This session purports to give an overview of Learning Platforms - it'll be interesting to see if it gives a genuine overview, or just a London-centric view of the world.
The first controversial assertion is that primary schools don't really need a learning environment - with some quite honestly really-backwards looking opinions about the capability to use them within primary (except at upper Key Stage 2, apparently). This view takes the view that VLEs are for school organisation and organisation of learning resources - a really small-scale vision, if it can be called that. Are we as local authority advisers in a position to decide when schools can and can't start using this technology? That doesn't seem very personalised to me.
An example of this is in the "when do you give out usernames?" - now until recently the 'bottom limit' of this for us when talking with schools (from their experience) has been Year 3 - however the other day I spoke to someone from one of our primary schools using Moodle - she said "we give out usernames halfway through Year 2 for kids to take home" - should I make that decision on behalf of the school or should the school? Not really much of a question there...
Now on to the past of the LGfL Learning Platform - Digitalbrain was started as the VLE in London in 2001 ("too early" apparently). The area of implentation issues is highlighted again - and includes a link to the Implementation Advice published on LGfL. Basically, Digitalbrain didn't do much for the last two years and then had to re-write their entire offering in Java - an interesting move, as this would bring stability and compatibilty issues. Digitalbrain didn't get onto the Framework because they failed at the financial hurdle - something I'd heard for a while before the Framework was announced but didn't know the reason behind it.
Apparently Fronter is not a replacement for Digitalbrain in London. DB remains the VLE option and Fronter is the MLE option. The anticipation is that primaries will stick with DB (bless, because it can't do that much) and secondaries will go to Fronter.
This has been an OK presentation but doesn't do what it says on the tin - even if was just one person's viewpoint, an overview of the Learning Platform Landscape, trends, etc. would have been nice. I feel I know a lot about London's story but not about the general LP sphere.
It's now covering AJAX (so very fresh and new) and (oooh) Google Documents etc. A question's asked about ownership of teacher uploaded content to the VLE - does the LGfL have a policy on this? The answer is that (apparently) if teachers create resources in work time it's owned by your employer, if it's outside of work time it's owned by the creator. I know which I'd rather. There's a question about SIF and how that links the Shibboleth - lots of answers but Atomwide (who did 90% of the work which won the LGfL the Computer Award for Public Sector Projects) aren't mentioned. An interesting session if you want to know about London, but those looking for a comprehensive view of the landscape might have to look elsewhere.