For several years I wanted to move my 6-8 grade classrooms to an online format. Hybrid with classwork being done in the classroom but lessons and homework being disseminated and collected online.
I first tried Ning, until my school deemed it a social network and blocked it. However, to appease me they promised me moodle. At the time I wasn’t sure.
Now several years later I must say I love Moodle! I want to shout it from the roof tops.
My fellow teachers have been slow to come around, but when I point out the benefits like;
- Moodle will grade your test. You have to create them first, but once created you have very little maintenance and the grading is done.
- Moodle can deliver step by step lessons, general lessons for projects, choice lessons, Lessons by week, or by subject, quizes, test, and you can set the time limits of an assignment, the ability to correct, or the size of uploads.
- Students don’t have much of an excuse for not getting work done. Even if they are home sick or on vacation. Moodle time stamps when they are on and when assignments are turned in. Because of moodle my class is accessible world wide and 24-7.
- Students can collaborate across the network using chat, discussion forums, and wiki’s.
- Students can turn in group work, share files, and communicate and its all tracked on moodle.
- Students can also turn in private work and communicate with just the teacher. I have students turn in final work this way and no other person but the student and I can see the work.
- I am more accountable for giving instant feedback and grading in a timely manner. When a student or group turns in work Moodle tells me I have it to grade and lets me know when I have to regrade corrected work.
- Students are more involved. Students who will not participate in the open classroom will speak up and share ideas in a forum or chat.
- Moodle allows for self paced lessons combined with podcast, video, screen captures, or more structured lessons.
- I use moodle to have students make videos, puppet shows, compare and contrast papers, time writings, journaling, give test and quizes,
- I also give lesson information in podcast and video format, embed videos, and traditional text with links to resources, powerpoints, spreadsheets, etc..
- Moodle is a great way to give enrichement, such as typing exercises.
- I also have a sports page where kids can post pics, and videos of the seasonal sports, I use it to post schedules, and discuss sports,
- I also have a homework assistance page. Kids can join forums and discuss homework if they need help.
- Our projects range from simple typing and timed writing, dictation, enhanced ebook writing, collaborative game creation. smartboard lesson creation, webpage writing using html and css. etc.
- We study economics, the Constitution, word processing, spreadsheets, and 21st century skills.
- And Its free. (not free to administrate) but the platform itself is free and constantly upgrading. This summer we are upgrading to a newer version that will be compatible with mobile devices.