Moodle

Tortola_by_janusz_l_at_flickr.jpg.. has certainly been one of the biggest buzz words of 2005-7. A free and open source, 'virtual learning environment', or 'learning management system', which can "house" all of your courses and discussion forums. This application is one you can install on your own computer network or web server, as well as using hosted versions. (Links: moodle.org, moodle.com)

.. installing?

Why would you install your own version? You can customise extensively, add plugins (eg the voice recording mod for discussion forums), and it's all in your control. The down-side? You'll have to fix it if things go pear-shaped.

So, what do you need to install something like this?

Well, if you're a non-profit, community organisation, you can take advantage of a free and fully-featured hosting deal from Web Hosts Australia. This deal comes with a "CPanel" (control panel) for managing your web site, including a thing called "Fantastico" which gives you 'one-click install' for moodle. The most straightforward way to do (link to webhostsaustralia)

You'll need a domain name, eg yourcommunityhouse.org.au - Compare prices for domain names at whatsinaname.com

Other ways include
  • paid hosting via services such as brightcookie.com;
  • get a web hosting deal, and install the software manually (download app file, unzip, upload into your space, set up database, install, then configure)
  • set up your own server in your office (linux or windows), and install the application yourself (big learning curve, but possible);

Examples? These projects have installed their own version

Several of the Creative Community projects have used it in one way or another.
  • Milang / MOSH byte-on.org.au (Stuart Jones is an expert! )
  • North-East Community e-learning precinct (at StudyZone.net),
  • Deadly Mob at Deadly Zone (very visual use of the software) (Georgina Nou has done some amazing things! )
  • Tasmanian Communities Online

Other projects have used moodle via the EducationAU EdNA Groups

Tasmanian Communities Online

Credits: thanks for this photo: Tortola by janusz l at flickr