Skip to content

Moodle as a killer K-12 app

We talk about killer applications, the killer app, which are programs so good they change the nature of a situation.  Email is long considered a general audience killer app, when you think about the impact it has had over the years.

For educators, is Moodle the killer app?  Sure looks like it.

This is written while sitting in a talk at CUE 2009 about Moodle, with Michelle Moore, of Remote Learner.  I missed her intro, but she is clearly a trainer and experienced with presenting Moodle to educators.  A trainer of trainers.  She has an example Moodle site up on the screen, and is having the audience find what is wrong with it — spinning animated logo, video box is too big, content area is a bit too big, etc.  To fix it, she is using the various edit tools, which ends up demonstrating how easy Moodle is to use.

She is also enticing the audience with another of my favorite tech talk ideas — keeping notes from the session directly in a wiki page about the course.  Michelle asked the audience for volunteers to edit the wiki and keep notes; “… don’t worry, Moodle will tell you if someone got there first and is already editing it.”

There are about 25 seats with computers plus 25 more, all full, and another 25 of us on the floor.  This is the same lab running as an LTSP cluster, thanks to Revolution Linux.  I wonder how many folks recognize they are running a Linux desktop?

Note to Fedora Ambassadors — Steve Hargadon used to run Fedora on these thin clients, and would happily do so again.  If we show up and help work the next event, I bet we won’t have any problem getting these using Fedora again.  That puts the running desktop in front of several hundred or more educators at every edutech conference.  Next up?  NECC June 28 to July 1 in Washington, DC.

The K-12 community seems to be wide open for participation from a project such as Fedora.  The message I’m bringing to CUE is about the culture of participation.  I want to see a classroom running Sugar on a Stick as a testing operation — isn’t there a 4th grade classroom out there with access to a computer lab that wants to test SoaS?  So many possibilities …

I’m also hunting for K-12 teachers or tech coordinators who can program Python and work as part of the North America XO developers program.  I’ve a few good leads so far, will carry those through to the next step.