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Jim Buchan

Very interesting post and comments here - brings out a whole raft of useful and interesting points ;-) I also believe that content discovery is also important. It good to have a "common platform" where people can publish , discover and share content ;-)

But there is also some danger that content silos can be be created between a collection of loosely coupled systems. Which could be a disadvantage!

So I would add to the discussion here that as well as there being huge value in having a pervasive user authentication system is also essential to have comprehensive search capability which can discover content both with in the component parts of the learning platform and also know worthwhile content repositories which exist out with it!


As a secondary school teacher the idea of having all my different tools in different places seems unrealistic and time wasting. Ts & Cs have to be checked on every site, security and safety of content must be a consideration, school firewalls need broken down for most web2.0 applications, age restrictions apply to many sites and 13 year olds barely remember 1 password let alone different passwords for different accounts!

I use http://www.edu20.org for pupils. I can use any online tools I require and embed them or links to them in the VLE, as can the pupils. The VLE allows me to upload work appealing to different learning styles and set assignments which can be individual or collaborative. There is secure chat and forums and pupils don't even require an email address to join in.

These services are provided free of charge and whilst, yes, I am at the mercy of an outside provider I will rethink my plan when the needs of my classes/pupils change.


I believe that on the one hand the creation of this system solves some problems and helps students to develop, acquire knowledge, to create their blogs and so forth, but on the other hand the creation of such systems, I've seen similar ideas on the site http://www.queentorrent.com / limits the ability of students to communicate, most of the time students spend on the computer.


Very interesting post. I have heard a few people parroting the “VLE is dead” mantra lately, but have not seen any coherant ideas as to what would work instead.
VLE’s are not dead, they are moving forward and gaining wider acceptance every day, to the point that “software giants” are taking an interest in applications like Moodle due to their massive user base / mindshare.


Moodle 2.0 - just check the features.
There will be possible to embed and include a huge vary of web 2.0 tools.
You have a controlled and safe VLE on your own server, but you have all the possibility to open for web 2.0 tools to include.
Maybe thats the ideal solution.


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Laurence Cuffe

For some core teaching inteations we need strong two way authentification. This is identification of the learner to the teacher/Course and of the Course/teacher to the learner. In most countries, we also need secure and private comunication of assesment related material i.e. marks and assignments.
This doesnt rule out the use of broader tools, just as the use of a register, and a set textbook does not rule out the use of newspapers to teach in a traditional classroom.
For me I think the key issue is the potential public exposure of my students learning proceses, which may be undesirable for many reasons. Asking a student to go up in front of the class and show me something on the board is one thing, asking them to do so in front of the whole world, forever is another.
We may also be sending mixed messages here, we warn them that anything that they post to the internet is potentialy there forever, and we then ask them to ignore this warning...


It's not a question of requiring a single system, it's a question of what a typical university (or school) I.T. support service is able to provide. (The O.U. is not typical of other institutions!) http://www.fullmediafire.com


Forget learning systems. Universities are primarily assessment centres. A student can learn what knowledge and skills they wish but if it is not assessed by the university then it doesn't exist.

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