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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Railroaded into Sharepoint in Technical; Originally Posted by ittech We use sharepoint and could not be happier, but we use it in our school and ...
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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by ittech
    We use sharepoint and could not be happier, but we use it in our school and the server is run from inside the school.

    Its a brilliant VLE as far as I can see.
    Can you tell me which third party web parts, if any, you use to turn sharepoint into a VLE. We use it (WSS) for collaboration, but not sure how it could be used as a VLE, compared to the likes of Moodle and others.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    As long as you have WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007, you can use the Sharepoint Learning Kit

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    I've had a look, but it doesn't seem to work particularly well.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    From what I understand, Sharepoint is free, but not Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS)
    Other way round - Windows Sharepoint Services is free; Sharepoint Server costs (and quite a lot of money).

    You can do lots with WSS and you can have multiple WSS sites on 1 server (eg 1 for Maths, 1 for English etc) but they are separate sites - you can't get any kind of easy linking between them, searching across them etc - that's when you need the full server product.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Laughing @ webman!

    coz I know the internal politice of it all! 8)

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by srochford
    You can do lots with WSS and you can have multiple WSS sites on 1 server (eg 1 for Maths, 1 for English etc) but they are separate sites - you can't get any kind of easy linking between them, searching across them etc - that's when you need the full server product.
    Not sure if I've misunderstood your point, but if you have a subsite for each subject within a site collection, then you can search across them from the root site.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Firstly before I say too much I must declare my interest as its only fair. For the last 4 years I have been heavily involved with Microsoft Learning Gateway which is based on Sharepoint. I actually project managed the second install of MLG in the UK. I built up a system that supports over 100 schools and partners with another hosting company to provide a Learning Environment for over 500 schools. Growing by the week.

    I think sharepoint and MLG is a robust product, it is moving in the right direction. It links well with other Microsoft products.

    To compare Moodle with MLG is not fair. I have no issue with Moodle being a learning system but MLG is more than that. It intergrates with exchange, live communications and media server. It has its own learning system ' sharepoint learning kit.' scorm 2004 compliant.

    The issue for a number of you on the forum is that more and more schools are looking at hosted solutions where the technology is taken away and the whats left is a system which supports learning, is used by teachers, staff, parents and students. In someways it takes your control away and sadly schools are not very good at explaining what the role of Network Mangers and technicians is. Many schools rely on you, give you work and responsibilty that clearly is not in your job grading. Then they make decisions based on a cost and education basis which takes away some of your responsibility. I can understand why you feel excluded.

    I have had lots of discussions with people over the cost of moodle. Yes its free to a point but if you add email, other services, training, cost of servers, backup, contingency, content and technicians salary you will realise that £7500 is not a bad price.

    A few years ago I met a head teacher who told me the costs we charged for a hosted solution of M L G was too expensive. They used Moodle, students only had access at school, there was no school wide email. A deputy headteacher was responsible for Moodle it took up half his time. I'll let you work out the rest.

    You need to compare like for like, build in contingency, what happens if you are not there, what is you response time, can you give pedagogic advice to teachers on how best to use a learning Environment in T & L.

    A couple of things 2007 has some excellent features mobile sites, anonymous sites, setting permissions is easier. We have also started to use Silverlight with 2007.

    Last and probably I should have said it first. I trained a number of schools in Norfolk last week and I'm back on Monday look forward to meeting you !

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Good to see a response Jon

    One thing I would say that it is possible to get pretty much all the same functionality that you get in MSLG by using different things together ... and there are some bits in Moodle/Plone/ELGG that don't appear in MSLG ...

    But, and I say this with tongue in cheek, the Learning Platform is not about the technology behind it but about the tools that are used ... blogs, wikis, SCORM resources, structured document library to enable independent learning ... if you want to use a bit of MSLG, a bit of Moodle, Wordpress for other bits ... it is up to you and what fits in.

    The benefits of having everything in one place is a reduction in administrative costs, training costs, technical overhead ... easy collaboration between clusters of schools (or even within each school!), a single portal that can be used to link many other VLEs or resources together ...

    But I suppose the most important things is how it can be used ... and I truly do think that no matter what you put in front of students ... they will use it. The stumbling block is how you get the teachers to change their mindset to make the most of it ... and at this point I have to admit that the good practice I have seen in a variety of schools and other groups makes me believe that whilst small centres of excellent are fantastic for driving innovation, the wholescale push from LA based platforms is likely to do more benefit in the long run ... as long as we don't lose those pockets of innovation.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Removed for legal reasons:

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    I think its madness all these centralised solutions councils keep trying to push on individual schools. Its an expensive, slow and over complicated solution.

    Why not let schools decide and locally host their VLE's? Especially in the secondary area.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Because of BSF? If councils get the contract for all schools, and all schools have their own VLE, it won't be easy for them!

    However if all schools go with an LEA-hosted VLE then they have very little work to do when they take over the schools under BSF. Plus they get all the work your teachers did, for free.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Costs savings of around 20%? Raised baseline for all schools since we are still in the situation that some schools don't know their ... erm ... ears from their elbows and when LAs give money to schools a goodly number spend it frivolously on things like buildings and furniture, rather than on the stuff it is meant for. A better chance of collaboration between schools. That is me seeing it with the LA hat on.

    With the school hat on the above is fine as long as schools have input into what is bought, it is complimentary to things schools already have in place and does not stifle any innovation that a school may want to do, or work they may want to do with others outside the LA / Region.

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    hmmm, I understand why (for some schools) they are doing this, but our LA is not giving us the option to go our own way - if we want any money we go with them is the approach.

    We did a study ages ago and had a presentaion from loads of providers, and had decided that studywiz would be best for us.

    But now the LA is looking at the RM and UniServity solutions, both of which seemed at bit lacking IMO

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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by NewOrder
    I have had lots of discussions with people over the cost of moodle. Yes its free to a point but if you add email, other services, training, cost of servers, backup, contingency, content and technicians salary you will realise that £7500 is not a bad price.
    Not really a fair comment. Yes it may cost a little to set up a different VLE such as moodle but the long term costs for maintenance and tutoring the system are minimal compared to a large annual fee for a MS solution.

    Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Sharepoint, we may even go that way ourselves once our LEA make their minds up I just felt that that comment gave the impression that Sharepoint was cheaper when in reality it isn't.

    For example - we spent under 4K on a new server, which we needed anyway and installed the software ourselves. The training aspect for teaching staff was already accounted for within the budget as it would have been required no matter what system was put in place. The server also hosts our intranet, asset register etc.


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    Re: Railroaded into Sharepoint

    Quote Originally Posted by NewOrder
    I have had lots of discussions with people over the cost of moodle. Yes its free to a point but if you add email, other services, training, cost of servers, backup, contingency, content and technicians salary you will realise that £7500 is not a bad price.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sharepoint does not provide email and although it links into it where required you are still paying separately for your Exchange server. Also bear in mind that the LAs have a big wodge of money from the government for providing VLEs so I would expect the cost of servers to come out of that.

    I would say £7.5k is steep when you consider that hosted commercial implementations are available for well under £2k. In the long run overpriced offerings like these may well do damage to the overall effectiveness of VLE implementations nationwide, because like it or not a consistent VLE platform across an LA (dare I say country?) will get staff using it more effectively and will likely lead to better collaboration between schools when compared with the heterogeneous approach.

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