Well in the same boat, LEA has decided that is the approved choice & trying to get as many people in on it as possible. Most annoying thing I heard though was the project leader admitted that the other systems were technically better but Uniservity have thrown in a lot of consultation, training and support so their solution makes more sense. Apparently.
In my mind that smacks of them not negotiating with the other companies to get training thrown in.
& if I ever get to see a Uniservity rep I just have to ask them why they seem to advertise with designs created in MS Paint or by blind one legged ferrets?
We shall see if we end up in Interesting Times.
Another thing came to mind late this afternoon, and that is the 14 to 19 Diplomas secondary schools will be undertaking. This means pupils traveling to different schools for various parts of their education, and I would have thought that singing from the same VLE was desirable. Of the five schools involved in the north of our LEA, two have signed up with FrogTeacher, one uses Moodle, a fourth doesn't seem to have anything at all, not even a website, and our school, which has Moodle up and running, but is waiting, as are the teaching staff, for a final decision on which way we are going to go. I've been told that the final choice is down to the Head of ICT and me, but as this choice is limited to Moodle or Uniservity, despite making our views known on which VLE we preferred (Scholaris) .
Form what i am seeing go for moddle. I have used moodle and its ace, managed to intergrate with AD as well (after many hours of messing around)
Our LA seems to be looking at this separately from the main primary and secondary school VLE. I went to a technical meeting with some LA bods and some consultants from the company which is supposed to be organising the single-sign-on set up for it. Of all the schools in the LA, only 2 showed up - me and someone I dragged along from another school. With apathy like that I have serious doubts about the infrastructure being set up in time.
Originally Posted by beeswax
From what I could gather they were thinking that individual schools might have their own VLE (read: moodle) instances with pupils connecting to courses from different schools via a customised "portal" (gak) front page. Why not have a central 14-19 moodle instance? I'm guessing because they don't want to take on the maintenance and would rather the schools did it. Hooray.
The Uniservity demonstration was similarly ill attended, with possibly three of the thirteen secondary schools showing up. There was a second "sitting" of the VLE in the afternoon, so maybe more people turned up. When our NM phoned the various schools' NM's they said they knew nothing about it, though the email invite I saw had all the secondary schools cc'd in. Perhaps these heads weren't interested, and having spent £thousands on their own VLE in some cases, as they were far sighted enough to realize that they had to get moving on this, chose to ignore their siren calls. The problem now is that we'll have a Tower-of-Babel-Aftermath scenario with everyone speaking a different language.
@ Sahmeepee: I know what you mean about setting up a Moodle site for the 14-19 Diploma pupils, but it goes against the grain to have to set up another VLE for something that is in actual fact day to day school education, and could be accomplished if everyone had a common platform. I think adding another tier just complicates matters.
Frog and PARS
Following on from previous threads... PARS (TASC Software) and FROG do work together - please give the PARS support desk a ring to discuss. Cant go into too much detail about our partnership on a forum however please feel free to speak to the office so we can explain further. Cant identify you and obviously speak to many people in your area.
.... I am the training officer for PARS if you dont recognise my name.
We are not using frog though....
I'm new to UniServity with a story not unlike that of others here. Persons on high have deemed this worthwhile. I'm unsure what background work was done before deciding on UniS and if any other products were considered.
I've stepped into an instructional tech position midstream and found this program dead in the water so far this academic year. As I've begun to gauge teacher interest, I'm finding their interest quite low.
Is anyone out there still using this? Having success with it? For us, people aren't teaching online classes. They're being asked to teach their traditional classroom-based courses and incorporate this, which many find frustrating as they have limited access to computers.
How did you get teacher buy-in?
Anyone have schools that eventually abandoned UniS?
If you do a search for Uniservity on Edugeek you may find some more answers o help you out.
The Uniservity platform has all but been abandoned in our LEA. The three schools who went with Fronter, the previous LEA 'best of breed' have been left to their own fate, and the current flavour of the month is Assimilate from Ramesys, and as this is part of the package from the winning BSF bid in our LEA I fully expect that this is what we'll eventually (09/2010) be going with.
dsummar, patience is the key. I've been responsible for it at my school for a little under 3yrs now and its a slow process selling the idea to colleagues. I set up small working groups (10-12 staff) of interested staff and then used a trickle feed / cascade training model
during the recent snow days we have had, staff put work up for students to do - in 4 days, we had almost 13000 hits, with an average of 7 subjects per student accessed
all the VLEs on offer are much of a muchness I have found. this one offers the collaborative aspect of learning, and is good from a learning and teaching point of view
have a look at our site if you would like - search for Maiden Erlegh School on www.School-Portal.co.uk**** (I'm in the process of redesigning our homepage so ignore that bit!!)
Couldn’t agree more with both the above statements. Your site it very impressive pazman and shows it is possible to build something decent with Uniservity. It does however underline the three most important things about a VLE; Content, Content, Content. It does not matter how good (or expensive) the underlying platform is, if the content is poor it will not be used.
Originally Posted by pazman
My biggest gripe with Uniservity is that it is hosted off site. We have nearly a terabyte of student data on our servers. Imagine if that is all placed into “e-portfolios” that can only be accessed via a broadband link! Our LEA has bought into Uniservity and I understand are looking at giving schools 1GB links so they can cope! Fortunately we have a very good SMT who consult with and listen to their staff; we are looking at alternative solutions.
We had someone sign up to a three year contract and before the contract was finished we started using our own system as we found it was not flexable enough for us. I think for a primary it may work but not for a secondary with the restrictions we had no control or input into the areas we needed.
Chck the pricing it would be worth looking else where in my opion.
I've just seen from pazman's link, that the other middle school in the town is up and running. I think that will speed up our process as our SLT won't like them stealing a lead. That said, theirs is pretty basic. Looks like they have just thrown together a few pages so they can say they have a VLE.
true enough - we are coming to the end of our current LA contract with them and their new standard issue seems to be 5GB of storage per school. this is clearly not enough still (think ours is about 17GB in size at the moment, and growing a quite a rapid rate!)
Originally Posted by SeanVin
broadband speed is imperative to keeping it live, though I agree with a previous post about performance issues at times. They have taken the north-west off onto a different server and this has eased capacity down here but still some way to go
my concern with them at the moment is parent portal/online reporting as it doesnt look like they are as sorted as they claim to be! feedback from colleagues who have been to BETT today was not positive. I'm going tomorrow and will make a judgement for myself at that point...
it is worth shopping around I agree but UniServity is good value for money, and after some years of persevering with their staff, building up a good working relationship with them is just as important. For example, I am able to contact my CSM anytime from about 6am if we need support (and last week with the snow that came in very useful!)
Originally Posted by smadison
My colleagues have really seen the benefits over recent times, and the snow day hits were a real confidence booster for them and the students.
if you have somethign established and working then it might be a little too radical to change. if you are still in the infancy stages then I would investigate possibilities. I did this last year at BETT and we chose to stick because there was nothing that offered "the full package"