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MIS Systems Thread, Sims Learning Gateway.... a failure? in Technical; We used SLG and as going into Academy we had to buy from the LA we ditched it. Now trialling ...
  1. #31

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    We used SLG and as going into Academy we had to buy from the LA we ditched it. Now trialling TASC Insight and our parents love it. A great product.

    Only gap is no area for staff to do reports etc but this will have to be done with remote access which is more secure etc anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ellisteph10 View Post
    We used SLG and as going into Academy we had to buy from the LA we ditched it. Now trialling TASC Insight and our parents love it. A great product.

    Only gap is no area for staff to do reports etc but this will have to be done with remote access which is more secure etc anyway.
    @ellisteph10 I thought they had a different module for reports - PARS or is that only grades...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    @ellisteph10 I thought they had a different module for reports - PARS or is that only grades...?
    You need PARS Connect, we did have PARS but were told to move to SIMS Lesson Monitor a few years back so that SLG would work!! PARS was also a great product and we may return.

  4. #34
    CAM
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    I publish reports 3 times a year per child on SLG and it has a mixed reception, some staff and parents aren't fans of it and others look at the live data and go "Wow that is great!" The system itself has improved but there were issues with the marksheet web part and a terrible means of viewing reports before the PDF downloads were implemented put many users off.

    Currently my big big big gripe is the lack of support for Firefox.

  5. #35
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    we have it in place and have been making use of it but there's a general lack of vision at senior level about how to make the most effective use of it (along with other tools).

    Big gripe is that the initial passwords created by the Active Directory Provisioning tool are too complex for parents.

  6. #36
    zag
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    Yeh agree on the complexity of passwords created. Typical case of over securing something at the expense of usability.

    I think my general point about all this is SLG has been a failure in our school because of the technology used (sharepoint) rather than any lack of content, training or processes we have used. We have all the attendance and reports online for anyone to view and a custom theme but to have less than 10 regular users is a joke really. I've still not heard anyone say they have had a success with SLG yet...

    Parents want a simple interface to access their child's data be that a web interface or mobile device app. They don't want to have to learn how to use sharepoint or put up with its restrictions and complications.

    Bloating the system with teacher features is also a huge mistake in my opionion. We dont want a full version of sims on sharepoint, that's not what we are looking for.

    And don't even get me onto the hassle of upgrading it every release. What a nightmare.

    We have now decided to move away from SLG for these reasons.
    Last edited by zag; 23rd January 2012 at 02:18 PM.

  7. #37
    jdoyle's Avatar
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    not sure that I'd agree that Sharepoint is the issue.

    Schools generally don't give enough consideration to working with parents. With three kids at three different educational establishments it infuriates me how poor they all are at keeping my wife and I in the loop with regards to their progress, homework, opportunities for extra curricular activities, good/bad behaviour, successes, etc...

  8. #38

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    We've used SLG for 2 or 3 years now and find it perfect for our needs.

    Staff access to SIMS profiles etc via the web, parent access to student data and student taking ownership of their own behaviour, tracking information too.

    Through the use of Sharepoint we've also been able to use this as our 'intranet' internally provided both staff and students quick links to resources and shared documents.

    It's been a lot of sweat and tears getting it to where it is, but we like it. Just moved to Sharepoint 2010 during the holidays so will investigate webapps etc into the future once I get the chance.

    Other products such as TASC do an equally good job for the fraction of the price, although for what we paid for SLG I can't grumble for it internally hosted by us too. The LA offered their hosted solution of SLG and I am glad we didn't touch it!

  9. #39

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    Thing to remember is hidden costs, such as time configuring and adding content. SharePoint is REALLLY powerful, like Moodle, but if you don't spend the time, it's worthless.

    Content is golden. If teachers spend time adding lesson plans to the VLE, then adding marks into the MIS, your SLG or whatever will actual get parents wanting to login regularly. Even if you get the most stylish, cheapest option, if they're no content, it's a waste of money. Schools need to get comments onto the MIS system, regardless of if it's "good work" and not just "missing homework". If parents can get onto a system, find out if they're child's arrived and was on time, completed they're homework last week and what mark they got and get a vague idea of what they learnt(*) they'll logon regardless of how pants the system is.

    * Personally, create a school powerpoint template, get them to create simple 1 slide lesson objectives\summaries. Bosh it onto the VLE so students\parents\staff can get it. Sorted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I've still not heard anyone say they have had a success with SLG yet...
    Try Twynham School, British Intl School of Netherlands, The Kraal, has links to others The Kraal SharePoint Schools Gallery

    It is possible, but i agree with you, of all the technologies, Sharepoint has to be the hardest to implement, even if it's hosted, you need to put effort in to get something decent out. Whereas, with other products / systems, you either have a pre-packaged setup, or a simple CMS to customise. Content will always be the key though.

    I know a lot of people who just have the perception that Sharepoint, or whatever other system, will be the panacea to solve all their problems, it will give them a VLE, really all they get is the E, they have to put the VL bit into that.

  11. #41
    zag
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    Well that's exactly my point, we have used sharepoint extensively in school for 6 years now and its very mature as our VLE. We've produced all the content for parents on SLG and have a custom design. We have all parents with logins and we had 300+ users try it out. Less than 5% of parents have logged in more than 3 times.

    The feedback from parents is simply that they don't like it. Too many unneeded buttons. Poor user interface, slow to load pages. Complicated initial password setup. It may also have something to do with 30% of our parents using safari these days but I have no evidence to back up that it works any less well.

    I have a feeling if we rolled out one of the other competitors the parents would love the simplicity and have a far higher penetration rate.

    Anyway I'm ranting again, I guess time will tell

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    ... to do with 30% of our parents using safari these days
    My money would be it looks pants on iphone.

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    well, if you do give it up, i'd happily take any content/lessons/plans/ off your hands, to try out on our system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ellisteph10 View Post
    We used SLG and as going into Academy we had to buy from the LA we ditched it. Now trialling TASC Insight and our parents love it. A great product.

    Only gap is no area for staff to do reports etc but this will have to be done with remote access which is more secure etc anyway.
    It will pull reports from SIMS through Linked Documents or through Profiles. You can filter on document title if you only want to show things with (for example) the word FINAL in it.

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    Hopefully, I will shortly get the go ahead to purchase the Optional Homework Webpart for the SLG.

    Right Clicking Pupils in the Class Register of SIMS (or SLG if you prefer!) to set Homework - to be displayed to Pupils, Parents and Staff via the Homework Diary on SLG! With dynamic links to the actual Homework resource on the MLE!

    Fantastic!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 7th February 2012 at 12:51 PM.

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