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Aztea Peaks 2006
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Aztea Peaks 2006


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  • 1. A Moodle Success Story
  • 2. My Bio
    • Background in 7-12 as a teacher, technology coordinator, and administrator.
    • M.Ed. in Ed. Leadership and Educational Technology
    • Currently manage the Information Systems Technology Training Team (ISTT) for Information Technology Services at Northern Arizona University.
    • Current interests include blended learning, workforce improvement/staff development, developing learning objects, and applying principles of cognitive psychology to computer-based instruction.
  • 3. Outline of Presentation
    • Why Open Source?
    • Why Moodle?
    • Moodle in Mexico.
    • Setting Up Your Own Moodle.
    • Moodle Resources.
  • 4. What is Open Source Software?
    • Open Source software is software that is released in a way that allows users to modify it according to their needs.
    • Open Source software is usually supported by a community of users who donate their time and work to a project.
    • The Open Source business model is to make money by providing support to users of the software, not off the software itself.
    • Open Source software is generally available at no charge, but being free is not a criteria of Open Source software.
    • Even when Open Source software is available at no charge, an organization should never think of it as free software. There are many hidden costs.
  • 5. Examples of Successful Open Source Projects
    • Linux (Fedora, Redhat, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Suse, etc.)
    • The Apache Web Server
    • PHP for dynamic Web pages
    • The MySQL and Postgresql database projects
    • OpenOffice
    • The Sakai Project
    • Open Source Portfolio
    • K-12 Linux Terminal Server Project
    • And of course - Moodle!
  • 6. Why Open Source for Education?
    • If you have the budget to hire a professional technical staff with expertise in educational technology, Open Source can save a school or district a lot of money – but significant costs will be incurred in human capital.
    • The money you save by not paying licensing fees can be used to increase staff and teacher salaries, and ultimately, increase technology options to your students.
    • Open Source is catching on in higher education. This means that K-12 can increasingly benefit from educational applications that trickle down.
  • 7. So what is Moodle?
    • Moodle is a “free” learning management system that enables you to create powerful, flexible, and engaging online learning experiences. - William Rice
    • It is a tool that can enhance your teaching – both online and as a supplement to the traditional classroom.
    • Moodle might be thought of as the open source competitor to Blackboard/WebCT.
    • It was created by Martin Dougiamas, an Australian doctoral student. Today Martin continues to direct the project, but it is supported and used by a large community of developers, educators, and organizations.
    • Learn more about Moodle at
  • 8. The Sakai Project (a quick side note)
    • If you are considering an open source learning management system, you should also be aware of the Sakai Project -
    • Sakai is an online Collaboration and Learning Environment. Many users of Sakai deploy it to support teaching and learning, ad hoc group collaboration, support for portfolios and research collaboration.
    • Sakai seems to be oriented more toward higher education and appears to require more technical expertise to run than Moodle, but it is an option.
  • 9. Why I decided to work with Moodle
    • It is a great system for K-12 education.
    • It is designed for the LAMP (Linux, Apache MySQL, PHP) environment, which is a common platform found in many school districts and hosting companies.
    • It is easy to learn to use and does not take a high level of technical experience to set up and administer. However administrators should have a good understanding of Web servers and Web pages if they are going to run it on their own server.
    • It is based on the PHP scripting (programming) language, which is relatively easy to learn and makes it easier to modify Moodle and understand how it works.
    • The Moodle community is thriving and very active.
  • 10. Our Moodle Project
    • I am currently administering a Moodle instance for the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Sonora in Hermosillo.
  • 11. Hermosillo, Sonora
    • Approximately 700,000 inhabitants.
    • Almost exactly a 500 mile drive from Flagstaff.
  • 12. Department of Foreign Languages (DLE)
    • Offers general courses in English and other foreign languages.
    • They have a very successful undergraduate program in Teaching EFL
  • 13. Details of the DLE-UniSon Moodle Project
    • Now in our second year. I pitched the project to DLE faculty in April of 2005 and started the project on a server hosted out of my office at NAU the following month.
    • The project was hosted by ITS at NAU the first year. I now host it for them on a private server.
    • My goal was to introduce it and support it from Flagstaff while the department slowly adopted it. I plan to completely turn it over to them by June of 2007 and move on to new projects.
    • The project currently has approximately ten active instructors, with nineteen courses, and more than 200 students.
    • The URL is
  • 14. Support for the Moodle Project
    • I traveled to Hermosillo once to promote the project and then conducted two, week-long workshops on site in June 2005 and 2006. Other than that, the project was supported entirely from 500 miles away.
  • 15. Setting up your own instance of Moodle
    • There are several ways to get started:
      • Have the technology-support person in your district install a copy for you on the district server.
      • Find a hosting company that offers Fantastico to easily install an instance for you.
      • Find a commercial company that specializes in hosting Moodle
      • Use a search engine to find a Moodle demonstration, sandbox, or play area.
      • Install it yourself...
  • 16. If you decide to install it yourself...
    • Download the latest version of Moodle from
    • You'll need to set up a server running Apache, MySQL, and PHP. This can be done on a computer running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.
    • Ubuntu Linux Server version can install a complete LAMP server in less than 20 minutes. Then install Moodle using apt-get or aptitude. “sudo apt-get install moodle”
    • Probably the easiest way to get started on your own computer is to download and install the Complete Install Packages (Moodle+Apache+MySQL+PHP) found at the bottom of the Moodle download page - . There are versions for both Mac OS X and Windows.
  • 17. Moodle Resources
    • The official Moodle site is always the best place to start: .
    • Moodle Documentation -
    • Sites using Moodle -
    • Moodle Statistics -
    • Comparison of Blackboard vs. Moodle -
    • Sample Chapter on Installing and Configuring Moodle -
    • Moodle news and publications from around the world -
    • Wikipedia on Moodle -
  • 18. Books on Moodle
    • Moodle E-Learning Course Development by William H. Rice IV (2006)
    • Using Moodle by Jason Cole (2005)
  • 19. A Moodle Success Story