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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, VLE- What are your suggestions in Technical; We are looking into VLE for primary schools within a Cluster and/or possibly LA. At Bett we approached FROG and ...
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    pooley's Avatar
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    VLE- What are your suggestions

    We are looking into VLE for primary schools within a Cluster and/or possibly LA.

    At Bett we approached FROG and were advised that FROG VLE + server would cost somewhere in the region of 30k and normaly Primaries would branch off a local Comp with frog already installed at a cost of ??? (comps to charge what they think fair)

    Went to Fronter who couldn't give a definitive price but came up with 1.80 / 2.00 per student/teacher but couldnt advise on setup fees etc (awaiting some info)

    An LA local to us has just started a pilot using Sharepoint in conjunction with SLG2 (Sims learning gateway) - so far setup costs are 50k+ but this will be an LEA based setup and will become available to all schools in the authority(costs to be shared out evenly). I would like to think that our LA would go for this but I have my doubts.

    Moodle is also an option, hosted ourselves or externally but I have Zero web design skills and don't really have the time to manage a vle.

    So my options seem to be

    Frog (or similar) - Split between Cluster of schools
    Sharepoint (& Moodle?) and emply someone to manage/run the VLE
    Or talk to LA and try and convince them this is a good thing and all schools will eventually want in.

    What do you guys think?

    Si

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    If you can talk to a secondary school and persuade them to go with Frog, then work with their other feeder schools then this would probably be a good option.

    Would be worth talking to the LA as well though, with the various targets being set for information access for parents. They may have something in the pipeline already which they just haven't announced.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    LEA seems to have it's head screwed on, I have SIMS, Capita does a VLE... ooo, lets get that.

    I would stay with them, just for the support. Or hire a new person.

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    I would go with your LA solution, or potentially go to a Moodle hosted/managed solution?

    Depends if you have an previous Moodle experience, Matt40k is right though.

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    @pooley:
    I would possibly look at taking on an extra person part time 1 day a week approx 6k per annum cost to the school who has the necessary skills to setup and maintain a Moodle VTLE as the setup costs for a primary would be negligible.
    On the other hand if your LA offers the service for peanuts then I would go down this route if it fulfils your criteria.

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    pooley's Avatar
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    Its not my LA that offers this solution as yet (one nearby does), we are writing a paper for them to possibly act upon regarding VLE's in this authority.

    We are/maybe in a position to buy the Frog solution ourselves and then offer it to other primaries (possibly secondaries too) but obviosly we are looking for most cost effective for us.

    Thanks for comments so far, keep em comming

    Si

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I would get moodle if you want to do it yourselves and offer it primaries. The money you save I would then hire a VLE person. They would then put actual content on it, as well as visiting the schools for training on using the VLE etc.

    Don't think it's worth it any other way.

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    jdoyle's Avatar
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    I chose to go with Fronter partly with our feeder primary schools in mind but also with issues such as 24/7 access, parent login, cost and access for our exchange school in France.

    The interface can be changed to be friendlier to primary students. With the primary students becoming familiar with Fronter then they're better equipped when they start with us.... that's the theory but the Primary's don't seem to keen to use any VLE.
    Last edited by jdoyle; 19th January 2009 at 04:34 PM.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Off topic, but I would love to be the guy that has the role of looking after the VLE and any other web technologies. Wish there was that kind of role here or somewhere local but obviously not an important role according to schools at the minute.

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    jdoyle's Avatar
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    that more or less sums up my role. VLE + Intranet + Website (+ 101 other bits and pieces)

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post
    that more or less sums up my role. VLE + Intranet + Website (+ 101 other bits and pieces)
    Within a school?

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    jdoyle's Avatar
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    yes.

    The 101 bits includes working with the primary schools, the community co-ordinator, marketing, video work, library system (Eclipse.net), photography, digital signage, Gifted & Talented, e-learning systems, some staff training and web development.

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    I was stunned to discover that despite my impression of VLE deployment, the North Yorkshire LEA actually gave their schools the option to go with their Fronter option or their own.

    Had I realised this I probably would have spent a little more time figuring out the alternatives like Moodle... Now though it's a case of being stretched too thin so we're going to be relying on county for it... Can't say I'm entirely enthusiastic but then it depends on who's running it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post
    yes.

    The 101 bits includes working with the primary schools, the community co-ordinator, marketing, video work, library system (Eclipse.net), photography, digital signage, Gifted & Talented, e-learning systems, some staff training and web development.
    That doesn't sound like a bad role - wish I could land something like that.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    I was stunned to discover that despite my impression of VLE deployment, the North Yorkshire LEA actually gave their schools the option to go with their Fronter option or their own.

    Had I realised this I probably would have spent a little more time figuring out the alternatives like Moodle... Now though it's a case of being stretched too thin so we're going to be relying on county for it... Can't say I'm entirely enthusiastic but then it depends on who's running it.
    You always have a choice. Just might end up costing you more

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