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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende in Technical; I'll be honest I'm completely at sea when it comes to VLE's and I've so many fingers in an exponentially ...
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    VLE's and primary schools: Ao nao comprende

    I'll be honest I'm completely at sea when it comes to VLE's and I've so many fingers in an exponentially larger number of pies I just haven't had the time to look into them in brief, much less in detail.

    Can someone provide a poor sap with a quick n00b guide to VLE's and how they could be implemented successfully in a primary school environment.

    Feel free to treat like an idiot



    That subject nugget is Portugese btw - you can probably guess what it means.

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

    CMS for teachers. Teachers write (or purchase) resource, ideally web based using a wysiwyg editor (but usually they upload ppt files because they 'don't have the time'). students log in to their course, can access the learning resourses, upload assignments, do quizes, forum, calendar,video etc. Like a shared network drive that http accessible with more functionality. Accessible from home.
    e-portfolio is more of an online home drive , but the two can be mixed.

    not so sure about primary, our yr7 seem to cope ok.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    CMS for teachers. Teachers write (or purchase) resource, ideally web based using a wysiwyg editor (but usually they upload ppt files because they 'don't have the time').
    Hmm... Ok so the emphasis is on the staff to either buy in or create resources and then provide them on the system.

    I'm guessing this is one of those things where a collaborative VLE or one provided across the county/cluster is going to be the best plan.

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

    yes, collaboration and sharing is the key (the point of teaching IMHO). It doesn't necessaritly need to be county/cluster because VLE resources should conform to a recognised open format (scorm). this means that resources can be shared between different VLE's and teachers can take resources with them if they change schools - currently (exacerbated by the elc fiasco) a piece of software bought in one school won't transfer unless aniother schools buys in as well)

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

    Just out of interest, how many VLEs conform to this standard?

    I was at a sales presentation recently, given by one of the larger VLE providers. One of the teaching staff asked about how she could take her work with her when she moved schools . . . and the sales guy told her that she couldn't, there's no 'export' function.

    You could almost see everyone deciding that it's rubbish, and not to be used.

    And to be frank, I can't blame them.

    Hang on - I feel a rant coming on. I'll stop here.

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

    I work in a junior school and so far I can only see a VLE giving me more headaches than benefits.

    Given the IT skills of the majority of our staff (see my signature below) I already know who will spend his time preparing (or repairing) work and then uploading it to the VLE.

    Moving to this nirvana of an online teaching environment will surely just increase the gap between the technological haves and have nots in school. Although our school is in a prosperous area there is a significant number of pupils who do not have access to the internet from home.

    We have already had one mother ask why their child could not download homework from the school website. This was because the pupil had left the work at school...online access is just going to shift responsibility for remembering work from the pupil onto the staff and again disadvantage those without internet access.

    Oh and finally...there would appear to be significant costs associated with the provision of a VLE...no wonder companies with "solutions" are popping up ready to milk another government imposed cash cow.

    Phew...that feels better...

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

    Quote Originally Posted by cadjs
    I work in a junior school and so far I can only see a VLE giving me more headaches than benefits.

    Given the IT skills of the majority of our staff (see my signature below) I already know who will spend his time preparing (or repairing) work and then uploading it to the VLE.
    I gotta say that the discussion thus far is only compounding my own misgivings on the subject. Out of 4 schools I now support I'm reasonably confident that 3 staff members will be able to utilise a VLE system while those remaining will break down into the usual "it's a computer, I won't understand it!" and "well I'll try but when?" mindsets.

    BUT... let's concentrate on what can be done to make something like this work.. Rants are for the FFS forum after all

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

    ...online access is just going to shift responsibility for remembering work from the pupil onto the staff and again disadvantage those without internet access.
    I'm afraid there are inequalities throughout the world. It shouldn't mean that because there's not enough to go round, no one gets to use it though. However imperfect the system is (and I know our own school's laptops for pupils scheme is going to cause us a major headache), it's what we have to work with.

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

    You can export moodle courses. Plus there is nothing to stop providers of other VLE's creating Moodle -> Whatever converters. The specs are open.

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

    Personally id have a look at moodle. Its free, easy to setup, has masses of documentation and free content.

    Main point there is its free. If one school takes off with it and they feel they have to pay for a solution (for whatever bizarre reason they come up with) then you can always look into it for them. While the other schools havnt wasted £x on something they will never use.

    We have had a VLE for years now and to date i believe out of 80 members of staff, 1 has tried it but not got any real benifits from it. But then that could be because the VLE is utterly poo with bugs and crashes

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

    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.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Collaboration *is* the key, not just school to school, but department to department too.
    Aye...

    So part of the battle is preparing people so they combine their skills and knowledge to make it happen.. Hmm...

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

    Exactly ... resistance is futile.

    erm ... I'll get my coat, it's the one with the tricorder in the pocket.

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

    We use Moodle here, and the way we worked it was to download it and install it locally on our network. We created 1 usergroup who could test this for us and 1 teacher who would upload work etc. We are a secondary school and already have lots of resources on our network and the teacher was able to upload work already done after creating a course on Moodle. We found it to be pretty easy to pickup and I was confident that teachers would be able to pick it up to. We have now got it hosted externally and all the school has access to it. Originally the teachers who used it the most where the ones who are more confident (or more willing to learn new things) with computers. Now the pupils are asking subjects where there is no course to create one, which in turn is pushing the teachers to produce the work(I find that the teachers seem more willing if they can see pupils wanting to learn through new media). Every teacher is shown how to create courses and upload work etc so the only admin I do is creating users etc.

    Maybe you could create a test setup to show teachers what can be done. If you are going to roll out a VLE it is necessary that you get a few guidelines in place before doing so. You cant be expected to upload/update all teachers courses, but you could show people how to do it.

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

    There is a long thread on the TES website here about this. 68 post later I am yet to be convinced as how they can be of value to me or my school.
    [Rant]
    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.

    So they've applied a watered down, 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! You're not going to get the same result!
    [/Rant]

    I also sat through 2 hours of a LEA consultant trying desparately to convince me that I should spend my time, and my collegues' time, on it. The brunt of their argument was "it's a government target." I, personally, am quite happy to add it to my list of government targets I'm going to fail to meet.

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