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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Opinions on different VLEs in Technical; Has anyone or is anyone else using the DBPrimary VLE System. I would like to hear of your opinions of ...
  1. #31

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    Has anyone or is anyone else using the DBPrimary VLE System. I would like to hear of your opinions of the system.

  2. #32
    tsky's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any costs for the new Netmedia version and the new Uniservity version?

    My LEA informs me that I can't know the costs because of the procurement process. what a pile of codswallop.
    Ditching their implementations and moving to Moodle if I get no answers from them.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    Has anyone or is anyone else using the DBPrimary VLE System. I would like to hear of your opinions of the system.
    I've seen DBPrimary and have to say that I am wholly impressed with this latest offering from DB.

    It is so much more intuitive and easy to administer than their previous incarnation.

    Features I like:

    • Social network style pupil interface
    • draw or use video via webcam in email
    • pupil blogs
    • useful community areas with forums/shared resources etc
    • overall simplicity


    I'd recommend it and am awaiting a KS2 interface to add to the existing KS1 theme (due imminently, I believe).

  4. #34

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    DB Primary Decision

    Hi

    thought i'd share our school's experience:

    3 years ago we started using think.com, pupils loved it, teachers didnt get that involved in creating content / lessons

    So.. 1 year ago we started the process of looking for a proper learning platform. Our LEA has chosen Moodle. At the time, and still now, its main feature (creating a lesson or series of lessons and reusing them etc) was the exact problem with getting teachers on board. Therefore we dismissed Moodle after training and detailed analysis. On the plus side it is open source. However it is not pleasant to manage. At all.

    So we were down to looking at commercial packages (my philosophy was and is that they are running a business and so will be better at listening to the customer anyway and adapting the product to meet their needs).

    We invited Studywiz to come in and show us - they had not quite realised the primary version at that time so they showed the SMT, myself and a couple of others what they had. To be honest I liked all the advanced facilities. However the look on the other teachers face just said 'this won't be used'. I saw their primary version at Bett and it looked good, however the costs remain the same and this was prohibitive for us as we are a 2 form entry school.

    It then came to my attention that some platforms were being built from the ground up for primary schools. Such as Kowari and DB Primary. We were briefly involved in a Kowari pilot project run by the LEA and were impressed if you intended to use this for F + KS1. It was not in a useable state at the time though - so I don't know if the bugs will have been cleared up yet.

    DB Primary was launching at the same time and we were immediately impressed with their product outlook, the type of tools available, the simplicity of using the system as a basic but effective learning platform that was pupil focused. The staff also seemed more excited by the look, feel and way it could be used so we purchased in July. Since then we have still been impressed, particularly by the video / audio / drawing email and now blog systems (allowing young pupils to use a blog as a video learning journal for example). They have also been really keen to take on board feedback and we have engaged them in very useful dialogue. The only word of caution I would say is that it is not Studywiz or Fronter in terms of depth of the product - but this is exactly what is required by our staff to make an impact on learning at the moment. We will obviously review its use and impact annually (we have noticed Fronter being a very viable but more expensive alternative) but as it stands at the moment I would say that if you are looking for a simple to use, helpful company who are genuinely interested in feedback whilst still giving pupils the tools to extend and motivate them in their learning, DB Primary is a great choice. If your staff are ready for greater depth you would have to decide if you thought DB Primary would expand at a rate you thought was acceptable or possibly look at a platform originally intended for Secondary that has made significant improvements for Primary Schools (such as Fronter). Hope people find that helpful!

  5. #35
    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey View Post
    I believe none of the current VLEs meet Beta standards.
    A Freudian slip there!

  6. #36

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    Have you had any luck with DB Primary or Studywiz?

    BB

  7. #37

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    We have decided to go with StudyWiz since this was the only package that seemed to be quite flexible in how it was set up. We already had an Xserve available that we purchased to run our Joomla and Moodle on. This still put us in good stead for StudyWiz since we already had access to Apples' WebObjects package (something that you would need to purchase in order to use StudyWiz on a Windows Box).

    The guys at StudyWiz allow 2 methods of hosting. The first is that they host the server externally. The 2nd is that they install their software/application on our server and we run from there. This helped us in 2 ways. The first was that we had more control over our own server. The 2nd was that the local install could reduce the costs per annum considerably when compared to the other VLEs around.

    For example. I think IIRC DBPrimary was asking around 2,000 for the first year. Thats fine but then it went up the following year (estimated i think) and then up further in the third. This was hosted on their servers.

    StudyWiz. The first year would be expensive but if you look at long term ownership and you host it yourself then you are quids in from what i can see. The first year has the costs of Training/installation and setup fees and other items. But the following years for us it should come in at around 900. This is based on the amount of Pupils you will have accessing the VLE (teachers and Parents are free) and also per pupil is at 4 each.

    Now we have have a few more concerns as well with the next couple of years in regards to available funds so we gave the guy who we got in touch with for StudyWiz a call and looked to see what we could do. They are also quite flexible in how you set out the first year costs (ie spreading the cost of training over a couple of years instead of just the first).

    All in all i am pretty happy so far with the way StudyWiz have helped with our situation. it hasn't been installed yet as i need to configure a few things at my end, but i will update on how i find the whole experience. They are going to install the software remotely from Tasmania so, should be interesting.

    I also found another VLE when i visited the Education Show. MyLearning it was called. It looked pretty good but expensive for us. BUT on the plus side it is pre-packed with content and sherston have some stuff that you can stick in it as well. Also according to both sherston and the guy on the MyLearning stand in is the most standardised VLE platform available.

    DBPrimary also seemed very good. It's just a shame that we couldn't reduce the cost a little more for the per annum costs.

  8. #38
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    As an update to this thread, for anyone interested in seeing these VLE's in action, we are going to be at BETT 2012 (My Learning UK Ltd) showing off our Primary VLE and other products. You'll also catch some other names mentioned here such as DB Primary and Uniservity. If you wanted a hands on look, it might be a good idea to take a day out and go see them in action!!

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