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.