Google Tries to Compete with Moodle. Good Luck!

Google has decided that building course websites is something they can help the world do. They have developed a method that requires knowledge of HTML and JavaScript… That cuts out about 90% of teachers, likely.

Moodle, on the other hand has 60 million users on the web and countless others on LANs in schools and educational communities around the world. Moodle has been building courses for teachers and students for a decade and teachers only need to know how to use a browser once someone installs Moodle on a server running MySQL and PHP. Heck, there are 6 million courses already existing using Moodle.

I used Moodle for several years in my computer labs, allowing me to teach a dozen courses at once. I marked students work in real time and gave them private feedback in seconds. At reporting time, a few clicks produced a spreadsheet which I weighted as necessary and instantly had marks for the class. Of course it was long hours of work to prepare a dozen courses every day but that’s what the rest of the day is about.

In many parts of the world, expertise and servers are in short supply so Moodle somewhere in the jurisdiction was a powerful tool to maximize the benefit of a server and of a teacher. It is used all over the world doing a great job.

see Moodle.org: Moodle Statistics.

Google, if you want to support education, don’t re-invent Moodle, improve it. Host Moodle on your servers and promote it. It would be faster and easier for everyone.

Best of all, Moodle is a package in the Debian repositories so a few clicks installs it on any server or PC running Debian GNU/Linux. If you don’t run Debian GNU/Linux your distro might have it or you can download and install it. Many school division install Moodle on a central server and give teachers accounts.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to Google Tries to Compete with Moodle. Good Luck!

  1. Felipe says:

    Even if google was competing directly with moodle, which i think it is not, it would be a good thing.
    Moodle is amazing, and yet is still one platform. It may be good, or even excelent, but not perfect. To have a strong and competent competidor, as google, means to be able to see how someone else would make it diferent. Iphone is awesome, and it is still better to consumer to have the option os samsung galaxies and so on.
    Capitalism provides healty competition, as i see in this case.
    Google may improve moodle. May become an option for hosting, and for some to develop and create not only moocs, but much more.

  2. Thorsten Rahn says:

    Google does not try to compete with Moodle or any other learning environment. Moodle is a finished product which usually is installed on your own server. Course Builder is a service that’s deployed in the cloud via Google’s App Engine.

    Very different things. And Google doesn’t aim at faculty staff, they aim at people who want to build MOOC platforms. Think Udacity or edX. And ideally this development should take place on Google’s App Engine. Why? Because most MOOC platforms today run on Amazon Web Services.

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