadshows.
Wed 24th, 9.00 - 11.30 : Holiday Inn, Corby
Wed 24th, 13.00 - 15.30 : Knuston Hall, Irchester
Thurs 25th, 9.00 - 11.30 : Hellidon Lakes, Daventry
Thurs 25th, 13.00 - 15.30 : Silverstone Study Centre, Silverstone Circuit
Contact details for these is email@example.com
The details of this was on the Schools Factsheet the other week so info had gone out to schools.
18th March 2010, 11:03 AM #24
Just to take this slightly OT for a moment but I thought I would raise a few points ... not against anything anyone in particular has said and not so much in defence of LP+, but in defence about Learning Platforms in general.
Yes, for some schools when you look at the cost per head of students it can be expensive ... but that is sometimes the case for many things in special schools or other small schools. If you spread the cost of a file server across the number of kids you have in the school that would make use of it then there are time when small infant schools would wonder why they ever need one.
The secret is what technology is used for ... a file server doesn't just store kids' files, but does many other things too ... the same can be said for learning platforms.
Most platforms / VLEs / MLEs can be used for a heck of a lot more than just delivery learning objects / resources to kids ... other sharepoint users can point out that things like group work spaces for departments to share resources, minutes, discussions, resources in a single place can be really good. Heck, MS use this as one of the selling points for collaboration via sharepoint and yet I see few people in education talking about it. Similar tools can found in other solutions too ... using moodle as a social resource can be really good, especially when you tie it into file shares. The main difference between Moodle and some other system (sharepoint, Frog, Fronter) is the meta-tagging of resources can be so much better.
It is down to the idea of using it as a management tool and the simplest way i have seen of using platforms / VLEs for that is the use of a governors' portal. A single, secure place where documents and information can be shared ... no more emailing files to a personal email address (and governors will get some pretty sensitive info), minutes of meetings, they can have discussions before the meetings to check information and opinions out (wow ... online communities seem to be considered a good thing atm!)
So ... the cost of a learning platform should just be measured by per head of student ... unfortunately, however, that is how funding is based in schools.
Whatever platform / VLE you use ... always look at getting the most out of it. Resource booking, FAQs for users, helpdesk, student voice ...
18th March 2010, 09:48 PM #25
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I'm giving a brief talk about our school site at a couple of the roadshows next week (Irchester and S'stone) as we've been using LP+ for a while now. I'm sure it will also be a sales-pitch from LP+ too, but it seems like a good chance to come along and see what is on offer - especially for those schools that haven't yet made a choice. I'm certainly not into sales, but we find that LP+ suits our needs and the backup from the support desk is excellent.
If your school is still unsure, I'd encourage you to send someone along to one of these dates.
I'm sure that there are a fair few schools in for a shock when they realise what is expected of them in the next couple of years. My wife's school staff have no idea what a VLE is - LP+? What's that then??
19th March 2010, 07:16 AM #26
I've already emailed the dates over to 2 schools of mine that I'm a bit worried about - one of which hasn't even looked into it whatsoever, and I want to ensure they don't end up with a bit of a shock; not because they haven't received all the bumph about it, just because it gets filed under "I'll look at it when I have time - perhaps in 2014"
Thankfully have already got 2 schools also with really good LP+ sites set up to most of their full potential which they're happy to let me use as an example. However neither have said that it's down to LP+ having trained them in the arts, they've had to get off their backsides and do it all themselves, with plenty of calls to LP+ to keep asking and prompting them "how do I..."
I suspect they might change for the better when they do have to charge, otherwise they'll certainly be ignored in an open marketplace.
29th March 2011, 04:02 PM #27
But isn't LearnAnywhere moodle with their own addons? We've got webanywhere coming in tomorrow to have a closer look at their SIMS integration module for Moodle as a direct replacement for SLG
Worth noting that one of the biggest reasons for VLE's was online reporting which is no longer a requirement. However, after seeing just how much good a VLE can do in a school environment, it's definitely worth getting right!
29th March 2011, 05:16 PM #28
Ah gotcha. Will probably find out for ourselves tomorrow
29th March 2011, 05:55 PM #29
A quick comment on the 'online reporting is no longer a requirement' bandwagon a few have jumped on (including a number of VLE providers who should know better), the requirement was for Parental Engagement and online reporting was a key tool in this.
It is worth pointing out that parental engagement is still a requirement, whether through technology or otherwise, and many schools which are highlighted as outstanding around the country use parental engagement, including online reporting, to make a difference.
30th March 2011, 02:01 PM #30
Indeed - and it's still surprises me how many people only hear/see what they want to hear/see. With the tools out there and seeing what it can do, it really isn't worth avoiding any more. The positive impact it's had so far at our school is astonishing!
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