I'm looking for a online presence whereby information can be posted for students (pdf, mp3, mp4, etc..) as well as a place for them to collaborate and interact. So far, Moodle , Edmodo, Ning (although no longer free) and Collaborize Classroom have come up. Does anyone have any experiences with these tools that they can share?

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If you want to keep it simple then Edmodo might be your best option. There is not any install required and the interface is intuitive. Moodle will give you much more functionality, but it requires a lot more hand holding. You will most likely have to either install it on your own server (and support it) or pay for hosting. We use Moodle in my district. It is very feature rich compared to the others, but their is more of a learning curve.

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I've used Moodle extensively, and I agree with Doug's assessment that it is feature-rich but there is a steep learning curve. I recently took an online course that was hosted in Haiku, which is an LMS designed for K-12 classes. I believe it is fee-based, but they do host your course and it is, perhaps, easier to set up than a Moodle class.

While I'm a big fan of Moodle, if you want fast, quick, and simple - I'd recommend a Google Site with a Google Group discussion embedded in the site (sorta like this).

 

Going this route would require kids to have email accounts though.

I love Edmodo!  Unfortunately, I only collaborate with other educators and I use Edmodo when I go to the schools to train teachers.  I learned about it last summer and I recently stated using it.  I think it is great. I did not know there was a fee.

 

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