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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, RM Kaleidos vs. Unify in Technical; Hi folks, I attended BETT, and at the RM stand got a demo of Unify (and RM Books). The person ...
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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question RM Kaleidos vs. Unify

    Hi folks,

    I attended BETT, and at the RM stand got a demo of Unify (and RM Books).

    The person doing the demonstration showed a Sharepoint button, which when opened offered a school customisation (specifically a wizard that set it up for either a primary or secondary school). As we use Kaleidos the immediate question this prompted was "what's happening to Kaleidos?!". The answer was that [paraphrasing] "it's using an old unsupported version of Sharepoint and may well become end of life and/or migrated to the new Sharepoint system, or not migrated at all and we're then expected to use the new Sharepoint system", which was that demonstrated above. Now the person demonstrating this may well have been wrong, it may have been an honest behind-the-scenes view of what's going to happen, or something between the two.

    Does anyone have any more background information on Unify vs. the future of Kaleidos that could shed any light on the above?

    TIA

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    Don't know if these links help, but they give a bit more info about RM Unify. These were initially posted on our LP by our LEA.

    RM Unify

    BETT 2013 Star of the Show: RM Unify | Great Maths Teaching Ideas

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    funkyfin2000 (22nd February 2013), Gongalong (8th February 2013)

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    I had Unify demonstrated at BETT, so am pretty clear on what it does. The big question really is what's happening with Kaleidos?

    I'm guessing nobody knows, or isn't saying!

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    We are in Staffordshire and we will probably move over to a RM Unify based platform in the not too distant future. I would suspect that as it is a cheaper option, then our sln2 platform (Kaleidos based) would be phased out as more move to it. It looks a good option for us as it has the Microsoft 365 option together with LEA resources. Looking at how we use Kaleidos vs the potential of RM Unify I would think that the days of Kaleidos are numbered.

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    funkyfin2000 (22nd February 2013), Gongalong (8th February 2013)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Does RM Unify do more than I understand it to? I thought it just logged people in to cloud services?

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    Gongalong (8th February 2013)

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    That's my understanding also, that it's just a "launchpad" (seems Windows 8 influenced) as I understand it.

    I don't know whether you get any applications bundled, but my question centres over this Sharepoint app (vs. Kaleidos).

    Would RM *really* pull the plug on Kaleidos without any migration option?

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    As far as I understand it, if we move to the Staffordshire based RM Unify there is a migration of our existing Kaleidos/sln2 content to the new platform. There will also be applications bundled with it, I don't know too much more though as I am waiting to go to a county presentation on the new offering.

    I can't imagine that RM would not offer a migration for existing Kaleidos users. Scotland have been using something called Glow which is based on RM Unify see here

    Glow Scotland » Migration of Glow to Office 365 – October Update

    This mentions migration of some componets of their existing platform

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    Would be really interested to know what you find out from your presentation!

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    It won't be until after half term so I will update later.

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    On a related note, does anyone remember what Kaleidos looks like when first installed. Do you get a wizard to setup the basics for the school?

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    Hi All,

    I’m a Product Manager in RM’s Digital Content and Platforms group which includes both RM Unify and the RM Learning Platform (formally Kaleidos). RM Unify is our focus, we strongly believe that making it simple for schools to access the best applications, tools, services and content that the web has offer, and schools having the choice over which of these are right for them, will benefit everyone.

    Learning Platforms were first envisioned when the Web was a very different place. Fantastic free services such as Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Education didn’t exist, Educational content came in SCORM packs instead of online services such as Ted-Ed, YouTube for Schools, Kahn Academy or Oxford Owl, and there wasn’t innovative online tools from the likes of J2e (congratulations to them on their BETT Award).

    We don’t think that schools will want to use traditional Learning Platforms (not just ours) in an environment where something as flexible and cost effective as RM Unify (and all the great Apps that sit within it) exists. We believe this is the future and all the feedback we are receiving about RM Unify, especially at its BETT launch, is that this we are heading in the right direction.

    There will be a substantial period of overlap between RM Unify and our Learning Platform, but we want schools to see first-hand how much better RM Unify is. So for schools that subscribe to the RM Learning Platform we will be giving them the Premium version of RM Unify for free (it is normally £295/495 per year).

    As mentioned in the post above the RM Learning Platform is based on SharePoint 2007, which is pretty dated although still supported and so we will be offering a migration service for schools who want to take Microsoft Office 365, which includes the latest version of SharePoint Online. We’re also developing a great product called Site Creator for Office 365 which will makes it really easy to setup SharePoint in Office 365. For those schools that want to go a different route, such as RM Unify with Google Apps for Education, we will be offering a bulk export service to help them get their files out of Interest Spaces they have created in the Learning Platform.

    We will be releasing more information on these services before RM Unify is released on the 24th March – but the simple message is that we will be supporting RM Learning Platform schools in whatever route they choose to take.

    Kind regards,

    Andrew Iles
    Senior Product Manager
    Digital Content and Platforms
    RM Education

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    The difficulty we face that is that Office 365 is provided by the LA, and it uses non-standard authentication (via the LA themselves).

    Currently the LA version only includes email, and nothing else.

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    Hi All,

    Can I just add to this as well as I know one of the posters here is Staffordshire based.

    We will have siginificant overlapping between SLN2 (RM's Learning Platform Service) and RM Unify (LaunchPad365 as we have branded) built into our contract. This will be fully explained in the presentations we are running. We will also be discussing the current facts around migration from one service to the other.

    Quick note on pricing as well - Staffordshire pricing includes a large degree of value add over and above the standard offering from RM.

    Overall, our schools are really excited about the potential for RM Unify (LP365) going forward and I think it really does offer next generation technology incorporating the growth in 1:1 and BYOD strategies.

    Cheers

    Rich

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