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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Advice please on potential vlp in Technical; I'm thinking of setting up a vlp for my school rather than pay for one with money we can't really ...
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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Advice please on potential vlp

    I'm thinking of setting up a vlp for my school rather than pay for one with money we can't really spare. So is sharepoint free? can I host it on my server? Can you host it externally? Can I integrate it with AD and the MIS on the admin network?

    Sorry for the 'dummy' questions

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Just some general info:

    No, Sharepoint isn't free, it's a fairly big job to set up and manage (depending on what you want to do with it) and by itself it's not a virtual learning platform. Yes, you can run it internally on a Windows server, and there are hosting companies that can provide it. I haven't used it personally but it should integrate fine with your AD, but probably not seamlessly with your MIS (at least not by itself).

    I guess the first question is what do you really want your VLE to do? Moodle is still generally seen as one of the best VLE's and it's also free. MIS integration isn't quite there yet (few are) but AD integration is fine. If you want a VLE then you probably need to be looking at Moodle, Uniservity, Frog, etc. rather than just Sharepoint by itself unless you plan on making your own.

    Chris

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Sharepoint is licensed with Windows Server (note - not MOSS, the extended version), so if you've got a windows server, you can use Sharepoint.

    The question is - are you wanting a VLE or an MLE? ie. are you trying to provide a learning area for kids, or a reporting system for parents etc..?

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    TBH I'm not entirely sure

    I'm trying make sure our school (primary) complies with goverment recommendations without spending money we haven't got!

    We have a fairly comprehensive website kept up to date with docs and newsletters to download, plus an area of 'learning' info for parents, which I want to keep. So I need to get clear in my head what we need, our LA offering is quite expensive hence my tentative steps into free VLEs.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok, the requirements of what has to be in place are as follows as far as i'm aware -

    A VLE, such as Moodle, Fronter etc... to allow pupils to have individualised learning provided virtually, and to allow working at home.

    An MLE, such as SIMS Learning Gateway running on sharepoint, which allows parents and pupils to see data such as behaviour reporting, attendance etc... in real time.

    I'm not sure what the dates are for primaries to have these implemented.

    Whatever you go for for the VLE, you will end up spending money. If you pay an external provider, there's your cost, or if you host it in house you have to pay for the hardware to run it on.

    For the MLE part, you will always have a cost really - as far as I'm aware there aren't any free products that do this.

  6. Thanks to localzuk from:

    chrbb (5th February 2010)

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    witch's Avatar
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    I would go for Moodle - we have and so far it hasnt cost us a penny. You can run it on an old box with linux (all instructions on moodle.org or on here - or bossman is very helpful!!)or do as we have done and run it on our server using IIS.
    We are using it extensively in IT for lessons, homework, quizzes, etc. Marking can be done on-lne and it can be accessed from anywhere (we have a link from the website)
    As far as we can see, the requirement for reporting etc can be integrated with moodle (possibly via Sharepoint) or will be able to be soon so that is covered as well - without any cost to us as yet!

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    @Localzuk - Thanks for the simple explanation!


    If we go down the moodle root, is it feasible to expand to an MLE at a later date? Whilst maintaining the moodle site?

    Doing a google search it seems we have to have a vlp by 2010 and mle by 2012, not sure if this up to date info. But we may have to go for free vlp then pay for a mle solution in 2012 and hope we can afford it! Our lea offers a comprehensive package at an annual cost which I'm trying to avoid

    I'm a bit bemused as to why primaries need a MLE, the parents have so much more personal contact with the school and usually they deliver their children to school themselves so why they need attendance info is beyond me!

    Anyone using keytoschool to host moodle sites or is it not available in the UK.

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    chrbb if you are in birmingham then Link2ICT are going to host Moodle and the cost will come the harnessing technology grant so the the school will not have to pay anything, i also understand that Link2ict have something that will do the MLE via moodle linked to you mis

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    witch's Avatar
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    At a later date you can just put a normal link to a MLE such as sims learning gateway from the VLE if you need to

    I was told by the DH here that the real-time element of reporting had been dropped or at the very least reduced - does anyone know if this is correct?

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    @witch Did you set it up? Is it on server 2003/8 or linux? I'm a complete newbie at IIS - we don't have vpn to our server, does this matter and could I be openning up our server to the outside world and potentially hackers?

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    witch's Avatar
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    Ours is on my new Server 2008 but I do admit, I didnt set it up. (the people who installed a new computer management system insisted that it should be on the server and installed it themselves) Had I had the choice, I would have put linux on an old server and done it that way - and, as I said, there is plenty of advice on here about how to do it. Bossman (Adrian) talked me through it initially and I am sure he would help you too - as would lots of others
    It is designed for linux so if you have linux installed it all makes a lot of sense.
    I am going to go down the linux route in my other school as soon as I can raise the courage!

    According to info in the other v similar thread - there will be SIMS integration on Moodle by September, so what's not to like!!

    Frankly I wasn't going to spend a lot of money on something that I wasn't even sure I could get people to use, and along came my new ICT co-ord who had moodle at his old school so away we went.
    Last edited by witch; 5th February 2010 at 01:50 PM.

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post

    Frankly I wasn't going to spend a lot of money on something that I wasn't even sure I could get people to use, and along came my new ICT co-ord who had moodle at his old school so away we went.
    My sentiments too! I can see a couple of lists of spellings

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