Frog v3 I think
Just had a presentation today for Frog and they showed me the latest version (v3 I think it was but don't quote me on it). Its got a Facebook style frontpage and its very slick. I will be begging the SMT to invest in it.. almost plug and play.
Yes its exepnsive but you pay for what you get i reckon, makes SLG look like it was done by a ZX81 :)
I was impressed by their product at BETT but as you say, it's pricey and because of that it's off the cards for a lot of places.
Edit: Got to get me one of these!
You must be easily impressed is all i can say!
we have a frog VLE not sure what version we are on but the email side of is not great no pop3 access to mail. staff love it but its not problem free I would speak to some one who administrates it before jumping in I only use it for my school email and vpn access If you are interested I can ask some one who works on it all day to contact you If you would like
I agree, Frog does cost a bit more than the other VLEs out there at the moment but you do get what you pay for.
There are lots of benefits. Coming from a Frog school, and after evaluating a whole load of other VLEs, I can safely say (in my opinion) they are the best around.
Rogerblue - I'm interested in why you don't like the product?
I went to a presentation a few weeks ago about Frog, and 2 schools were also their showing us how they had used Frog.
I must admit i was very impressed by what they offered, and it was a very good platform :)
Obviously it is no good for us, having a fully populated Sharepoint/Talmos Setup but from what i saw i would recommend it.
For DSM, we have the product, it's not that i dislike it so much as they tend to concentrate on the flash look what it does now, not eliminating the inadequacies it has.
Take laptop trolley booking system we set up uses their calendar system, say someone booka a trolley for period 4 (say 2 to 3 pm) thaen someone goes to book it and uses not the periods in the selection list but the actual times, it will let them double book it, why because it's just a txt list it only disallows duplicates :O(
I like all my network to be time synched have you checked the time on a frog server, no you cant unless as out webbytech did set up a page, and you cant easily alter the time, and yes it does drift, why have they not built in a time server synch facility????
Any files loaded into a users eportfolio is apparently not virus checked by the free antivirus they use, so a user can upload an infected file in one location and go to another and download it elsewhere, god knows what would happen if it was a daddy's work and they sued the school.
The backup consist of a shared folder we can set the schools backup systems to backup, the school as far as i know does not have the ability to restore a users area, thereby we are dependant on frog support.
It's use as an internet proxy is a best mediochre, no auto defaut to off for all rooms.
Dont buy any scorm compliant software unless they test and approve it first, we did off a very popular educational supplierand guess what it doesn't run on the scorm player they have bought in. We asked for an already approved supplier list months ago - still waiting!!
It's very much still in development stages and i would have expected a more mature product for the price, do not accept the very flexible excuse for the fact that the end users have to try to design everything from scratch.
The calendar system isn't great but I think you'll agree it's rather tricky to get the in-built calendar, a booking system and the SIMS timetable all working together.
The way we worked around this way by setting the booking times for resources to match the timings of our periods. Have you tried changing the times?
I don't know but I imagine the server can be time synced within the OS of the Frog server. Surely this can be done with little time or effort from their tech. support team? Once it's set up you wouldn't need to worry about it again.
I don't know anything about the virus scan so I can't comment on that.
I actually like the way Frog have created the backup system. A lot of companies insist on using a perculiar method. Frog creates a share so you can just copy the files off and integrate them into your existing backup system. We haven't yet needed to restore work and although I realise this would be a useful feature if we could do it ourselves, I don't consider it that crucial at the moment - you shouldn't need to do this very often any way.
I'm not sure what you mean by the Internet proxy. Are you talking about the Internet blocking system?
We don't use any SCORM software at the moment so I can't comment.
I don't agree with your last point. Every other VLE I have seen is no where near as comphrensive as Frog. It was the vast amount of features and ease of use that drew us to the product. The fact that it links with SIMS and Active Directory are things that some other VLEs struggle with, not to mention all of the other features that are in there.
You say that end users have to create everything from scratch. Although your VLE could be like this if you want, you could also set up a template for staff to work from. All they need to do then is worry about the page content, which they would have to do anyway.
We have designed all of our site using the built-in tools that Frog offers and we are very happy with it. It depends who your staff are and whether they have a good eye for design. If you didn't want to design your own site though, Frog will do this for you as part of the install. Far better this, in my opinion, than having a SharePoint site that looks the same as every other school's SharePoint site!
