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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Interesting Moodle item on the Grauniad in Technical; As per the title: http://education.guardian.co.uk/link...236721,00.html (featuring comments from Ian Lynch, who I'm sure will be remembered by those edugeeks who ...
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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Interesting Moodle item on the Grauniad

    As per the title:

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/link...236721,00.html

    (featuring comments from Ian Lynch, who I'm sure will be remembered by those edugeeks who used to visit a certain newsgroup way back when)

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    As per the title:

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/link...236721,00.html

    (featuring comments from Ian Lynch, who I'm sure will be remembered by those edugeeks who used to visit a certain newsgroup way back when)
    Good read, thanks for the link...

    The arguments lynch puts forward against the commercial VLE also-rans i entirely agree with.....

    In reality it should really be a two horse race between the moodle implementations and solutions based on Sharepoint/MSLG whether they be done in-house or LEA/service provider managed. They are so far ahead when it comes to TCO and useability that it just shows what a farce the becta list was....

    We've basically got two vendors in the MIS space....in the final shakedown we should see the same with VLE's, with Moodle being the SIMS to MS Sharepoints CMIS in terms of number of implmentations.

    The few percent of schools who go with one of the providers on the list could well be reevaluating their choice within a year of deployment. A risky strategic decision imo...

    never mind people outside of the uk i bet there many people in uk education who had never heard of the products that were being put forward by becta.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    Interestingly, I've heard a rumour that CLEO (who have wholesale taken up Moodle as their VLE of choice) might be looking into a commercial solution for primary schools.

    This could be due to the lack of ease of use (you have to have a reasonable level of reading/comprehension skills in order to use a lot of the features)

    Does anyone have any experience of a more suitable one for primaries?

    regards

    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by sahmeepee View Post
    As per the title:

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/link...236721,00.html

    (featuring comments from Ian Lynch, who I'm sure will be remembered by those edugeeks who used to visit a certain newsgroup way back when)
    What do you mean "used to visit"? I still have a subscription to it, although it is via google groups now ... given up the need for a proper Usenet client now :-(

    Ian popped onto the stand today and gave us a quick look at the XO, and we will have a closer look on the Open Forum Europe stand tomorrow.

    Back to the topic ... one of the issues with *any* VLE / Learning Platform is getting a good balance between a 'ready to go' system that can be easily tailored and filled with content and the most cost effective solution that fits your school / cluster / LA.

    There are lots of schools that have Moodle running and with a few subjects heavily using it ... and there are fewer schools where it is used throughout the school for all aspects.

    With any VLE you have 2 problems. How are you going to populate it and how are you going to get it used in classrooms.

    Commercial VLEs will meet this by selling you content with the platform and selling you methods of getting it up and running when it comes to the T&L side. A big caveat here ... your mileage *will* vary depending on the company, the area, the school leadership, the teachers and the students.

    Moodle ... you get what you see. A platform ready to do specific task with a goodly number of flexible modules that you pick and choose. You have to create your own content / courses, import it in from others who prepare content (remember the NWGfL produced their DiDA course as a Moodle course too) and you can get out their talking with people about how you get it running and impacting in a school. Again ... a big caveat ... it varies depending on the school leadership, the teachers, the students, the ability to get good partnerships with others with Moodle content and a certain amount of technical ability available depending on what 'extras' are added in. This is the point where a school can start coughing up the cash ... in wages and time for support and content / course resources, and maybe training too.

    Pretty much the same issues then ... just different methods of cracking the same nut.

    Personally ... I fancy a mix. I like a good amount of Moodle, I like a good amount of Joomla, I like a good amount of Sharepoint. I want to get them all happy together. I think we *should* be able to put together the bits together we want.

    But most people know I am a nut who wants to do strange things anyway.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    There's also an RM sponsored 8 page pull-out with Tuesday's Education Guardian called Digital Wonderworld, can't find it on the web, but there's an article inside called Call the Professionals by Jack Kenny. I'll quote the second para,
    "Unreliable ICT in many schools is often given as the reason why teachers are reluctant to use technology. Filling the school with kit is the easy part and we pay the professionals to bring in the boxes, connect them and walk away. Getting it all to work properly to make life easier and lessons more interesting is the hard part and for that we use amateurs."
    Jack Kenny, a former English teacher, now writes on educational technology and is chair of English examiners for Edexel, is not related to Bisley69.
    Could this be the same Edexel responsible for this, or this?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The Guardian is being contacted and a response will be made later today. We will publish our response once we have read the full article in context.

    We do not agree with the attitude that those who do IT Support in schools are not professionals, and the quote on its own could actually be twisted to show that the boxes are put in by professionals (us) and then misused by amateurs (teachers). You never know ... that might actually be the intention and I am mis-reading the quote.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The Guardian is being contacted and a response will be made later today. We will publish our response once we have read the full article in context.

    We do not agree with the attitude that those who do IT Support in schools are not professionals, and the quote on its own could actually be twisted to show that the boxes are put in by professionals (us) and then misused by amateurs (teachers). You never know ... that might actually be the intention and I am mis-reading the quote.
    Yes, I'd like to read the entire article to understand the context and real meaning of that quote.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardian
    Antony Moore of platform supplier Fronter tackles the argument head on. "Moodle can't meet the availability and reliability necessary for a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation," he says.
    Where is Mr Moore's evidence of this?

    Considering Fronter is an externally-hosted system (compared to a locally-installed Moodle server) I would summise Fronter's availability and reliability would generally be less due to a school's reliance on an internet connection. For all we know Fronter could be running on a 486 with no UPS and no RAID/backup facilities and no redundant internet connections. Atleast with local Moodle setups you have control.
    Last edited by webman; 11th January 2008 at 10:42 AM.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Where is Mr Moore's evidence of this?
    Indeed, as a counterpoint I'd like to offer this output from our Moodle server.

    Code:
    root@goliath:~# uptime
     10:35:35 up 75 days, 11:05,  1 user,  load average: 0.81, 0.67, 0.54

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