PC World Article - Students Love Moodle

Earlier this week, a friend of mine, Phil Shapiro, wrote an article in PC World entitled, Students Love Moodle.I was surprised and pleased to learn that Phil's article chronicled my experience using Moodle with my sixth grade students on Long Island. As teachers we all have many , many stories about our classrooms and students throughout the years. Every year is different and every school year brings unique remembrances of those students and those times.

My students loved using Moodle. To them, using it in the classroom was similar to being able to play a video game in school. Each day , as the students entered my classroom, they'd ask,"Mrs. Gatling are we going to" play Moodle today"? My students were African American and Latino. They were a mixture of abilities and interests. I had four students who had ELL services during the school day. Because of my own interest in integrating technology into my classroom practice, and with the help of my technologically savvy brother, I set up a 9 station Linux network of recycled computers into my classroom when school began in September 2004. I put up my entire sixth grade curriculum online in my Moodle course environment. This was the start of my last and 34th year in teaching.

Having set up in previous years a website for my students, called middleschoolkidz.com , I was accustomed to using technology to motivate my students. My student website had been very popular because the students enjoyed seeing their work displayed online. Moodle, however was different. Having our classwork accessible online and at the same time being able to interact with one another in realtime forums and asynchronously brought another dimension to their learning.

My last year in the classroom changed my life. The use of Moodle and all of its possible implications for learning inspired me to join with Moodlers Gina Russell Stevens and Tom Murdock and form our company, Moodlerooms. We believe that the use of Moodle can change education and learning as we know it , globally. This new, global concept is now my mission in my un-retired life.

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