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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Learning Platform for Northamptonshire Schools in Technical; As with all RBCs there is a Standard Network Build for EMBC, presently undergoing review as Synetrix take things over. ...
  1. #46

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    As with all RBCs there is a Standard Network Build for EMBC, presently undergoing review as Synetrix take things over.

    This is done to let schools know what is supported *all* the time and helps to understand what else may be supported *some* of the time.

    The present SNB does not include a school having their own firewall, using NAT, having an internal filter which may be inline, hosting domains other than .sch.uk based domains ... and so on. This is why it stops at the perimeter. (Hands up those Northants schools who do *not* use the SNB!)

    NCC does not have a dtat centre other than that provided by EMBC ... it does not have an Education Techncial Team but has been able to for a team that have a wide range of educational and technical abilities ... but we don't do tech support for schools. You either employ your own staff or have a contract with a 3rd party ... in Northants this is usually Capita .ICT.

    We might all wish it to be different, but you have to work with what you have got, and the team are working hard and whilst the technical aspect is being dealt with, it is the educational aspect that will come through in the months to come.

    IMHO

  2. #47

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    I wouldn't worry too much about it all really. It won't be our problem once the BSF managed services take over

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    I wouldn't worry too much about it all really. It won't be our problem once the BSF managed services take over
    It'll be a good 5 years before it is even thought about for Northants ... and a good number of schools will have had work on them under PFI by then anyway ... so they will get missed off to some extent.

    If you are worried about managed services under BSF, get a job in Northants ... you will be safe for some time.

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    MS Sharepoint

    Forgive me if this has been mentioned in the thread but it was huge so sort of skimmed through it :-)

    We are now currently looking into the VLE things as it is soon to be a requirement or something like that.

    We were sort of being pushed towards the Shireland gateway and for a primary school the costs were just too great. We would of still been willing if we saw more of the features it had to offer. We had a user and pass but could only see a limited amount of it. We needed to see more as we were not sold on what we had seen.

    The final nail in the coffin though was that this was supposed to be a VLE that the pupils could access from home. Now being a Primary School our kids could only use what the Parents had at home. This means that if the parents ran anything other than IE they could not access their own VLE since sharepoint requires IE.

    To us this was a major negative against the purchase as we know that a few of our pupils used iMacs at home. And that is not to say that a few may be using Linux or firefox. And with the advent of the EEEpc now here and more subnotebooks under £200 aimed at a laptop per pupil then with Linux built in there is no point.

    Just my opinion.

    PS How have many of you developed your moodle installations?
    I would be interested in having a look see around if someone didn't mind. I won't nick or break anything. I promise :-)

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    Sharepoint doesn't require IE. - It just 'works' better with it particularly the Exchange OWA.

    I'm on Linux now and have done ALL of our VLE work on linux with no problems at all.

    We use LP+ (Shireland...) and although I'm not overly impressed with it, its free to us for a while before we see whether we bother with it.

    I'd have sooner gone with moodle and hosted it in-house, but I am but a lowly cog in the wheel of management/politics.

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    I was running Safari and could browse some sections but i went a particular section it stated that IE was required to view.

    May be it was me. I would like to check but i am at home and do not have the user and pass with me at the moment. I will check it out again. I may do so when i am at work on Monday.

    Say you wouldn't like to pm me your login detail would you ?

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    I'd have sooner gone with moodle and hosted it in-house, but I am but a lowly cog in the wheel of management/politics.
    don't give up, if you produce a better system in school (and you probably will, given all the extras that go with moodle) then teachers will use it in spite of the 'free' LA offering.

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    We were told that since shireland would not do what we needed then it was best to go for moodle anyway. We set up a dns record to point to our servers ready. Just working on it now to get the configuration sorted for when i go back mom

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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    We were told that since shireland would not do what we needed then it was best to go for moodle anyway. We set up a dns record to point to our servers ready. Just working on it now to get the configuration sorted for when i go back mom

    yes, the LA's won't give a sh*t what you use, as long as they get to topslice the schools budget to pay for something 'approved', then they can show govt. that they meet the targets.....

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    I really don't understand the bloody way the leas and government work. They need to start saving cash because everything is crap and they still spend money on sh*t that they don't need to be buying. If there are good free options out there why buy different ones?

    Develop the free and add your own modules if possible and develop frameworks to suit the curriculum. Spend money on the right things that would be beneficial to everyone. Schools haven't got an unlimited pot of cash.

  11. #56

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    I use Camino on it here and there is some loss of functionality ... cannot upload multiple files, use the explorer function, link in web parts (key as an admin but not as a user)

    As for LAs not buying in bulk ... yep, as cybernerd says ... they have targets too.

    As far as I am concerned whatever you want to use can compliment whatever the LA provides ...

    Also remember that the next agenda from the Govt is real time reporting ... so picking up a learning platform that has hooks into your MIS is always going to see a good option. LAs also tend to pick up platforms that have preloaded content in there too.

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    Hi Tony

    How are things going with the rollout of LP+ in your schools. Our SMT have lost some interest in this solution after discussions around Shirelands and other LAs in that area who were pilotting LP+ and appear to be going down other routes now. Would be interested to hear of your progress and specifically around integration with MIS.
    Tony

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    Things have picked up again with the platform. There are 2 colleagues working with separate primary groups and another 2 working with secondary.

    The diploma agenda has forced a lot of hands with this, but when you have schools that already have a platform and in a group of 5 schools there are 3 different ones, then you need a common platform at the top. That is what we are providing in some places (and it is getting interesting working with FE institutes too!)

    MIS integration is coming on, having had some good meetings with Capita and hopefully this next month will bring a number of answers we can give to schools (all through the proper channels of course!)

    LP+ are still developing more functionality and we have a plan to improve performance but having to be careful to move slowly with it as we don't wnat to disturb the increasing work that is going on the platform. Saying to schools that are just getting back on board that you want to turn things off for a partial rebuild or migration does not go down well.

    We are also increasing our options when it comes to workign with schools that already have their own email or other systems ... so, it is getting there. Drop me a line for a longer chat, it'll be good to catch up (if I can ever get out of meetings long enough to get work done!)

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    Question Update Please on LPs in Northamptonshire

    Interesting posts on LPs in the shire.

    Could someone update us on what's currently happening? I'm a governor in a primary school in Northamptonshire and have begun to do some research into the best options available for my school.

    1. What are the pros and cons of the proposed system which is being piloted?

    2. What are the anticipated costs of the system?

    One secondary school in the county invested close to £30k in a VLE which was never used. Apparently, another 'approval' has been made across Northamptonshire and it concerns me that the same thing will happen again.

    Why shouldn't a school create its own website or get a company to create one that can be managed internally?

    I realise that these are very simple / naive questions but anyone who can help me to provide my school with a synopsis of the current situation would be a star.

    Kind regards, Richard

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Hi Richard, the information is on the schools factsheet for this week (most schools pick it up on a friday afternoon or the following Monday) but drop me a PM with your email and I'll add you onto my contact list for techie updates for Northants stuff.

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