August 6

How can Moodle change a school

Before starting to work as a part-time technology integrator at our school this year, the principal asked me to come up with one ‘thing’, one key strategy for staff and students to ICT to improve their teaching and learning. After seeing the flexibility, robustness and ‘organic’ nature of Moodle the choice was pretty simple to make.

The video, shown here in two separate clips, is not so much about the technical features of Moodle but about people using it. I am forever indebted to our wonderful network administrator Russell Clarke, my colleagues from Moodle champions to Moodle beginners, and the students, who have taken to it so well (well, a healthy majority of them at least). Without them, none of the things shown in the clip would happen.

The focus of the first clip (9:58 min) is on the ways different, mostly standard features of Moodle have been used by various teachers and students at our school. If you can’t see this video (Part 1) please click here.

The second clip (5:43 min) shows the positive and in some cases very significant changes the establishment of Moodle has brought to our school in terms of using ICT to improve our core business – teaching and learning while modelling, establishing and maintaining healthy human relationships. If you can’t see the clip (Part 2) please click here.

I end this post with an anecdote from a teacher at our school. Over the last couple of weeks of holidays, my colleague Kim Bebbington built a fantastic course on Australian History, now shared by four other Year 8 classes. The course includes an assignment, due in week 3 of the upcoming term.

Deliberately or not, Kim left the course open to students to enrol and look at as he was building it. Imagine his (pleasant) surprise when he received a fully completed assignment (due in week 3) by one of the students in his class two days before the start of term.

But as wonderful and useful as Moodle has been, it is the people who are making the difference. It is not the technology itself – it is what we do with it.

If you are a ‘moodling’ teacher yourself, looking into it, or a person responsible for getting (particularly) teachers up to speed with Moodle and ICT in general I would love to hear from you – there is much to share and learn from each other.

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Posted 06/08/2008 by Tomaz Lasic in category Change, Moodle, Professional development, Teaching

About the Author

Father, friend, teacher, (un)helpfully tall, fascinated by and bad at many things. I try to give a damn. Views expressed here are mine, not that of my employers. I tweet @lasic

32 thoughts on “How can Moodle change a school

  1. Pingback: Can Moodle change a school? YOU BET! | The MoodleMan Blog

  2. Daniel Needlestone

    An excellent presentation – I look forward to showing it to colleagues as we introduce moodle this year. And I look fward to reading more on your blog.
    Am interested to know how you turned the messaging on and off during the school day and why this was necessary?

  3. Bryn

    That’s great Tomaz

    I like the way you have talked in front of the relevant screenshots of Moodle. It must have taken a lot of effort to plan and prepare but it really gets the point across and shows Moodle’s features very effectively.

    A great story and a very compelling case study for thos spending big bucks on portals.

    Bryn

  4. Warren

    Tomaz,

    Congrats on the success. I am implementing moodle in some classes at my school and i was intrigued by the flash bakery module you had in your video. Was that created at your school or do you know a good site that would allow us to download assignments like that one.

    Thanks

    Warren

    Thanks Warren.
    The Virtual Bakery is a learning object created by The Learning Federation (Australian & New Zealand initiative, see http://www.thelearningfederation.edu.au for details.
    Happy moodling, best wishes & thanks for dropping by

    Tomaz

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  6. Tony Searl

    Tomaz
    As a non moodler and remaining hopeful our school may consider it, I really enjoyed your videos and post. Particularly liked the comment “But as wonderful and useful as Moodle has been, it is the people who are making the difference. It is not the technology itself – it is what we do with it.” This is the message I hope our staff hear. Thanks for sharing

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  8. Pingback: Can Moodle change a school? YOU BET!

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  10. Mark Guy

    Moodle is doing well in My School, but mainly in my Dept. (Science), Been unable to get much interest in other departments… Learning curve is steep. I could use resources/course seeds/starters for other departments. I am willing to GIVE whole science courses fully resourced for year 7-11 (School given permission), or the resources used for anyone to use. (Developed by science department).
    I could use Language resources, Geography, Maths, technology, ICT, English etc for age groups 11-18

  11. Lesley Coe

    We implemeted Moodle as a system wide initiative last school year. I have been the primary Moodler in our school system. Most of our courses allow guest access, see what we’re doing with our Moodle from Elementary to High School.
    http://moodle.fcschools.net/

  12. Chris Bradley

    We have been running Moodle for three years and the results are brilliant. Our area like yours is quite deprived and the school struggles and fails to get near the national average results for school leavers. But in the moodle classes it is different, a 100% of mine passed with high grades and 10 – 15% of Moodle access is outside of school hours. I have tracked some of the schools bad boys online at 11 pm swotting for lessons the next day. They don’t want to appear to try in class so they put in the time when they are not watched.
    For Christs sake, we had 1100 hits after school on Monday, there are only 900 kids in the school. In spite of all of this I have colleagues who are batting away with fountain pens and Charles Dickens determined to make the kids fit them and not them fit the kids.

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  15. moodle-experts

    I could not agree more wholeheartedly that the technology (Moodle, or any CMS, LMS, LCMS, among other acronyms to describe e-learning platforms) should be perceived for what it is: an “enabler”…and nothing more. I’ve worked for many years implementing all kinds of e-learning platforms for universities and corporations alike, and the one concern that seems to rear it’s ugly head again and again is the perception that the technology will solve all problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Moodle is an excellent platform on which to build a structured, pedogical training schema, but it needs to be in the hands of an experienced educator in order to be correctly utilized. Poorly-implemented, Moodle (like any e-learning solution) will only cause discouragement among its participants and worse, it can result in their missing to see the opportunities and values that online learning–and social constructivism–can play as an educational delivery mechanism.

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  19. Olof Andersson

    Hi, I really liked your films on Moodle. I’m thinking of start using Moodle in my school. Any chance that you are visiting Stockholm and Sweden in the near future and want to help me out? 🙂

  20. david benedetto

    i LOVE moodle!!!

    this year, as a jr hi math teacher, i am piloting what i call a new method of teaching (as opposed to the classic whole-class-instruction-chalkboard-lecture method). i call it AL for autonomous learning.

    i call it a “method” because it has the 3 main components to a method (my semantics): instruction, practice and assessment.

    i have included many of the 21st century research things into my virtual classroom.

    why are we forcing students to learn under one method that is convenient to the teacher, administrator and district?

    why aren’t we finding the method that best fits the student?

    this is what i am trying to do at virtualmathclass.com/moodle

    i would appreciate any feedback at dbenedetto@yahoo.com

    david

  21. Jerry

    Thanks for this excellent presentation – we used this to kick off our own presentation of Moodle to staff at our school. Answers a lot of questions for teachers.
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  22. Russell Darnley

    Such useful comment on Moodle. We’re just beginning. You’ve described the process very accurately. I’m at the point of parking digital materials including some flash based learning objects. I’ve tried forums and I can see their potential and I’m very excited about what the future holds. There’s still only a handful of teachers who are using it, but the interested seems to be growing rapidly. I’m seeing changes every day.

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