Wednesday, 6 May 2009

TaraNet Tinkering Around the Edges with MLE

Ian Munro & Paul Seiler from the MOE were in New Plymouth to speak to schools about Managed Learning Environments. This presentation follows on from their consultation last year. Since this time the MOE have established a reference group, and tendered for and accepted preferred vendors. You can participate in the discussion around MLE by joining the reference group Google group. 

I think a lot of this session may have been  above the heads of many  unless they had participated in previous consultation sessions or had an understanding of online learning environments. It would have been good to see the presentation deviate online to look at examples that were discussed so the audience could make a visual connection to the tools & ideas that Paul was talking about.

TaraNet has been using an MLE – Interact & lately Moodle for the last three years to support our classes but i feel we have only been tinkering around the edges of what is possible. We are reaching a time now that TaraNet schools need to make strategic decisions about adopting an MLE (Coastal & St Mary’s have recently purchased KnowledgeNet). Whether they choose to collaborate and develop our own TaraNet site or choose another vendor and work independently, is another decision they will need to make. I have skirted this issue, trying just to focus on providing the tools for our eteachers & making it available to other teachers through Lead Teacher request. WelCom have made this the overarching goal & focus for their cluster with the development of their MLE and the support of teachers being their ePrincipal’s primary role. It is obvious when visiting WelCom that their goals are coming to fruition with a dynamic, collaborative space being developed that is always busy with students & teachers online.

I have been thinking for sometime that TaraNet schools, who haven’t already, need to make a strategic decision about adopting an MLE. The Moodle site we are currently using needs to move beyond it’s trial phase and off the MOE server and onto a hosted vendor site, which will be a cost to the schools. When schools start investing in an MLE they will want a return on the investment. So there will be a lot of professional learning needed. A new goal for TaraNet 2010 and another opportunity for other schools outside TaraNet to join….maybe.

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