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Picture of Ulrike Montgomery
The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

I'm giving a presentation to English teachers about Moodle. Martin, I'm just wondering how you came up with the term 'Moodle' . Was it meant to be only an acronym? Did you have Barbara Ueland's book in mind or was it just a coincidence - an explanation some English teachers came up with long after the term was coined? Or is it true that there is actually a verb 'to moodle' in Australian English?

Another question: Is there any documentation on how Moodle started spreading around the globe? Which was the second country after Australia to use it? Which was the first high school outside Australia? (Art, was it you?)

Thanks for the help,

Ulrike

 
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Picture of Val Brooks
Re: The chicken or the egg
 
I've just seen this on the Moodle site itself - I knew it was there somewhere!
It says 'The word Moodle was originally an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, which is mostly useful to programmers and education theorists.  It's also a verb that describes the process of lazily meandering through something, doing things as it occurs to you to do them, an enjoyable tinkering that often leads to insight and creativity. As such it applies both to the way Moodle was developed, and to the way a student or teacher might approach studying or teaching an online course. Anyone who uses Moodle is a Moodler.'
Pretty cool, huh?
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Ulrike,

I'll let Martin answer about whether the chicken or the egg was first, but at the Australian Moodle Gather two weeks ago, he did not mention the acronym but right away explained that moodle is a word from the 1930s that is a combination of the verbs "muze" and "doodle". Is the person attributed to first combining these words Barbara Ueland? Do you know the reference for that quote? Could you post a quote from her publications that uses/explains it?

Note: Australia is *not* yet the first country to use Moodle. Incredible as it may seem, there are more than a few Aussies who don't know about Moodle. In fact, New Zealand is probably the closest to being the first country to totally use Moodle. However, Vu Hung tells me Vietnam is ready to completely adopt Moodle and Thailand holds the record for the largest Moodle conference with 350 participants! And if the new pope adopts Moodle, who knows, in that one edict the Vatican could actually be the first 'nation'. In that case, we might switch to the Latin meaning of 'moodle', which by the way, is 'miroscripsi'. wink
 
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Picture of Ulrike Montgomery
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

Don,

Thanks for the info. I haven't read Brenda Ueland's book 'If you want to write' , all I know is that she talked about moodling. Did you come up with the Latin translation? Very interesting.

Ulrike

 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
>>Did you come up with the Latin translation?

From what I heard, Roman philosophers were fond of miroscripsi or literally, "wondering-writing". But the only documented remains of that word was destroyed in the Pompei eruptions. sad  So apparently 'moodle' has a very long history. Does anyone know the Greek roots? wink
 
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Martin in black and white
Moodle origins
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Hi!

It's a verb in English but not very well known. I didn't know the 1934 book at the time but I had heard of the word even though it only appears in larger dictionaries.

When coming up with a name for my system I remember sitting down one evening trying to come up with a word that:
  1. was an acronym (because I like hidden meanings)
  2. was a word you could say easily
  3. was not common on the internet (so searches could find it)
  4. had a domain name free
I played around with words and whois for a few hours before finally deciding on Moodle and registered moodle.com. The fact that "moodle" actually had a meaning of its own which made sense was the main reason why it won over other combinations. The system has never had another name, although originally the M in Moodle was "Martin's" not "Modular". wink



 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
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As for Moodle spreading, I have a lot of data waiting for someone to study them and make stats! The forums are also a rich source of information.

The first Moodle site ever was of course smec.moodle.com. Here is a copy of how it looked in 2001.

As far as I know, the first school outside Australia to use Moodle (which was a secondary school) was Jacob Romeyn's The Kings School in British Columbia, Canada. Note his ID number (2), and see the first discussion on this site.
 
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Picture of Ulrike Montgomery
Re: Moodle origins
Group Documentation writers

Martin,

I appreciate you telling me how you found the word. My English teacher colleagues will love it. That's how I'll start my presentation. I know they'll find this a lot more interesting than a computer acronym. They are still a little bit afraid of the computer but I'm sure that once they'll see Moodle, they'll become addicted.

Origins of Moodle - very interesting. It's just amazing how it spread from Australia to Canada and all over the world. Thanks for the links,

Ulrike

 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Moodle origins
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
>>The first Moodle site ever was of course smec.moodle.com. Here is a copy of how it looked in 2001.

