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Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by DZ77, Feb 27, 2011.
Fronter vs Frog which one should we go for?
I've not used either but what I've heard says Frog from those two, but Moodle otherwise (I love Moodle, I really do).
This may be a silly question but what have you got in place at the moment? and why are you changing?
I googled a query this morning as I am interested in knowing the current feeling towards how Moodle stacks up against Kaleidos Learning Platforms. I ask this question as the person in school who has for the past 5 years taken on the role of acting IT Coordinator voluntarily which includes the Administrators role with our RM Kaleidos platform.
I was informed, just before the half-term break, that as a school cluster, we were considering switching to Moodle, an option I had heard mention previously, though our ED Authority, having a strong tie with RM, went with Kaleidos originally as our option and all that goes with these mandates.
We have been running Kaleidos for about two years and as an administrator, who more or less deals with all role related associated duties and I have found a reluctancy from staff in general to integrate into a strategy that stores and delivers all classroom lesson resources, that is a very general statement.
Reading all that has been written about Moodle it does seem that as a product the final output delivers what those who use it need, either as a teacher or a student it is more than acceptable and puts it way ahead of Kaleidos.
I personally have read a little about Moodle but what I have read and seen it seems to be slanted away from centralised control(dedicated administrator) to teacher and student which in a Primary school could lead to confusion. As with Kaleidos are users of Moodle issued with a set of logon details that immediately lets the platform know that persons permissions/capabilities globally or does someone (whoever) need to set permissions/capabilities for each course?
At present, as I have been lead to believe, in my area at least that in Primary the use of a Learning Platform for its full expectations has not been taken up and only certain functions have been employed without fully realising what it can do. Do you think that even running Moodle which seems not to dwell on the Socialising side of a learning platform will have the same responce?
Whilst Kaleidos does intergrate initially with SIMS to deliver user logon permissions would we have the same arrangement with Moodle?
Another reason for the projected switch is that all our local support staff for the VLN/VLE have been released for cost saving and we are now at the mercy of RM for any troubleshooting.
Sorry for the amount of querying (there is lots more I need to understand) but whilst everyone says its about as intuitive as it can be and understanding it does not take a genius but when it come down to installation and role-out things generally don't pan-out that way.
Do you know if RM will support this choice of VLE as there is no financial insentive for them to do so.
There are some third-party add-ons for this but we use LDAP for user authentication and Single Sign on therefore the users come from Active Directory rather than SIMS although the users are generated in AD from a SIMs export (if that makes sense).
IF you search form Moodle/SIMs integration on the web you'll see a lot has been dome towards this.
As a primary school you might want to have a look at CLEO's Primary case studies.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean with this. The whole ethos on which Moodle is built is that of Social-Constructivism as a learning theory. Therefore the social aspects of learning are built into it - the use of forums, discussion groups etc are one of the most natural and normal methods of learning. The interactions between users is what drives the learning.
We are a new school and therfore have no learning platform in place. We are a brand new school starting from scratch.
If I were in your position my view would be to do as we're doing (but with latest versions):
Moodle 2.0 & Mahara 1.3 integrated with SSO and using LDAP to authenticate (assuming you're using MS servers?)
Second choice if I had to use a commercial product would be FROG.
Haven't used Frog, but in the time I've used Fronter (not by choice believe me), I think it's managed to kill entire species of ICT-averse teachers. Fronter is a step behind all the stuff you could get off the net and stitch together yourself.
The trouble of a new school is if you have only one or two people who create something like Moodle and they leave the school, the VLE collapses as no-one knows the intracacies of the structure. So if that approach happens you need a team of champions to develop it who are enthusiastic and keeping it going.
With Frog or Fronter there is a structure there, but you're at the mercy of a company if you need a specialist to sort some of the problems DEmsley mentions like logins or issues with data integration.
Whilst I understand that argument I do feel thre is enough of an online community and enough schools out there who would be able to step in to support a school in that scenario where staff leave. You might have to put your hand in your pocket to get someone in to help, but I can't help but think that the cost involved in doing that would be substantially less than the cost involved in getting a"supported" vle. I think a risk analyst would describe a move to moodle as a no brainer.
I'm assuming there's some form of support in the school. If not you can always buy it in, there are loads of Moodle Partners about who will help.
This differs from any alternative VLE how exactly? I know of no school where a VLE is used effectively that doesn't use some sort of "champion" system. How else can you ensure it's used across the curriculum and is both effective and appropriate to all subject areas.
I wouldn't use any of these. Use Edmodo, it's a secure educational social networking tool that's free and takes about 10mins to get a class going on it. Pupils like it alot. Those more adventurous do have downloaded an app for their android/iPhone and use that in class. The Ofsted inspector loved it too.
Good idea bevwills - I particularly love the Edmodo mark book capabilities, report generating, self-marking assessments, assignment setting & quiz setting capabilities, live & secure chat rooms, its ability to put students into groups, to allow specific types of peer assessment and enforce marking grids.
Oh wait, that might not be edmodo blogging tools, that might be a VLE as per OP.
Don't get me wrong I think that Edmodo is great tool for what it does which is one thing; create blogs. Its blogging tools are far better than Moodle's (IMHO) but it has too few of the facilities needed in a VLE to make it a really useful teaching resource all round.
In order to be useful within a teaching environment you'd need additional tools added to it and the lack of common interface would make this unwieldy IMHO.
@scruffycat. Hmmm. Interesting. I may have to revisit it as it has been a while. Thanks.
I've just had a whole class using Edmodo for the first time as a means of providing peer feedback. Getting them to create an account, provide feedback including suggestions to improve other peoples work, all took under 15 mins. In this time some of them even downloaded the Edmodo App onto their iPhone/Android and contributed that way as well.
The user interface is so slick it makes a mockery of our learning platform, which I shall now abandon promptly. Hurrah.