Hi. My wife is joining a private school where they use a VLE named Schoology. I checked it up and .... learned quite a few things. Facebook-like , etc. Then I checked up Edmodo. Here are two very interesting links:
(1) A comparison between Edmodo and Schoology.
(2) A list and comparison of features of Edmodo, Schoology and Moodle:
Here's my stand on the matter for this point in time (it might shift later since Technology, being what it is, keeps changing!):
- I am more than comfortable with using Moodle (and that's 1.9.15 as of now) for my courses because I can customise my site to my heart's content AND because so many things (forum, HTML embed code, quiz) in Moodle have worked in the past, and will continue to be reused in my class. However I am almost 'alone' in this since in an academic staff strength of 20+, only one English IT-savvy lecturer and I are the users with courses. Partly due to the fact that when I introduced Moodle it was with version 1.9.7 and that my web hosted server then (entry-level VPS) was not as fast it is now (dedicated server with 6 IPs, I was given one Ip to use for my production site).
- To introduce an LMS to my less IT-savvy but Facebook-crazy colleagues, I will not introduce Moodle 1.9.x/2.x (tried it once with M1.9.7, didn't catch on, maybe I'm a lousy Moodle-evangelist), but this time, I'm willing to give Schoology a go and try to win them over to using an LMS for them to create their own courses.
- I'm keeping my existing M1.9 courses since the content that I've built up over the past two years are still useful. I do intend to try out Schoology for a new course, and compare the responses and climite between the Moodle users and Schoology users.
- My ideal would be to leaverage on Moodle's strengths of being open sourced that can be customised, and at the same time to see Moodle 2.x include more social networking features a-la Facebook. Clickon this link for a discussion on Moodle.org on a Facebook-like wall for Moodle.
what do you say?
Thanks for raising the topic and sharing your thoughts.
I too have been exploring the possibilities that other software can offer. There seems to be an explosion of online systems aimed at teh education market, from grade books, to portfolios, to quizmakers, to fully-fledged LMS'.
I think there is a definite need for easier to use UIs for both teachers and learners. I particularly like the way Wordpress.org works both from the admin and the front end. I also like the social aspects of Elgg.org (like if Facebook were designed for learning) and it's interface feels familiar and intuitive. It doesn't have a grade book which can be a plus if you lean towards being a qualitative assessor (formative assessment), or a minus if you're from a more quantitive camp (summative assessment). I'm less impressed with LMS' and I think Moodle.org have their work cut out for them to come up with an easy to understand UI. I agree with the many who say that Moodle is just too complicated and too difficult for "normal" teachers to do the things they want.
However, I've yet to find an LMS that is as fully-featured as Moodle. From a pedagogical perspective, I can implement a wide range of learning and teaching approaches, methodologies and techniques. I read papers on learning and teaching research and can usually find ways of implementing strategies and techniques that they're observing and reporting on. It'sklunky though and this can be a bit of wet blanket on the flow of interaction between learners, teachers and everyone involved. Having such a large tool box and such a well integrated system may be daunting but ultimately, I think it's what we all need to give teachers and learners what they need to make great learning happen.
So we have a dilemma. Too complicated to learn but the alternatives don't seem to be complicated enough (for me). Then there's the added cognitive load of the differences between online interaction and face-to-face. It has deep implications for learning and teaching strategies, especially when we're talking about SocioCultural Theory and learners co-constructing knowledge. Too much to learn too soon?