Yet another government objective that is waiting just over the horizon, like a black cloud waiting to burst, is that of the personal learning space – which basically means every student must have their own online personal space which should support their e-portfolios. This should be in place by 2007-2008 and the larger part of this new objective will involve the use of another key term, namely that of the learning platform. Learning platform’
is
an umbrella
term used to
cover software
whose core role
is to manage learning
materials for students.
Learning platform’ is an umbrella term used to cover software whose core role is to manage learning materials for students.
Quote via: Teachernet
The confusing part for teachers in all of this will be knowing which learning platform will suit them the best, and as is often the case with anything new, it may well be that it is not until after the system is implemented that most teachers will have any idea of what is going on exactly. ICT Co-ordinators will be expected to know the ins and outs of which learning platform software is the most suitable and then be at least two steps ahead of the rest of the staff and the students as the system moves into full swing.

And just a few of the acronyms already being bandied around: VLE – Virtual Learning Environment, MLE – Managed Learning Environment, LP – Learning Platform and LSS – Learning Support System.

Vast amounts of money will be poured into this project and schools will need to be careful not to have the wool pulled over the eyes when choosing which software suits them best. It is hoped that the LEA’s will use their stronger buying power and resources to help schools select the Learning Platform that is the most cost effective and will provide the most for the students.

Moodle And one name to watch out for is Moodle, with the developers stating that:

Moodle is a course management system (CMS) – a free, Open Source software package designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective online learning communities. You can download and use it on any computer you have handy (including webhosts), yet it can scale from a single-teacher site to a 50,000-student University. This site itself is created using Moodle, so check out the Moodle Demonstration Courses or read the latest Moodle Buzz.

Not sure what Open Source means exactly? Well don’t worry because it simply means it is free [well 95% of the time anyway] and that it is continually being developed. Unlike a product such as Microsoft Word for instance, which remains the same once you buy it, Open Source software is hinged on the community input and can usually be adapted to fit to your particular needs.