Friday, February 2, 2007

Learning Platform

My previous entry, (entered on the Elgg version of this blog) following my visit to the BETT show on the Friday (12th January), disappeared into the ether immediately after posting, and I had spent so long setting up links to various interesting software and learning platform information that, at the time, I was ill-inclined to do it all again. Not quite sure what went wrong. Possibly something to do with our school connection.
Fronter seems to be the nearest thing to an open-source, highly adaptable solution, and I've arranged a demonstration for our Senior Management team in a couple of weeks time. I was also quite impressed by Serco's 'Facility', but got the impression it's likely to be costly as well as being more appropriate for school's already using Serco's managment system rather than Capita's SIMS.
Moodle will only remain a viable alternative if our LEA decide to offer it as a managed solution via a company such as Atom, but there's no sign at the moment of this happening. By all account's RM's Kaleidos is over-complicated, over-content-bound, and heavily training-dependent.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Had a scare yesterday. Upgraded the webcalendar script we use for the school's networked and online diary, only to find all the entries had been put back by 5 hours. For a worrying while it looked as if it was a live-with-it-or-ditch-it PHP version error, but luckily there was a workround. Phew!
This is just one of several problems I've encountered with open-source upgrades recently. We can't run the latest version of Moodle because it's incompatible with the PHP brew our remote host is running, and our MovableType blogbook was out of action for the entire autumn because I had to backtrack to an older version for a similar reason. Undoing mysql database upgrades and repopulating tables from sql textfiles is not a restful exercise, especially when you have to grab opportunites to do this in the midst of busy school days.
Have been reading the reaction to the pre-Christmas announcement of Becta-approved learning platform packages with interest. It doesn't appear at the moment as if the list carries much credibility. Certainly a number of people have gone on record as saying that they will carry on with open-source solutions regardless.