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What’s Moodle?

Next week is the MACUL Conference up in Grand Rapids…I’m presenting on Thursday (10:00 am…first session…sweet!) on how to Moodle. Moodle is one of those lovely words that make no sense and that people can’t use any prior knowledge to understand its meaning. Moodle is an open-source content management system (many people think of Blackboard) available to download, install, and run…all for free! I’m in the process of deciding how to use my hour of time…what I should talk about…and what I should shutup about…

Using Moodle allows teachers to extend the traditional class period beyond the 50 minutes/day normally experienced by most teachers and students. Much like a traditional web site, a Moodle course can contain links to web sites or files, assignment information, class announcements, and more. However, unlike a traditional classroom web site, Moodle naturally manages online discussions, quizzes, and interactive activities.

A couple weeks ago I led a group of teachers through the process of setting up and designing a course page. Many of them have already begun using their site with students and have received extremely positive feedback. Here’s a quote from one middle schooler:

I think that Ms. D did awesome on this site and i think that it is helpful and awesome that we can give each other advice and help on our project!

Nice comment…it’s easy for kids to see the benefits of collaborating online to complete assignments or to continue discussions begun in class. It’s a natural medium for them (insert discussion of digital natives and digital immigrants here).

Anyway, back to the presentation…

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