Sunday, April 20, 2014

Moodle: A Completely No Cost Learning Platform

By Sean Scarpiello

While there are many different online educational tools available to teachers and students, many of them have high costs. However, the teaching technology Moodle allows teachers to easily organize and plan class activities in an online format for free. Already, Moodle is used by a number of different universities, high schools, and even corporate offices for online classes, training, and work seminars. Further, Moodle can be easily and effectively brought to any classroom where students have access to email.

To start Moodle in your classroom, head to Moodle's website, where free online content can be accessed. By working through the school’s own server or by getting help from one of Moodle’s partners, teachers are able to bring all of Moodle’s services to their students simply by having students log on with their school or personal email. Then, teachers can create different lessons, assignments, readings, and quizzes. For students, this means class work can be completed anywhere that there is access to an internet connection. Also, students, teachers, and parents can be directly connected to each other for clear communication for things like homework questions, late assignments, or progress reports.

While there are many other softwares that are similar to Moodle, none of these educational technologies are available at no cost to students or teachers. Further, the program can run on a school's existing server or another server which can be easily configured by a school's IT department. Both teachers and students have found using Moodle to be simple, easy, and beneficial to learning. In fact, surveys show that between 80% and 90% students reported using Moodle for homework and classwork most days of the week. There are also many testimonials on how students enjoy some of Moodle’s other functions such as a digital drop box which allows electronic documents to be turned in instantly from school, home, or elsewhere.

In the whole scheme of things, Moodle is not a groundbreaking software. There are many other similar learning platforms such a Canvas and Blackboard. However, what makes Moodle fantastic is that it is free. Further, its web-based content is easy for teachers to design and easy for students to complete. This holds especially true with Moodle’s online quizzes with instant feedback and open teacher-student communication. In all, Moodle is a very beneficial education software because of its ability to effectively bring education to more students through the implementation of technology at no cost.


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