I'm in a pretty low-tech district and I am trying to do what i need to
for my students who are the 7-8 graders at  a K-8. We have the hardware but no innovation to go with it. My current plan is
to pitch to school (not district) admin that we try something like gaggle for our small (120 or so) junior high population next year. I want them to have email addresses to turn in assignments to us, and also so they can create accounts on edublogs, etc.  I'm also very interested in using edmodo, and I've started a pbwiki for our junior high web page (our school doesn't have a web page, just district).
Is there anything that would serve as a virtual learning environment like edmodo that would also integrate student email and possibly file storage? I'm open to any suggestions.

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I am using NIng to try and develop this. I am JUST starting but like the results so far. Uploads are possible to attach to a posting. I work with grade nine students in Alberta
I'm not sure if you meant this or not but Google Apps for Education would allow for email and shared document for turning in assignments.

I've gotten back into Moodle. No email but it's free and many options. I like edmodo ok but just another site to control.
I'm a Google Apps for Education admin.

When you say "I don't think there's any admin access to email" I think you're saying that you don't think that you'll be able to access a students email, correct?

That assumption is partially true, you can't just browse through their email content as you please without them being aware of it. If you do for some reason need to access a student account, as an admin you can suspend an account or change the password and log in as them to investigate any wrong-doing.

If you're looking for an easy to administrate, flexible, and feature rich email client Google Apps is your best bet!
You should check out Gaggle again - they have a lot of new features that allow for storage, blogs, and other goodies. It's also possible to integrate Gaggle and Google apps to gain the best features of both.
I have just starting using drop.io for sharing files, seems like a good site so far. Students either email (no good if you don't have email :) or use a weblink. Give it try, it may help

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