Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Moodle in an Elementary Classroom

Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS). In order to use this program it needs to be installed on one of your school's servers. Moodle is great as an online class environment and as assessment tool. I have been using Moodle in my 4th and 5th grade classes for over 5 years.  To be honest  I do not know how I could organize and manage my online content with such a program.

How Can An Elementary Teacher Use Moodle? 
The primary use for Moodle is for assessments (multiple choice, matching, short answer, essay, and fill in the blank). It is very easy for 4th and 5th graders to log in (accounts must be set up at the admin level) and take these assessments. They are quick to do and the best part...most are self-grading! This was my initial thought and purpose of initiating Moodle in my classroom.

My use of Moodle has changed over the years. I am now using it as a "landing spot" for everything class related.  I post links to web sites, Google docs, YouTube videos, and online activities in my Moodle. I also post PDFs, MS Office files, and anything I want the students or parents to have access to (study guides, test practice, challenge problems, Quizlet Flash Cards, Educreations clips, etc...). Moodle is more than just online assessments, it has become the core of my classroom organization. I try to think of it as a "Gated Community" where only my classroom students (and their parents) have access. I no longer have to invite each individual student to those Google Documents I want students to work on. The link is in Moodle and only those with access to the link have access to the document. 

Moodle is free and relatively easy to use. It is basic and can assess, organize, and protect classroom activities. It is an essential part of my elementary classroom!

Below is a great "What Is" Moodle Clip