Moodle explained with Lego

http://www.flickr.com/photos/donsolo/2136923757/Like many millions of people around the world, one of my favourite toys as a child was Lego. I spent countless hours engaged in imaginative play with it (I still do, just much, much less these days) and it looks like I have passed the genes. Last week, I played with my son when the similarity between Moodle and Lego struck me. They are not only both tough, light, modular, infinitely open-ended and very popular products worldwide but they also encourage the way of learning I am passionate about practicing and promoting – try, connect, observe, see patterns, share, watch, (re)construct, change and above all immerse yourself in learning and discovery.

This little ‘epiphany’ and the desire to answer frequently answered question ‘What is Moodle?’ with a brief, to-the-point video drove me to spend the last few days playing with digital Lego and creating two clips, answering the question ‘What is Moodle?’ using an analogy with Lego bricks. The idea was not only to show (quickly) what Moodle is but also what it can do and what a popular and useful LMS it is. There are some excellent intro videos out there but here is my take…

There are two versions of the clip – short (length 2:43) and full (featured here, length 5:03). The slideshow and full text used in this video is available on Slideshare. If you can’t see the video or you are having difficulties with clarity (some small text, sorry) please click here.

Oh, and a little anecdote.

While compiling the material for the clip, I wrote down what Jason Cole dubbed as ‘Martin’s 5 laws’ of Moodle (slightly edited but intent preserved – did I ‘get it’ right Martin?). Purely by chance, a fellow teacher who has not really engaged with Moodle at our school walked by. I invited her to look at the five statements on the paper and asked her if she agreed with them.

She looked, paused, thought and said “Of course. They make perfect sense. How else would we….” and on she went about confirming the statements.

When she finished, I simply said “Well, what you have just read are the principles Moodle is built on. That’s what Moodle is about.”

Her reply? “Well, you better sign me up to this Moodle thing then.”

And THAT is how the story begins with Moodle, Lego or anything we see interesting and valuable to learn!

Happy MoodleMoot Australia 2008 in Brisbane to all participants – sorry I can’t join you (watch out next year…)

30 thoughts on “Moodle explained with Lego”

  1. I have to admit that lego and mechano were not my thing as a kid (preferred reading) but your video/slideshow works brilliantly well as an explanation, Tomaz. Added it to my VodPod! Cheers.

  2. Hi Tomaz

    I loved Lego too. New stuff coming for next year – saw it at ACEC. A nice way to explain Moodle.

    I think there is a problem in the link “down Martin’s 5 laws of Moodle”

    Bryn

  3. North Coast Institute (NCI Tafe) who control our DET NSW school network recently stated moodle will NOT be supported at our college, now or in the future.

    Their ‘no moodle’ announcement was that blunt, no discussion, no reasons why, just an emphatic “NO”. Being a mere minnow, what hope do I have against the powers that be? Think I’ll go and play lego.

  4. Tomaz, that’s so beautiful… brilliant!

    I loved Lego and love Moodle, so they make a good couple IMO. B-)

    Thanks!

  5. Do you have a version of this that is higher resolution? I can’t read the words on the slides that give the examples.

    I’d like to send this to some people in my company as part of a petition to start an LMS here, but can’t if it isn’t readable.

    Thanks.

  6. This is a wonderful explanation. Do your movies fall under any Creative Commons licensing? I am looking to incorporate this into a course I am writing for 6th graders. As with many, streaming videos can be troublesome so I would like to add the file to our course. Is this possible? Please email me when you have an opportunity.

    Thanks!

  7. Hi,

    Very impressive video. Simple yet elegant. I too would like to know if there is a high def version of this video and whether I can use it via a Creative Commons license?

    Cheers and keep up the good tutorials

    Andrew

  8. Tomaz,

    Thank you! Coming from a background as a technical trainer and with an educational background that combined technical theater and computer science.

    I love when creativity meets technology and you can just “get it”.

    I took the liberty of updating the stats to the Feb. 2009 values in your presentation and adding a link to the amazing LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya’s site.

    This will be an invaluable resource for our school district.

    Thank you once again.

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  10. Thanks for the visualization of the concepts behind Moodle.

    I have recently restarted my work with Moodle. The Mobile Learning Environment (MLE) block is a real asset for anyone persuing mobile learning.

    The Digital Lego may work with a dormant idea I have for teaching English Syntax. I just installed the application, so we’ll see.

    I have embedded the SlideShare presentation of your presentation on my blog at …

    http://nomadiclearner.tv/wordpress

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