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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Which VLE to go with?? in Technical; Good Evening! We are currently investigating different VLE's to replace the current uniservity clc one that we have as the ...
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    Which VLE to go with??

    Good Evening!

    We are currently investigating different VLE's to replace the current uniservity clc one that we have as the contract is due to finish in August.

    Suggestions that we have had are:
    Life
    Moodle
    Frog
    Fronter
    Sims Learning Gateway
    OpenHive

    I was just wondering if anyone has any comments on any of the above...I did have a sandpit login for Life when they started promoting but that appears to have expired!

    I would be grateful of any comments,
    Thank you
    Kaz

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We use Moodle here and can't say i have a problem with it. Just wish staff used it more.

    I didn't think SLG was a VLE? More a front end for Sims? Do you mean Sharepoint (which SLG sits on I think).

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    We use fronter here, and although it has moved on in style the functionality has yet to be improved and made me user friendly, as such it has been extremely hard to get staff using it, and even now they don't want to be using it.

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    Yes I think that SLG is Sharepoint based...apparently someone has said that there are modules that you can add in to make it more like a VLE? We currently use SLG for completing reports etc from home and as the parent portal.
    Sharepoint is another option although I am not sure that our school has got the techy knowledge to set it up so would need to get someone to set it up...

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @kazit:

    We using Moodle which has just been upgraded to latest version and we are working with a company called WebAnyWhere who have developed the integration with Sims MIS and we are in the process of SSO and parental access plus homework reporting to parents.

    We hope to push out to parents in February after we hopefully convert to Academy.

    I have actually seen a variety of VLE's the most recent was Frog and while it looks very swish I have been told on a few occasions by IT teams that it is flawed and it's functionality leaves a lot to be desired.

    As for SLG we have in this county a learning gateway pushed out by the LA called DLG which is just sharepoint with one or two plugins to make it look like a VLE. It spends many days at a time being upgraded and sometimes can be down for whole weeks so to us this is not good enough and therefore we have taken the in house method through Moodle and it is up 24/7/365.

    Fronter is hosted in Sweden and the costs for more space is astronomical plus it is very clunky to configure and use.

    As for the others you mention I have not had the experience of using or seeing them so can make no comments.

    Hope this has helped

    Good luck with your research and eventual choice.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazit View Post
    Yes I think that SLG is Sharepoint based...apparently someone has said that there are modules that you can add in to make it more like a VLE? We currently use SLG for completing reports etc from home and as the parent portal.
    Sharepoint is another option although I am not sure that our school has got the techy knowledge to set it up so would need to get someone to set it up...
    There are a number of Sharepoint options around, either as tools you can bolt onto your own (@rpwillis is the man for Sharepoint Learning Kit) and I would recommend you check out Sharepoint Saturday on 15th November for more people to chat with. Most hosted sharepoint providers are still working on Sharepoint 2007, but a number of people doing stuff in house are using Sharepoint 2010 (only one large hosted SharePoint 2010 offering due to come out soon). There are ways of getting access to SIMS via webparts and @rpwillis / @apearce are good points of contact there.

    If you have a search on the site for VLEs or Learning Platforms you will see a number of links to work Becta published about what functionality to go for, how to build your curriculum to make the most of it and how to move onto the next stage. The is still available here Learning Platform Network

    A VLE doesn't even have to be a single product ... it could be a mix. Moodle for course / learning management, wordpress for blogs, CoWiki or MediaWiki for the Wiki ... and then other tools as needed ... EdModo, Animoto, VoiceThread ...

  7. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    rpwillis (3rd November 2011)

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    BKGarry's Avatar
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    We use Fronter,
    although it seems a bit backwards for doing things, there is great functionality there, and the recent style update in Y11 seems to be getting more rational.
    @dobsonl, i am just down the road from you, drop me a PM if you want some collaborative work on Fronter to help push it for staff

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    Are you provided by the LA?

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    BKGarry's Avatar
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    ours is through a Managed Service (BSF) but we do deal direct with Fronter (Pearson Education) when needed

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    & @kazit

    what LA are you with.

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    We use Scholaris which is provided by Ergo and based on Sharepoint. Installed this summer and already staff have found it easy to use and very useful.

