Update: I just got word that I cannot use the name “Moodle” in my biz name, so I’ve changed “Moodle Homeschool” to “Noodle Homeschool”! I think I actually like it better! The url is the same, but the name and logo has just changed.
I am seriously in love with this program!!
It just occurred to me that I never talked about it here on my blog! Woops! This thing is all-consuming lately, which is probably why I haven’t found time to blog about it yet!
Ok, so here it is. I’ll start from the beginning.
Moodle is a program for organizing learning online. It organizes teacher’s resources, activities, assignments, quizzes, everything in one place for students and teachers both to be able to access and communicate freely.
Lots of colleges and schools use Moodle all over the world.
Here’s a pretty dull looking Moodle class screenshot I just snagged off the web to give you a taste. You can see how things are all laid out for students.
Here’s some screenshots of a Japan course I have as part of my Amazing Race 26 series:
(These are only a small sampling of what I’ve put together for this particular course…but it will give you an idea of how *I* do MY Moodle classes!)
Obviously, these are links to the full activity or assignment…and on the full page there is information, instructions, links to outside resources and embedded videos.
And you can see how I’ve brought my Experience-Based Learning idea into these online lessons! I sort every course by station!
Also, the check boxes to the right are for the children to check what activities they’ve completed, to help them keep track since there’s SO MANY things to do! 🙂
One of my favorite things about Moodle is the ability to embed video right into the lesson page!! No more distractions from YouTube! I’ve even learned how to turn off the suggested videos at the end!! Love it!
And there’s loads of ways for students to submit answers to questions or assignments or upload files (still trying to think of a creative way to use that feature that does not involve requiring students to write a paper. Not really the direction I want to go with this. I’ll think of something! Or just skip it.)
I’m having so much fun coming up with creative and fun ways to use all these features…recently came up with an intro lesson for each country that involves an interactive lesson, leading the kids through learning about the basics of each country: language, currency, where it’s located, that sort of thing…Interactive and fun to help them, hopefully, retain the information.
ANYWAY….Can you tell how much I LOVE MOODLE??
I stumbled upon Moodle because Minecraft Homeschool started using it for their classes, which my kids love! It’s a really neat way to pull all the activities and assignments together in one place for kids to be able to do their work, and in a fun way! Because my kids love technology as much as I do!
So I got to thinking….maybe I should try it out and see if I could pull my kids’ stations together online!
So I installed it on my server. (It’s free, open-source, but you have to have webspace to install it on.) And I started playing with it.
Whew, you guys! It’s COMMMMM.PLEX!! But I am loving it!
So I took 2 of the lessons we were working on in our Traveling Through History with Doctor Who lessons (check them out if you have Whovians too! Great way to learn history!) and I started putting all the info onto Moodle for my kids, and in a format specifically for the kids, so it was directed at the student, not the teacher…and I tweaked the hell out of it.
I am not one to leave things the way they are when I see ways they can be improved….so I added and deleted so much that it really no longer resembles the original. Which is good, because even though I started just doing this for MY kids…I quickly realized that here is something I could open up to others and make some much needed income on! (A good thing it no longer resembles the original, I say, because I would NEVER copy someone else’s work! So I basically am starting from scratch on the Doctor Who History idea…using almost nothing from this woman’s work, other than Doctor Who episodes I would have used anyway and links/resources that I already knew…and I’m going to be providing mine online in such a way that it’s a completely different resource. Plus I will continue to recommend her lessons, because they are good!)
And THEN, I saw the announcement that Amazing Race 26 was starting in about a week.
And I realized how PERFECT this would be to start this new business venture!!
You guys remember how we homeschool with The Amazing Race, right? Learning about the countries as the racers race around the world? Hm, I don’t seem to have blogged about that either. Geez, I’m really behind on my blog posts! Well listen to that episode of Savvy Homeschool Moms linked above and you’ll hear all about it.
So….Amazing Race….I would have to get my butt in gear PRONTO…setting a system up for payment and spread the word and get the first country material prepared….luckily their Wikipedia page lets you know a little ahead of time what countries they are heading to, and I already have an audience here on Homeschool Realm, the Homeschool Realm Facebook page, and of course our podcast listeners at Savvy Homeschool Moms, so I knew spreading the word wouldn’t be an issue!
And WOW, this is turning out to be a lot of work and a lot of FUN! I have the first country, Japan, done, and just completed the second destination, Thailand!
I have 22 students currently enrolled and enjoying the activities and resources!! So far so good!
At the writing of this, we are 3 episodes into Amazing Race 26, but it’s not too late to join us!
Since past episodes of Amazing Race are available on CBS’s website, you can catch up any time!
ALSO: This season I am only charging the introductory price of $10/child for the entire season (season 26)…That’s 8 countries for $10! An amazing deal! And I will not be keeping it this low next season! I started low to get my feet wet with as many kids as possible trying out my untested idea. After this season, I’ll better know what I’m doing and I can already tell you that price will most likely double, at least.
I want to keep it as affordable as possible for homeschool families so I won’t raise prices crazy high. But I literally put HOURS and HOURS of work into each course…so $10 won’t do for long.
And let me know if you have any questions!