The strategy can be downloaded from www.dfes.gov.uk/publications/e-strategy
- It rightly gives a high place to the role of technology in moving education forward and improving the quality of the educational experience;
- Moodle can provide access to the curriculum for non-school based learners, and it has a sound framework for e-assessment;
- I like the emphasis on open standards and interoperability, and particularly on integration with admin systems, but I worry that Moodle (and other open source) projects may be left behind in this, as we (as users/developers) are more interested in using Moodle for teaching and adding functionality to Moodle than ticking boxes to meet externally imposed standards such as the 'learning platform conformance regime' for which at present Moodle won't even meet the basic standard as it doesn't handle 'curriculum online metadata'! (or does it?);
- Personal online learning spaces and portfolios are Good Things, and it would be worth
exploring ways of adding this functionality to Moodle (or is it there
already somewhere in the cvs/contrib depths?);
- Open Source is a good way of meeting equity objectives, and of providing "more flexible learning packages that teachers can adapt to their learners' needs";
- I'm not convinced that using ideas from video games is really the way
to go to provide quality learning, but I'm open to argument on this, cf social constructionism;
- I worry that the autonomy and independence of schools is being reduced, with talk of excessive variation, shared procurement and national frameworks;
- Whilst personalized learning has much to recommend it, I'd like to hear the views of other Moodlers on how this sits with social constuctivism / construcioninsm and Vygotsky's zone of proximal development - is this a return to Piaget, with bits of Honey & Mumford thrown in for good measure?
- Parental access is an interesting issue - many of my pupils' parents keep an eye on what their children are doing with Moodle and if they asked to see what their children had written, I think under the data protection act I would provide printouts. Do under 18s have a right to 'privacy' online? Anyone know how the Human Rights act relates to this? Or indeed how to Data Protection Act provisions apply to Moodle content? Or, from the other perspective, how can we let parents monitor their (and only their) child's progress through Moodle? and
- Moodle's great for bringing in resources from outside the classroom, but are many of us using it for collaboration between institutions? If not, why not?
The above are in no particular order, and certainly don't pretend to be a thorough analysis of what looks to be a thought provoking and indeed thoughtful document.
Again, I've only had a click flick through as well
My ears pricked up at the big project things -'Integrated online info systems for all citizens' etc. I think that there is a real risk that the valuable things - better training, move to wards standards, collaborative approach may get buried under some unsuccessful white elephant (thing e-University collapse, NHS info systems etc.)
I think that it needs to recognise that there are now a huge range of solutions and not try to force institutions to dump successful systems to meet the box ticking needs of some common standard which may be dictated by external forces (e.g. scorm/ims). Given that a lot of FE colleges are now successfully moving towards Moodle, it would be a disaster for many to move away again and take us a long way from the goals that will provide resources at home, flexible learning etc. Moodle obviously does all of that well.
'Every lover 14 will have access to a flexible, coordinated course' - How far are we from that? (to quote They Might be Giants, Universe man has a watch with a second hand, a minute hand and a milennium hand or something like that. Appropriate timing?
Don't want to be negative, do want access to the resources that can make these ideals work.
Cheers, Andy D
I share your concerns. I am aware that on a local and national levels there are moves to introduce proprietary solutions from suppliers, and almost force-feed them onto schools. Presenting packaged solutions (off-the-shelf) from a single supplier might seem to be a convenient way of achieving a target in the designated time-scale, but there are many instances where this supply-driven concept has met with disaster! A demand-led approach is more likely to succeed! You have only to look at the dangers involved here! Consider, for example, the Education and Skills Committee's Report on the E-learning University disaster, in which the supply-led approach was considered the priority..... and led to millions of pounds of public money being wasted. Other articles can be found on Publictechnology.net . Read the report here!
Our school very firmly embraces the Open Source phenomenon, where a global community can actively develop resources which can more than match any proprietary software. In this respect, 'free' does not mean second-class software, but software which is constantly being developed and adapted to meet the individual requirements of organisations, educational establishments, companies and even governments. ( I have yet to see, for example, any virtual learning environment which even comes close to Moodle in terms of resources, options, community, and its very special pedagogy which actively promotes and encourages individual and collaborative learning)
thanks for going to the trouble of writing this up
i fond my self in this arguement a lot these days
and your version is a lot more succinct than mine
i am writing this in our 'white elephant' multi-media lab on our open-day
the only person who knows how to 'use' the bloody thing is the technician
who, once a year, gets to show it to prospective students
i have just put into place a rule of thumb viz. if they yawn when he presents the room then i want them as students !!!!!
Coming to Moodle after that was like like getting rid of a migraine. I have looked at somany commercial 'solutions' and not seen anythign that comes close to Moodle but worry that we will have something imposed on us and that Moodle may not meet whatever standards are set by DfES.
