Monday, January 30, 2006

"it's a good idea and it looks like it's working"

Two things happened today - unrelated to one another but both along the same line about Moodle in LEAs...
First thing was an email from Colin McQueen, who I think I met a long time ago at one of Becta's excellent Expert Technology Seminars (they're free, they're often at the British Library's Conference Centre, there's a lunch to kill for... you haven't been?). Here's the archive of what you've missed...

Colin's done a bit of research on what schools in Hampshire are getting up to in the area of VLE use - indeed one of the Hampshire schools, Perins, was featured in Irene Krechowiecka's Please sir, can we have some more? Moodle-centric Guardian article. Rather than paraphrase what Colin said, with his permission, here's a quote:

My research has showed that schools getting involved from the ground up with Moodle are doing best at this in Hampshire (12 out of 71 schools involved and growing - some primary schools and tertiary colleges also are getting involved) but some schools doing it in a top down expensive way using commercial platforms such as [now, if you want to know which commerical platforms Colin refers to then contact him via] are making less progress in their first year. I have several ideas about why but it needs more research.
The key for me is the involvement of teachers and pupils from the start. As well as the obvious low financial risks.

[Note to the bemused, rather than name and shame the 'other' learning platforms, use your mouse to select the text above and (almost) all will be revealed...]

Second was a follow up on a phone call from another sizeable somewhere-in-the-south-east LEA - they're getting nervous about the whole Becta Learning This, believe it or not, is Sir Alex FergusonPlatforms framework, or Learning Platform Conformance Regime, which despite some occasionally promising intentions looks like it's going to be based around software functionality rather than learners' needs. I have a whole stack of issues about that, but that's for another, far more polemic post. The adviser there is looking for something that he can use to fend off those who say "but... but... but... it's not Microsoft or Capita" or something like that. I guess I'm kind of fortunate, at the moment I work in a team who trust me to do what's best - or at least what I think is best, but in terms of backing the right horse VLE the period we're in could be construed to be, as Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said about the end of a Premiership title race, 'squeaky bum time'...

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