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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, VLE - is it worth the spend? in Technical; Reacting to the above post from marshharrier, consultation with al stakeholders is a must with any project like this, it ...
  1. #16

    GREED's Avatar
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    Reacting to the above post from marshharrier, consultation with al stakeholders is a must with any project like this, it cannot be rolled out on a whim from the ICT department, to all the school to deliver a product that all will be happy with, can use, and make use of. I am working with a school at the moment on that very stage.

  2. #17

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    Graham - I agree with you but I think you missed my point.

    My point being that the whole concept of VLE's being discussed with parents before the last Government set the whole ball rolling and before schools were instructed that having a VLE was mandatory'ish within defined timescales!!

    I'm not sure the guidance given to schools was "If you don't get a good reaction from parents, then you don't need to do it" or at least I've never seen such guidance. In the meantime a whole industry has been born (which taxpayers are paying for) and from my own experience, provides ZERO value!

    I realise some VLE's may be better than that used by my child's school, or that VLE's will be better used by some schools .... but there will be many (perhaps the majority) that will not!

  3. #18

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    If I can add to my last post, VLE's are already being rolled out on the whim of may Local Authorities! It has been decided that this should be done and it is being done!

    Schools are now in the situation of having to persuade parents of the benefits i.e. it's a done deal! Take a look at the link below and the first post which rather makes my point.

    Do primary school pupils need an online storage area (VLE)
    Last edited by marshharrier; 7th November 2010 at 10:17 AM.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    DfE have met with a variety of people and have said that they recognise the importance (and success) that Parental Engagement has on improving attainment, achievement and the life chances of learners (I know, I know ... lots of buzzwords but that is the language they use) ... but there is still no clear direction on online reporting, etc.
    Hello - Thanks for that. Is that they "recognise the importance" documented somewhere other than here?

  5. #20

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    You need to look on the BECTA website to find the recommendations.

  6. #21
    nicholab's Avatar
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    Is it worth the spend at first no! so try and use a minimal cost product to start out.

  7. #22
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    We use, very successfully, Google apps.
    You apply for a Free education version and over a period of less than a week, following googles guides and timescale, you implement it in stages. We have used this successfully for nearly two years now. Every department has an email and a website (or more if needs be) every staff/student member has an email address allowing them to make personal websites, access the apps "in the cloud" chat if needs be plus other "stuff" like wave for collaboration and calendars.
    With the recent update to the control panel we can now extensivley control access/permissions to all tiers of school!

    We have coupled this up with google blogger, flickr and as was mentioned above Tasc Softwares cracking Pars/Pars Connect for e-registration/texting to parents and are looking to provide access with their portal addon. This is fully interactive with Sims and cheaper...for us any way!

    As a new trial we have just installed PHP BB (its free) to allow some form of discussion and interaction other than by email and if it takes off like google apps it will slot in beautifully. We have restricted membership to only allow the school domain email addresses for additional security. This took less than a day to implement...then as long as you want to make it look pretty.

    We are going through BSF at the moment and the school is a building site...we have just been assessed as to our ICT standard where we are/need to be etc and the result was truly encouraging. Apparently, we dont do anything excellently but we do everything well. But, we do more than any other school in the borough...by far!
    The bulk of this was free and easy to set up and works well. I can heartily reccomend it.

    Just as a caveat... we tried Moodle and tried to integrate it with our old CC3 network and it was not good. The uptake was poor in trials and it was deemed not needed as we would have a VLE for BSF.

    Then we tried Google apps and it took off, literally in a fortnight...changed the school completely!
    Try it, what have you got to lose?
    Moriarty...

  8. #23
    Ashers's Avatar
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    How did you get around the data scanning issue with Google and what about keeping potentially confidential and personal information on unknown servers, possibly not even on the European continent?

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    Couldn't agre more with Marsh Harrier - seen LEs being "used" in a coule of schools and they were very all over the place with some teachers, not even departments, using it well but mostly not being used much at all so the kids soon got turned off. But did go to a Sharepoint conference a while back where there was one school using it really well.

  10. #25

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashers View Post
    How did you get around the data scanning issue with Google and what about keeping potentially confidential and personal information on unknown servers, possibly not even on the European continent?
    Google have signed a Safe Harbor agreement, as mentioned a few times on EG before. For more information about Google Apps for Edu it might be worth speaking to folk who attended the Google Teacher Academy in london earlier in the year.

    It is worth also saying that the reason why some folk have chose Live@Edu over Google apps is that MS have a real person you can speak and talk with (It used to be Ben, now it is James) and a lot of schools have found that it is better to talk real issues with real people.

  11. #26

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    I used Google Apps for Education previously and the remote support for issues was OK - not immediate but within 24 hours. They were also pretty honest and owned up pretty quickly if there was just no way to resolve an issue. There's also quite a good set of forums about using Google Apps in schools. Ive looked at the apps just recently and they have improved the ability to control users with their Organisational Units which allow finer control over policies (so not letting the younger pupils have email or chat) but I still think some of their user management tools are a bit basic - eg. not being able to search for a specific user

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