With things like personal portfolios I'm sure Moodle could be easily adapted as a student could be given teacher privelages and create their own space filled with examples of their work.
Is there more we can do to raise awareness of how well Moodle meets the needs of many schools amongst policy makers and bodies like Becta.
You may be interested in joining UK Schoolforge, which sees itself as having just such a role in promoting Open Source solutions such as Moodle to the likes of BECTA. The homepage is www.schoolforge.org.uk These are interesting times, as BECTA is about to publish a comparison of Total Cost of Ownership of open source vs proprietry software, and is producing a big report on 'learning platforms' for publication this summer. BECTA are organizing a meeting on 14/4 in Coventry to explore open source with business and government representatives
As I mentioned above, there is, I think, a real danger that outstanding products such as Moodle and Boddington will be sidelined though a failure to jump through the, IMHO, arbitary hoops of the Learning Platform Conformance Regime.
One shining light emerges though all these attempts to 'conformity' is that at least the teacher can choose his/her own resources with the sole object of enriching and enhancing learning . Hey, not even Ofsted inpectors are likely to argue a case against flexibility, innovation and improving results! I will certainly keep using open source products that enrich and enhance learning. For years, BECTA appears to have been dragging their heels over open source solutions. Indeed, until very recently it was extremely difficult to find any publication on www.Becta.org.uk with useful information about open source products.
Becta has forged links with a certain proprietary giant known as Microsoft. This was an attempt to make software more attractively priced for schools. I have placed an article of the 'agreement' with Microsoft on our Bringing Educational Creativity to All website
I read with interest the following section in the Learning Platform Conformance Regime.
"There will be regular reviews of the regime. It is anticipated that any detailed reworking of processes or specifications would be influenced by the Learning Platform Stakeholder Group in collaboration with the Curriculum Online Technical Standards Working Group."
Hmmm....anyone going to reveal the 'stakeholders' please! I will be extremely interesting to see the results of their evaluation of 'total cost of ownership' In the meantime you can look at a document which describes Microsoft's viewpoint on 'cost of ownership'
I am interested in hearing from any uk schools who have begun providing students with e-portfolios and what technology you have used to do this. I am trialling the 'portfolio' module & looking at 'file keeper' & 'my files' to see how I might use this to achieve an e-portfolio but would welcome any other suggestions.
I am concerned that my Senior Management Team will have immeadiate concerns over some of the 'community' aspects of Elgg - ie: misuse of communication, forums etc for bullying, posting innappropriate material etc. I would love to hear of other views and experiences.
I find the e-strategy guidance an exciting proposition for both teachers and learners, it is giving me added weight behind arguments I have been making for a while about our schools need to follow this type of model.
The Elgg-Moodle integration that I hinted at back in January is pretty much ready to go on the Elgg side at least.
I too would be interested in hearing experiences elsewhere of cyber-bullying etc via Moodle (or Elgg); our experience has been wholly positive, and I think this sort of behaviour is far more likely to happen in something like bebo, myspace or MSN than in a system which the school provides, monitors and controls, and thus where the focus is implicitly and explicitly educational. As with real bullying, it tends to happen outside school, in the lavatories, or the corridors rather than in the classroom where there are teachers (and other learners) watching.
I think something of the popularity of bebo, myspace and MSN is due in no small part to schools being slow to implement comparable technology themselves.
Currently we battle over low level misuse of the internet
(games, off task during lessons etc) and take a strong line on restricting access to chat, forums etc. I believe in the concept of the collabarative approach and would love to provide this functionality to my students. If the monitoring functionality is there I would be able to put forward a stronger case to my SMT & in particular systems manager!
I have, however, one advice: Students who leave the school during the school year ( for whatever reasons) should be deleted immediately. I learned the hard way. This was our only incident of cyber-bullying via Moodle.
A good tip!
I have had 2 incidents with forum abuse. The first was the introduction of a topical debate forum bang on the front page. The year 11s had about 2 weeks left and some couldn't care less what they did and who knew. After they left I put up a help course and a forum in there which has been great - just one inapropriate post last week. We even have an off-topic forum in there now with a student teacher / moderator.
I think the key to the success is to get these things in under the radar and slowly allow them to build. That way you reduce the novelty factor and the feeling that floodgates have been opened. Only the interested / trusted type kids will use them and by the time the rest of the school find them then the tone has already been set by the students and trouble makers would not want to participate in such environments (usually).
From that angle I am a little concerned about how elgg will work for us. I don't think it will need heavy moderation as the type of kid you would need to moderate would not use it if it's features can be released bit by bit. I am certainly not going to tell anybody about it until the Y11s leave after easter