Hi Folks,.


I'm pleased to announce that following my attendance at LT10 and my personal passion for the subject my organisation has created a Learning Technologist role which I will be filling shortly.


One of the projects that has already started is the implementation of an Internal Communications Platform (we are avoiding the words 'social' and 'networking') that would also act as an informal learning platform.


One of the ideas on the table is Joomla. I have done some research on this tool and whilst it certainly seems to be a perfect platform for an internal intranet, I am unable to find any evidence that it provides the functionality that I would be looking for in a collaborative learning platform i.e.


  • Wikis
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • User generated groups
  • File uploading
  • Tags
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Can anybody out there advise as to whether Joomla does indeed provide the above functions?


Any and all advice would be welcomed






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Hi Craig,

With lots of addons you could probably make Joomla do this, but I wouldn't recommend it. You'll end up with a bit of a monster of an application that will be difficult to maintain.

Out of the box, you will only get blogs. All the rest will need to be handled by add-ons.

In terms of the basic functionality, either Moodle or Elgg would fit the bill. Although Moodle can't do the user-generated groups bit so well, and the in-built wiki is pretty dreadful in terms of the user interface.

Elgg can do all of this, but can become very confusing to navigate around as there's no clear structure (that's the problem with systems that can grow organically).

In terms of videos, if you're looking for a Youtube-type system which can upload videos straight from a camera and then deliver them online, you'll need something a bit cleverer than either Moodle or Elgg.

One system I would recommend is Wisetail's Learning Ecosystem. I've had some demos of it, and spent some time working with the MD. They're very much on the ball of what is needed in a modern social learning site. It doesn't have Wiki functionality - but that's quite a specialised application, so I'd recommend a best of breed approach to that, like Wikispaces or Confluence.

The Wisetail system isn't open source, but it's not that expensive.

You can see a video about the system here (I've also embedded it below):


Hi Mark,

Many thanks for your quick response.

I am scrabbling round as I type to find my headphones so that I can review the footage you sent me.

I'll let you know how I get on, my usual concern is to whether or not this can be hosted within our firewall, due to our security policies.

I'm also considering SocialText as a possibilty.


Hello Craig,

I have a little bit of experience with joomla as I have used it create a website for my running club www.peelroadrunners.com

In our testing we did all you mentioned with the exception of user generated groups as it was not needed.

The painful bit was developing the initial infrastructure of pages, sections etc but once that was developed we were sorted.

There are loads of add ons as Mark mentioned you can use it's just a case of wading through. I know we are not fully using it as I have passed on the management to some more power & fame hungry than myself & thankfully i'm back to concentrating on the running.
Hi Craig,

I'll be building one very soon using Joomla 1.6 Final and K2 extension from Joomlaworks - just waiting on release of Joomla 1.6 out of Beta; Joomlaworks is www.joomlaworks.gr with the K2 extension info here, http://getk2.org/) This is the 'hard way'. The easy way would be simply to purchase JomSocial (http://www.jomsocial.com/) or similar to sit on top of your Joomla.

I probably wouldn't attempt this with the current version of Joomla because, like others have said, there are simply too may extensions required to do this effectively and efficiently.

You may wish to spend a couple of days taking a look at Joomla 1.5.18 (current release 17.06.2010) and the K2 Extension. Similarly, Drupal (which shares much of the same code as Joomla) is another option.

You can even try out JoomlaLMS (http://www.joomlalms.com/) and see if this fits the bill.

Good luck

Hi Craig,

I did use Joomla a long time ago, but swapped my allegiance to Drupal. It has a steeper learning curve than Joomla, but there is pretty much no limit to what you can do with it. It's what I used to build the eLearning Network site as well as Learning Camp (and I know you're familiar with that site).

It's also the platform I used for the communities I built at B&Q.

You could certainly do everything you want with Drupal. Some of the functionality is there out of the box, other pieces would require additional modules. Let me know if you want me to point you in the direction of particular modules/features.




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