Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Magoogle or is it Moogle?

We've had Mahoodle (Mahara eportoflio + Moodle + single sign on) suite of tools, now we've got Magoogle (Google docs + single sign on). Last week in our recorded discussion Martin mentioned Google Docs + Moodle VLE. Since then I've come across some interesting articles relating to Open Source applications and their cost, etc.

First of all here's the full skinny on Moogle. The same (Open Source schools) website also discusses the government's new stance on "levelling the playing field" with purchasing Open Source software. Please remember that OSSwatch another JISC service also have a wealth of knowledge and experience with this subject and have plenty of resources to help ogfnasiations understand the cost of OSS.

Thanks to : Bruce Nightingale for this info

Google applications have proven to be a very useful set of integrated applications enabling collaboration, peer review and other types of formative feedback. But now Google have released an education edition of Google applications. Google Apps Education Edition includes communications tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk; collaboration apps, such as Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Labs (for software code review); and various administration features and APIs for integration with existing systems.


A moodle developer http://moodlerooms.com/ is launching a new enhancement to MOODLE in collaboration with Google to provide access to the application suite using a single sign-on. Through integration, users loaded into Moodle will be automatically loaded into Google Apps Education Edition, providing users with Web-based e-mail, document authoring, spreadsheets, presentations and sites, all integrated with their online learning platform. From a teacher's perspective, this provides an easy way to assign students to collaborative tasks without having to worry about the students having different operating systems or incompatible software or being unable to access an online system. From an IT backoffice perspective, this provides an integration tested with large-scale data loads and built to industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols for secure single sign on and information transfer.

The comon misnomer with Open Source is that the word "free" applied does not take into consideration total cost of ownership (TCO) of running a VLE. Recently I've come across some posts and been involved online discussions concerning the options available to run a Moodle VLE in house or "out source" the hosting and and support of sed VLE. Needless to say the options are many and varied. And I personally feel that external hosting is a viable option for cash strapped organisations, and those whose IT support dept' concerntrates soley on on maintaining a secure and stable "network", where the users wants and needs come second place! Sound familiar?

thanks to
Laurence Fouweather for this info

these are some of the factors involved in any software system acquisition:-

1) Server costs -- hardware purchase, operating system setup and any licence fee, ongoing server support (maintenance, bug fixes and routine updates), backup device and media usage, network cards and high speed access point to school network.

2) Application system support costs - this is the cost of just keeping it going (i.e. with no one using it) in terms of initial installation, diagnosis of problems, installation of bug fixes and other updates, backups and data security.

3) Integration costs to other systems - e.g. Student records/ assessment systems

4) Content provision costs - e.g. bought in or teacher provided

5) User support, training and conversion costs - internal or external

Don't forget that most of the costs will be of staff (either direct or indirect) and that any salary needs to be increased by the overhead cost (Usually 40%+ but your HR/Accounts department will usually be able to give a figure).

No comments: