Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eliademy: A simple free Virtual Learning Environment

Yesterday, I discovered a new website called Eliademy and it is one of the simplest tools I have ever seen for creating a Virtual Learning Environment and not only that, it is free, has no adverts and "will always be free". After an afternoon giving a session on using Frog ( my school's new VLE), I was impressed at how simple it was to start creating learning materials on Eliademy. It does not have the range of functionality as Frog, it doesn't come close, but it is an amazing tool if you want to create an online course quickly and simply.
Eliademy have 3 bold claims on their website: smart and friendly interface, fast and easy to use and that it increases productivity.When you visit the Eliademy website, it is certainly smart, to the point and very welcoming. The designers have considered what most creators of educational software forget; teachers are busy people and if they have to spend time learning how to use software tools rather than actually planning and creating resources, most will not bother. Clicking on Sign-up gives the option of either signing in using Facebook (a huge time saver!) or completing 4 fields.

Eliademy claim that you will own your own classroom in 3 steps and it really is that simple, you just sign in, create a course and then add resources. It's simplistic layout is so free of distractions that it really does encourage you to increase productivity.
Creating a new topic within a course is done with one click and you can add pictures, files, Youtube, Vimeo and Slideshare. This is relatively good although it would be nice to see a bit more integration with things like Google Apps. Within each course there is the course content, tasks (again set with about 3 clicks)and a discussion forum. Adding participants is done easily by email or by sharing a link on Facebook or Twitter. A great final piece of functionality is the ability to access notes in Evernote and it would be great to se even further integration between the two products along with some other useful 3rd parties.
This is a tool I would absolutely love to see take off in lots of schools. Given that I write a blog called Free Tech for Schools, when I see technology like this that provides the functionality and professional interface of an expensive product for completely free, I begin to salivate. It really makes me think that the best thing you can do to be a truly progressive and creative technologically enabled school is to cut your technology budget down to zero! When you are not committed to expensive paid for products, you have much more freedom to pick and choose between the very best free tools. For now, I recognise this tool to any school who wants a simple and effective solution that will allow them to compete with any school that has invested in an expensive learning platform. I might even say you would be more successful as it is so simple to implement, it could be populated with resources in no time.

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9 comments:

I took a look at it. I see what you mean about the ease of use and the simplicity of the site. It would be good to build a static course that you plan to reuse, however it has almost no collaborative capabilities and from what I can see, no way for students to submit content. It isn't terrible, but it isn't good enough to make me switch from edmodo.

I totally agree with Bret. It is easy, but extremely limited in functionality for the type of class environment I have (partially flipped). It definitely could compliment in some ways, but not enough for me to use it as a singular platform.

Students can submit content as a response to tasks. Once there are tasks associated to a course, the student upload functionality comes into play.

The vast majority of existing virtual learning environments have rigid structures that dictate how instructors are to use their solutions. We believe that to be a mistake and one of the reasons why VLEs are not as commonly used as a supplement to traditional classroom teaching as they ought to. Indeed, most instructors have been using a particular teaching methodology for many years and are reluctant to embrace a different one. myVLE's approach to this issue is to provide a very flexible and extremely intuitive platform which would be perceived by instructors as a tool which would help them teach better, but not force them to change the way they teach or manage their courses.

Thanks for your blog. You have done a great job in this field. However, if you are interested more about learning platform, you can visit http://www.myvle.com/about-us.

Mooc's is the future game changer of convention education system and a welcome addition to the tool set for educators and students.

Thanks for sharing this information. Many people are looking for learning software that they can use in their classroom. It provides access to information to students who want to do a little extra work or pursue the curriculum without being physically faced with a tutor in a classroom.

I wonder how long it will be before those enterprises that offer quality software for free are forced to make adjustments to their offering. It costs money to run programs of this nature.

Hi all,

I accidentally deleted this post when trying to authorise it from my phone so had to copy and paste it. It is originally from Sotiris Makrygiannis

Thank you for your feedback! We are quickly adding new functionality to our service.
Here is the latest blog entry:
https://eliademy.com/blog/

As for the Free vs Paid, our mission is to democratize education with technology and the company is profitable from year 1. We are offering variety of paid services to multiple customers but we believe that eliademy.com should be free for schools and universities.

I just completely quality and informative.education is very important for student.

Educational Resources combined with a device in every student’s hands can travel educators and students beyond the constraints and expense of the printed textbook model.

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