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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Frog: Alternatives? in Technical; Hi, my first post here - I was hoping to see what people think. Our (basic) requirements: - Allow students/teachers ...
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    Frog: Alternatives?

    Hi, my first post here - I was hoping to see what people think.

    Our (basic) requirements:
    - Allow students/teachers to access thier network drives remotely
    - Allow teachers to publish resources online (remote access to shared drives)
    - Allow collaboration between staff/pupils online

    What we've looked at so far:
    -Moodle
    -Sharepoint
    -Frog

    The preference so far: Frog

    The problem:
    I'm struggling to find any products/solutions that are comparable to the features of Frog that address our requirements above. We have very mixed feelings about Frog - it's seems to offer it all, but in reality, will it deliver?

    Even if we were told that "Frog is great - go for it", I also need to get 'quotes' from alternative providers for tender purposes.

    The questions:

    1) Apart from moodle and sharepoint, and considering the requirements above, can anyone suggest any alternative solutions? What did other people look at (even if you didn't end up using it)? I need to get in touch with some providers for demonstration / quotation purposes ASAP.

    2)Apart from the cost, any pro's/con's of Frog would also be appricated at this point.


    (I notice that moodle is heavily favoured among forum users. We have/are looking into this, but I'd like to keep conversation away from moodle and other Open Source solutions at the moment)

    Thank you in advance for any input anyone has...

    Cheers,

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    1) Apart from moodle and sharepoint, and considering the requirements above, can anyone suggest any alternative solutions?
    http://www.alfresco.com/

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    I'll have a good look into alfresco, but...

    As an open source solution, it is not one I can get a quote for? I also presume it'll require in house development to get up and running.
    (I'm aware that Frog will require this, but not as much, and with support if necessary)

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Frog, or any VLE for that matter, is only as good as the teachers providing the resources, unless you employ someone especially to perform this function. A couple of schools in my area use Frog, and they're happy with it, though one of them only just started with it in September. You can find the other one here and it's quite advanced (a couple of years). I believe Frog has now moved to using Sharepoint.
    One MLE I looked at and was impressed by is Scholaris.

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_simonward
    I'll have a good look into alfresco, but...

    As an open source solution, it is not one I can get a quote for? I also presume it'll require in house development to get up and running.
    (I'm aware that Frog will require this, but not as much, and with support if necessary)
    It is a commercially supported opensource product - but it will likely be expensive, I get the impression they mostly deal with large companies or local authorities (they provide a solution to 100,000 employees in brussels for example). But since it is also open source there is nothing stopping in-house development. I'd love to see it running here and integrating with our moodle/citrix.
    also you may want to look at http://www.sshtools.com/showSslExplorer.do which (like moodle) is also commercially supported opensource.

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Ok, Cheers.

    If i were to consider moodle or other open source's solutions as the 'tool',
    How many companies are there who offer this as a 'commercially supported' product?

    Any recommendations for some to get in touch with?

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Cheers, I'll have a look at that. Perhaps OS is still an option...

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Why do you want commercial support for OSS? What's wrong with the community support?

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    there are concerns about the 'strain' the development of our VLE will have on our technical team.

    We'd rather know that if there is a problem, we can pay/have paid someone to fix it.

    Sorry, but this is kinda the conversation I thought would come up (the os debate) and was hoping to avoid.

    back to the original questions perhaps...

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    > If i were to consider moodle or other open source's solutions as the 'tool',
    > How many companies are there who offer this as a 'commercially
    > supported' product?

    Simply go to www.moodle.com and search for Moodle Partners in the UK. This strikes me as by far the most sensible way to go about VLE provision - you get a tool that you can add stuff to, and someone to support it too.

    For remote access to home folders, try WebDAV. It's built in to the Apache webserver.

    FrogTeacher struck me as being run by sensible, technically knowledgeable staff. Very slick looking system (only had a quick look). System modifications were theoretically possible, but there system did look like it would be a large mass of uncommented Python code. I don't know what it's like interfacing with other applications.

    For staff resource publishing, you want a repository, one that supports a standard interface that any system can plug in to.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    FrogTeacher struck me as being run by sensible, technically knowledgeable staff. Very slick looking system (only had a quick look). System modifications were theoretically possible, but there system did look like it would be a large mass of uncommented Python code. I don't know what it's like interfacing with other applications.
    Wasn't there a problem with FrogTeachers security a while back? Leading to sensitive data leaking out?

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    > Wasn't there a problem with FrogTeachers security a while back? Leading
    > to sensitive data leaking out?

    I found a discussion at:
    http://www.edugeek.net/index.php?nam...ewtopic&t=3898

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    ERGO's Scholaris may fulfil your needs.

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    Re: Frog: Alternatives?

    Personally I think you need to look into more detail as to what you want out of the system in the long term.

    Access to home directories and shared areas is easily done using webdav, and the collaberation via moodle. All at no cost other than a little setup time, unless you purchase a dedicated server to host them.

    What MIS system are you using? Do you want to intergrate this into the final solution?

    What are the requirements of the teaching staff? Do they need all the bells and whistles or just the ability to share resources?

    Weigh up the cost of paying for a solution and the support costs against hiring a part time support individual.

    We now have webdav and moodle running, but we are doing this so we can make a better judgement as to what our future requirements may be. We are not opposed to buying a solution but don't see the point in spending thousands on a solution which we may find falls short of our requirements.

    Buying a solution off the shelf may sound the easier option but it doesn't always work out that way.

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