Now, your comments regarding tools in one place or several different tools...
The implementation of blogs and wikis in Uniservity is poor. Therefore I'll, when taking training sessions for staff on the usage of 'Web 2.0' apps for education, will be showing them how to use wordpress, blogger, edublogs and pbwiki.
I'll use the *best* tool for the job and the implementation of the above isn't adequate in Uniservity. Convenience of having things 'in one place' is secondary to the quality of the software.
btw, I look after Uniservity for 1800 pupils and 200 staff. Overall I have mixed feelings about it. There's parts I like, parts I don't like and parts leave me utterly bewildered but I'm sure I could say that about Frog, Moodle or Blackboard.
matt40k (7th May 2009)
So what the hell is the point of the Internet Standards? Arrrr.... the internet is suppose to be a standard so it's cross platform. If the code isn't HTML valid, your likely to hear, "please use Internet Explorer". We're in the education sector!! We suppose to teach kids the proper way of doing thing, not do as I say not as I do!!
We're a primary school in Worcester so would be happy to share our experiences with you... we've been using Uniservity since september and it's been absolutely brilliant! The training and support has been wonderful, someone always there to help and also ready to move us on as skills and projects are developed, identifying opportunities across the curriculum for FS, KS1 and KS2. It has had a huge impact on the pupils' learning already and taken off in a way that we could not have predicted. We've used a buddying system to train staff and pupils, trained community members and will be rolling out parent workshops over the summer. The collaborative projects are incedible - ready made resources, planning and opportunities for global collaboration, has motivated and engaged the pupils beyond expectations. It's been easy to involve the whole community. We've set up a cross pyramid school council, transition project with the local high school and an eco project with a local middle school. The children have quickly picked up the technical features by building their own eportfolios including blogs, forums, wikis etc. They've made a video about our journey with uniservity. We're developing ideas about how to measure the imapct of the platform on learning skills so as to assess where to go next. We've been able to address our school priorities in a more creative way and enriched learning experiences for everyone. Please get in touch if you'd like any more info. I would absolutely recommend Uniservity, no regrets, worth every penny as the impact on teaching and learning has been remarkable.
elloyd69 (7th May 2009)
Most teachers don't care about using stuff in one VLE to another, they only care about the tool doing its job. I think that is what karl is trying to get at.
Thanks eve, might actually take you up on that offer. Would love to see the VLE actually working. It's good to hear something good about it as we had kind of already decided (due to first schools) but were starting to worry about all the negative feedback.
Feeling slightly more positive now, thanks.
I'm not a fan of it myself.
From an administration point of view a lot of things don't make sense; click here, click there, move that then select that box just to do a simple task!
As others have pointed out the coding is a mess. Plus I don't think you have enough control over how it looks. You can change the colours but that is about it.
Although the feature set for the VLE is quite good to me it seems cobbled together.
I would look at other options before making your decision.
elloyd69 (8th May 2009)
and how the hell can the way the front end of an app (the vle) is rendered to the screen 'teach' the kids how to write standards compliant html or xhtml (and having valid mark up is no guarantee of having good mark up), Answer: it doesn't.
i couldnt care less if the code behind a vle was a saved to web word doc as long as it worked, was viewable in a browser and both the staff and pupils could and would use it
I'm more interested in how it affects learning and how its delivery can improve educational standards, facilitate better assessment, promote parental engagement and increase digital inclusion in my school - I dont give a flying toss if its html compliant or not. You're missing the point completely if all you can focus on is 'its not html compliant' - you really are.
Last edited by KarlGoddard; 7th May 2009 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Potty mouth type rant
Tools like Uniservity added wikis and blogs I think, IMHO, to cater for the web 2.0 brigade. The implementation, again IMHO, is poor and doesn't really give an insight into what blogs and wikis are in the real world.
Uniservity is an OK platform. Definitely not the worst and definitely not the best, but trying to be a one stop shop for e-learning within an establishment isn't going to work.
thats why I use Uniservity for the VLE and I'll use PB Wiki for my wiki stuff and Wordpress for the blog stuff.
Foundation of successful e-learning is all about creating a flexible tool kit, IMHO
Last edited by KarlGoddard; 7th May 2009 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Typo
Yep ... 'twas I. I get frustrated with folks saying this product is the answer to everything ... but also get narked about folks that don't look at the good bits of what they have. If the LA are coughing up the cash then make use of it whilst you can is what I say ... see what you can learn from it all.
In the case of Uniservity then there are many folks that don't like the structure of it, find it restrictive due to not easily being able to pull stuff from it, but there is nothing to say you *have* to pull stuff from it. One of the best VLEs I've come across is First Class as used by the OU. A brilliant community centred around it and it is a pig to try and work it into other things (a lot better now admittedly, but still has a bit to go and relies far too much on the school designing and coding) and so the OU also work on Moodle (also a fair chunk of politics involved in the decision folks ... that was more important than the ability of Moodle to deliver certain stuff over FC).
I do have a few questions for the Uniservity users though ... how much extra training has it taken you to get it rolled out to your schools? Also, how much have you seen it change the way teachers and students do things?
Our experience of Uniservity has been fantastic. The training and support we have received from the company has been first class. The children (primary) love the Learning Platform and spend hours on it at home looking at the links set up by teachers and doing their homework! Children enjoy sharing the work they have done in school with their parents, and classroom teachers have found it quite straight forward to use. The Uniservity User Events are really good and a great way of getting new ideas on how to use the platform.
eve (8th May 2009)
We've been with Uniservity for nearly 3 years and it's really taken off here. We chose Uniservity as their focus is on learning. The Learning platform is really easy to use for teachers and pupils alike so all the 'building' is done by 'non technical' staff. We've used it in a variety of ways from Surveys for the Student voice to uploading coursework resources for pupils who are absent long term.
I attach a summary of what we've done but we'd be happy to show you more. Hope this helps.
rh91uk (8th May 2009)
Thanks for that wrightd, it's very interesting.
Do you get money for creating anew account just to say how great uniservity is?
How do I sign up? and can I be paid by paypal please.
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