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VLEs…& the search for the Holy Grail

VLEs and the search for the Holy Grail

The idea behind these has existed within universities for many many years (my earliest experience was with Blackboard), and most recently has been thrown at schools.

The ideas of VLEs is something I REALLY REALLY buy into!! I love the idea, extending learning opportunities ‘creatively’ beyond the classroom.

But when you are trying to inspire not only young people, but also their teachers to use a VLE, a whole new way of delivering (or supporting the delivery of) their lessons you have to take some time to make sure you are investing money/time into the most productive, imaginative and inspirational VLE you can get access to.
So which is the the right VLE?

THINK FIRST:
You need to ask yourself some questions at the outset;

  • What are the needs of our learners?
  • What are the needs of our teachers?
  • How do we see a VLE supporting a long term T&L plan for your school (linked very closely to your school improvement plan)?

You should also try to imagine the future, what changes in ICT, and online learning might be around the corner, and will you need to factor these into your choice of VLE? The answer should be a YES!

SEARCHING FOR THE HOLY GRAIL OF VLEs

Holy Grail of VLEs, is it out there?

Holy Grail of VLEs, is it out there?

Firstly we must be realistic, no one system will suit everyone, there is never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ in anything related to teaching and learning. By our very nature we all have our own, likes and dislikes, and our own learning (and teaching) styles, however some systems do prove more popular in the teaching world than others.

I can’t offer you ‘the answer’ in your search for the holy grail of VLEs, but I can share with you some rays of sunshine in the VLE world, which might help you as you search.

StudyWiz

I have only recently discovered this online and from it website it looks stunning as a VLE which has a VAST array of functions to innovate and inspire the use of online learning amongst staff and students.
To start with the look, it resembles the fresher websites out there that people enjoy navigating, i uses tabs, clean lines and imagery to guide you from activities to lessons and resources.
Where some systems offer instant messaging studywiz offers a fully integrated email facility for staff and students, the ability to upload videos, or link to youtube, a calendar that can show whole school events as well as homework deadlines and all the classes a student has. And these are all visible in the dashboard, making it really easy from students to be organised about their learning in a well constructed way.

I must say I’m not on commission for studywiz here, I’m just very impressed with their system (as it looks, my next step is to try and see it for real, in action) but I wanted to share this with the www.

Anyone use this?

Like to comment on its potential?

Any short comings? etc

Drop me an email, post a comment or mention your thoughts on my twitter, all thoughts (well all nice ones) welcomed.

Exciting links to explore:

http://www.europe.studywiz.com/?page_id=2

Really creative looking, fresh stylish VLE that has already developed iphone/ipod and mobile phone integrated learning software! Which helps you ‘future proof’ your VLE, as well as offer access to learning through devices students are using 24/7.
Link to mobile learning using studywiz:
http://www.europe.studywiz.com/?page_id=137

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_learning_environment

A fair list – not fully comprehensive – of VLEs, as well as some solid background information on VLEs in general.

http://moodle.org/

Popular VLE, used the country over with a lot of add on software designed for it. Moodle has always been well spoken of in press, and at BETT.

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1 Comment »

  1. This item about VLE is really interesting, I have been our college VLE (moodle) for 2 years and found it very useful, I am also a user of blackboard as a student

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