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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende in Technical; I was sent on a course to look at the one we are using, and to be honest I don't ...
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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    I was sent on a course to look at the one we are using, and to be honest I don't see any use for it. Neither did the teacher who came along too.

    Teachers will see it as extra work with little benefit, parents will complain they don't have internet access and it will slowly die.

    Why waste all the money on something which will be widely panned?

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    When we were told about VLEs and their benefits and uses, these included being able to notify parents that the football club was cancelled that evening (parent logs in to check before leaving office/home, apparently). It was also stated that some schools are already insisting that homework/coursework is only submitted electronically.

    I leave you to draw your own conclusions....

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by eean
    I am yet to be convinced as how they can be of value to me or my school. .
    I took part in that TES discussion eean and am still waiting for anyone to really give me much help in answering that question, although grumbledook gave me pause for thought in a similar thread I started here. [/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by eean
    The problem is that the government have gone into a secondary school where they have seen a VLE/next big thing that:
    - Is fully integrated
    - Technologically works
    - Is lead by people who passionately believe it works and will make it work
    - Who are well trained (often spent many hours self training)
    - solves a problem that already exists
    They've seen this and saw it was brilliant "Why doesn't everyone do this!" they think.... they've applied a ..... non-integrated version to a primary school (where there isn't a problem to solve) and expecting someone who doesn't understand them and doesn't really believe they will work to make it work! ... LEA ... argument was "it's a government target."
    .

    I soooo agree, I am also prety hacked off about the amount of money it will cost which could have been spent more wisely - especially if spent by me -

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Ok I am going to go out on a ledge here against you lot.

    My view point is from a secondary school requirements, I do agree its a lot harder for primary schools to find money for such a project, being some do not even have decent computer suites (I use to work for 10 primary schools in Bristol)

    That said Primary schools should not need to carry too much cost as they should team up with secondary schools (Feeder schools helped by secondary’s). This logic also means the children already know about such systems before getting to secondary school. Even if there use in primary school was to use it on a very basic level. The point is they have the skills and the logic to use it!
    I strongly believe a school cannot simply keep adding computers to a network with not real learning framework in place to keep it all in sync (cross curricular, home links etc). I have been to schools with thousands of computers (literally) but without decent learning platform and or software titles, the computers are useless – unless teachers would rather kids messed round on the internet for an hours lesson!!!
    Without being ageist, we need to at least put a bit of thought about how children of today think. I would like to bet that most children know of and most likely have a facebook or IM account!! They are motivated by this dream of a virtual world they control. Why fight against what they are motivated by, use it as a tool to educated them on stuff that is otherwise “boring miss!!”. I would not for one minute say use facebook in a lesson, but VLEs are structured in similar methods to this, so they will see the comparisons !!
    As for sharing resources it’s an excellent tool, I am in contact with about 8 schools across the UK who have the Microsoft VLE (Microsoft Learning Gateway). We all share best practice and develop various things and share them!! Just like on Edugeek!! Let’s not reinvent the wheel scenario!!!
    On a final note (I have gone on a bit), before we implemented a VLE, we actually (even though we did not know it) has allot of the VLE elements already, such as exchange server (email server) ISA Firewall and web based sharing (windows 2003). The VLE should not be seen as a bit of individual software, look at it as a framework or gateway to pull various functions, software, collaboration and systems together!! That’s the benefit!!

    If you take the easy route within IT manager / Technician roles within schools, you will have a relaxed job!!, but the kids will lose out, and that is not fair on them!!

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by benit2
    Ok I am going to go out on a ledge here against you lot.

