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Educational Software Thread, Class Server Information Please! in Technical; Hello. I am starting a new job in a school soon who want / need a VLE and that will ...
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    dagza's Avatar
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    Class Server Information Please!

    Hello.

    I am starting a new job in a school soon who want / need a VLE and that will be a big part of my job (from a curriculum point of view > I'm a teacher). I am a moodle man myself but they have sharepoint / class server for free (they are MS sponsored). Obviously I want the best for the kids and staff.

    Is class server actually a VLE as such? I'm starting to think it is an intranet / file sharing / groupware solution. Could anybody give me a run down on it please? Along the lines of:

    What does it do?
    What doesn't it do?
    Do the kids like it?
    Do the staff like it?

    I have got some info from these forums but the MS site is just management speak.

    If anybody would like to point me to some screen caps to bring clarity then that would be great. If anybody wishes to be a real saint and give me a log on then that would be superb but I understand the implications in such a request

    Thanks

    Darren

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    Class server is a VLE. We have it. Its basically an electronic version of paper, for tests and assignments.

    You make multiple choice, fill in the blank, match the pairs questions, all with information and links to resources around them. You then give it out to students, they log in, complete it, the server marks it for you, it comes back to the teacher's screen with all the grades.

    If its used by many departments it can be ideal for homeworks.

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    Its one of the solutions we're considering for our VLE (as part of the MS Learning Gateway with Exchange and Sharepoint Portal) along with Digital Brain and Moodle. I have to say, the idea of a single sign on for everything is appealing. We've got an appointment with a company called Phoenix to come in and demo it for us.

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    Wow, where have you moved to Darren?

    If you are using Class Server then going for the Learning Gateway is the best option.

    Have a chat with M$ for a partner in your area to chat with about it ... I'll PM the contact details of who to speak to at M$ if you need them.

    Learning Gateway can be set up on your own ... but takes some doing and it all depends on how good your people are. Introduce your people to this humble bunch and we'll see what can be cooked up.

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    dagza's Avatar
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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    Norphy - Thanks for the info. I must say I have not heard one single good thing about digital brain. As for moodle we have this authenticating against our windows server with ldap so single sign on is easy and possible.

    Tony - That would be great. The school is in Durham (Durham Johnston) and the network manager knows his stuff.

    What's the difference between class server and learning gateway anybody? Also, researching this further, it seems the MS VLE is very strong on intergration, data and assessment but I have not found a single thing on how it supports learning in the sense of intergrated activities. I guess you can upload documents for kids to download but does it have any built in content tools?

    TIA

    Darren

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    http://www.microsoft.com/uk/educatio...teway/schools/

    Class Server is one of the back end parts of Learning Gateway ... used with the other parts (see the technical section on the above link) it forms a very powerful, integrated solution for schools ... but still relies on teachers creating content and materials designed for the specific courses they are running.

    There are VLEs out there that will have ready made courses ... but some of them are nowhere near as good as some of the things you create and give away for free ...

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    Quote Originally Posted by dagza
    Norphy - Thanks for the info. I must say I have not heard one single good thing about digital brain. As for moodle we have this authenticating against our windows server with ldap so single sign on is easy and possible
    My experimental Moodle is authenticating users against AD using LDAP but unless I've missed something (which is entirely possible) you still have to sign in manually. As least with an MS solution you know it will automatically authenticate. I know that wouldn't be a problem for some students but I also know that it would be for just as many. As for Digital Brain, I agree, its awful. The only reason we're considering it is because its Beds LEA's recommended solution and we've already had it for a year. However its universally hated and reviled by almost all of our staff and I don't think they're giving much serious thought to renewing.

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    Re: Class Server Information Please!

    We have the Learning Gateway and Class Server installed here. The Gateway is used a hell of a lot by students for all sorts of things, email, discussion boards, aaccessing owrk, rsources etc. Class server is only relly being used by the ICT dept at the moment though, its not filtered through to the others yet. Its our first year using both so afte this current school year we my find other staff using it with ICT staff doing some dept training.

    Any specific questions email or PM me.

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