I guess they don't like fronter
| Digital - teacher | Education in a technological world: Fronter, don't make me laugh
Very interesting read, think that may get bookmarked and brought out again.....
They may not think much of Fronter - but they miss the point imo. Fronter is for pupils, young people have no difficulty in navigating, creating, communicating through Fronter. The information in the article is also incorrect in places. However, maybe it is just meant to be provocative (written from hearsay evidence and second-hand information), to generate conversation and discussion?
Fronter may not compare favourably with other solutions in certain areas but I don't find it a joke - yet.
btw - love the cartoon strip
The biggest gripe I have with the system though is how damn slow it is, creating content is a really time consuming process and even after that the page you have made is plain.
I think the teacher in this case may have missed the point a bit. The thing with Fronter is that the themes are customisable to your intended audience, it isn't a document management system (so why would you be searching for a file anyway), and they are simply not looking at it from a teaching professional's point of view.
What they were doing was looking at it from a technologist's point of view. ie. poor design (which I would contest, as Fronter is quite good looking compared to many VLEs). It is a friendly system to use for pupils.
Obviously it isn't perfect, but it is better than some.
Regarding the usernames - this is more down to lack of strategy by the LEA. Somerset have implemented a Sharepoint site, which when we roll it out to pupils, will allow seamless logging in to Fronter, and it. Eventually, this will be extended to mean schools will use a central AD system (well, ADFS) to allow pupils to simply have the one username and password.
Personally, the only people who I've come across who don't like it are those who refuse to change their own teaching methods. So, rather than admit that they don't want to change, they'll slag off the new methods.
leco (13th October 2009)
I think it also depends on the age of the young people (and the atitude age of adults)
Im from the somerset as well, I wasn't awake that pupils would be using the Fronter webpart in the Sharepoint site? This still doesn't deal with the point that then the kids will have to remember the SLP (Sharepoint) password as well therefore bringing the total to 4 user names and passwords.
Currently the Fronter webpart has been down more than it has been up as well meaning that manual log in is essential at the moment.
And regarding pupil use, I do not see why not? The SLP will be rolled out to pupils, parents, governors etc... eventually, so what webparts and functionality each have will be up to the school.
Have you been to the Network Managers Conferences? The overall action plan was outlined there - namely the whole ideal of central AD and ADFS, to remove all the many logins we all have.
As it stands, it is obviously going to be a problem, but given time, I can see it all coming together nicely.
Thanks for the replies. If you see the school website for this blogger you can see why they might see Fronter as a step back in time http://www.porchester.notts.sch.uk/ . Now they don't seem to have had any Fronter training an first impression of Fronter are c**p but it can do a lot more once you get under the bonnet. see my post on How are you using Fronter? . Also the fact that upgrades are on the way to hopefully improve things should not be underestimated the new "goal" tool is very useful.
Not to mention that the design they've chosen would be classed as 'barren' and 'unfriendly' by many teachers I know of. (Along with their icons being random and non-matching, not to mention their use of tables and depreciated html tags).
It really is horses for courses.
I think I disagree with nearly every part of the article.
After a ten minute viewing, the writer has become an expert on Fronter and can now dismiss the product as worthless?
All this article does is make my job harder if a teacher sees it online. Complete idiot.
when students leave Porchester and go to a secondary, they'll have to learn a new VLE. Presumably if leaving to a secondary in the same LA it'll be Fronter. So is he doing them a service or dis-service?
He should be working with his LA to sort out any issues re the implementation and be focused on producing good teaching material.
The biggest problem with Fronter is how SEN unfriendly it is. That and we just cannot find a use for it. So far itís just a giant waste of money.
Its is hard to know if the writer has actually ever used Fronter and I find it hard to take any critique seriously if the writer has no actual experience of the thing they are writing about. This strikes me as an exercise in either justifying why there are not following the LA line or an attempt to show off how clever they are. Neither is necessary.
There is a learning curve with Fronter, some of this down to understanding the methodology, but nothing that can't be overcome by training. Then again any system will require training or it will be confusing and I am sure that plenty of training went into their own system before it was a success.
sparkeh said ďThere is a learning curve with Fronter, some of this down to understanding the methodology, but nothing that can't be overcome by training.Ē
I donít agree no matter how much training you give some parts of Fronter just donít work well enough. Take a look at the Calendar is has to be the worst online calendar I have ever seen. There are no decent printout options, itís a pain to read, looks a mess and just doesnít work when you have more than a few appointments on.
I agree with a lot of what the writer said. Many of our staff members say the same thing. Its slow and looks like FrontPage97 designed website when using the Fronter tools. The only bit I donít agree with or should that be problem I have not run into is needing two or more usernames and passwords.
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