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Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by steves angel, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. steves angel

    steves angel New commenter

    I'm looking to purchase a VLE for our special school but have no idea where to start or what to look for. Could people please give me some ideas or recommendations.
    Thank you
  2. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Best to go see these in action. The sales people will pitch for you, but it's only when you talk to users at length that you get a feel of what each product is like. A competent company will be prepared to give you a list of schools that would welcome visits.
    Secondly, have a look on Edugeek. Mainly a technician/network manager site, but with plenty of teacher input too. You can read the VLE forum without needing to join.
    Third, decide what you want it to do for you, write some sort of a specification or list of requirements, see how the different products match up.
    Fourth, check that your infrastructure can cope with the product and that your MIS can interface with it.
    Fifth, cost the time needed very carefully - teacher time in terms of adding resources and so on, and tech time in terms of installation, testing and maintenance.
    Consider the balance between a purchased product and a free product like Moodle. And do you really need all the bells and whistles of a VLE?
    You have of course just missed the BETT show for 2016, which would have allowed you to do some window shopping at least.
    steves angel likes this.
  3. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Have you searched this forum for VLE and Moodle?

    Make sure you visit half a dozen schools with a variety of VLEs who have had them for at least 3 years, not ones who had it installed 6 months ago. It will probably tell you all you need to know.
    steves angel likes this.
  4. kav

    kav New commenter

    Use Google Sites and other Google Apps for Education. Better than Moodle
    steves angel likes this.
  5. clickschool

    clickschool New commenter

    If you really must have a VLE, go with Moodle. You won't be tied in to a proprietary system and it works. "Webanywhere" have been around for long enough to know what they should be doing by now - so one company to consider, but do consider others. I worry about how much data Google is collecting - but by all means go with Google Classroom if you don't mind selling your soul. Whatever you do, don't be swayed by fancy graphics.

    Above advice about looking to edugeek is sound.
    steves angel and wanet like this.
  6. steves angel

    steves angel New commenter

    Thank you all for your comments. You've given me food for thought and I'm making appointments to visit schools using them to help me decide what to do. Thank you again. :)
  7. theyesman

    theyesman New commenter

    Moodle every time - even if you're using GAFe.
    wanet likes this.
  8. stdavsurfer

    stdavsurfer New commenter

    Have you thought about Chamilo which is a fork of the now unsupported Claroline? https://chamilo.org. It is a free LMS platform with a newly, redesigned, interactive capability, and from my personal point of view, a lot more interesting and intuitive than Moodle. They also have an LCMS version in R & D.

    I have one up and running on our external server but with limited content. If you PM me at arichards@bwic.tc, I can set you up with a student account. There is also a demo site at https://campus.chamilo.org.

  9. musa6535

    musa6535 New commenter

    Teachers around the world.
    What is your opinion about our Malaysian Frog VLE

    check this out to compare
  10. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    The O/P wrote,

    "I'm looking to purchase a VLE for our special school but have no idea where to start or what to look for".

    Without being funny, do you know what they are used for and why? Do you clearly know what you are planning to do with your brand new shiny VLE once it is installed? You might be wasting a lot of everyone's time, money and patience if you don't.
    DEmsley and wanet like this.
  11. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Don't go anywhere near Frog! It costs a fortune, is not anywhere near as good as a Moodle set up and I've known many schools ditch it within a year because no one can be bothered with trying to work out how to use it.
  12. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Declaration of interest - my business sets up Moodle sites and courses for schools, and businesses.

    Don't be fooled into thinking Moodle is free - it needs to be hosted somewhere which has a cost implication. You need to spend time setting up courses and considering the pedagogy of online learning, especially with students in a special school.

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