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MIS Systems Thread, Open Source software in UK schools in Technical; Originally Posted by EdWhittaker I know there are OS MIS systems available at the moment, but really they don't come ...
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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    I know there are OS MIS systems available at the moment, but really they don't come close to providing the functionality schools need.
    I think you may find that our Open Source MIS - ScholarPack, does in fact include the functionality that school's need, take a look at our website and demo. Schools that sign up with us get a ton of other things too.

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    mark (19th September 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    I think you may find that our Open Source MIS - ScholarPack, does in fact include the functionality that school's need, take a look at our website and demo. Schools that sign up with us get a ton of other things too.
    It's not all open and libre though, is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by garrysaddington View Post
    Er Yes!
    When I introduced a full Linux network install in my previous school, no training was either needed or given. The students took to it easily and the teachers did too. So don't start waiving the old training FUD about please.
    Our experience also Gary

    With regard to FOSS not being 'free', one normally finds that the cost element comes not from the software, but for ongoing support and development. Surely we can't expect anyone to provide schools with this for free!

    My pet concern is that "it is always easier to stick with what we have" and that leads to dreadful lack on inertia and progress, especially with regard to trying new stuff. It's also why the largest companies providing software in our sector continue to become ever more powerful!

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    PhilNeal (23rd September 2010)

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    It's not all open and libre though, is it?
    The part that is open and libre will remain so because of the part that isn't, and that part is 'free as in beer' to schools anyway. So why the dig?

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    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    Hi Garry
    Well done for having a go at an alternative MIS and doubly well done for making it OS. As I said in my earlier post, things can't go on as they are; something, somewhere has to give and you you're having a go at doing something about it, which is great. Problem is that these days, developing an MIS suitable for secondary schools involves a lot more than putting a front end on a database. How do you export existing data out of, say, SIMS into your system?

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    garrysaddington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    Hi Garry
    How do you export existing data out of, say, SIMS into your system?
    For a start we can use a full Common Transfer File. For anything else we can do custom exports and mappings, depending on what the school needs to move. ScholarPack was initially developed as a full replacement for another commercial MIS in a secondary school. So I guess the real answer is that we do it the way any other (commercial) MIS would do it.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I have summarised my responses from this thread and other conversations over the last few days into the blog post below.
    Happy reading.
    Grumbledook Blogs » The Open Source Threat

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    I would ask them to stand up in front of a Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and justify themselves for all schools and educational settings.
    Come on Tony I doubt anyone could do this for any single package available we all know that software usage and need is relative to the school/education body in question no two are completely alike.

    Wes

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyw View Post
    Come on Tony I doubt anyone could do this for any single package available we all know that software usage and need is relative to the school/education body in question no two are completely alike.

    Wes
    There are only a few times when I would say full scrutiny is needed on the suitability and functionality of particular systems and software, but when it comes to safeguarding I will stand my ground. Some things are too open to mistakes being made and corners being cut. It happens.

    If we could always trust people to look after their cars, ensure they are safe and so on ... then would we be able to justify the MOT process?

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    wesleyw's Avatar
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    What were Beca Accredited Filters rated on? What were the criteria for selection/

    Wes

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyw View Post
    What were Beca Accredited Filters rated on? What were the criteria for selection/

    Wes
    The full specification is pretty long and extensive, but I'll try and get a summary. Some of the information is not published in a public forum for security and safety reasons. Tom might actually be better placed to go through this ... needless to say that CEOP give it the nod , as do many other agencies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyw View Post
    What were Beca Accredited Filters rated on? What were the criteria for selection/

    Wes
    more like the VLE accreditation probably - the company must have X million in the bank, thus excluding any OSS.

    edit. where the company is accredited, not the software.

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    Oh no ... it is definitely the software which is accredited. It really is not an easy ride and takes considerable doing.

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    The accreditation summary can be found here, Becta Schools - Resources - Internet services - Web content filtering products and services requirements and the list of accredited providers here, Becta Schools - Resources - Internet services - Accredited internet services suppliers , details of exactly what testing takes place is not publicly available.

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    It is also worth pointing there is a kitemark for home filtering software and more details are available at PAS 74:2008: Internet safety - Next Generation Learning
    Last edited by GrumbleDook; 23rd September 2010 at 02:50 PM. Reason: explaining the type of software.

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