Learning Platforms

Learning Platforms were a major initiative in the UK from around 2004 and government funding was available to schools for their implementation. Take-up was strong. Most Local Authorities identified and offered training to their  primary schools on one of a number of platforms whilst secondary schools tended to make their own choices.

During the funded years the acronyms LP (Learning Platform), VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) and MLE (Managed Learning Environment) became familiar to teachers everywhere.

A Learning Platform is an on-line space which pupils, teachers, school managers and parents can all access, not just in school but also at home or from any Internet-connected computer anywhere in the world. It gives many opportunities to everyone connected with a school - access to lesson plans, mentoring, letters to parents, an on-line calendar and diary, opportunities for collaborative working and many more. Here are just some uses:

  • A student, who is working on a project at school, saves his or her work. After school he/she with a group of friends and they access the project and continue collaboratively, perhaps involving experts in this country or abroad.
  • Every student has a personal on-line space where they can store work and resources at any time to be accessed later from anywhere.
  • Parents are able to look at their children's work for the week, month or year and support their children or communicate with the teacher.
  • Teachers are able to post lessons, resources, homework, etc. on-line so that students can collect everything they need at any time - even if they're away from school and also participate in online discussion about the work.
  • School and pupils diaries and calendars are always accurate and up-to-date so that everyone can see what's coming up at any time of the day or night.

These are just some of the many benefits of an on-line learning environment, or platform. To some extent they were a precursor to Cloud Computing which has since become familiar to most people, the difference being that a Learning Platform is specifally designed for education and has many tools and facilities over and above simple online storage.


 The North Tyneside Learning Platform logo

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© Brian Smith 2015