Poll: What VLE solution are you using or going to use?

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Windows Thread, VLEs in Technical; Originally Posted by webman I've always wanted to use Moodle as our VLE but people at the top who listen ...
  1. #16
    petectid's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    I've always wanted to use Moodle as our VLE but people at the top who listen to sales spiel want to go with something that will cost lots of money and provide little functionality. The latest is Frog Teacher; but their website was down for about 5 hours yesterday

    The school is/was also looking at Kaleidos, "because it integrates with SIMS" And some Microsoft thing "because it all integrates".

    I'll not complete the poll yet as we could end up using anything

    Yes, that's right.. they changed my role to VLE manager 4 months ago yet we still don't have one. Figure that one out if you can :x
    We have a frog box here and I'm having some serious reservations about its security. Try doing some google searches and you will find a few pages which sit behind a secure login? That have been indexed by google, I have even been able to browse the database entrys for users and groups. All sorts of information which would aid a brute force attack of the server.

  2. #17
    Disease's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    Jake and I have a Moodle server set up at the moment although today I was seriously looking at Sharepoint Server. I have setup Sharepoint on another server to compare them both side by side.

    At the moment we are under severe pressure and threats from our LEA saying that we will be non compliant and that we will alienate ourselves if we do not go with their solution, theirs is Netmedia's MyDesktop which is a pile of crap far too confusing for the layman to navigate and they are estimating will cost us 3k a year.

    At the last meeting with the Head of ICT for Portsmouth LEA I told him we were going down the Moodle route, he has taken that back to his Head of Education for Portsmouth LEA who has subsequently started sending scare mongering emails direct to the Head to try and scare her into going with their solution.

    My reasoning for their actions is that they HAVE to provide a VLE system regardless to any school actually paying into it and they are scared that they will lose money on it.

    The email read along these lines, "Solutions such as Moodle will most likely not be compliant with educational requirements and therefore will cost the school thousands of pounds in additional expense when you have to move to a compliant service. It does not support single logon (load of crap as Shibboleth do a Moodle add-on) and therefore will not be compliant."

    At the meeting the other day they were going on about single logon and I said to so you are going to integrate your VLE with our Active Directory logon account? No they will get a new password. So it's not really a single logon then? Yes because... losers they are.

  3. #18

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    You might want to mention that Lancs LEA is a 100% moodle solution.

  4. #19

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    And you might want to send those emails onto the VLE team at Becta ... Moodle is about as compliant as you get.

  5. #20

    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    As I mentioned in another topic, from what I can see it's the Becta Learning Framework that it's not compliant with [yet] when it is used with SIMS or CMIS.

    Moodle fulfils all the requirements of the framework if used with the open source MIS system (whose name escapes me) and the developers are hoping to raise sufficient funds to purchase the SIMS APIs.

    In the meantime Moodle is a fully featured VLE and, if it does not gain the accreditation by the time it is needed, you can always switch to a different VLE further down the line (having saved thousands in the meantime).

  6. #21

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    Do you mean SchoolTool?

    http://www.schooltool.org/

  7. #22

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    @Ric: this was the reason why *no* entry for the e-assessment catagory was shortlisted ... the lack of integration with an MIS was the key failure, and those that did integrate were pants and dropped from the list anyway.

    The Moodle crew are working on this though and it won't be long before things happen. The main complaint is that online assessments made in the VLE are not easily moved into the MIS for use with the assessment management tools.

    One solution for this with Moodle is to export the results from any assessments into a csv file that can be imported into Assessment Manager ... not exactly difficult. You could even cron it to go straight fromthe database (which I think is what is being worked on).

  8. #23

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Do you mean SchoolTool?

    http://www.schooltool.org/
    The things that worry me about SchoolTool are dealing with PLASC/CENSUS and Exams.

    One of the few times I am not willing to experiment.

  9. #24

    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    We have actually been paying for DigitalBrain for 3 years which was originally signed up by our ex deputy head. Nothing has been done in the 3 years of having DigitalBrain. It is costing us about 7k a year. I haven't really logged on but have heard a lot of bad things about it I don't even want to get involved with it.

  10. #25
    u8dmtm's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    Hasn't anyone noticed that the more you pay for a VLE the worse it tends to be.

  11. #26
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    Re: VLEs

    We are part of E2BN (East of England Broadband Network) which gives all schools in the East of England free teacher accounts for NetMedai or DigitalBrain. We prefer DigitalBrain, good e-mail, community, easy to create and share resources. Also if their is a problem they can normally sort it by the end of the day.

    We bought student accounts and they came in and got all our teachers together to spur them on to use it. They then contact any departments if they are not using it! Saves me a job.

    We were going to use moodle but since we are tied into this for 3 years now we might as well stick with. It has had good response from teachers and students and is constantly improving.

    The only problem with the current version is that it's not easy to download all the stuf you created if you want to leave and take it somewhere else. Although this has been promised for the next version (fre upgrade of course.

  12. #27

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    Re: VLEs

    I'm currently about 75% of the way through setting up moodle on server2. It was mentioned in passing and I thought it'd be better head them off at the pass and get the freeware one implemented before they decide that they "need one". I'd prefer to spend an hour setting up a little bit of php than let them steal money out of our IT budget, because you KNOW thats where they'd take it from.

    Current Costs: £0 + 2 hours of my time. Seems better than a couple of K for the RM "solution"

  13. #28
    krisd32's Avatar
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    Re: VLEs

    we use a product called uniservity and we're very impressed with it its really functional and easy for the kids and staff to use!

  14. #29

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    Re: VLEs

    I really can't recommend Moodle highly enough (and now the Open University are going to move all their content to it). Hosted on a local Linux server, it's fast and reliable. We also have SAMBA running on the same server, so teachers can click on a shortcut (on their XP stations) and be presented with a folder that containes the resources their students will see when they log in through the front end. That way teachers don't have to do anything hard like upload content!

    If you have the expertise, then setting up Moodle on a Linux server is trivial (or impossible if you don't). Although you lose some speed hosting Moodle elsewhere, it is worth it if you do not have the Linux expertise (or don't want to learn how to back up a Linux server. I imagine many companies and some schools (like ours) would be very happy to host a site for you for a fraction of the cost of any of the big players.

    For infomation, we had Capita's offering and it is dire! Staff and students are so much more enthusiastic about Moodle.

    The use that it made of a VLE depends MOSTLY on the quality of training given to the staff and their attitude - a whole school issue (my job!), then on the quality of the VLE, but not at all on the hardware or operating system - which is someone elses (our) problem. So long as the hardware is up to the job then all is OK.

    Our last server was a 1Gb P4 with 1Gb of RAM and an 80 Gb hard drive. It served the internet site, intranet, Moodle, various wikis and was the secure front end to our exchange server so staff could use Outlook Web Access - all without breaking sweat.

    We only changed it because the disk space was running out - not because it ran out of puff.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Re: VLEs

    Testing Moodle at the moment - I've always been a fan!
    But MS Class Server is something I'm looking forward to tinkering with, as the SharePoint solution will work very well at this kind of environment.

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