Type: Web article
Author: Luke Fernandez, Weber State
Published: July 15, 2008
From the article:
Last month I went to San Francisco to attend a Moodlemoot, a conference for people who use Moodle. Moodle is a virtual learning environment (VLE) used by many high schools, colleges and universities for teaching classes online. It is open source software created, managed, and licensed much like its famous cousin Linux. Moodle is led by Martin Dougiamas who launched the project as part of his doctoral dissertation at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia. Dougiamas kicked off the conference with a keynote address a bit more erudite than one might expect for a technically-oriented group. As Dougiamas explained, Moodle is a VLE that is meant to facilitate “social constructionist” teaching and learning within internet-based communities of reflective inquiry.
Like many instructors who cut their teaching teeth in the classroom without the benefit of formal learning theory, I was skeptical of this enterprise. I wasn’t sure I wanted a philosophy of education built into the software I used in my class. After all, what if I subscribed to some other teaching philosophy? Wouldn’t a more agnostic technology be more consonant with a professor’s need for ideological freedom? Mine are common sentiments, and they explain why some harbor reservations about the Moodle software. But Dougiamas’ keynote, and a later keynote by John Seely Brown, addressed many of those concerns. Brown, the self-labeled “chief of confusion,” has been promoting the virtues of so-called participatory learning on the lecture circuit and in his writings for a number of years now, so he was a good fit for the Moodlemoot.
Entry added by Martin Dougiamas
- Friday, July 25, 2008, 3:37 PM
Last updated - Saturday, September 12, 2009, 5:26 AM