    My view point is from a secondary school requirements, I do agree its a lot harder for primary schools to find money for such a project, being some do not even have decent computer suites (I use to work for 10 primary schools in Bristol)

    That said Primary schools should not need to carry too much cost as they should team up with secondary schools (Feeder schools helped by secondary’s). This logic also means the children already know about such systems before getting to secondary school. Even if there use in primary school was to use it on a very basic level. The point is they have the skills and the logic to use it!
    I strongly believe a school cannot simply keep adding computers to a network with not real learning framework in place to keep it all in sync (cross curricular, home links etc). I have been to schools with thousands of computers (literally) but without decent learning platform and or software titles, the computers are useless – unless teachers would rather kids messed round on the internet for an hours lesson!!!
    Without being ageist, we need to at least put a bit of thought about how children of today think. I would like to bet that most children know of and most likely have a facebook or IM account!! They are motivated by this dream of a virtual world they control. Why fight against what they are motivated by, use it as a tool to educated them on stuff that is otherwise “boring miss!!”. I would not for one minute say use facebook in a lesson, but VLEs are structured in similar methods to this, so they will see the comparisons !!
    As for sharing resources it’s an excellent tool, I am in contact with about 8 schools across the UK who have the Microsoft VLE (Microsoft Learning Gateway). We all share best practice and develop various things and share them!! Just like on Edugeek!! Let’s not reinvent the wheel scenario!!!
    On a final note (I have gone on a bit), before we implemented a VLE, we actually (even though we did not know it) has allot of the VLE elements already, such as exchange server (email server) ISA Firewall and web based sharing (windows 2003). The VLE should not be seen as a bit of individual software, look at it as a framework or gateway to pull various functions, software, collaboration and systems together!! That’s the benefit!!

    If you take the easy route within IT manager / Technician roles within schools, you will have a relaxed job!!, but the kids will lose out, and that is not fair on them!!
    You sound like you work for Microsoft - as that's exactly how they sell the Learning Gateway, as a set of components and a suite of products as opposed to a single VLE product. But if you are going down the Microsoft route the key component is obviously Sharepoint (or WSS).

    I think there are quite a few people on here who have experience with rolling out a MOSS based portal/learning gateway. And of course theres the class server SDK that let's you add school specific portlets (sorry, java term there...but for want of a better word )

    And of all the approaches this is certainly the most elegant. You can actually get a very useable portable before you even have to think about web parts or vb.net code.

    I know there's been a lot of talk about facebook and social networking...but surely the killer app as far as an online Learning platform is to be able to exploit the power of web services - so that you can seamlessly integrate and extract information from various sources both from the school intranet and from the wider internet and present them in an easy to nagivate and structured way. And yes, you mentioned exchange integration (OWA) and facebook style interaction...but also news alerts, video sharing, assignment scores etc. Integrating with SQL data if necessary.

    Where I see it heading, Content management systems, intranets, portals, B2B porta;s and VLE's integrating into a single information portal. I've even coined my own term CIP. Converged Information Platform. Pronouned KIP so as not to be confused with the world beater that is SIP.
    geddit ?

    This has been going on for years in the corporate sector - giving employees their own My_insert name of company here____ area. At my last company they used peoplesoft to accomlish this. But php, moodle and now MOSS have come along to allow schools to do something similar more affordably. But it still requires programming and technical skills.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    If only Capita/SIMS would play nice and let schools access all of their own data for free via open, documented APIs and web services.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Standards in content on VLEs ... I would recommend that UK schools look at CETIS for information about IMS and SCORM ... but also look at ADLnet for full information about SCORM compliancy.

    Schools should be pushing content providers to only provide materials that can be SCORM compliant or freely used in SCORM creation tools.

    Resources hosted on external sites (like teachertube) can still be used but you have to have a key / unique URL to access it without requiring authentication. Some content providers will not do this for copyright reasons.

    Collaboration *is* the key, not just school to school, but department to department too.
    You make a good point about SCORM. But what I've always wondered about SCORM is why it's even needed. It seems to try and solve a problem that XML, Web Services and the portlet specifications have already solved pretty well. Which is the notion of compatability.

    Please help me out on this.

    SCORM to me is one of those created for education going nowhere standards like shibboliethgthth

    I mean if is about encouraging the providers to develop SCORM compliant solutions why not encourage all of them to work together to implement standards based Web 2.0 technologies and expose their API's as web services. In the way that google and yahoo have done. Or on a simple scale how the wordpress community have developed plugins based on industry standard javascript.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by torledo
    Quote Originally Posted by benit2
    Ok I am going to go out on a ledge here against you lot.

