Lately I have installed Moodle which is a kind of e-learning platform where teachers cant setup entire course content and have the students to enroll in their class, check it out at moodle.org. I have installed it on my web server at school running on Apache with the xampp package (really cool package for everybody like me who comes from a Microsoft platform background). The installation went very smooth, I had to go and change some settings in my php.ini file but other than that it was a piece of cake. I went through more difficult installations just trying to install some polls or surveys scripts. The software is huge, it got many features from creating online documentation, assignments, quizz, exams, chat rooms etc...Basically anything related to a classroom. I have already posted all my lessons, exams and assignements on there for my students (multimedia grade 10 and intro to vb.net grade 11) to get.

One other thing that I love is the possibility to set open and close dates for assignements due. For example if I tell my kids they need to download the assignement in today's class and they need to give it back by tomorrow 9:00am, i can set the upload feature to close exactly 9:00. No more "I went to your office but you were not there" or "You never said that", of course I did not say it I was on my moodle space.

I am working in a boarding school but I can see this sofware being even more useful in a day school as the student can download everything they need with a click, preventing them to forget their book in their locker and not being able to do the assigment. Earlier I mentionnend the use of a chat room, how cool is telling your kids before an exam that you will be available in the chat room from 6:30pm to 8:00pm if they have any questions, and other members of the chat can also benefit from what is going on in the main window. Do i look excited? I am!

I am still at looking at all the possible modules like Algebra, Geography that can be tied to platform, and in an open source community like sourceforge.net the possiblites are endless. And the best thing is that this is completely free, yes FREE as in no charge what so ever.

I welcome all your comments and experiences with this software as I am a beginner with it.

Views: 24

Comment by Tammy Moore on May 3, 2007 at 5:07pm
I have been working with Moodle for about 1.5 years. I love it too. We are a true distnace ed program so we combine it with Elluminate live, online classrooms for most of the courses. We are experimenting with combined courses right now. These courses have multiple teacher's homesrooms for each course allowing the teachers to work together to build course resources and activities. The students and teachers are set up in groups so most functions can stay seperate per homeroom. It takes going about things in a slightly different manner than the typical one teacher per course design. What I like is that the teachers are not all having to reinvent the wheel over and over again, they can team teach in many ways, and they have some comeradarie. Comeradarie and support for the teacher is something that oven gets overlooked in traditional online course settings.
Comment by Brett Hinton on May 4, 2007 at 2:09am
Welcome to the world of Moodle! It is a wonderful tool and a great community as well. We have been experimenting/using Moodle for the past 2 years (much more heavily in the last year) in my school district and have seen some wonderful results. The added interactive ability that Moodle provides teachers (as in a virtual learning environment open 24/7 if desired) provides a host of opportunities.

One of the things I like most about Moodle is that it brings many tools (many Web 2.0 tools as a matter of fact) into a unified interface that teachers and students can often "get" more intuitively than trying out many tools. Anyway, we have enjoyed using it and please continue to share your experiences with it.

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