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Anyone taken the plunge?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by roamingteacher, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Could I please get some opinions on the use of blogs, wikis and sites as an alternative to VLEs? I am currently researching alternatives and, so far, it seems to me that Google Sites and Wordpress combined would be far more powerful (in terms of functionality) than a clunky out-dated VLE.
    This article was useful in terms of comparing wikis and sites:
    Hit me with your thoughts and I'd be REALLY interested to hear from anyone whose school has already ditched the VLE and found a useful, reliable and user-friendly alternative. In order to let this be as 'outside the box' as possible, please assume that online safety for students is a given, regardless of platform proposed.
    Requirements are:
    <ol>[*]files attachments enabled;[*]discussions enabled (instant chat would be a bonus);[*]permissions can be edited at page level (not just site level) ;[*]beginner-level computer users will find it intuitive and simple to use. </ol>Thanks.
  2. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    I suppose it depends on which VLE you use. I'm not a particular fan of ours (Kaleidos), but it can do 1 - 3, albeit without the chat. That said, I can't really see how chat would would be desirable in a school when students already have enough distractions.
    I don't think that "beginner-level computer users" will use any solution you offer, but it doesn't hurt to include that requirement. I would, however, add:
    5. competent users of ICT will not find it inflexible and restrictive
    What particularly drives me mad about our VLE is that it doesn't seem possible to create a page that doesn't have a huge amount of clutter around it. It doesn't have been designed with its target audience in mind - weaker readers must really struggle with all the banners, boxes, links, logos, etc. And, while you can edit the HTML for your content, it mostly strips out any JavaScript that you add, effectively banning any sort of interactivity.
  3. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    5. competent users of ICT will not find it inflexible and restrictive

    Excellent suggestion, as this is exactly what has prompted me to post this thread! Thanks for this.
  4. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    • Ability to provide teacher/peer feedback (provide = upload, comment, record etc in some useful format)
    • REDUCE the teacher workload
    • Easily find student's work when submitted
    • Monitor and report on the uses that students have made of the system
    • Identify which students have read a resources and responded to it
    • Restricted AND open discussion forumses (fora, foria, whatever the plural am [​IMG])
    • Permenant and transient groups for discussion, cooperative working etc
    • Keep a record of chat sessions
    • Most important I feel is a central and easily accessible record of all the students formative assessment and summative marks.
    Oh wait a minute our "Clunky and out of date" VLE does all this and so much more too. It's reliable, it's user friendlier than having multiple different providers of different aspects of the tools the students want.
    Don't get me wrong I think GoogleSites and WP have their place but they don't integrate well and you're going to spend more time teaching students how to use the tools than actually concentrating on the learning that the tools are supposed to develop IMHO.
    That said I am happy to be proven wrong and I think this is an excellent thread that I will be monitoring closely.


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