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VLEs versus blogs, sites & wikis

Discussion in 'English' started by roamingteacher, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Apologies for replicating this post on different forums, but I am keen to gather as wide a range of opinions as possible...
    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
    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>

  2. Just out of interest, what's wrong with VLEs in your opinion?

    I like them!
  3. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Hey Merkatron. How goes it? Long time, no 'see'.
    An online learning space related to courses is, of course, a great idea. My issue is not with web presence but the interface we use to achieve this.
    If you like VLEs (in comparison with the alternatives) then, by all means, tell us why! I'm interested in the whole debate and willing to entertain one side as much as the other.
  4. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    This doesn't scream of my impartiality, but interesting nonetheless.
  5. And you, hope all's well.
    Yeah, I kind of assumed you'd be generally in favour of a web presence, given your track record and interest in it all, but I'm not convinced that VLEs are dead just yet (in fact, there are still lots of people who haven't really realised they - the VLEs, not the people, that would be silly - are alive).
    I think in terms of offering a kind of one-stop-shop VLEs can be helpful for students and teachers. Despite the wider web having more potential (and often better software, as your link points out) it's often too big and too awe-inspiring for many people and they end up just staring blankly at lots of things without ever really understanding any of them: VLEs provide a gateway into selected highlights, I think.
    Also, I've liked the monitoring aspect of VLEs - collecting in homework, coursework, never losing it (like I never used to, obviously), being able to see which students have checked which resources or read which text extracts. Maybe there's other software that does all these things better individually, but to have them all in one place is great. Plus, you can always mix and match and have some VLE and links to external blogs.
    But I'm open to new ideas, so please convince me otherwise!

  6. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Hmmm. I'll perhaps take up the challenge of convincing you otherwise when I've found the holy grail of an alternative. As you say, there are many bits of kit out there that do one or another of the features offered by a VLE, but it's bringing them together that's the issue. With our current VLE, the frustration at its limited functionality and the time it takes to achieve anything of worth make it something that is mostly avoided by staff, other than including content deemed essential by management.
    Have a look at this. It's not giving much away and I'm going to contact them to find out more, but it is more my kinda thing than a VLE.
    What I'm trying to avoid is jumping on 'the next big thing' like Edmodo, Pocodot, blogs, wikis or whatever. I am convinced that the Web 2.0 software offers more potential and 'future-proofness' than VLEs and that it's just a matter of finding the best way of harnessing and co-ordinating these different applications.
    That's why I'd be delighted to hear from a school that already running with something like this, but in the meantime, I think it's also important to identify what's good about VLEs so none of the useful features get left out of the transfer (should it ever happen).
    Thanks for your thoughts.

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