This thread may help to get you started Best VLE
VLEs. Everyone's on about them now and I'm no different at the moment. The boss has asked me to investigate a few of the commercial VLE's.
The current list is looking like this:
Netmedia Educations (netmedia-ed.co.uk)
RM VLE (rm.com)
Pearson Education (pearsonpheonix.com)
Basically what i am after is any comments from people whether the VLE in their experience was good/bad and what they thought was good/bad about them.
We could perhaps build a small discussion regarding the VLEs out there and keep all the details together, like some sort of crib sheet?
Anyway i digress. The sort of thing we are after is a VLE that can be tweaked to a style of our liking, whilst still maintaining a simplicity for a primary school to use. I had a look at Moodle but it seems very rigid in respect to it's theming abilities. We need the framework of the VLE to be flexible in the way that the younger (Reception) kids could have a more simplified layout than the Year 6 kids.
I am in the process of looking into DrupalEd as it does seem a bit more flexible in its theming.
Thanks in advance for any feedback
A couple years ago (wow, has it really been that long?) I had to do an evaluation on several VLEs for the school I was working for at the time. I've still got a copy of this floating around if you'd like me to send it to you.
If you would, then PM me your e-mail address and I'll send it when I get home.
I would think (I haven't seen all the products in action you have mentioned) but an off she shelf VLE is going to be difficult to tweak it to how you want it to be. We went for TALMOS originally and it just didn't work for us as a school as staff had to change their way they taught to the TALMOS way to fit in with the information it required - I agree with you a VLE should reflect the style of any teacher as much as possible so anybody can run with it with as little training as possible.
Personally I would also add Frog to your list. It seemed like a really friendly and easy to use product when we evaluated it.
I saw frog demoed at Bett this year. I did like it. It's just the cost involved. It's just costs too much for us as we are a small primary school. We would look at using a feeder school for the access but i don't know of a secondary school in our region that has Frog installed and we do tend to feed quite a few schools rather than just one.
Our LA also doesn't seem to be on the ball either when it comes to VLEs. There seems to be a lot of politics involved instead of what would be best for the Schools. There maybe more out there but i haven't heard of anything.
There is one called Sandwell Schools that was mentioned to me today although i am not sure what this is. Anybody in the region seen or heard of this?
Talmos here, never got off the ground, to much set up for not enough benefit. each resource needs to be tagged and assigned to a lesson. staff couldn't see any benefit in doing this when they already knew where the resources were. The killer was in order for it to be logged into from external to the school (ie parents) the LA said we would need to physically move it to their data centre to host it on the DMZ. If it ever needed to rebooted they probably wouldn't touch it. Looking at moodle now.
Also as we are a Primary School i am also concerned about Pupil access. Due to the very nature of the users logging in the passwords aren't the most secure, bearing in mind some will be reception pupils. So already there would be a flaw that is begging to be exploited. How have others gotten around this?
If your LA is Sandwell, they are presently in the last throws of BSF selection for secondary schools. The Sims team are rolling out Sims learniing gateway. A large number of primary schools use Shirelands via the Sandwell Together portal. There are 2 CLCs that provide innovative support. Compared to many other authorities your broadband is reasonably priced and reliable.
I have just been looking into Dokeos. It seems relatively fine. It could actually do what we need it to do.
The course are theme-able and It is simple in its use. It even allows you to convert Open Office documents into SCORM compliant files, although i haven't done this yet. It does have one MAJOR issue for us though. It seems to allow any user to create courses and course categories.
Does anyone know how to remove this ability? I would just remove it completely as it doesn't really seem to have any purpose. Why would you want Students creating their own courses?? Surely that's the Teachers job.
How much was Frog, out of interest?
We had it at my last place and it was amazing, the SMT got a bit sheepish when i asked how much it was though!
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