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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Staffordshire SLN2? in Technical; Anybody else here from staffordshire schools and if so what do you think of SLT 's VLE offerings? I think ...
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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Staffordshire SLN2?

    Anybody else here from staffordshire schools and if so what do you think of SLT's VLE offerings?

    I think its a bit . First of all its NOT hosted on site, so it does not link in with the kids Active Directory accounts, so its not single sign on, so yet another login for them to remember.

    Its 1000 sign on fee, then 3 per student/teacher in year 1, 5 in year 2, 7 in year 3. Thats around 4000 a year for us after 3 years, not cheap!

    Once again Staffordshire County Council have jumped in bed with RM again for the solution (no suprise there )

    Think i might take a close look at the SIMS Learning gateway, or wait to see what becomes of PARS Connect and use that with a seperate onsite VLE like moodle.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 2nd September 2008 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Swearing

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    I think its a bit . First of all its NOT hosted on site, so it does not link in with the kids Active Directory accounts, so its not single sign on, so yet another login for them to remember.
    Once services are fully managed, the chances are that your servers will also be off site.

    Think i might take a close look at the SIMS Learning gateway
    When I last looked at this, you had to buy into a separate VLE (Granada Learning was the recommended one), so there was the price of this on top of the LG. The Learning Gateway itself handled MIS data etc.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 2nd September 2008 at 02:26 PM. Reason: quote swearing

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    Sorry to bump up an old thread, but does anyone have any more information on SLN2?

    I had a meeting yesterday with RM and SCC, but it would be nice to hear some opinions from people actually using it and how you got on with it!

    As long as our MIS system can output to a CSV... I think that's about as far as my involvement will go, but it would still be cool to hear your thoughts.

    Cheers guys.

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    Jack, High School In staffordshire also. We have been looking at our VLE/Remote Access/Parental Access. At present we use Moodle. SLN2 (aka the revised Kaliedos) offers not just a VLE however. It offers parental login, individual learning space, the ability to create ILP's etc etc.

    We also looked at the alternative Capitas own version. I concluded two things, from a technical viewpoint they also offer on site and off site hosting. I of course, would prefer the on site option for a number of reasons. However, financially, when you take into account the cost of the server and of course in time that server will need replacing in the longer term there was not much of a cost difference.

    A problem I have is that many of our feeder schools have already adopted SLN2 and the continuity that would offer parents and pupils is hard to ignore. When they arrive at the High School pupils and parents are already familiar with the system.

    The parental access aspect concerns me with 1500 students at this location. With SLN2 offering the potential of up to 4 parents/guardians a log in that is 6000 accounts potentially to manage. As I understand it, it also does not have automatic password reset. I can see various potential problems with that!!

    I am off to visit a school who has the up and running and I keen to learn from them. However, like you I would be interested in what others have to say!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmckenna View Post
    I am off to visit a school who has the up and running and I keen to learn from them. However, like you I would be interested in what others have to say!!
    Glad you're in the same boat as me! I'm going to visit a school at some point who are beta testing certain modules and it would be cool to have a prod and see what it can do.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    We have got Capita's own version now, hosted on site, noticed at the last staffordshire meeting one or two were not happy they could not write to sims from SLN2. We you at the staffordshire meeting last week jimmckenna ?

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    Yeah, was there and noticed that. We have a TS in place which does allow staff to write so was not too much of an issue at this location regards that. How did the costs stack up? and what has your experience so far, pros and cons. Ta!! PM if you prefer

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    Ended up costing about 12,000 in total, that was 8500 to Capitas and the rest for Sharepoint licensing and the Dell Server, plus extra public IP's.

    Only staff using it really at the moment. They like it, we have been using terminal services since 2003 for SIMS access from home for staff, which they still use, they just like the fact it come be done from any PC now easy, as its intergrated with the intranet page.

    We have the student one ready to go, but senior managment want to check all comments in the conduct/event logs first before kids see what staff have written about them. Same with the parent access.

    A few kids have figured out how to get to the student page, and love being able to see there own timetable, event and conduct logs.

    The fact it integrates with Active Directory makes it so much more powerful. Only con is the consolidation of 2 accounts. When you populate the SLG with students it creates another active directory account. You have to consildate them into there existing network login. Its easy to do though.

    We use moodle for our VLE and use this as our intranet. Working well so far!

    Only real con is capitas support is so bad, so i'm hoping for staffordshire to support this product. I spoke to the sims team and they said they would have a best attempt go if capitas were being a pain.

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    I personally think that SLN2 is a pile of pants. We host our own sharepoint and it works a treat. We are currently being "forced" to take up SLN2 because of BSF and we are not happy. One interuption to the broadband and everthing will go off line. RM and Staffordshire (are they the same company?)

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    We are going with the sln2.net option and intend to carry out some staff training on the first day back in the new year. I have been busy putting on content so that we have some examples to show the staff how they can use it. This includes a IT support page with a wiki of common problems and issues so that staff can use that as a reference point. (I can then say if they can't do something like "I know you have told me and shown me this before but...." - "go check the wiki!").

    I do have a concern over bandwith when we will be using it in anger - 5th January will be enlightening.

    Also the issue of writing back into Sims from sln2.net may be resolved next year, according to one of the breakout sessions at the seminar last week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adicken View Post
    I personally think that SLN2 is a pile of pants. We host our own sharepoint and it works a treat. We are currently being "forced" to take up SLN2 because of BSF and we are not happy. One interuption to the broadband and everthing will go off line. RM and Staffordshire (are they the same company?)
    How is your job effected with BSF? As tamworth is the test place for BSF and staffordshire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adicken View Post
    We are currently being "forced" to take up SLN2 because of BSF and we are not happy. One interuption to the broadband and everthing will go off line. RM and Staffordshire (are they the same company?)
    Were you at the meeting yesterday at TORC?

    I was there from Tamworth College.

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    Head of ICT was there. He's not happy today so I suppose it's bad news. Not had chance to catch up with him yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Anybody else here from staffordshire schools and if so what do you think of SLT's VLE offerings?

    I think its a bit . First of all its NOT hosted on site, so it does not link in with the kids Active Directory accounts, so its not single sign on, so yet another login for them to remember.

    Its 1000 sign on fee, then 3 per student/teacher in year 1, 5 in year 2, 7 in year 3. Thats around 4000 a year for us after 3 years, not cheap!

    Once again Staffordshire County Council have jumped in bed with RM again for the solution (no suprise there )

    Think i might take a close look at the SIMS Learning gateway, or wait to see what becomes of PARS Connect and use that with a seperate onsite VLE like moodle.
    ... have you had a trial of PARS Connect yet? If not, give the office a ring and they will send you a link. You only pay for annual maintenance as you already have PARS.net Having a link from a more cost effective website to Connect will not break the budget AND as you mentioned... the data is hosted from the school not outsourced. Would I want my daughters data circulated and managed out of school... nope!

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    i run and design/dev all the web based systems we have in school. our jump to this crock of cack was not made by our selves but by them down stairs!!! i have point blank refused to touch it! I HATE IT!!! i have been told to have a positive attitude 2wards it to staff, i just say 'its really good...yep .... good....thats what i was told to say ne way....bye'

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