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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, VLE statements - true or false....please comment... in Technical; 1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff? 2. All VLE's are pretty much ...
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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    VLE statements - true or false....please comment...

    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?
    No, Joint. If it can't be supported\used, it's pretty much useless.

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    No. They should be able to export content between them, assuming they are Becta approved, there might be some limits tho.

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    Depends, whats your internet connection?

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?
    Perhaps, if they both use it correctly (ie put lesson plans on etc regularly) yes, the students will be use to it.

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    Mmm... yes. Not a replacement tho. Another tool
    Last edited by matt40k; 19th January 2009 at 12:12 PM.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    5. Primaries (not all) tend to be scared of these things as it completely changes current methods. I tried and tried within my school for some feedback. Basically they were not interested. Which was a shame

    One of the reasons I left
    Last edited by apoth0r; 19th January 2009 at 12:13 PM. Reason: addition

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?
    Definitely not unless the educators are going to enter all the users by hand when they realise that there is no (functional) bulk import. Or if they promise not to come and complain when it runs like a dog/doesn't do what they need/it falls over/etc

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    I can kind of see the second part being true, most VLEs have blogging, wikis, quizzes etc, but it is the interface adn ease of use that wildly differs. To go all buzzword the experience is the selling point. Be like saying all cars are the same as they all have four wheels and a steering wheel (Right, pedants out now, yes I know about Robin Reliants and 6x4/6x6/+ vehicles but it breaks my metaphor so drop it )

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    Again I can kinda agree with this one on the condition that the Net condition is suitable and the company is decent. It also depends on teh position of the school & how likely they are to use it. We decided we didn't want to rely on an external company as if the internet is down and all subjects are using it then chaos ensues. If it is internal and the connection goes down then it will still run with limited functionality and if external students can't get at it we know why. We also wanted more control if something did go wrong.

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?
    I suppose the similar interface will make the transition easier but I suppose you coudl say that Primaries shoudl ditch Textease and the like and all use Word. May help, may not.

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    If allowed to yes. But if they are taught to use it correctly and it is shown to them how to use it more effectively then this shouldn't happen. One of our main reasons to want a VLE is to try and sort the crud from our shared drive. If it isn't linked to a scheme of work or course it goes. A VLE helps this process.

    HTH

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    Pottsey's Avatar
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    1. Depends on location. Here the VLE was chosen by the LEA with no input form the staff or school.

    2. Like any software product they are not all the same. The VLE the LEA gave us is not going be useful, but I have my doubts if any VLE would be of much use for us.

    3. Doesnít matter as long as it works, does everything that matters, has a good enough uptime and backup system.

    4. Yes and No. In one way itís nice to have the same interface and less learning for the parents. Then again if children are thought how to use software in general they should be able to easily adapt to a different VLE. A child thatís thought IT decently should be able to use a non MS Word program and other VLEs

    5. I donít see it being used as its offers no benefits and as a dumping ground itís too slow compared to USB sticks or network drives.

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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?

    Should be a joint decision but the educators view is vital in choosing a system. Technical staff need to have an input and be flexible about what they can and cannot support. 1st hand experience tells me this is not the case and I have evidence of techies rubbishing a product because they don't want to support it (NB Not can't - won't)

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?

    To a point they are all similar in functionality. How that functionality is achieved varies greatly and how easy it is for non-technical staff to use the functionality varies too.

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?

    Tend to agree providing that you have robust internet connections and the VLE provider has a solid, robust infrastructure. Pros and cons for both sides of that argument.

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?

    I think they would - it allows continuity and cross phase working to take place easily. Helps greatly with transition work.

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?

    I think most staff will use a VLE in a much more structured way than a shared network drive. We use Sharepoint and staff are uploading documents etc with metatags so they can be searched easily. With the correct training and ethos I see it as being like out shared drive but with greater flexibility and structure.

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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?

    sometimes it rests with the LA IT staff and the decision isn't even made in school - do bsf schools get any choice? Ideally decisions should be taken by anyone with an interest, educators and support staff.

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?

    Most definitely not! there are good ones and there are bad ones.

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    Ideally it shouldn't, but in reality it probably will make a difference if it gets used properly.


    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?

    VLE isn't supposed to be 'taught' the idea that you must 'teach' a VLE like you teach how to use a word processor is outmoded. A secondary would benefit from features not present in VLE's aimed at the primary market so I would say the opposite is true.


    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?


    most teachers won't because most teachers don't understand IT at a high enough level to make this happen. A vle *should* replace network drives, but only after teachers have gotten their heads around a) file sizes b) propriety file formats c) that the web based technologies can replace most local apps - a long way off yet.

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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?
    This depends on the school really. It could be that the educators want IT staff to support it, or it could be that the VLE is hosted and managed externally by a provider. Just to add that your LEA may choose a particular VLE for all the schools but it doesn't mean that your school has to accept that choice. If you or your school find something they're happier with then by all means use it. You won't get the economies of scale though.

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    Some do somethings better than others, while failing in other areas. I can't really add much more than others have written here.