    My view point is from a secondary school requirements, I do agree its a lot harder for primary schools to find money for such a project, being some do not even have decent computer suites (I use to work for 10 primary schools in Bristol)

    That said Primary schools should not need to carry too much cost as they should team up with secondary schools (Feeder schools helped by secondary’s). This logic also means the children already know about such systems before getting to secondary school. Even if there use in primary school was to use it on a very basic level. The point is they have the skills and the logic to use it!
    I strongly believe a school cannot simply keep adding computers to a network with not real learning framework in place to keep it all in sync (cross curricular, home links etc). I have been to schools with thousands of computers (literally) but without decent learning platform and or software titles, the computers are useless – unless teachers would rather kids messed round on the internet for an hours lesson!!!
    Without being ageist, we need to at least put a bit of thought about how children of today think. I would like to bet that most children know of and most likely have a facebook or IM account!! They are motivated by this dream of a virtual world they control. Why fight against what they are motivated by, use it as a tool to educated them on stuff that is otherwise “boring miss!!”. I would not for one minute say use facebook in a lesson, but VLEs are structured in similar methods to this, so they will see the comparisons !!
    As for sharing resources it’s an excellent tool, I am in contact with about 8 schools across the UK who have the Microsoft VLE (Microsoft Learning Gateway). We all share best practice and develop various things and share them!! Just like on Edugeek!! Let’s not reinvent the wheel scenario!!!
    On a final note (I have gone on a bit), before we implemented a VLE, we actually (even though we did not know it) has allot of the VLE elements already, such as exchange server (email server) ISA Firewall and web based sharing (windows 2003). The VLE should not be seen as a bit of individual software, look at it as a framework or gateway to pull various functions, software, collaboration and systems together!! That’s the benefit!!

    If you take the easy route within IT manager / Technician roles within schools, you will have a relaxed job!!, but the kids will lose out, and that is not fair on them!!
    You sound like you work for Microsoft - as that's exactly how they sell the Learning Gateway, as a set of components and a suite of products as opposed to a single VLE product. But if you are going down the Microsoft route the key component is obviously Sharepoint (or WSS).

    I think there are quite a few people on here who have experience with rolling out a MOSS based portal/learning gateway. And of course theres the class server SDK that let's you add school specific portlets (sorry, java term there...but for want of a better word )

    And of all the approaches this is certainly the most elegant. You can actually get a very useable portable before you even have to think about web parts or vb.net code.

    I know there's been a lot of talk about facebook and social networking...but surely the killer app as far as an online Learning platform is to be able to exploit the power of web services - so that you can seamlessly integrate and extract information from various sources both from the school intranet and from the wider internet and present them in an easy to nagivate and structured way. And yes, you mentioned exchange integration (OWA) and facebook style interaction...but also news alerts, video sharing, assignment scores etc. Integrating with SQL data if necessary.

    Where I see it heading, Content management systems, intranets, portals, B2B porta;s and VLE's integrating into a single information portal. I've even coined my own term CIP. Converged Information Platform. Pronouned KIP so as not to be confused with the world beater that is SIP.
    geddit ?

    This has been going on for years in the corporate sector - giving employees their own My_insert name of company here____ area. At my last company they used peoplesoft to accomlish this. But php, moodle and now MOSS have come along to allow schools to do something similar more affordably. But it still requires programming and technical skills.
    I wish I worked for MS, its where the money is at 8)

    Indeed the integration is fantastic, our MOSS links with Sims, canteen system, banned users or internet blocked users, library system etc. When we looked round for VLE, not many of them could do all that, with integratted login - That is a blessing - Sign on to windows and not more prompts for usernames etc.

    We also use a product called tools forever that sucks the information from sims and creates users automatically - not september blues for us!!!

    If anyone one wants advice on MLG I am happy to give my view /experinces.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    If only Capita/SIMS would play nice and let schools access all of their own data for free via open, documented APIs and web services.
    I think (please correct me if i am wrong) you are allowed to acces the SQL database of sims, this is not any sims workings, just your data you paid your office staff to enter. I am working on a system to pull info out this way. Capita want about 7k for there webparts !!!

    much the same as you export the data from sims in csv format now, its would be comparible situation, just using a different extraction method.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    You make a good point about SCORM. But what I've always wondered about SCORM is why it's even needed. It seems to try and solve a problem that XML, Web Services and the portlet specifications have already solved pretty well. Which is the notion of compatability.

