I have just been given the task of redesigning my daughters school web site. It hasn't been touched for around 4 years, so is going to be a chuck away and start again job!
The school is a primary school, and I 'think' they have already signed up to Fronter, but being as the powers that be are not very tech savvy and it takes forever to get an answer out of anyone, i'm not 100% sure where they are at the moment! Just wanted to get some answers for myself, which isn't coming from a head teacher who has just had the full Fronter sales pitch thrown at them.
What is Fronter? I was led to believe the company (Fronter) actually supplied learning and educational material, but looking through the 'user guides' it just seems to be (crudely explained) an expensive, remote hosted forum / contact database with a couple of added bits.
Am i missing something, or is that basically it? Do they actually supply learning material or is it just a place for teachers to 'upload' work they produce themselves / source elsewhere for pupils to be able to download?
The school only has 100 pupils (3-7 years) and would be surprised if 50% of the 'families' would actually bother using it, so the £2k i've heard they are paying for it seems a little (ok, a bl**dy lot!) over the top for what you get.
Fronter is a VLE with the capability of being an MLE.
Simply put, it is the container for the resources to go in and be created. For a secondary school, it does the job, if not illogically. I would struggle to see it being of any great use to a KS1 and KS2 teacher. Personally it would be cheaper to host moodle onsite if it is for T and L
I would say you are looking at a well constructed CMS (like a good Joomla Installation) to achieve that, hosted externally, and you are looking at a much lower cost.
Fronter is a great tool for Teaching and Learning, just completely overkill for what you are trying to achieve. I am currently looking at creating courses with eXe which allows you to make SCORM packages and upload them.
I'll be doing all the designing myself, so virtually free with exception to a few stock images maybe.
The main part of the site would be aimed at the 'showing off' of the school, have the prospectus, contact details and all the bits that never really change.
Then, was going to use something like simple machines (forum software) for the 'login'area. It's simple to use for the teachers, and will do everything they need it to, for free.