Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Moodle Blogs- Are they blogs?

Moodle a one stop WEB 2.0 environment or is it? Let me start by saying I think moodle is a great program and I look forward to using it in our school. Martin Dougiamas has done us all a great service with the development of this open source tool. I am however perplexed, confused and a little disappointed by a recent discussion I read on the Moodle Forum. You can read the entire threaded discussion for yourself but I also hope you will weigh in here about your perceptions.

We have been looking at Moodle for about a year and we waited for version 1.6/1.7 to come out before we installed Moodle specifically because we were looking for the blog functionality. Here in lies my consternation. The blog function within Moodle does not allow for comments which to my way of thinking undermines the entire purpose of blogging in Web 2.0. There is much discussion within the forum about blogs vs forums and other moodle class activities. The way I understand the underlying statements almost everything seems to center on interclass conversations or teacher /student conversations. Certainly these have a place. Blogs, however are about global connections, expanding access to “experts”/teachers, forming personal learning networks, and connections….Without that capability, without the possibility of comments they become simply private journals that are publicly published.

“Blogs - finally Moodle has blogs for ongoing personal reflections, viewable by course, by group, by individual etc”…(description on the moodle forum) Is this a fancy personal notebook???

A forum by its very nature is intrinsically different than a blog. A forum tracks one subject. Entries are generally short in length and do not lend themselves to in text links to further information. They do not allow a person to easily track the development of any one individual’s thoughts. There are so many differences it is hard to list them yet it seemed in the Moodle forum that it was suggested they are interchangeable.

What do you think? What are the essential Web 2.0 elements related to blogs? Why/how are they important to learning? Did I miss something important in reading the Moodle forum?

Moodle is great…But is is not a one stop shop and for now we will continue to use Class Blogmiester or Word Press in conjunction with Moodle.

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Anonymous said...

Hi, Barbara!

Commenting will be added to the blogs in Moodle (we ALL want it!) the question is/was just how to do it in the best way given that Moodle already has other mechanisms for discussion and is often not open to the wider web.

Other blogs have no associated forums or walls so commenting is a no-brainer. ;-)


Barbara said...

Martin...this is great news. Thanks for Moodle and the many ways it can assist us! We hope to post our first course by January!