Educational Software Thread, Do you have a staff forum and how do they use it? in Technical; Planning a staff discussion forum for interdepartmental discussions. Centrally hosted (phpbb). Trying to weigh up benefits. If your school runs ...
23rd November 2012, 11:44 AM #1
- Rep Power
Do you have a staff forum and how do they use it?
Planning a staff discussion forum for interdepartmental discussions. Centrally hosted (phpbb). Trying to weigh up benefits. If your school runs one, how much is it used and what do staff use it for?
23rd November 2012, 12:24 PM #2
Have long thought about doing something along the same lines here - with DirectAccess (seamless VPN) setup as well now it would be as easy as anything for our staff to get to it.
I think a key factor in it being a success or not would be does it work with single sign or or will they have to remember yet another username and password to get into it....
Either way would love to see how this thread develops.
23rd November 2012, 12:37 PM #3
You could always do what we do with our emails.
Originally Posted by jamesfed
Email login and network logins, while 2 seperate entities, are the same.
Same username, same password. Different authentication server. [Which they don't see.]
I was thinking about a school/lea forum... I even mentioned it to one of our [used to be] lea techs.
An Edugeek-y section for all the techs to flag issues, a teacher section to discuss subject stuff with other schools [sort of like "How do you do it" here], maybe even a section for students to talk with each other.
You could also open it up a bit more, so that parents can sign up as well. Seeing as it's [non-instant] message based and has the option of sending a PM, it could be useful for parents to ask about things if they can't get into the school for a specific time. [Or for a pupil to say something confidentially... possibly.]
23rd November 2012, 01:43 PM #4
Do you have a staff forum? Yes
and how do they use it? They don't
23rd November 2012, 01:48 PM #5
Staff (and students) here use Google Groups.
Google Groups can be used as both a mailing list (with instant emails) and as a group. It has the best of both worlds because we can centrally manage 'static' mailing lists/groups but also allow staff to create their own 'dynamic' groups. If staff want no email, a daily digest or instant email they can choose. There are extensive permissions such as moderated posts which you can assign administratively.
or just use it like a mailing list
23rd November 2012, 01:52 PM #6
I hate mailing lists, they are so needy, even with a daily digest as there is no escape unless you manually stop it. There is also no edit button and no privacy of email addresses. Its so 1996.
Originally Posted by CyberNerd
Anyway we had a forum, went nowhere as the idea of teachers sharing instead of being competitive just did not fly.
Last edited by SYNACK; 23rd November 2012 at 01:54 PM.
23rd November 2012, 01:58 PM #7
Thats still how the majority of teachers will communicate by emailing a list or group. The big advantage here is that you can 'email' to the forum - those used to email will continue to use it as they have always done and those used to forums will use it as such. Of course Google groups will allow you to hide your address if you set it. Theres some more info here:
Originally Posted by SYNACK
23rd November 2012, 02:01 PM #8
Yup, about right, I spent some considerable time setiing up a phpBB forum after a massive planning day between all our schools where they screamed out for a forum to be able to share ideas.
Originally Posted by mavhc
Set up authentication to our AD, sent several mass emails, put it in our staff magazine and after 6 months only 5 out of 200 users have bothered to login!
Will be re-claiming that space in the near future I think.
23rd November 2012, 02:14 PM #9
Ours has been available since about April and has never been used.
23rd November 2012, 02:18 PM #10
lol .. big surprise!
Originally Posted by mavhc
I installed one about 6 months ago and ran thru it with SLT. Initially they 'didnt really see any use for it' but then they got into further duscussion and started coming up with what they could put on there, appearing to get quite excited about the prospects, and knowing it could be accessed by all staff from all rooms etc.
"OK, we'll discuss it in our next SLT meeting" - I didnt hold out any hope. Two months later, after not hearing another word about it, I took it down. Its never been questioned or raised since.
23rd November 2012, 02:23 PM #11
Why do you guys think nobody uses your forums? I'd bet its like I said in my previous post that ours are well used because staff can just use email to interact with them.
We have 213 groups in our forum and 145 are regularly used.
23rd November 2012, 02:33 PM #12
Ours is just a forum on fronter in the Staff "room", it's not that well promoted, I just added it and put a link on the page.
A specific forum we added to do a staff consultation was used, so they know how to use them, it's probably equal parts: no one uses fronter, there's no email interface (people in general do understand email, even if no one can quote properly anymore), lack of time, inclination, no critical mass.
23rd November 2012, 02:37 PM #13
We use the Moodle built in forums. Not used much, but certain discussions are purposely directed there, and it needed no setup or anything as it used the existing system. Obviously very basic in forum terms, but then do you need all the features of phpbb?
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