Does anyone know of a good free CMS for school websites?

Discussion in 'IT & Internet' started by Bryony84, Jun 4, 2008.

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  1. Bryony84

    Bryony84 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    A friend of mine is a teacher in a primary school. She's been asked to explore online course management systems with a view to improving the schools current and very outdated website.

    I suggested Moodle but I was wondering if anyone knows any other similar opensource CMS's that would work well for a school's online course management?
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Bryony84 Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  2. KM-Tiger

    KM-Tiger UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

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    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: KM-Tiger Member since: Aug 10, 2003
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  3. Dwebs-Ltd

    Dwebs-Ltd UKBF Ace Full Member

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    Moodle all the way for this, does an excellent job.
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Dwebs-Ltd Member since: Nov 29, 2007
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  4. awebapart.com

    awebapart.com UKBF Ace Full Member

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    This is something your friend really needs to speak to her county council's ICT advisor to schools about (e.g. http://www3.hants.gov.uk/ictinschools ), otherwise she might be wasting time on a system that then has to be replaced in the near future by some other system that has been decided upon 'higher up' (possibly based on government legislation and national or local education area plans she might not be aware of).
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: awebapart.com Member since: Dec 21, 2006
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  5. Carl-CSNM

    Carl-CSNM UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    If the school internet connection is provided vis the LEA, they will often include some sort of VLE (Virtual Learning Enviroment).

    If they don't Moodle is the only (free) solution for a VLE system.
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Carl-CSNM Member since: Apr 9, 2006
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  6. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

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    not sure if it fit's the brief, but elgg may work, although it could be seen more as edu-social netwrorking
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
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  7. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    I know Moodle very well and have been a guest speaker at an international Moodle conference. I concur that Moodle is well suited to schools, being used by many thousands of schools today, but it's not easy to administrator, so do take that factor (and cost) into account. Also, unless you host it yourself, you'll have to pay someone else to host it for you. If you pursue that option, I recommend Carl-CSNM at these forums (who posted earlier in this thread).

    If the school can wait until August, our system (after four years of preparation) will be launched by then. It's a fully functional course management system with two key attributes: easy to use and pay as you go. Compared to Moodle, we differ in the following ways:

    1) No software to download or host. It's a web-based service.
    2) That in turn means no upfront costs.
    3) No charge for creating online courses.
    4) Very simple to use (much easier than Moodle).
    5) Automatic checking for logical errors (e.g., a question with no correct answer).
    6) Ability to share course material (e.g., quizzes) with any other user of our system.
    7) Educators can sell the use of their own courses to other schools.
    8) Fully integrated grading and scheduling features (which really saves time).
    9) In-line links to course activities, insertion of graphics into instructions, etc.
    10) A ton of little usability features that we've learned from years of experience.

    Basically, the only charge is when the school runs a class. Depending on how many credits the school pre-purchases, it can be anywhere from 1p to 12p per student per day. There's no charge to create and run self-studies, and there's no charge to create and run online quizzes.

    The only hesitation I have is that our system, like Moodle and the rest, is not really designed for primary school children. Having said that, my 10-year-old daughter has no problem at all using our system. When you keep things simple, it's surprising how younger users feel at ease.

    I'll be posting a message to the forums the moment we launch (in August). If you'd like to know more, send me a PM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2008
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
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  8. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    Until August. :) When you take into account the administrative overhead of using Moodle, we are significantly cheaper.
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
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  9. Carl-CSNM

    Carl-CSNM UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Sorry Steve, I honestly totally forgot about you. :redface:
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Carl-CSNM Member since: Apr 9, 2006
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  10. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    ...which is not surprising given how long it's taken us to finish our system. :) Still, we're almost there now, and there's no way we're going to miss our launch date: August 16. Indeed, I'm hoping we can pull it back a few days - just I can say we launched on 08-08-08. ;)
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: Cornish Steve Member since: Jul 4, 2005
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  11. dave_n

    dave_n UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    does it have to be open source?
    there are some good products coming out of ms and codeplex at the moment - learning gateway, SLK etc
     
    Posted: Jun 4, 2008 By: dave_n Member since: Oct 27, 2007
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  12. Bryony84

    Bryony84 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I think it just needs to be free or cheap. She was explaining to me the other day how little funding the school gets so they can't afford anything expensive. Thats why I wondered if there were any good alternatives to moodle because of the overheads associated with it.

    Steve, I can't imagine anything will be done about it before the summer holidays so I'll show her the info from your post.
     
    Posted: Jun 5, 2008 By: Bryony84 Member since: Jun 3, 2008
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  13. nickpp

    nickpp UKBF Newcomer Full Member

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    A mixture of moodle and the new Elgg 1 is the way forward.

    regards

    Nick
     
    Posted: Oct 16, 2008 By: nickpp Member since: Aug 11, 2008
    #13
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