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Choosing a suitable MLE

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Started by Monika Kern 25 Mar 2012 12:31pm () Replies (29)

Hi there, I'm fairly new to VLN but trying hard to get up to speed :)

I work at a Decile 1 Intermediate in the Far North. I would like to run my computing class web based, and advice in a different group was to look at moodle or similar. The MoE website lists three providers for MLEs, KnowledgeNET, Ultranet and Moodle. We have also received information from a 'new to NZ' firm offering EduSpot.

How do we choose the most suitable MLE??? Money is an issue (goes without saying). Any advice would be MUCH appreciated!!!!!


By the way, EduSpot run a webinar on Wednesday 28 March 12:00

Link: https://promo-manager.server-secure.com/ch/7360/r9nb4m/484293/3a1199zcm.html

Meeting Number: 620 618 844

Meeting Password: eduspot

Many thanks in advance, Monika


  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 25 Mar 2012 3:30pm ()

    Initially I would like to use it for my Computing and my Music Classes. I take all classes throughout the school during their teachers' CRT which at our school is one day/fortnight, and normally they get one term = 5 sessions per subject. For Computing, rather than making them a workbook which includes introductory information, the term goal and activities, I want to have this all web based, with a space for each student to submit their work. Ideally, I get notified when they have posted their work, I check it and then release the next activity for them to move onto. For Music I see it as part of my rotations where a third of the students is on guitars, a third on keyboards and a third does music theory on the computers.

    In the longer term I personally would like to see at least one if not all of our classes become 'connected classes' where pretty much all work is done online - one of our contributing primary schools, Kaikohe West, also decile 1, have great success with this.

    I hope this clarifies it a bit more - thanks for the replies so far!!!!

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 26 Mar 2012 7:44pm ()

    13 useful replies in just a day wow! I will need a lot more time to investigate all the suggestions further, there are a lot more options out there than I would have thought. BTW, is there any place that shows me cost comparison?!

    Today I have attended a course presented by Mark Osborne from ASHS on Engaging Learners through e-learning - heaps of food for thought! Like some of the suggestions to the discussion, ASHS use Google for most and freeware for pretty much all of the rest of their applications (I hope I got that right, apologies if I misunderstood). My problem with using Google is that all students need a Gmail password which now is only for ages 13+, and my intermediate age students are 10 - 12. Has anyone found a legal way to get around this, or is use of Google simply not available to teachers of students under high school age?

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 28 Mar 2012 8:05pm ()


    Good reminder, Nick, thanks, to not muddle up all these different acryonyms! As a teacher I am probably most interested in a Learning Management System LMS, but as e-Lead Teacher I am also keen on learning more about a suitable Managed Larning Environment MLE that LMS should fit into.

    At Mark Osborne's Whangarei workshop on Monday quite a few teachers I talked with mentioned the adhoc approaches some schools have taken, a discontinuity in systems, often dependendant on who is in charge at a particular time and what 'fad they are into' - this is not meant to put anyone down, I realise that all of us are doing their best. I can already see in my case that I would love to get a lot deeper into a whole lot of issues, but when?!?! I teach fulltime (1 CRT / fortnight) in 3 different curriculum areas and there is not enough time in the day or night to do it all and well. [Did I mention the long-suffering family?!?!].

    To combat a future "this was Monika's fad in 2012 and nothing elseat our school  fits with it" I want to get an allround understanding of what is out there before I can make a recommendation to SLT - thanks heaps to everyone who has contributed so far, I have learnt a lot already and found out how much I don't know

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 28 Mar 2012 8:12pm ()

    is there a character limit on comments?!?! My comment has been chopped!!!

    cont. from above:

    Also I need to get the buy-in from other staff, but do they really have the knowledge and understanding, and do they care, about the finer point in difference between different systems?!

    So back to my conclusions about LMS so far:

    * MoE specially mentions Ultranet, Moodle, KnowedgeNet

    *other LMS around include LAMS, edmodo, EduSpot

    *Google offers solutions that can work as LMS, e.g. Google Sites, Apps for Education.  No cost

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 23 Apr 2012 8:19pm ()

    Thanks so much to everyone contributing to this. Your contributions have raised a lot of qutions we as a school still have to ask ourselves and find an answer for.

    One thing I am certain on is that a cloud hosted service is a better solution for us than keeping everything on our server. I personally am reluctant at this stage to choose Google for this as our students are below gmail age and I feel we need to stick to the rules.

    I liked what EduSpot had to offer in their webinar, especially their 60 day free trial for one class. This gives me a chance to try out what they have to offer without any cost to us. During this time I will hopefully find out what exactly it is that I need to run my programmes.

    I have had at let a quick look at most of the suggestions, some very extensive knowledge here on VLN.

    Thanks heaps again, Monika

  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 10 May 2012 9:03pm ()

    Just wanted to give an update on what has been happening re LM at our school since the start of the term:

    We have been trialling EduSpot with two small classes plus a group of teachers for PD. This particular platform is cloud based, is easy to use and provides a safe environment as all content has to approved by teachers before it can be shared. I have found a few issues that need improving, e.g. your communication with the students works through messages under discussion and files the students download where it might be easier to have some sort of portal site for the class where everyone straight away sees what's on for today. Your own files can be organised into your own folders but this needs to be extended to subfolders and into the space of a group (at this stage all my task sheets and the kids' finished work sit in one space and that will get cluttered easily). I have communicated with their support team, and the suggestions have been passed on to their development team. They have a neat MovieMaker like programme called MyWorkSpace which were are yet to utilise. EduSpot supports pretty much all files formats I have come across, there is an app for iPad I think under construction. One thing they are lacking is the ability to collaborate like th sharing of docs on Google docs.

    Our free trial runs until mid June, so I will know more by then. The cost is $8 per student / year when you're on a 3 y contract. I am not sure if our school will adopt it, mainly because we're having a change of principal, so I am not sure if a decision will be made before the current principal leaves and then I don't know if the new principal is interested in it.

    My students are loving working online, no paper and pens on my class this term (had to borrow a pen from a kid to do my paper roll!!). They are slowly getting into the fact that they can access this from anywhere (a large proportion has no internet at home, and they much rather use their free Internet Time at the local library for FB after we blocked it at school ;-)).

    I will still look into other options, now that I know a bit more what features I like and what I can / want to do. Heaps of people keep on recommending Google - I just found out last week that our students aren't allowed to access their email at our school (one year in, that's a bit embarrassing for me!). I'll definitley investigate it though, rules are there to be broken changed (oops, strikethrough won't come off on the iPad!)

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