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    There are pros and cons here. If it's hosted in house or externally then someone has to have responsibility for it, and this could cause problems if only one person has the "knowledge" and then decides to leave. However, if the VLE is provided by a third party support should be included in the cost. With the advent of BSF, will you or any of your colleagues be kept on to manage the VLE?

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?
    And upscale that to the 14-19 Diploma and you can see that all schools within an LEA would be better off singing from the same VLE. But I feel your assumption is generally correct.


    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    I encourage our staff to do this, but with a structure in place so that they can only put their work in certain areas. My aim here is for it to become second nature with established staff that the VLE is where they deposit work. I'll hopefully come up with an addendum to the new staff induction material which will contain some online VLE training.
    Last edited by beeswax; 19th January 2009 at 01:37 PM.

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    many thanks for all the thoughts...

    hopefully this will serve as a useful resource to others considering a VLE...

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?

    I don't believe it should just be the teachers who make the decision. I have played a major role in what chosen VLE as a school we would be using. Especially if you are expected to maintain it.

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    Deffintly not. Some offer various features - a tool to teach directly from etc. They all have the same core functions, but the cost could be the driving factor as what it can do - not all cases moodle etc.

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    Internal hosted VLE's will be a lot quicker to access within school, so your end users will tend to use the VLE more than if it takes ages to load.

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?

    I agree with this statement. It means the majority of the instruction and training element would have been carried out by the primary school before the students get to secondary school. You will need to ensure that the primary school is using it correctly to be most effective.

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    Probably, although teachers need to be aware that the structure and naming convention of files are key when students have access to the resources one the VLE.

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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?

    Bit of both, but when it comes down to it it's prolly going to be the teaching staff using it with the kiddies.

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?

    More or less - although some of the functionality is more, err, functional on some vle's because of the way the interface is designed

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?

    Assuming that everything works all the time and is reliable enough then it shouldn't.

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?

    Probably, but that's no excuse for the secondary school to bully it's primaries into buying the same system or trying to force inappropriate ways of working on them...

    By extension though does this mean that all schools within a local area would benefit greatly? Within an LEA? Region? Country?

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?

    Teachers? Use a VLE? Blimey, most of ours don't know how to log on to the darned thing let alone use it to store files...

    Eventually they probably will. And the vle will need to be swept to get rid of all the stuff that no-one wants.

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    DrPerceptron's Avatar
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    I'd like to raise an additional choice with point 1.

    You should consider asking your student body which they want. Although students are more adaptive than staff will ever be, it's the students who will spend a vast amount of time in it, using it and I know from experience (IE... mine!) that most students here do not like the LearnWise VLE (I could never find anything on it - so gave up)

    I'd suggest a VLE was hosted in school, the bulk of work would be added at a speed which does not impact the use of the web for other users browsing etc, who cares how it's used out-of-hours?

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    bluesquarething's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPerceptron View Post
    You should consider asking your student body which they want. Although students are more adaptive than staff will ever be, it's the students who will spend a vast amount of time in it, using it and I know from experience (IE... mine!) that most students here do not like the LearnWise VLE (I could never find anything on it - so gave up)
    Our LEA did that apparantly. Uniservity was apparantly miles ahead of all the others.

    Err...

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennysarmy View Post
    The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?
    Ideally, yes, but left to themselves teachers would simply pick the company with the most persuasive sales team rather than the best one.

    All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    Ideally they would all support the same standards so bought content would be interchangeable and created content would be moveable.

    From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    If you're going to have whole classes of pupils use it at the same time, and/or if you plan to use video, etc, you want a school-based server of some kind. This might simply be a local caching server of some kind.

    A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?
    They might all benifit from using the same content and login details, which should work accross VLEs.

    Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    Staff rooms, shared drives, VLEs, etc, all need care and attention - someone needs to check stuff over and clear out the cruft every now and again.

    --
    David Hicks

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    1.The decision for a VLE rests solely with the educators not the IT staff?
    Definitely not, at some point the IT staff will either be supporting or working with it so need to make sure the system meets requirements

    2. All VLE's are pretty much the same, they all have the same functionality?
    All are based on a similar concept, some are executed well, some are a bit iffy, some are diabolical!

    3. From the end-users perspective it does nt matter whether the VLE is hosted internally or externally?
    An interesting issue we're looking at as well, internal will be quicker but generally means you'll be supporting it (apart from one or two companies that do interal hosting \ support), which could be a pain depending on the platform. Also depends on the stability and speed of Internet connection

    4. A secondary school and feeder primaries would benefit greatly from all using the same VLE?
    I guess it'd make life easier if most students come from those feeder schools provided all the schools are happy using the system

    5. Most teachers will use a VLE as a replacement for the dumping ground that is the shared network drive?
    Depends on how staff are trained. If there's no-one dedicated to developing the VLE and supporting staff then they'll either a) not use it at all or b) use it as a dumping ground. If there's good training and help to make the most of the VLE it'll be a success
    Last edited by gshaw; 20th January 2009 at 09:57 AM.

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