Friday, August 18, 2006

Moodle: A Beginner's Guide, Plus Thoughts on Moodle and Open Source Software

Last night I interviewed Michelle Moore about Moodle, the open source learning management system (LMS) which has been so spectacularly popular. Michelle held three sessions on Moodle in our Open Source Lab at NECC 2006, and all three were packed.

As we talked, I was reminded of the impact that Moodle is having in introducing free and open source software to the education market. Michelle tells the story of her husband, as a district technology director, saw Moodle change the whole story with regard to the use of open source software--previously, he had met resistance in implementing open source solutions, but with Moodle there was a huge push from the users to make it available.

I would have to believe that this is, in part, because of the significant cost of the commercial alternatives. Using Moodle can save so much money that it probably opens doors just because of this. But many also consider Moodle to be superior to the commercially-available programs, and that has got to help!

The interview was intended to provide an overview of Moodle from someone who is just learning about it for the first time. We do discuss the current patent issue toward the end of the interview. You can listen to the interview directly from the web at www.K12OpenSource.com/Interviews, or at our new EdTechLive.com website. Both sites also have links to download the .mp3 or .ogg files.
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