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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, FROG vs LIFE in Technical; What would you do? - pay a fortune for frog and have a decent, good-looking, quick and reliable (as it's ...
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    FROG vs LIFE

    What would you do? - pay a fortune for frog and have a decent, good-looking, quick and reliable (as it's hosted by your good selves) vle solution

    or

    take your clumsy, ugly, slow and painful version of uniservity and upgrade to LIFE and "buy" a VLE technician to administer, sort the resources out and train the teachers with the dosh you saved by not going to the amphibious alternative?

    anyone done such a thing? are the constant stream of errors/timeouts cured by going with life from uniservity? is frog really as good as everyone says?

    warts an' all please!

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    I wouldn't mind hearing what Frog users think. We are currently with Uniservity and I have had a nightmare of a time with their roll-over mess up and trying to get anyone from their support to actually deal with the ensuing mess. So, we're looking at Frog, but to me it looks like Life (which we haven't switched over to).

    If Frog any easier for teachers to learn to use?

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    I am moving my primary schools from uniservity to Google Apps for Education (free and soooo easy to use).

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottf View Post
    What would you do? - pay a fortune for frog and have a decent, good-looking, quick and reliable (as it's hosted by your good selves) vle solution

    or

    take your clumsy, ugly, slow and painful version of uniservity and upgrade to LIFE and "buy" a VLE technician to administer, sort the resources out and train the teachers with the dosh you saved by not going to the amphibious alternative?

    anyone done such a thing? are the constant stream of errors/timeouts cured by going with life from uniservity? is frog really as good as everyone says?

    warts an' all please!
    When you say paying a fortune how much are you talking about?

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    Using Google apps

    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    I am moving my primary schools from uniservity to Google Apps for Education (free and soooo easy to use).
    I also want to start using Google apps but I am concerbed about monitoring the kids emails. Can you stop them emailing out? Also how secure is Google Apps . e have been using Dropbox but I am reading warnings about using dropbox in the Uk.

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    You get admin control for setting users, groups, apps access and a load of other server settings. I work in Primary schools so have the email switched off for pupils. I would sign-up and have a play, its free.

    They have been passed by the EU to store Educational and Government info. Do a search in these forums for it as it was mentioned before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marc2510 View Post
    When you say paying a fortune how much are you talking about?
    c £25K for the full package (parent portal, MIS link, website design etc).

    ... and in our experience it's still got much that needs fixing to make it work in the real world although the helpdesk are pretty good at fixing glitches.

    HBJB

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    We have Frog and to be honest it's been an absolute pig to set up (still working on it after 13 months!). In terms of easy to use for teachers, yes fine, it is easy. But initially setting it up, especially if you are a school on CMIS instead of SIMS, is just horrible. The automated import tools don't really work meaning a lot of manual work setting up accounts etc. We don't really like it but we're tied in now

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    How are you tied in? Or do you mean in terms of you have paid out so much money you "have" to use it?

    I thought it was pay a lump sum and then annual maintenance fee?

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    You're right it is. What I mean is that the powers-that-be have gone ahead and said 'I WANT FROG' against our recommendation (Moodle) and us lowly technical people have to make it work. It seems that SIMS schools don't have so many issues.

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    We had frog installed this summer. So far (crossing every finger) so good. The easy drive access is good, the secure gateway (despite having windows 7 issues) works well. Students seem to like it, and some of our departments have really took the bull by the horns and run with it. Others are taking a little longer, but hey - they're teachers right? Also, whilst I'm on about VLE's and Frog in general - I dont know if anyone else has mentioned this (sorry of they have to waste your time) but Birthfield are selling there total school VLE solution - that's all of their scorms and games for 19 different subjects for a one off, total cost of £2500.00. So, as we have this nice new shinny frog box, I've loaded it full of that content to get it going. It's actually very good - so the teachers say anyway.

    So, back to the matter in hand. Frog - we're a CMIS school (soon to try Progresso) and it works fine with that. It did take a bit of 'getting your head around', but lets face it, that's the kind of thing we always have to sort out. Over all, I'd say 8 out of 10. Could be better, but it's getting there.

    I dont know if that helps or not!

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    We did choose frog here, one thing you should do is ask your self exactly what you want from your VLE.

    We currently have one and only two people can do anything with it and only one of them can design/build sites and this was what we wanted to change.
    What we wanted with a VLE:
    Community Based - so others can get involved in design/building etc
    Remote access to software/PCs
    Compatible with software/VLE Packages.
    Not under control by one man - in the event he/she left.

    It was a lot of money, Frog is by far from perfect but considering that the other solutions would have required an employed VLE designer we would of been no better off then what we currently have.
    We do have SIMs here and the data transfer is not at all an issue for us, it requires a bit of work on all the user accounts when imported but this is no hard task. We do have frog champions and we are going to pass on the training and you can easily limit access to what is built.

    We currently have our VLE built and ready, our main website is having final touches made and we are aiming for a early 2012 release - remember the more you expect from your VLE the bigger it will be and the more time it will take. The basic stuff available is frankly brilliant, after the initial setup we was able to access the VLE with Lesson planning, homework assigning, time tables and parent portals. The extra stuff is where the time goes eg Dept Websites, Content, Forums and the big one training.

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    Cue
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    My biggest gripe with Frog is that they don't seem to care about outside devs, you have to be staff at a school running a Frog install to see into their private forums and dev stuff so I hear, which means all the little add-ons and blocks come from the very few teachers and techies that have both the time and knowledge to develop these. Of course, 80% of the time if you know how to develop these things you probably wouldn't be teaching, so the numbers are few and far between.

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    Not sure what you mean about that?

    We have also purchased Vivo which can actually integrate with Frog, although I think Frogs biggest issue is the fact they are a rather small company compared to a lot of others. They do not have an endless amount of programmers, you can how ever suggest new ideas etc. Not that I am saying their VLE is the best thing since sliced bread but it certainly has a lot of advantages over others especially our current VLE which has only a single person who can do anything on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    My biggest gripe with Frog is that they don't seem to care about outside devs, you have to be staff at a school running a Frog install to see into their private forums and dev stuff so I hear, which means all the little add-ons and blocks come from the very few teachers and techies that have both the time and knowledge to develop these. Of course, 80% of the time if you know how to develop these things you probably wouldn't be teaching, so the numbers are few and far between.
    I don't think that is 100% true as frog has put a lot of time into it's new JavaScript API's in the Frog Developer Platform (FDP). It is also a public website http://fdp.frogcommunity.com/ for people to access the dev stuff. Any dev company can also pay Frog for a test VLE system if they don't have a school to work with and test there JavaScript plugins on. If the API on the FDP dosn't meet the Dev companies requirements, Frog will look at custom API's for a price.

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