    Please help me out on this.
    SCORM is already XML, It's not just so different companies can create resources, but also so teachers can create SCORM and share resources or move them to other schools, easier than providing an api, it's an open format geared towards educational resources.

    SCORM to me is one of those created for education going nowhere standards like shibboliethgthth
    Actually SCORM was created for the military, albeit the education side, Shibboleth is used widely in further education, it's just not been adopted by schools/LA's yet.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    benit2: Apparently not. Licence issues or something? If it was that simple we'd ODBC direct into the SQL server.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    benit2: Apparently not. Licence issues or something? If it was that simple we'd ODBC direct into the SQL server.
    Our moodle server goes direct to the SQL with Freetds
    http://www.freetds.org/

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    We appear to be getting well and truly off-topic again and looking at the nitty gritty instead of the more mundane question of "What is the point?".

    So, I asked one of my heads recently about what was planned and this is more or less word for word the response

    Me: So what about all the content?
    HT: Ah, well initially we're going to be using it to pass messages on to governors
    Me: ????
    HT: Well it's going to take a while for staff to get used to it so we're going to actually use it to communicate information between staff and governors, etc..
    Me: So not really using it as an educational environment?
    HT: Oh no... we don't have to do that until 2010 or something... I forget the exact timing.. but no we get used to it slowly.



    Ok, so my initial reaction was one of internally wondering "well what's the point?" Surely email or an online forum would do the job?!... but if nought else it worries me that there's a distinct lack of understanding of exactly what a VLE is and/or could be used for.

    I can see some benefits of using a VLE for some stuff, such as providing additional resources for net based research, providing tips and hints for kids who perhaps need that, and of course keeping the school community outside appraised of what's going on... but as has been discussed, there seems to be a lot of people who don't quite get what it's all about.

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Sorry the thread did go a bit off track!!

    I agree contink , if some schools or key role players dont understand the power of such projects or can not think outside the box for certain items, its a very very hard sell.

    To compare, I recall a discussion with a head about data projectors when they first got pushed to be installed in schools. A response such as..

    If they need to use one they can go in the computer room or just use the TV instead!!!

    Now, well eat your words, each room has one in his school, he thinks they are now the best think since slice bread. Why does he think that now? - because problems can be solved by data projectors. Thats it then its clicked!!

    In education, sometimes it seems the tool or solution (VLE in our discusson here) is pushed first then a problem it may solve will be looked for.

    I agree this does happen, but often its only when we see the tool or solution do we notice some problems or how things can be made better. Its the same with a VLE!!

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    Re: VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    Quote Originally Posted by benit2
    I do agree its a lot harder for primary schools to find money for such a project, being some do not even have decent computer suites .....That said Primary schools should not need to carry too much cost as they should team up with secondary schools (Feeder schools helped by secondary’s). This logic also means the children already know about such systems before getting to secondary school. Even if there use in primary school was to use it on a very basic level. The point is they have the skills and the logic to use it!.......... but the kids will lose out, and that is not fair on them!!
    benit2 you just don't get what goes on in primary schools or the relationship we have with the secondaries we feed into. I can just see our neighbourhood sec. hosting our 450 pupils! anyone reckon SIMS will be picking up the new arrivals and departuires of children (about 50 a year)? and of course they will really want to host all of our 5/6/7 year olds won't they? please get real...

    What logic is required of a VLE that my year 2s aren't already using accessing our network, saving intio their userarea, accessing shared areas + files and navigating websites?

    What, pray, might our primary children miss out on, some quizzes? e-mail they've already got in school but hardly ever use? content 30% can't access from outside school? discussion most wouldn't dream of taking part in or have the literacy skills to access? homework once a week they could do more easily on paper and the teachers don't much want to distribute electronically?......I could go on but the thrust of the OP is: what can a VLE offer a primary school that would solve a problem we have? or that we can't do by other means -e-mail, blogs, downloads from website etc?

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