Why Milk is definitely not a VLE

Please forgive me if you’re a pedagogical technophile with a penchant for VLEs, for what I am about to tell you is only my personal opinion as the author of this blog post.

OK… now with my disclaimer hopefully shielding me from the worst of any backlash, I’d like to stress that Milk is not a VLE, because of the simple fact that most VLEs are change management disasters waiting to happen (if they haven’t already).

Most schools aren’t able to achieve full staff buy-in when it comes to using VLEs and in my own humble experience of 13 years teaching in the UK and abroad, I can personally say that I hate the damn things! Of course, that’s only my own personal experience I’m projecting here and hopefully not to the chagrin of too many of our readers. In a bid for forgiveness, I’ll happily concede there are some very sophisticated VLE systems out there nowadays, but generally the VLEs of the past were a clunky and arduous affair bringing forth the frustration of mistyped extra logins and super slow classroom PC towers red-lining their little dust clogged fans, or worse yet, those intermittent and painfully unreliable remote desktop connections from a teachers’ home. Acknowledging the recent advances of today’s web based VLE, there is still one major stumbling block any school has to consider when choosing one. Put simply, the more sophisticated the VLE, the more reliant a school becomes on time consuming and costly training for staff, students and parents. Now, if you’re a school leader seeking one of the fastest ways to demotivate your already time-strapped and over worked staff, then autocratically imposing a system requiring lots of time, patience and practice to understand, should be right up there with the best of them.

If you can use a platform like Facebook, you can easily use Milk

Hence, we always stress Milk is not a VLE, because Milk’s design layout is so intuitive, we often say “if you can use a platform like Facebook, you can easily use Milk” and this is because we always set out to ensure that our homework system is one that will be embraced by all staff, whether you’re an NQT or veteran baby boomer soon to retire from perhaps the greatest profession of them all. Milk is all about providing solutions that fit in with the way teachers work and not the other way around. So, if you still prefer giving worksheet handouts instead attaching files for homework, no problem. If you still prefer to collect written homework in by hand and then scribe your feedback all over it using red ink – go right ahead!

With reference to the SAMR model of technology integration, this does not mean that Milk only provides ‘substitutes’ to paper planners and ‘augments’ with the way teachers work, no no no!  There’s more, there is plenty of scope for teachers, parents and students to explore how Milk can ‘modify’ and ‘redefine’ the way a school is run and how home learning is monitored.

Milk is all about providing solutions that fit in with the way teachers work and not the other way around

Milk’s features are continually updated to ensure it saves teachers from excessive administration, helps schools save money and above all else, helps raise student achievement. You’ll never hear a member of the Milk customer service team preach about “simplicity” and “transparency” in one sentence and then offer you expensive “CPD training” and differentiated pricing in the next.

To see the many ways Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit) can help your school community succeed, simply contact us for a webinar demonstration.

Remember to follow Milk Student Planner on Twitter (@milk_edtech) and to bookmark this blog to keep up to date with all of Milk’s newest features!


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