MrWu (25th August 2013)
Looks like Moodle is very feature rich.
I have not such a clear cut decision however since my school has sunk many hours and 30k+ into Frog before I took over (funny enough the previous tech left because we migrated from Moodle to Frog - so the skills worked out of the door :-( )
Now Frog will cost me 5k a year at the moment, if Moodle was a consideration how more retraining and resource do I need since I presume a lot of schools does this in house. We do not have any Moodle experience at the moment..since the guy walked when he found out we were going to Frog.
Other consideration could be that we use something like Salamander to export timetable data into Office 365 and create a sharepoint site to share school materials, to be honest if a student have easy access to emails, timetable and media then that is 90 per cent of what they need.
I have 10 months to work this all out before the Frog renewal.
I'm glad we chose firefly over frog. Been flawless for us and I've been able to integrate our old intranet ASP pages with there single sign on API.
We had a quick go of frogOS on iPad in April/may and it was pants, just didn't work as expected, slow as well.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. It’s appreciated and I’ve made sure that the feedback is circulated around the business as it’s always good for us to hear this – this is a major part of my role as Community Manager to make sure this sort of feedback gets where it needs to go.
In terms of the particular items you mentioned previously:
1). Access to network drives – this is on our roadmap but is something we want to do ‘right’. Existing Frog 3.0 customers can access the network files brick on a Frog 3.0 via FrogOS but we don’t consider this to be anything other than a workaround in the interim. In terms of feedback from UK customers, network files access is right up there so it WILL get done – our current priorities mean that we’d hope to see something later this year but can’t guarantee that as we’re focussing heavily on stability and other core features (such as MIS integration for non-Frog 3.0 customers).
2). Office 365 is in the process of being Beta tested with a large academy group – this is something that we need to learn a lot about, it’s not a trivial thing for schools to adopt ADFS so we need to understand all the requirements. Our initial offering is limited to a Single Sign On allowing access to FrogOS in an ADFS environment without the need to log in separately to FrogOS. We’re hoping to expand this in the future and bring the integration tighter but it’s always a case of walking before we can run – promises of anything else would be ill-advised until we feel comfortable with the basics of a solid and reliable authentication method between the two.
3). Platform agnostic. I take your point here, but we have to draw some kind of lines – with our current testing regime, it takes three people three days to test completely on ONE browser, it’s not manageable at present for us to support every possible setup of browser, operating system and device as they vary hugely. Therefore we are concentrating on key platforms with the hope that this can be expanded in the future. Again, attempting anything else would be unrealistic for us and lead to further delays and compromises trying to be all things to all men. We also need to understand what we mean by mobile devices – for example, if we were to target Blackberry devices, the current UI would not be acceptable – would we have a failover to a much simpler interface? What about content that was built by customers for the ‘full fat’ version? There’s a lot of considerations and we’re not shying away from these, simply electing to tackle them in the order we feel is appropriate and manageable.
4). Native apps – this is sort of covered above really, but we are targeting later this year or possibly early next for our initial two app offerings, one is a simple evidence capture tool and the other deals with file access and storage. Both of these are iOS only for the time being but it’s very much a never-say-never once we know those work, do what schools really want and are sufficiently stable.
5). Integration with Frog 3.0 – I’m sorry to hear you feel this is disappointing. Content that is held in Frog 3.0 can be surfaced without the need to sign in again and this includes the items you mention. It’s not possible for FrogOS to suddenly make these items fully tablet compatible so there are some limitations (Frog Mail being one) but equally there are things that can be done with the design of the Frog 3.0 pages to reduce issues on tablet devices.
We do have a massive amount of effort going into the development of FrogOS – I totally understand the frustrations you have but we have been at pains to make people aware it’s the start of a journey and that FrogOS will change immeasurably as the hard work of the developers begins to bear fruit.
If I can help further at all, please let me know!
Thanks a lot,
MrWu (14th September 2013)
You will have better luck writing for multiple browsers and operating systems if you stick to some basic standards.
Perhaps checking your sites against a validator every now and again.
