The "lion's share of your time" should ideally be spent on your students, not installing software.
I know that at universities, in Korea, techs are notoriously incompetent. But if you are wanting to run moodle as a teacher independant of your school I would recommend getting paid hosting. If the university is interested in using moodle for their students that's an entirely different story.
It's interesting to note that moodle is really starting to take off in the foreign teacher community here in Korea. When I first looked at moodle, I could only find 3 sites in korea but nnow on the moodle sites page there are 7. I have also installed moodle for 2 other teachers not listed there and am in the process of doing a paid installation for another teacher based on a recommendation from one of the original 2.
If you truly are running your moodle independant of the school I think you would have greater advantage using paid hosting. If you change your job, you won't lose your server. Also the hosting that I am using only runs us$93 per year with 2gb of space and 150gb of transfer.
Are you the same James whom I met with Timothy Allen? I'm sure Tim would be more than willing to help you out in that regard. If not and you live in Seoul, I would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Which university do you teach at? I am always looking to meet other moodle users in Korea. I think it would be great if all of us could arrange a meeting sometime to compare ideas etc.. and have a beer.
I just took a look through the participant list for Korean moodle. There are quite a few Koreans who have at least registered with moodle and taken a look at this course. However most of them have not logged in for 36 days or so. I suggest that Timothy Allen, our fearless facilitator, send out a news item asking for more participation by members and/or asking if anyone is has questions about how to use implement moodle in the Korean context.
Tim, if you think sending out an email in Korean as well as English is important I can always ask my wife to translate if you think your Korean skills are not up to it. I Know I couldn't do it.
I'm not sure who Tim Allen is, although I know at least one Tim. I'm betting you and I share a common university heritage. I'm at Pukyong, but I'm not teaching English (which is why I'm not too concerned about leaving the school and having them keep my intellectual property). If you're the Sean I'm thinking of, you just bid goodbye to us, yes?
I guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and get a decent server, but I wish we could see some movement here on the use of PHP. As I said, I'm no programmer, but I suspect here they do everything in HTML, and PHP is less than an afterthought. I've had a couple of guys on the Moodle user site advise me that changing the version of PHP would not affect the content of the other web pages on the server, especially if the only difference between the versions is that one has GD build into it. But, when I strongly suggested that our department server make the switch, it fell on deaf ears. I can't really argue because I don't know half of what anyone is saying. Still, it makes sense to me that PHP can be manipulated and not affect other web pages on a server. After all, much of what I read here at Moodle involves re-coding PHP files. If it was a problem, how could all these guys be screwing around with PHP--unless they were all server admins? I seriously doubt it.
I'm up for a beer. I'm a moodler, though being new and suffering with a problematic server has been discouraging. You can view my site at http://dias.pknu.ac.kr/moodle/ (don't forget the last backslash). Should be an email address where you can contact me directly.
I am not the Sean you are thinking of. I've never heard of pukyong. I'm teaching at a university in Seoul. I do hope you get your server issues taken care of. I'm actually interested in making my own server as well, but am waiting until I finish my graduate school classes in June.
Timothy Allen is the Korean moodle facilitator in charge of organinizing translaters for the Korean language pack.
My moodle is at http://esl.seans-english.com
I also have two blogs
Let's Learn Korean this is a group blog
Sorry, for some reason I was under the impression that you were in Busan. Don't know why?
Took a look at the pages and they look good. I like the Korean language stuff. I'm going to get back into it after a long break.
I'll keep an eye out for you on the message board. At least we've almost doubled the number of posts in the last couple of months. Maybe the activity will inspire others. I'd like to see the moodle community grow here. Korea is ripe for it.
James, I would suggest that the main reason that Moodle has not caught on here (Korea/>/>) yet is multi-faceted. One reason is that many of the teachers here seem to have a reluctance to share good resources, as they would rather take the glory for themselves. Secondly, and as I am sure you are aware, very few teachers are capable of getting past the first few hurdles of establishing this type of system on a server for both financial and lack of technical expertise reasons. Thirdly, I am not all that confident that many of the teachers here (unlike yourself) would be as responsive to the potential of this type of system. I have several theories as to the reason for that, but this is not the time or the place for that (we will discuss this over a beer sometime). Fourthly, many of my "technical" students seem to be well versed in PHP, but when queried on specifics their knowledge is hampered by the language barrier that exists between us (or they simply have no idea). However, and with the above in mind, I have been doing what I can to spread the Moodle magic. I have been selective so far, insofar as I have only approached those people I believe to be really dedicated to teaching here rather than those here to make a quick buck or pay off their student loans and book a ticket back home ASAP. The response has been excellent and the Moodle fire is spreading (albeit slowly). I am sure that we can convert more with time. There is, at the end of the day, a lot more good about Moodle than there is bad (and the bad, in my opinion, at present is only the technical difficulties of establishing and maintaining it on a server).
My site (at Pukyong -but not on their server) http://www.edactive.com/pknu
What's got me frustrated, though, is that I believe I have a simple problem that has a simple solution (minor changes/upgrades to PHP files). But I've hit the wall. I can't imagine that changing PHP files (within reason . . . and I consider added the exact same version of PHP with GD built in to be within reason) could wreck all the web pages on a server. It just don't make sense! All these guys here at Moodle are doing pretty sophisticated coding to PHP files and I don't get the impression that their server admins are going bug nuts about how they ruined all the other web pages. GD is not a deal-breaker for me, but it'd sho'nuff be nice to load graphics (and from what I understand, other media files) onto the page. Without it, it's a black-and-white world on my moodle. And that just ain't right. It ain't right!