The Day the Tech Took Over Campus

"Education in the Year 2000" Image Source: uh, the Internet? Gosh who knows where things originally came form these days. [Okay fine--I'll Google it. Credit: Villemard, À l'École (1910).]

“Education in the Year 2000” Image Source: uh, the Internet? Gosh who knows where things originally came form these days. [Okay fine–I’ll Google it. Credit: Villemard, À l’École (1910).]

The claim “Technology is changing everything” is a maxim that is often heard, especially in the field of education. Since I have been out of school for six years, I wondered whether new tech really is changing everything. I happen to have two good friends from my high school class of 2003 who went to college first right out of high school, as I did, but who have returned to school this last year at the University of Wyoming where they have just wrapped up their spring semesters. These buddies know what college used to be like nearly a decade ago and what it is like now. These two students are in the perfect place to make observations about the impact and pace of technology’s forward march. Continue reading

Unmuddling Moodle: What is Moodle and why haven’t I heard of it?

Moodle is an open-source learning management system (LMS) and e-learning software platform. In the United States, LMS Blackboard seems to own most of the educational mindshare. However, this trend is changing. In the past decade, Moodle has grown from a few hundred users to over 60 million world-wide users. And, in the U.S., it has been recently adopted by schools such as the University of Minnesota and Idaho State University.

Similar to Blackboard, now employed by many universities across the U.S., Moodle enables instructors to create course materials and manage grades. It allows students to access and turn in assignments as well as take quizzes and make posts to peers and instructors. Moodle was specifically designed for the purpose of interaction, collaborative content construction and implementing constructivist teaching and learning models. First conceived in 2002 by Australian Martin Dougiamas as his PhD project, Moodle has grown from down under, across Asia and into the most populated learning management system in the world.

With a growing number of LMS choices, why does Moodle dominate the global market? Many Moodle using students and educators enjoy the customization and ease of use. Additionally, the collaboration experienced through Moodle is multifaceted for both instructors and students inviting all users to learn from one other. Others argue that Moodle is more intuitive, faster and easier to use than Blackboard. This student project featured on Youtube highlights some students’ reasons for preferring Moodle over Blackboard.

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