I assume from your comments that someone other than you purchased Frog?
Anyway... just my opinions.
DSM remember networks and computer systems are run invisibly users only see us as necessary when somethings not working, even when it turns out to be a user problem the 'systems not good enough' is the usual cry, so i might have seemed to be posting a bit on the negative side but thats what we have to watch out for, your already aware of the features.
as i understand it we could do what you suggested with the times however their is only one list of these for all calendars so someone who wishes to put an appointment in their personal calendar would be limited to only those times quoted in the list, if you or any edugeeker knows differnt or a way rounfd it please let me know, i'll pass it to our webtech.
We have asked about the time synching months and an earlier version ago, considering calendars and time synch server software seem to be something every budding programmer seems to make in their learning journey you would think it's an easy thing to do.
Frog do listen so please add your voice to the call.
Perhaps you should check out the scorm issues before long as it would seem to be lost money for departments to purchase non scorm software that may be available in a scorm version so it can be used on a VLE many of the non scorm packages from the same suppliers expressly forbid the use of their product on VLE's and even laptops etc.
As i understand it in order for staff to use the internet access controls the frog server has to be acting as an inline proxy between the users and the internet, and generally the only one, unless you do not require it to do room control.
Nothing to do directly with frog but the time is coming when the NGfL providers will not allow proxy servers that inhibit traceability down to individual pc level of activity.
To sum up yes the Frog aint a bad package i am perhaps irked a little with the marketing hype, a good product should speak for itself and the frog is.
Indeed some users are like that, 'the system's not good enough' is a common argument however we must persist! Keep working with staff, telling them what you're doing and why, generally they come round to thinking you're brilliant! :)
As I said, I don't think the time syncing is a problem of Frog per se. If the server's OS (linux) is set up to sync its time with another server on your network you should be fine.
We are about to purchase some software for use on IWBs however it also comes with a free SCORM package. We will try it out before purchasing but then we do that with all software if possible to ensure compatibility. We run a fat and thin network so we need to do this anyway to be sure of where the software will run.
I believe you're right about the proxy set up but that shouldn't be a problem for most schools should it? In fact, I'm not sure how else it would work? We don't use that side of things because we already use Ranger Remote Control - a rebranded version of NetOps.
I'm interested in your NGfL comment. You're right, it's a more general issue but why do you think that they will enforce this? Surely this is a necessary for security, child protection, bullying any many other good reasons?
Is Frog the only VLE you've used?
Hi Users, the systems would run perfectly if we could only eliminate them! lol
Lets not dwell on the server tims thing your right so why dont they do it!
i would be interestedto knoe what package it was (the publishers of software seem like other authors to use the same techniques etc) and if it ran on your frog system.
I would be interested to know what reply you get if you asked frog about scorm package suitability and if they have a list of tested packages/suppliers.
The proxy setup isn't a problem in so far as the feature of control is useful but the logging of activity and other proxy related operations seems a bit primative, rangers good stuff but if something exists that should provide a function i do expect it to be reasonable comprehensive.
The NGfL comment was perhaps straying away from frog, but there does seem to be a slight government obssession with traceability and accountability which generates lots of regulations, i do know an LEA bod was looking into it.
It's like Email traceability running exchange is bad enough without someone wanting to backtrack to an email 6 years ago etc.
They dont seem to realise that kids cant keep their passwords secret and staff are forever typing passwords in having forgotten to tab down whist displaying their screens on a whiteboard.
We struggle on!
PS if anyones interested i'm thinking of selling usb pencil sharpeners, i think i'll make a killing in education as teachers will use one to show how their embedding ict into their teaching!
Originally Posted by dsm
£25k up front cost for 1st year? Your not wrong it costs alot!
We where priced 15 for the bog standard one and 18 I think for the bespoke.
Then theres all the added extras for the remote access stuff and I imaging it does get to 25 pretty easily.
I was quite impressed with the studywiz one but they seemes to be more interested in pushing their mobile apps which is a waste of time in my opinion. (humble one)
First of all, you need to learn how to negotiate :p
Originally Posted by funkyfin2000
Secondly, I assume you're a secondary school at that price? Don't want to scare off all of the primary schools. It is cheaper for you guys!
I don't think negotiation has anything to do with it. It's blimin expensive. Add all the extra bits on top for the full package and you are easily hitting £32k.....
I agree Primaries will be cheaper, economies of scale.