Happy New Year! I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time off, but am also happy to be writing again. And to begin the New Year, I’ve changed my theme (again!) I am reminded of my constant need to rearrange furniture, so changing WordPress themes from time to time is just part of who I am.
Also, I’ve been procrastinating a bit about getting ready to teach in the upcoming semester. The spring semester doesn’t begin until January 20, but I have a lot of work to get done before that . . . namely updating and improving my courses. I’m using Moodle again this semester, along with more people from our department. I’m so grateful to be able to have access to this very powerful, interactive, and easy to customize learning management system. We are using Moodlerooms as our hosting service and have recently updated to their Premier service, which includes some really neat add-ons . . . Mahara e-portfolio and a digital repository called Alfresco. I have not begun to investigate or use these services yet, but you will hear back from me as soon as I do.
If you’ve never heard of Moodle before, it’s an open-source learning management system. I like it because it is constantly being improved by the community and it offers tools that increase interaction. For instance, when any of my students are online, I can see their names. We can chat online using Moodle. The forums always include images of each person, wikis and blogs are included within Moodle, and there are activities you can set up that encourage community and collaboration. For me, Moodle provides the ultimate flexibility in setting up a course.
If you are interested in trying out Moodle, it’s an easy step, really. All you need is an Internet hosting service. Many hosting services also offer easy installation of Moodle (and other open-source software) through a control panel advanced option. If you set up Moodle, you can back up any of your courses and restore them to ANY Moodle installation. So, work you do in creating a Moodle course can easily be transferred to another Moodle site.
You can access the entry portal of our EdTech Moodle site by going to http://edtech.mrooms.org
Of course, if you have any questions about Moodle, drop me a line.