Moodle 2.0 Is Great & Free!

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Moodle Learning Management System

We are witnessing a hugely significant sea-change in strategies for supporting learning and teaching in our province. I refer to the opportunity for every teacher to have their very own teaching web site.

Moodle now allows us to freely share resources and courseware with colleagues without so many legalistic and technical encumbrances. We can freely legally download, copy and share Moodle software and content because it is copywritten under a GNU General Public License.

I have long contended that the single most effective teaching tool in an educator’s arsenal today is a teaching web site. I personally archived resources and managed learning with an online teaching web site for over 15 years. I cannot imagine teaching a course without a teaching web site. Last year I created two exemplar Computer Science Education (CSE) Moodle courses based on the Alberta Education approved Deitel textbook, Java How to Program 8th Edition, but distribution was frustrated by the 8 gigabytes

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of resources and the challenge that teachers faced in hosting a Moodle site to house the Moodle installation. Both of those obstacles can now be addressed by giving teachers their own Moodle teaching web site with exemplar and other courses

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already installed, including quizzes for all topics that automatically grade and record!

Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS) that may be legally, freely downloaded, copied and shared with colleagues everywhere. Over three years ago Moodle 1.9 was released. Earlier this year the newest version, Moodle 2.0, was released. I found huge improvements in everything from the file structure to interface to speed to ease of use. Moodle 2.0 is a wonderful learning environment whose time has come. That is why I am now doing all that I can to get the word out to our teaching and learning community.

There are over 1,000,000 registered users on Moodle.org speaking over 75 languages in 200 countries. (See Moodle.org statistics.) I suggest that it is reasonable to suggest that there are multiple millions more of nonregistered Moodle users because Moodle is free to download and share and registration is voluntary!

Free trumps commercial, especially when the free product is comparable or superior in quality and support to its commercial competition. Moodle is an open source (FREE) Learning Management System (LMS). There are numerous commercial LMS software, but as we learned from MicroSoft destroying NetScape by giving away Internet Explorer, and as Apple is learning today as Google freely distributes the Android OS to smart phone companies worldwide, profit taking enterprise is no match for an enthusiastic worldwide community of professionals.

This weekend some teachers who already belong to the Computer Science Teachers Association of Alberta (CSTAAB) received the URL and administrative logon information for their own CSTAAB Moodle 2.0teaching web site with the exemplar courses CSE 201 and CSE 203 installed.

Go here to join the CSTA. It costs nothing! It is free to join. The CSTAAB is a chapter association of the CSTA. You become a member if you are an Alberta educator and join theCSTAAB parent body Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA).

Email the CSTAAB Webmeister <webmeister@cstaab.com> to get your own Moodle 2.0 web site. State that you joined the CSTA, give your full name, CSTA member number, your role and/or educational institution and state your email address.

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About the Author:

Gerry Donaldson was Calgary’s first high school teacher to use a lab of personal computers. Gerry taught CSE, including CTS, AP and IB Computer Science, for 30 years before teaching and consulting to the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary.
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