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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Frog3 pushing string (get a new VLE?) in Technical; Frog 3 seems to have been abandoned by frogtrade in favour of their new FrogOS or FrogLearn... We can get ...
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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    Frog3 pushing string (get a new VLE?)

    Frog 3 seems to have been abandoned by frogtrade in favour of their new FrogOS or FrogLearn... We can get a "free" upgrade to FrogOS but it'll go on our old server. This server BTW that it turns out we own has no warranty and the backup can only go on a server supplied and restored by frog. (but that is another rant)

    I think installing a OS that can't use any assets from the old frog server and putting time and effort into a new OS that sits on an old server is a poor idea. The frog3 server btw cannot be p2v'd

    Might as well start fresh with a new VLE?...

    Ideas, Management wanted me to pitch some VLE ideas. I have the O365 SharePoint but it's not education focused. Theirs Moodle but I'm told it's weak...

    Any questions to upset frog when they pitch the new OS to management this week....

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    There is supposed to be a widget or something that allows Frog3 assets to be used in FrogOS. However... At last check, it doesn't work and we've not heard anything back about it since we complained.

    As it stands, we've paid £30k > over 2 years for an out of date system, on a server which is costing us a fortune for warranty and which we can't P2V to our existing, much higher spec, virtualised server infrastructure.

    FrogOS/FrogLearn, last I checked, simply didn't have all the capabilities of Frog3. So, we seem to have been abandoned even though we're only a recent customer...

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    Steven_Cleaver's Avatar
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    To be honest setup Frog at my old school which was used well for a couple of years before I left and was used well after, although I know they have been having a lot of issues lately. We set Moodle up here although someone else in our Department did this and manages this.

    FROG has a lot of bells and whistles and looks nice (£27,000) + year on going costs.

    Moodle probably not as pretty but pretty customisable cost us very little I'd say £1,000 as can be virtualised so just sits on physical box.

    I wouldn't say either is much less work both took time and work to set up and maintain but not much difference.

    Staff seemed like and use both equally to be honest.

    Had a teacher come from another school that used FROG and she heavily used this but took to Moodle the same I asked after about 6 months what she thought she said there were a couple of nice features on FROG but in essence she preferred Moodle as it was easier for her to upload her resources.

    One of the big users of FROG and early adopters of FROG locally has made the switch to FireFly so could have a look at that, I went and had a look and it looked interesting.

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    fouldsy's Avatar
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    Hi Chazzy2501, I wouldn't say Frog 3 has been abandoned, we've still got a team of devs fixing bugs and making changes (see the Frog 3 release notes on the community site)

    The reason for developing FrogLearn was to make the most of Tablet devices, and also return the focus of a 'Learning Platform' back to Teaching and Learning - where it can actually be used and make a difference in the classroom by Teachers and Students.

    Schools who have invested a lot of time and effort in Frog 3 (and have an awesome platform as a result) are not overly keen to switch over yet, however the more new developments they see in FrogLearn, they can see the benefit of starting to use bits of it, if not switch to it entirely and then embed the Frog 3 pages they want to keep.

    I can appreciate your frustration with servers, but depending on the model of your server, you should just be able to increase the RAM (and in your case renew the warranty) to allow FrogLearn and Frog 3 to sit on it side by side. Some schools have abandoned Frog 3 and started afresh with FrogLearn (cloud) others have held on to pages they were using regularly in Frog 3 and embedded them in FrogLearn.

    Hopefully when you and your colleagues see FrogLearn this week, you'll see it that it is completely different to any other learning platform you'll have seen (including Frog 3) and the result is that it allows Teachers to build their own lessons / resources themselves and make it look just how they want, rather than the platform just being used as a file storage area.

    I'd definitely recommend you have a look on the community site if you haven't recently. (Frog Community) Hopefully that's not blocked, as I'm not trying to sell anything!!

    Check out the forum on there and the release notes especially.

    Cheers

    Matt
    Last edited by fouldsy; 22nd May 2014 at 10:46 AM. Reason: shocking spelling

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fouldsy View Post
    Schools who have invested a lot of time and effort in Frog 3 (and have an awesome platform as a result) are not overly keen to switch over yet, however the more new developments they see in FrogLearn, they can see the benefit of starting to use bits of it, if not switch to it entirely and then embed the Frog 3 pages they want to keep.
    Except if you're in the situation we are, where we can't embed the Frog 3 pages - as there is a problem and we aren't able to do it, and are getting no action from support it seems!