You'll save a hell of a lot of time on development and increase your user base if you could clean up your code, it will also make a simple path for developing tablet/phone apps and thus giving you a presence on the various (i)stores.
Last edited by CyberNerd; 28th August 2013 at 06:40 PM.
We will persevere with FrogOS, since a lot of time has been invested at more school. Hope your resources can be expanded to achieve your goals.
I found your posts very interesting. We have also just signed up to FrogOS over the summer.
I am having trouble adding users and I was wondering if you have added users yet and how you have gone about doing it.
We want to have a process whereby users sign on using the same Usernames and Password that is in AD. I discovered that the only way to add users in FrogOS was to manually add them using a CSV file but Frog support told us they had a BETA ADFS Integration we could join. So we have signed up to join it only to find that we have to set this up on our domain servers via Microsoft's support. Being an RM network we do not actually have a contract with Microsoft so this step has already become an obstacle for us.
As I say and always say, when choosing your VLE test it and play with it. Moodle is simple to install, work on getting your MIS data imported and ask a few teachers to create some content.
Content creation and not necessarily functions is the biggest difference between the likes of Frog and Moodle. I work in a school with moodle and staff always say it feels too clunky and basic, development of anything is slow (because we have to do it). Where as with purchased VLEs like Frog you will find the functions are being developed by them and updated to your server. With moodle each function you add your self is something you have to do and test and play with, there are times you will have issues. We gave up here trying to setup our own SIMs connection so we purchased it for 2K a year (now its no longer a free VLE). Secure Gateway is also a function that doesn't come with Moodle.
Content creation was tested by my old place with moodle and Frog, Frog won the majority vote of teachers. I my self spent my time doing content and working out how to do more "fancy" things instead of reading through pages and pages just to add a single function.
Calendars on Frog are also much better looking compared to Moodle, but moodle has the small calendar which I prefer to be available (at the time Frog didn't have this). Drag and drop is more on the development side of Frog yet moodle is not. Linking it to your network drives is not a walk in the park as we discovered and it also took time linking it to our AD system. Frog took 1/2 day to get their system linked to our MIS, AD and start to create content with all the functions available. I would if I was you get a full list of the functions available in Frog and most of them do not require configuring and others require a little bit of time compared to the pages of configuring needed for a function in Moodle. Both schools I have worked at have at some stage walked away from Moodle and each time its been for the exact same reasons.
It has been almost a year since I really dealt with Frog last but there are functions that are not available in moodle and vice versa, unless moodle was just expecting me to jump through hoops to find them.
I know my colleague Tracy has got in touch with you already, but in case anyone else is having the same problem I'll post the response on here:
I think there may be some confusion with regards to the integrations being offered. There are two integrations that will need to be implemented in order to achieve your overall outcome which is a single sign on process using your AD credentials
- MIS Integration – This will involve a two staged process whereby you need to have the SIMS extractor installed on your MIS and then FrogOS configured to process the exported data. At the point we configure FrogOS we would try and setup the username format to match that of your AD server. While it won't be 100% it will help get the bulk of users imported with changes being minimal should there be duplicates. This is all dependant on your username format currently used on your AD server. I believe upon our last conversations that you wanted to place a hold on the MIS integration BETA as your MIS was needing to go through a migration / upgrade. However, should you wish to re-engage now I would be happy to advise of next steps
- ADFS Integration – Post the MIS data being imported into FrogOS the next stage that is logical is to have your ADFS integration setup. The ADFS integration is what will allow for single sign on into FrogOS using your AD login credentials. There is a requirement for the school to setup the ADFS configuration and this can be completed if you have an IT Technician that is familiar with the setup by following the links provided below -
- ADFS Overview and Portal - Active Directory Federation Services
- ADFS v2.0 implementation, specifically for Windows 2008 R2 (probably the most common, Windows 2003 is not supported) - AD FS in Windows Server 2008 R2 Step-by-Step Guide
- ADFS v2.0 Step by Step Guide - AD FS 2.0 Step-by-Step and How To Guides
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