Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Real Smart Cloud in Technical; I found a thread related to this but it was 3 years ago, so wondering if you can please give ...
10th February 2014, 11:20 AM #1
Real Smart Cloud
I found a thread related to this but it was 3 years ago, so wondering if you can please give me an up-to-date opinion on this system?
realsmart: your learning portfolio
(I do keep misreading Smartassess though!)
We are currently using Fronter via Atomwide USO and looking to move to a new VLE. Are these guys any good? Do they also offer parental reporting?
10th February 2014, 02:18 PM #2
The system is very strange in my opinion, it comprises of 3 parts.
Part 1: Website - they use wordpress for this, it’s nothing special but some users take to it others don't.
Part 2: Google Docs
Part 3: Realsmart - this is the part you are actually paying for, it is good in principal but unless you get staff planning lessons in it; it will never take off for you.
I had it at my previous establishment and nobody used the Realsmart part they just did everything through Google drive. Which brings the question on why buy it if the parts you are using are free! This is probably why they are now looking to move away from it, I also find the compulsory buy into Google Docs a bit restrictive particularly if (like me) you have invested time in O365. If you want I can PM you the details of the person who took my role I'm sure they will talk you through what is happening now.
10th February 2014, 02:20 PM #3
Re: Parental reporting.
It was always one of those things on the roadmap that never got done, in my time. This may have changed by now as it has been a while since I left.
10th February 2014, 02:37 PM #4
We have had RealSmart for a little while and even now Staff seem 50/50 if they like it or not.
As what Foofighterjim mentioned the website is in Word Press, everything links in to Google Docs, Drive and Gmail. Although we still have exchange I am awaiting for an answer from RealSmart how we access Student areas.
Its better then the previous/half current moodle system we use, it feels much quicker, less flaky and easier to maintain/manage. The learning portfolio is what I don't have experience in and that part is what staff/students will use - Work assigning and feedback available.
My only gripe with this was the guy who came here and told us to scrap our "Exchange system which we are paying an annual license for, scrap our home drive areas over night and never touch Windows because his MacBook is so good. This was after we had already signed up to it, sounded like he was more fussed about us going to a system which we wouldn't be able to leave. Then again he was an Ex-Head of Music.
Support though is okay, they don't take too long to get back to you.
Wordpress - After playing around with our website trying to get this to look much better I have found there are too many limitations. You don't quite get the same level of access that you would get if you built up your own. I have looked at a lot of other Schools on RealSmart and I am not impressed in the way they look.
ADLINK - This does not exist and the company refuses to have anything to do with it. They have even made a blog post as to why they wont do it, personally they should do something like Frog which enables you to customise the import to easily match AD yet still pull it out of SIMs. It currently pulls the data out of SIMs.
Don't get me wrong though as mentioned it is an improvement on what we currently had been using from our School website (joomla) and VLE (moodle). My only problem is the fact we are paying for far too many external sources: SLG, ParentEveningOnline, RealSmart, AlfieTest, Clipbank and many more.
And no there is nothing for Parents and when we asked we got told no its not happening.
If the School could afford a one off payment for Frog we would have gone down that route.
Last edited by mthomas08; 10th February 2014 at 02:46 PM.
10th February 2014, 02:47 PM #5
So I take it Realsmart exports data directly from SIMS, but vanilla Google apps will pull data from Active Directory which in turn pulls it's data from SIMS and effectively creates a single sign-on between the network and Google? The Realsmart guy was trying to tell us we would have to upload login details in blocks and rename kids individually.
10th February 2014, 03:03 PM #6
That does ring a bell I probably delegated that one out.
Originally Posted by CAM
Yes, Realsmart only exports information from SIMS. I have no idea about vanilla Google apps.
10th February 2014, 03:06 PM #7
That was if we went vanilla having to do that. His pitch was Realsmart doing that for us.
10th February 2014, 03:12 PM #8
Realsmart will create account names to a basic level, if you wanted the usernames to reflect what you have in AD (we have year of intake, surname & first initial) you will probably need to make manual changes anyway. I think the first import we were able to give them a list of usernames mapped to UPNs and they took care of it for us. Any subsequent users we had to change ourselves. Every new intake for example, don't get me wrong my experience wasn't great and I probably do have a slightly skewed perception of Realsmart and Google apps as a result.
Originally Posted by CAM
Thanks to foofighterjim from:
10th February 2014, 07:35 PM #9
We use Realsmart as a standalone product but not the cloud version.
We don't extensively use it across the school in all departments, so have tried but didn't like it. ICT, Media and PE use it more than anybody else.
11th February 2014, 09:01 AM #10
there trying to sell googledocs with a little bit of their stuff tacked on.
the chap we had kept going back to googledocs, when we asked him to ignore the google products and focus on the realsmart product he really struggled.
11th February 2014, 09:22 AM #11
Glad we are not the only ones that felt the same, it is a disappointing product for what you are paying for. You are essentially paying for all the integration and their RealSmart "my learning" content creation. And you are also paying for all the free stuff which has been a concern for us, the School decided to get RealSmart far too quickly and I had my reservations about it.
I wanted a single platform which did everything for us but now we are paying for far too much and all these different services.
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