I have been hearing a buch about Moodle and have started to do a bit of research on it. I am getting a lot of positive feedback on using Moodle in the elementary schools or language arts classes. I am wondering if there are any math teachers who have been using Moodle that would like to share their opinion. How is Moodle in the math classroom?
Also, a bit off topic, but have you ever used OpenOffice's Formula Editor? In Open Office, you can go to: Insert Object Formula. This brings up Formula mode. Formula mode is a split screen mode where you can either interact with the formula in the document itself, or even a bit nicer to use the math codes in the formula area. See this video for a visual look at it:
I have a Moodle website for my high school trig class. I used the record feature on my SmartBoard to record all my lessons. I post the lessons on my Moodle site so that the students can watch the lessons from home, study hall, where ever.
It is working very nicely. Students who are absent get the advantage of seeing the full lecture. Students who have a question while doing homework, can pull up the video and rewatch that section. Students with learn difficulties are now successful because they can rewatch, pause, rewind as many times as they need.
The kids love it. Not all of them use it. But I figure its like eyeglasses. It's there for those who need it ... when they need it.
I also post handouts, homework assignments, etc. That way if a student loses something they can print out another copy.
Moodle also allows me to broadcast announcements to my students. So when there is a snow day or change in the schedule or some other thing, I can send instructions to all of my students via email at one shot. They can also email me with their questions.
It is working so well that I am thinking about making lecture the homework and doing other activities during class time. Two teachers in CO were describing how this was working for the AP chemistry class at the ISTE conference this past summer. It certainly is an interesting avenue that creates alot of possibilities.
I have had experience in USING a Moodle with courses that I have been taking. For one class, I created a Moodle site "to be used" by my fifth grade class. As much as I like Moodle and love open source software in general, I really don't know if it is appropriate for elementary age kids. It can get very deep and in my opinion, confusing. I don't know if I would try it in my classroom. It is better for older kids. I'd be interested in hearing any success stories from the younger grades.
I have been most excited this year about using moodle as a context for extended writing about reasoning in mathematics. Writing can be an odeous task for many children at the best of times, writing about mathematical reasoning, noticing the progression of ones thought process is difficult to incentivise sometimes. Moodle forum posts were most succesful last year in encouraging the children to discuss the how rather than the answer. I am a fan. Moodle-pip-pip! Learning journals for maths were useful.
Increasingly there is http code that can be added to our moodle site to jazz it up. The childrne enjoy the instant feedback. Also particularly popular has been online 'gaming' style realtime maths challenges. First matheletics and then tutpup took us by storm. Lots more besides. I have found some of the features (quiz) etc more time counsuming than rewarding, but the moodle continues to develop, so I'm sure this will improve. Notice there are now some sites where you can download ready made quiz type stuff.
Yes, I do use Movie Maker to convert/compress the Smart avi file. I literally tried each one of the video formats and found the HIGH QUALITY VIDEO (LARGE) setting to be the best. It had very little pixelation and the could be streamed over dial-up connection.
When I get some time, I will look for a way to convert the video into flash format. www.download.com is a good website to find free computer software and demo's. But if anyone knows of a good (simple) flash converter, please let me know.
If you want to try moodle and use it for your class. You can have a shot at www.hiddenguru.com. It has all the features, is free and has no ads. Its an effort to create the knowledge facebook of the world.