During the Summer term we finally began the transition to the Kite learning platform from our previous solution. As a staff we felt the old VLE was under used and stale. In addition, it included lots of features that we didn’t use that simply served to clutter up the interface and confuse users, staff and pupils alike. The process of adding content was also troublesome and taking time away from the all important task of teaching.
Since Kite has been implemented within Ysgol Bryn Elian, the whole process of making content available for pupils has been greatly simplified. Since initially looking at Kite we were extremely impressed with the approach e4Education had taken in ensuring users intuitive needs were met. Using Kite’s drag and drop technology (browser dependant) staff were now adding content in a much more fluid manner than had ever previously been encountered. Couple this with the ability to add different blocks for things such as image galleries, embedded video, customisable text fields allowing for HTML code to be inserted, flash capabilities and a resources block to populate a lesson or course with files, and you have a learning platform that is truly a joy to use.
Courses are easily created, units added to it and lessons within. These lessons can then be dragged onto the teachers timetable to allocate that topic to that class in a specific time slot. The freedom to reorganise and shuffle blocks around on a page makes a refreshing change from the prescriptive norm. Every course can be made to look rich and varied with the powerful ability to add a range of media content easily.
One of the biggest plus points for the administration of Kite is the permissions. Put simply, all pupils see everything, you then adjust for what you don’t want them to see. A much easier solution than allocating specific groups to specific content which gets very messy very quickly. Pupils now have access to the content they need with very little searching.
As Head of ICT I am looking forward to working with Kite further on future developments, I think the relationship they have built with us as a school is one based on the fact they understand our needs and are actively working with us on a regular basis to ensure the vision we have for our learning platform now and in the future is realised.
To summarise, Kite is powerful yet simple to use. Users find it visually pleasing and staff are packing it with content ready for our learners to navigate and explore. We couldn’t be happier now that our Kite is flying high at Ysgol Bryn Elian.