Is Moodle so old, we now have a museum?  big grin

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
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Here's a screenshot of the first real Moodle course from that 2001 codebase.   Notice how Journals were meant to be used.  wink



 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: Moodle origins
 
Turn help on? for the admin or the user?
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
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For the current user. This was before the help icons ... the help used to be inline.
 
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Picture of N Hansen
Re: Moodle origins
 
What are those general forums over on the side?
 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Just that, general forums to cover the whole course. Now these are in section 0 and totally configurable (you can still see the distinction on the forums index).
 
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Picture of dave cormier
Re: Moodle origins
 

Martin,

Is that your eye in the 'log' icon? I love it... 'he says as he reaches for his digital camera'

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
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Yeah it is!  wink
 
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Picture of Don Hinkelman
Re: Moodle origins
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Live chat in 2001?  No, no, it came much later--version 1.1 or 1.2, summer 2003 I believe.  You must have had a special chat script on the side.  smile
 
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Picture of Richard Treves
Re: Moodle origins
 
I LOL when I saw that the first discussion was nagging Martin about when the first alpha version was going to be out, some things never change smile

Richard
 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Definition of Moodle
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Moodle
To dawdle aimlessly, to idle time away. Origin unknown. 1928: "Napoleon often moodled about for a week at a time doing nothing but play with his children or read trash or waste his time helplessly."

Source: Times Online Word Watching answers: July 19th 2005

 
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Picture of Giulio Maistrelli
Re: Moodle origins
 
Hi, I just updated the wikipedia page on Moodle inserting a section with the origin of the name. As I'm not English native speaker, nor particularly expert in Moodle, I I won't get offended if somebody will find time to have a look to it and fix eventual mistakes!

Cheers,
Mac.
 
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Picture of A K
Re: Moodle origins
 

I remember a discussion after a talk by Martin at the first UK Moodlemoot at the Open University at which he told a few of us that the "D" had originally stood for "Digital", thus the original acronym (/"backronym") was "Martin's Object-Oriented Digital Learning Environment".  Pehaps Martin might confirm this?  We have to get it right as we are writing history!    wink

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: Moodle origins
 
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Me
Re: Moodle origins
 

Hi all,

Well... if Wikipedia says it's true then it must be big grin!

I'm interested in this conversation because I'm currently rewriting Moodle Course Conversion: Beginner's Guide and I've heard so many conflicting stories regarding Martin's background and Moodle's background.

Ian.

 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: Moodle origins
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Wikipedia no longer says it is true.

Mr. Borges, meet Mr. Orwell.

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Moodle origins
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I don't recall that! It's never been digital, always dynamic. I actually have a dislike for digital, cyber and virtual ... These words don't apply to our field in my opinion.
 
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Picture of A K
Re: Moodle origins
 

Strange thing, human memory.    wink

I dare say your recollection is right, but I only have my own recollections and interpretations, mangled as they are over time by the little electrical flashes in the neural wires.    thoughtful


Mine recalls a conversation, ~five people, including Martin after his opening talk, left aisle of the Berrill lecture theatre (looking from the stage), about 20 feet from the stage, Martin waiting for someone to collect him to take him to post-talk venue (lunch? coffee?).  A few spare minutes.  Someone asked about the origin of the name 'Moodle'.

I made a note at the time... Moodle, with the M and D underlined, then, underneath:
Martin's > Modular; Digital > Dynamic

How much of history depends on differing recollections?  Most of it, I guess.  At least, in the past.  The future might hold something quite different...
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2009/sep09/09-23ememory.mspx

 
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Art Lader
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

(Art, was it you?)

No, Ulrike, but I like to act like I discovered Moodle and revealed it to all mankind! I do have a sort of a complex...

-- Art

 
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Picture of Ulrike Montgomery
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

Art,

you sure did a lot by helping us with  Moodle to our school. Next step is to get the verb 'moodeln' into the German dictionary.

Ulrike

 
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Art Lader
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers
And all its cool variations: mitmoodeln, zermoodeln, sich bemoodeln lassen, ausgemoodelt, etc. wink

-- Art
 
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Julian Ridden
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Translators
How about?

"Ich bin ein Moodler"
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: The chicken or the egg
 
Moodle, small step for a man..
 
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Picture of Ulrike Montgomery
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

Great - I'll you know when these terms will be in the German dictionary.

 
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Art Lader
Re: The chicken or the egg
Group Documentation writers

Well, if anyone has the drive to get that done, it's you, Ulrike!

-- Art

 
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