Moodle is an open-source course management system. I know, big words that say very little about what Moodle truly is. Moodle is basically a free software that allows teachers to place course content online so that students can access it 24-7, but that’s far from all Moodle can do!
Moodle can be used to promote 2-way communication between teachers and their students via forums, chats, journals, and wikis. Moodle can be used as a stand alone unit or an entire course being taught online. Moodle has endless possibilities.
The great thing about Moodle is it’s free and constantly improving! Activities are being developed every day that can be added to the the choices available today.
Here are the topfive ways teachers are using Moodle in our district:
- Using online Forums to collaboratively discuss topics including but not limited to: assigned reading, classroom concern issues, current events, and goal setting.
- Setting up course glossaries and allowing students to post new terms to show their vocabulary acquisition skills in content areas.
- Communicating homework, classroom events, and project/quiz dates to parents at home, as well as posting study guides to enable parents to assist their students with studying for tests and quizzes.
- Literature Discussions performed via forums is a unique idea piloted by a fourth grade teacher in our district. The students love posting their contribution to the lit discussion and then responding to the contributions of others in the group. This also eliminates students holding back due to being shy!
- Center time: Teachers are posting interactive websites and practice files on Moodle for intervention times and reading centers. No more station set up, just plug the activities on Moodle and station your students at classroom computers.
- Hot Potato is no longer just a game to play for kids. The hot potato quizzes are an easy way to construct online quizzes for your students that you will love.
- Students love being given choices! Why not let them make their choices via Moodle? Sort them into groups, let them select a topic/project they are interested on, or let them vote for a reward.
- Allow students to use Moodle for their reading journals. Instead of lugging home 30 composition books to grade, read their journal entries online.
- Teaching Content via Moodle is another great idea being employed by members of our third grade team. Find relevant current events or websites supporting current content and post it to Moodle and then allow students to post their learning to the Forums.
- Finally, Moodle is a FACE! It allows you to merge a collection of tools, SMART, web 2.0, etc. together in a one-stop-shop. Parents and students alike know where to go for support materials for your classroom and you can still embrace tools that you know and love outside of Moodle.