On Thu, 2005-05-12 at 18:58 +0100, Robert Jones wrote:
there is clearly a gap in the market for a quality,
alternative to the commercial MIS's, I want to make sure that FreeMIS gets it
I've been having a similar off-list exchange this past week with Miles
Berry (a regular contributor around here, I think). It is astounding
that the proprietary IMS solutions so consistently miss the mark. But
then I remind myself, by reading something like Democratizing Innovation
by Eric von Hippel , that the reasons why are no mystery. They are
why a Free solution should be able to do this better, and not just
Is there anyone out there who's got experience in
the UK MIS field and would
be willing to help me with this? I'm thinking about compliance with
Government standards, security of data, exporting/importing to/from Edexcel/
I think the government compliance issue is the real big brick wall when
it comes to implementing one of the Free solutions in a UK state school.
Which is why I've chosen to take my own project, ClaSS , to
International English Curriculum schools first. Management have none of
the outside demands from LEA or DfES to worry about, and so are
completely grateful for the improvements ClaSS can offer without
worrying 'But will it generate x, y, and z reports exactly like our
A fully functioning IMS that drops in to place to take over the job in a
UK state school isn't going to happen over night. It needs a testing
ground to grow first. As Robert points out, it also needs the knowledge
and input of those who deal with the details of IMS, and these are (in
my experience) the least likely in schools to be getting there hands
dirty contributing to a software project. If there are such people on
this list then please do prove me wrong.
If we can get it right, we will be plugging one the
the big remaining gaps in
the package for schools to move entirely to FLOSS.
I just read that BECTA report  and they state this clearly:
"Senior staff and administrators were less receptive to the use of OSS
for administration and management purposes, due to lack of compatibility
and interoperability with existing packages."
A FLOSS IMS solution is needed and those like Robert and myself could do
with some input to make it happen sooner rather than later. My idea
right now is perhaps to find a space or a forum for IMS on the soon to
be revamped schoolforge site? Somewhere for potential users and
innnovators to focus.
S T Johnson