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Wales Thread, Welsh LA & Moodle / VLE in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Do any of the welsh LA's centrally manage Moodle/VLE for the schools within their authority? Had a meeting today with ...
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    pooley's Avatar
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    Welsh LA & Moodle / VLE

    Do any of the welsh LA's centrally manage Moodle/VLE for the schools within their authority?

    Had a meeting today with LA and they eager to know if this is being managed centrally anywhere or just by individual schools ?

    Thanks

    Si

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    mark's Avatar
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    Powys fully intended to do this but sadly the whole thing was a bit of a joke. Well a lot of a joke. No excuse really as a lot of schools were already hosting their own installs on the freely provided LA webspace.

    What the LA decided to do with their 14 to 19 budget was pay a local FE college with incredibly limited experience and less than adequate technical understanding of the wide area network infrastructure to host a purpose bought WINDOWS server.

    See the pitiful remains here: epowys.net

    Monthly meetings were held with interested representatives from all participating bodies guiding the project, where the local FE blatantly ignored all requests and presented purile demonstrations primary aged children would have found embarrassing, whilst carefully steering the funding home.

    Those schools that were already hosting their own solutions went back to their original installs before this project ended.

    If you want to know how not to do it, then Powys could possibly offer a shining example.



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    Last edited by mark; 3rd November 2008 at 09:14 PM.

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    pooley's Avatar
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    Oh dear, hope we have a little more success, although when I spoke to the head IT uys in corporate today they had no idea what a VLE was. Interesting times ahead me thinks.

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    Daughter number one works in a Cardiff primary school and they have a Moodle. I presume that it has been set up by the local authority. I will try to find out but it normally it costs me money when I phone up

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    mark's Avatar
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    Yes there is something in the Cardiff area, I was in touch with one of that group at one point. They even host a Moodle Moot down there.

    What Powys did get right was Schoolsweb - a CMS written from scratch by one of the corporate IT managers in his spare time I think. With Welsh language support as well as complying with the usual standards. Powys LA offer unlimited web hosting space (which is where the individual moodle installs are also hosted) for all schools, secondary and primary, with a free Schoolsweb setup on request. This Powys won awards for.




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    Last edited by mark; 3rd November 2008 at 11:29 PM.

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    There seems to be quite a lot of interest in Wales. Nothing really concrete to tell you but I did a thing for the SSAT iNet project a while ago in Cardiff, lots of Moodle schools there.

    Link for them here, you might be able to find a contact there.

    Tim

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Caerphilly are also pushing towards Moodle but it's very slow going. The problem is all decisions seem to be being made in Headteacher meetings with little or no input from us Network Managers. This in my view is a recipie for disaster if we are not there to highlight the infrastructure and usability issues - but we'll see.

    Apparently they are going to be trialling it in a few schools but having spoken to one of the schools not a great deal is happening.

    Personally I can not wait for Moodle - we have held of implementing anything ourselves as to be honest we need to cater for the 14-19 Collegium we have at CCBC where pupils go to different schools to do different lessons, and so basically all pupils will need to access centralised lesson resources from any school. As such it really has to be LEA driven or there is little point in doing it.

    Wales as a whole lacks Vision for ICT and the welsh assembly should be ashamed as they're getting paid our £millions of tax payers money to be visionless and leaderless. Most LEA's also seem to lack vision which is unfortunate though not unexpected given lack of leadership from WAG. Cardiff do seem to be one of the leaders though as they have had lots of initiatives such as moodle for quite a while.

    It's a sad state of affairs and frankly in my oppinion it is very unfortunate my school happens to be in Wales.
    Last edited by Butuz; 5th November 2008 at 09:31 AM.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Sounds very much like my experience butuz

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    @Butuz, couldn't agree more, and for some time I've been contemplating writing to WAG to highlight this, especially given that some LEAs no longer have education IT depts.

    Maybe this weekend when I have some free time I'll get around to writing it!!

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    mark's Avatar
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    Our LEA no longer have anyone officially supporting High Schools. We haven't had Education IT for very many years. There is still someone advising Primaries.

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    joe90bass's Avatar
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    With the way IT in education is going - VLEs, etc, and the 14-19 learning pathways with pupils moving schools, I find it amazing that there is no coordination from within LEAs for IT in schools!

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    I am in one of the schools Butuz is talking about, Rhymney Comp, we were lucky to get involved with the pilot. It is going well, with issues being created and ironed out all the time. Hopefully by September 09 all schools in caerphilly will be involved with the Moodle VLE

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    Newport host Moodle for their schools.

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    We use Moodle, not sure who hosts it though, but our LA are always pushing it and there seems to be a training course for it every other week.

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    FYI - Pembrokeshire are "going" to implement a Moodle alongside the e-Portal that they are running for primary & secondary schools.

    Teaching staff had a look at it over half term (16th - 20th Feb 09) and seem to be underwhelmed as it uses the e-Portal (read MS Sharepoint Server) usernames and passwords.

    Yep, the usernames and passowrd that we still haven't had passed to us in the two years that the e-Portal has been up and running.

    The feeling I get from staff is that they see it as the county wanting teaching staff to upload all their teaching resources to:

    1. Make them available to all the other schools in the county
    2. So that the LEA can 'vet' the materials.

    Everyone seems to be viewing it with a lot of sceptisism and reluctance to do anything with it. Needless to say e-Portal is seen by a lot of people as a waste of time, effort and money.

    We're now going to get a moodle too. Lots of rumors flying about on costs, use and whether its actually needed/wanted.

    Watch this space...

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