[Olpc-open] CMS, Moodle, etc
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
znmeb at cesmail.net
Thu Dec 6 11:43:08 EST 2007
> This is the first issue on the forum I can address as something other
> than a rank amateur. :-)
> I've used Moodle, WebCT (now Blackboard), Blackboard before they merged,
> and have looked at Sakai.
> Moodle seems to me to be the clear winner. Not so much necessarily on
> technical grounds, although a good case could be made for that, but because:
> 1) it has by far the highest rate of adoption in schools. In
> universities, it's a close second and gaining on WebCT/Blackboard fast.
> If OLPC adopted Moodle, they'd be plugged into what is already the
> widest network of educators.
> 2) It is open source, and has a truly excellent set of support forums.
> My simple questions have been answered within hours -- the advantage of
> a global community is that someone's always awake ;-) -- and more
> difficult questions take a few days.
> 3) Technically, it is full-featured course management software. In some
> ways, such as uploading some content, it is easier than WebCT. I have
> yet to find a way in which it is harder to use. WebCT has some new
> whiz-bang features not available in Moodle, such as the ability to hold
> quizzes in class where the questions are projected onto a screen and the
> students choose one of the multiple choice answers with remote
> clickers. While this is very nice, it's hardly essential, and is rather
> unlikely to be very useful outside of a fully electronics equipped
> classroom. (At our college, I think we may have two.)
> Sakai looks very interesting, but from what I've heard, there will be an
> institutional fee in the thousands of dollars, and it's not yet widely
> Speaking of institutional fees, WebCT charges us $65,000. That's per
> year. An individual license is a few hundred ($300?). Support is
> somewhere in Pennsylvania. Or something. Like most commercial tech
> support it's similar to a cardiac defibrillator. When you need one,
> it's never there, and you hope never to need it in any case.
> Olpc-open mailing list
> Olpc-open at lists.laptop.org
I'm also a happy Moodle user. We are talking support servers, right --
not running Moodle *on* the XO? :)
But seriously, folks, there is a lot of work involved in administering
and securing a Moodle site. A number of the large hosting companies in
the US have it -- my own site, borasky-research.net, is hosted on one of
them, the name of which I've forgotten at the moment. Perhaps the thing
to do is contact a few of them and see if they'd be willing to donate
support (Moodle and Jabber servers, for example) to the foundation.
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