Having a high level of technology for learning equipment in a school or college will dramatically improve performance, so long as there is the right support and enthusiasm to embrace it.
In terms of FE, there was recognition of the value of VLEs (or learning platforms) in enhancing and supporting learning.
In the further education colleges it was found that learning platforms extended students’ learning into the home, and the management information systems provided greater efficiency and effectiveness for managers and teachers.
The BBC is reporting on the story and they pick up on the fact that though there was greater success in the primary and secondary schools, the impact on FE was marginal, there was little change.
It can be difficult to measure the impact of technology on retention and achivement, but there is now much more evidence that it can and does make a difference.
One of the useful aspects of the Gloucestershire College VLE is the ability to store a series of bookmarked web links on a course.
These links can be accessed from any computer which is something that Internet Explorer fails to do as it is restricted to one computer.
Also these links can be accessed by your students at a time and place convenient to them (whether that be at home, in college, or at work). Rather than type them out they can click and there the page is there for them either within the campus or in a new window.
You could always use a social bookmarking site such as del.icio.us, but one of the advantages of using the VLE is that it can track who has clicked the links.
On Friday the 29th of June Gloucestershire College will be moving its Learning Gateway (library) from their old 1930’s Brunswick campus to their new state of the art new campus on the Gloucester docks.
Moving seventeen thousand odd books, fifty computers and lots of other stuff, makes you realise how moving from one VLE to another though complicated and complex, can be relatively simple to physically moving a learning environment.
The move won’t impact on the VLE as the VLE runs on servers on our Cheltenham campus, however it does mean that I personally will be quite busy and therefore won’t be online as much as I am now.