    I can appreciate your frustration with servers, but depending on the model of your server, you should just be able to increase the RAM (and in your case renew the warranty) to allow FrogLearn and Frog 3 to sit on it side by side. Some schools have abandoned Frog 3 and started afresh with FrogLearn (cloud) others have
    Renew the warranty, at quite high cost you mean? Its an added expenditure that wasn't fully explained during purchase (at least it wasn't in our case).

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    fouldsy's Avatar
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    @localzuk I'll have a look into the problem for you, see if I can get someone to get in touch with an update on why it's not letting you embed.

    You can sign a waiver (and not have to renew the warranty) I know some schools have done this, but then can understand you might not want to in case anything did go wrong with the server.

    I'm going to be down in Devon in a couple of weeks for a Meet Share and Learn, would it be possible for me to pop in and see you on the way back?

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    We are in a similar situation. We are going to ditch the Parent Portal this summer and move over to TASC Insight as the frog parent portal is too clunky to maintain and too limited.
    As for Frog itself, I am seriously wondering if we actually need to replace it.
    Is a VLE actually needed these days ? Were they ever ?
    YMMV, but in our case I am not sure.
    I am certainly not going to move to whatever the new frog is called this week, and might not replace the old one with anything.

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    We have recently adopted our first VLE and are in the early stages of populating it with resources and content. This is going overwhelmingly well with amazing staff uptake and positivity (something unheard of around here...). We are way ahead of schedule and are aiming to go live for September (staff, students and parents)

    We looked at a few of the 'big names' and they came in and gave demo's etc. (Frog being one of them). Initially, we set up a group of staff to head an ICT Steering Committee (staff from all faculties, Governors, admin team and SMT). Over a series of meetings they decided what they wanted from a VLE (on the academic front and the admin/parent engagement side). They then whittled down a list of providers and it was a simple case of weighing up the pro's and con's of each (although even at this point there was a clear favourite).

    We decided to go with Firefly. I'm confident in saying the staff would not have accepted it quite so well if it wasn't so darned easy to upload and create resources. A simple two-hour training session on it and there was a flurry of activity (and it's still on-going). The pages look great and really are so simple to create. We have had guinea pig students and parents use it, all glowing feedback received (again, with very positive comments). We did opt for the parent portal which pulls data from our MIS (WCBS PASS) on the fly if we like. The parent engagement side was a key priority - we are even thinking of replacing our current 'parent communication' service with a view to moving to firefly for all interaction and comms.

    If any of you are thinking about a new VLE or a first step into the area, do give firefly a look. Please don't be put off by the cost. Queue the "but moodle does that and it's free" comments. In my eyes, there is no comparison! Also on the support front, they are the best support team i've had to deal with. Always answer the phone within a couple of rings, reply to emails promptly, more than open to feature requests and user input. 100% satisfied from sales through to now. The main achievement, I AM GENUINELY EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE WITH FIREFLY (I used to have nightmares over sharepoint).

    I'm happy to talk to anybody about it, even give you a quick demo.

    For the comment above, is a VLE even needed these days? Were they ever? My answer is split. They were never needed but BECTA said they were (back-handers here and there i'm sure). Luckily we held out and never implemented one (hoorah). However, the environment is changing. As we move to adopt BYOD strategies, a VLE becomes the obvious answer to solve so many otherwise annoying issues, implications and complications. Of course, this relies on choosing the right platform...from the right providers...with the right attitude and ethos!

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    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    Umm, lots to think about here. After already setting up O365 (for free office) I'm wondering if its OneDrive and SharePoint are enough cloud/BYOD support...

    My Big Campus have just given me a quote that is the same as our annual Frog support!

    So too check out: Firefly, MyBigCampus.

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    EduMaster's Avatar
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    I just posted this on another thread earlier pretty sure they do Office 365 as well,it popped up on my lnkedIn feed just now "Summer madness! For a limited time you can get our award winning SharePoint Cloud learning platform for a weekly per user price from only 10p! Contact us for a free no-obligation trial and get a copy of our LP+ ADOPT book free"

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazzy2501 View Post
    The frog3 server btw cannot be p2v'd
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ...on a server which is costing us a fortune for warranty and which we can't P2V to our existing, much higher spec, virtualised server infrastructure.
    Ours P2Vd into a VMWare ESXi environment just fine and the last I heard about Frog's support for virtualisation was that they were testing on different platforms (detail on this is in the "Bloody frog, server out of warranty" topic in this area).

    If your virtualisation solution supports Linux hosts, it should support your Frog server - but liaise with FrogTrade to make sure they are happy to support any P2V plans you have first if you are thinking about replacing your old server but don't have the cash (or desire!) to buy a brand new box from them.
    Last edited by TheCrust; 23rd May 2014 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Updated info.

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