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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Fronter Users / Norfolk in Technical; Just wondering how colleagues in the area are getting on with our new VLE? I was doing some updates this ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Fronter Users / Norfolk

    Just wondering how colleagues in the area are getting on with our new VLE? I was doing some updates this morning, sat back and found myself pleased/amazed with how it seems to be progressing. Better still we seem to be having a very positive response from staff. We did a twilight session last Tuesday and got all the teaching staff up to speed. I'm actually being asked to get updates done quicker, people are impatient to use it! Science and Maths have been using it for a while and we are now about to get our first class of kids involved.

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    john's Avatar
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    Are you, as a techy / network manager, being actively encouraged to be a key in the running / training / supporting / assisting of it at all? Up in North Yorkshire they are activly saying no to IT staff doing the training on it etc and saying Teachers should run and control it etc.

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    leco's Avatar
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    I'm a techie and am being actively encouraged to be at all of the training sessions. The ICT Co-Ord admits to not being technical at all, tells the teachers that and says to ask me about the technical stuff.

    We had half a day's INSET on it today - over 30 members of staff, that's teachers, support staff and governors attended and all had a whale of a time. It seems to have fired their imagination and they are all enthusiastic. Only time will tell, when they begin to use it in a classroom situation, if it is actually of any use.

  4. Thanks to leco from:

    john (12th February 2009)

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    john's Avatar
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    I guess that West Yorks is seperate from the North Yorks one, the LEA are doing training days on it for staff and the head wanted to have some teaching and technical on it as it was a good colaberation the current VLE but he was told on a simple level no to techys on the course. Fine we can do it at our end on our own etc but to say as part of the LEA pack you would hope that you could have a techy go on it rateh than a teacher being told how to do the usernames and passwords etc etc.

    Anyway im ranting and dragging off topic which isn't good so i'll stop it

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    leco's Avatar
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    Holds hand up - Sorry my fault for side tracking.

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    I would be interested in hearing views from people using fronter, its one thing ive noticed from being involved in it is that there really isn't anyone showing off the sites like people do with Moodle, i guess because of the password needed to enter the sites. How has anyone found the administration of the site?
    It seems overly complicated to perform small tasks atm IMHO.

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    We're getting access to Fronter soon. The ICT co-ord and another teacher are going to a training seesion soon. The school secretary has been asked to go to look after the admin side of things, which has freaked her out a bit as she doesn't have time for any more work. What is involved in the admin side ?I'm only around for a few hours a week, but have sorted their webssite and LGFL stuff. Is the admin more suited to a techie ?

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    The admin side doesn't seem very user friendly at all, things arent always where I expected them to be in a logical GUI type way. We havent really started using it yet, finding it difficult to get enthusiasm from people about it :s

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    ninjabeaver's Avatar
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    In Norfolk I'm on the otherside of the fence and we are using LP+. I think over all of Norfolk one Technician and one Teaching Staff Member is being encouraged to run LP+ and then distill the info down into the teaching ranks.

    I personally have taken a back seat to allow this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leco View Post
    Holds hand up - Sorry my fault for side tracking.
    I don't think you are "sidetracking" the dialogue. What you see here are the many different approaches to inducting the same piece of software across several LEA's.
    What also jumps out is the "no techies" policy in some areas. Are they saying that come the managed service that won't be a techie'sjob? Do they feel that techies will hold back the development of the software? Or is it simply that the "backend" is so straightforward to use that the none IT literate can do it?
    Fronter was installed in three of our LEA secondary schools some while ago, with support provided by the local CLC. Since single status came in late last year, this support has been removed. How does the "no techies" policy work here? I appreciate this may be an isolated case, but I believe some Edugeekers have set up their own Fronter forum(s) for mutual support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    I would be interested in hearing views from people using fronter, its one thing ive noticed from being involved in it is that there really isn't anyone showing off the sites like people do with Moodle, i guess because of the password needed to enter the sites......
    As far as I can see thats for at least two reasons:

    1. sites using fronter are not very presentable or configurable
    2. few have produced anything with it that doesnt look like a geocities home page circa 1996.

    The rollout of fronter in our LA (not norfolk btw..) was not ....well handled, with seemingly many schools still not committed to using it, (after rollout almost 8 months ago) and otherwise accepting it as just another initiative that will fade away.

    I don't think it helps that already, the LA appear to be giving signals that they have plans to replace Fronter when the contract expires with a completely different VLE.

    If they dont show commitment, hardly surprising teachers wont buy into it.

  13. Thanks to klawd from:

    ballywholan (5th March 2009)

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klawd View Post
    As far as I can see thats for at least two reasons:

    1. sites using fronter are not very presentable or configurable
    2. few have produced anything with it that doesnt look like a geocities home page circa 1996.

    The rollout of fronter in our LA (not norfolk btw..) was not ....well handled, with seemingly many schools still not committed to using it, (after rollout almost 8 months ago) and otherwise accepting it as just another initiative that will fade away.

    I don't think it helps that already, the LA appear to be giving signals that they have plans to replace Fronter when the contract expires with a completely different VLE.

    If they dont show commitment, hardly surprising teachers wont buy into it.

    Yeah the presentable part is a def no go for me, it looks horrible compared to some other ones ive seen. I think people have been taking in by its integration with SIMS which sounds great but now we have 1 billion rooms all called 7SCI/DS1 or similar which is completely useless unless a teacher wants to create a new room for each lesson group!

    So apart from it looking slightly pants and the user interface being naff and the integration etc its great

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    NewOrder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax View Post
    I don't think you are "sidetracking" the dialogue. What you see here are the many different approaches to inducting the same piece of software across several LEA's.
    What also jumps out is the "no techies" policy in some areas. Are they saying that come the managed service that won't be a techie'sjob? Do they feel that techies will hold back the development of the software? Or is it simply that the "backend" is so straightforward to use that the none IT literate can do it?
    Fronter was installed in three of our LEA secondary schools some while ago, with support provided by the local CLC. Since single status came in late last year, this support has been removed. How does the "no techies" policy work here? I appreciate this may be an isolated case, but I believe some Edugeekers have set up their own Fronter forum(s) for mutual support.

    My own view is that for a VLE to work and be used, all staff in a school should be involved. Where an authority puts extra support in via a CLC thats good.

    Equally to leave the running and implementation to a teckie shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how VLE's can support teaching and learning. The teckies have a vital role in a schools VLE and they should be part of it but should not have the burden of responsibility placed upon them.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Anyone here been using Fronter for a while and able to let me have a look? Not sure if that is possible due to what you may have on your VLE but no harm in asking.

    Drop me a PM.

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    we have been using it for a while, nothing to show tho as noone is actually using it :s shame really. I'd much prefer moodle

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