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    Had Fronter - Dropped
    Had Uniservity - Dropped
    Now going with Moodle 2 - Rollout in next few months. Going with Google App integration. Looks good so far.

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    We've used frog for a while now, so far really happy with it. From an end user p.o.v. its ridiculously easy to use - we haven't found a student yet that hasn't been able to use the Frog Bricks to build their own profiles. Although I have past experience in web design and prefer to code sites myself, the "non-technical" staff can pick up the product and create and edit content on their department pages with only a few minutes walkthrough. Be prepared from the administration point of view to do some sitting down and playing - it takes quite a while to uncover all the bits and bobs you can do with it, but that goes without saying with any complex product.

    Our system was delivered by Frogtrade with their own box (which appears to be a rebranded Dell R710 so top quality gear!) and the support is pretty good. Being a *nix admin it would be nice to actually be able to access the CentOS running on the box which Frogtrade appear to like to keep under their paws, but with the support its never really been an issue.

    The email system that ships with frog is pretty good, nothing compared to Exchange but it will do for most environments.

    If you are looking to provide out-of-office connection to staff/students the "Secure Gateway" shipped with frog is excellent (A glorified Terminal Services Proxy) without the price of getting MS-TS licences in.

    Management is a doddle with the Toolkit, although be prepared to use IE - it will not run on any other browser.

    Also worth noting is it integrates really well with AD and CMIS to pull all our MIS data in which lets us publish all the students data to the parents via the parent portal we built with frog.

    Again one thing I would say is be prepared to spend quite a lot of time developing with frog, I find its something you really need to sit down and look at, not something you can really get your teeth into while popping in and out to go to a call out.

    There are a lot of features in frog we have yet to tinker with, really could do with sitting down and looking through it all in detail but for the past 2 years we have had it absolutely no complaints. Great bit of kit, highly recommend it if you can fit it in your budget.
    Last edited by brad82; 3rd November 2011 at 10:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brad82 View Post
    We've used frog for a while now, so far really happy with it. From an end user p.o.v. its ridiculously easy to use - we haven't found a student yet that hasn't been able to use the Frog Bricks to build their own profiles. Although I have past experience in web design and prefer to code sites myself, the "non-technical" staff can pick up the product and create and edit content on their department pages with only a few minutes walkthrough. Be prepared from the administration point of view to do some sitting down and playing - it takes quite a while to uncover all the bits and bobs you can do with it, but that goes without saying with any complex product.

    Our system was delivered by Frogtrade with their own box (which appears to be a rebranded Dell R710 so top quality gear!) and the support is pretty good. Being a *nix admin it would be nice to actually be able to access the CentOS running on the box which Frogtrade appear to like to keep under their paws, but with the support its never really been an issue.

    The email system that ships with frog is pretty good, nothing compared to Exchange but it will do for most environments.

    If you are looking to provide out-of-office connection to staff/students the "Secure Gateway" shipped with frog is excellent (A glorified Terminal Services Proxy) without the price of getting MS-TS licences in.

    Management is a doddle with the Toolkit, although be prepared to use IE - it will not run on any other browser.

    Also worth noting is it integrates really well with AD and CMIS to pull all our MIS data in which lets us publish all the students data to the parents via the parent portal we built with frog.

    Again one thing I would say is be prepared to spend quite a lot of time developing with frog, I find its something you really need to sit down and look at, not something you can really get your teeth into while popping in and out to go to a call out.

    There are a lot of features in frog we have yet to tinker with, really could do with sitting down and looking through it all in detail but for the past 2 years we have had it absolutely no complaints. Great bit of kit, highly recommend it if you can fit it in your budget.
    Seconding everything here. We've had Frog for at least 5 years and haven't had an major issues with it other than finding time to develop stuff for it. Once you get stuck into it you'll find a huge amount of possibilities that you can do with the core features and even more once you add in Widgets and FDP.

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    cromertech's Avatar
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    We're about to go with Moodle from the same company as @bossman
    They're working on our server as I speak.
    Previously we have used Fronter but as some others have said a lack of user-friendliness and a poor layout (even after the redesign) has meant that staff barely use it.

  17. Thanks to cromertech from:

    bossman (8th November 2011)

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