News comes in of a new Microsoft-based, learner-centred Learning Platform. We here, on the Microsoft Schools Blog , will be keeping a close eye on it.
A little over two years ago, Ray Fleming quoted some thoughts here from Twynham School’s Mike Herrity on “Common reasons why Learning Platforms fail”. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ukschools/archive/2009/07/15/common-reasons-why-learning-platforms-fail-mike-herrity-s-view.aspx
It’s still worth reading, and I suspect much of what Mike wrote then is still valid. Earlier this year, in fact, BESA director Ray Barker wrote, in “Education Business” magazine, that, “Learning Platforms have received a mixed reception over recent years.” http://www.educationbusinessuk.net/features/5/2716-collaborating-via-the-platform
What’s clear, though, is that learning platforms are here to stay, because they really do have the potential to bring learners and teachers together in a new and exciting kind of learning space. Children probably recognise this rather more quickly than their teachers do. A teacher quoted in Ray Barker’s article says, “Our children do love the look and feel of the learning platform…”
As you’d expect, Microsoft have taken a keen and supportive interest in learning platforms that use Microsoft Technology, of which the LP+ Learning Platform from “Learning Possibilities” is a prime example. In fact, earlier this year we described the impact of LP+ on the improvement journey made with the aid of LP+ by Little Harrowden Primary in Northamptonshire.
And now, there’s even more to report, because Learning Possibilities are preparing to launch a new version of their product, called LP+4. It’s described as providing,
“…..a user-centric experience — a step change from traditional learning platforms which are institutional-centric (welcome to our school, read information about our school etc)”
LP+4 ticks lots of exciting boxes for Microsoft. It makes use of a range of Microsoft technologies — SharePoint2010, Exchange2010, Lync2010 and Dynamics CRM 2011. It’s also hosted as a private cloud service, which is very much in line with Microsoft’s vision.
Educational development of LP+4 is in the hands of Tom Rees, Little Harrowden’s head, who’s seconded to Learning Possibilities, ensuring that the product grows in line with the needs of schools and learners.
LP+4 is still in development, but rapid progress is planned, and we intend to stay with it. We’ll be asking early adopter schools what they hope for from the product, and whether it’s doing what they and their learners want and need. And, of course, we’ll be reporting back on this blog.
As they say, watch this space…