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Saturday, 19 March 2011

VLE’S, Corkboards, Blogs – What is the difference?

I’m still new to this technology business and I know that I still have a lot to learn.  I have adopted a ‘hands on approach’ when it comes to learning new technologies and applying them to my teaching.  I sign up for blogs, create websites, make my own podcasts, create my own class sites etc. I also find it educational because as I experience pitfalls and setbacks I can envision exactly how a student might struggle in the future.

Yet proficient as I am becoming, I have often found myself googling phrases I find on websites that I don’t understand feeling like an idiot because it’s implied I should know what these phrases mean.  VLE, HTML5, embedding, cloud-sharing, encoding, networking, corkboards, virtual learning.  The internet can be an unfriendly place at times.

The purpose of this post is to define all the different ways you can host your classroom on the internet.


Blogs: You can host your classroom on a blog.  However, at the moment blogging platforms are limited in terms of the technology available for you to use.  You can post assignments, create lesson plans, and promote discussion through blog posts.

Pros: You can control who views your webpage and who has access to the editing tools. It can be made easily available to parents and students. Blogs are easy to setup and are simple to use.

Cons: There is no way for students to collaborate in real time and sharing ideas is fairly limited to discussion posts. A classroom blog is only a small element of what could be an encompassing learning environment.

Corkboards – Are similar to a corkboard you might have in your classroom where you pin up student work, notices and important reminders. The only exception is that it is virtual and therefore more interactive.  You can host a corkboard as a teacher. Students can then pin up/share their own videos or notes.

Pros: It is a simple tool and easy to use. It is a great way to share student work with parents.

Cons: You can’t have multiple pages like a blog so your corkboard can become crowded. You would have to create multiple corkboards for classes/projects.


Websites: These are more customizable than corkboards and blogs.  You can host multiple pages the software can facilitate a wide range of tools. You can set up your own blog, incorporate wiki’s, video’s and content. You can deliver assignments and set up forums. You can also link to corkboards and other websites if you wish.

Pros: You can customize your website and tailor it to suite the learning needs of your class.

Cons: Requires some experience in website design.

VLE:  Known as virtual learning environments VLE is software designed to help teachers manage their education courses. It’s a program designed to help create a websites with minimum technical skills. It facilitates communication, assessments and document sharing. You can share and build resources through wiki, blogs, RSS.

Cons: Less customizable then websites.

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