I am wondering if anyone has found Moodle a worthwhile and easy to use tool with elementary students - in particular grade 5.
I see it being used very effectively at my school with grade 7 and 8 students but feel that Moodle is too cumbersome and lacking creativity for the age group I would like to use it for. I see its value in submitting essays, completing tests, etc as it is being used here. However, the techos at school are requesting that I use it instead of making use of tools and facilities on the Internet.
You are probably saying - 'but what do you want to use it for?'. I'd like to leave it open for anyone who is using Moodle successfully with elementary kids to respond with what they are doing.
I use moodle in third grade. I have been for the past four years. Absolutely love it. My students use it in so many ways. If you would like to check it out: http://www.hallsville.org/elementary/cunningham/moodle/
If you would like to explore it you will have to use the contact form on the front page.
I use MOODLE for 4th grade students and they navigate it very easily. Another teacher at my school is using it for some of his 5th grade students doing a after school class. I like the fact that it is a safe system that parents feel comfortable letting their students use. And since I can track what each student is saying and doing I like that feature the best. I will say that some feature are a little hard to use but I use other programs for wikis and such, while linking it back to my MOODLE site. It all depends on how you set it up. I have made mine very simple so that I don't give my students to many choices so they don't get confused. I will say that their parents have a harder time understanding how to use it than their children do.
I use Moodle (grades 4-6) right now for two things---online book discussions and Philosopher's Club. It works well for discussions because it's threaded, where you can respond to each poster. (blogs and wikis don't work that way) You can see what we're doing at http://www.smsdonline.org/login/index.php. Use baguest as username and password to log in.
I used Blackboard for 3 years (same type of thing, but expensive) and wrote online curriculum. It is a lot of work but of course once you write the course you'd have it for life! Here is a curriculum I wrote which I have since moved to to my website.
Introduction to Exploring Leonardo da Vinci
Activity #1: Introduction You will be using this online course to study one of the most brilliant men in all of history. Leonardo da Vinci. He lived over 400 years ago (1452-1519) and was regarded as a genius in his time. His imagination and incredible range of talents continues to be admired to this day. As you journey through this course, you will learn more about da Vinci's discoveries in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, astronomy, engineering, geology, mathematics, botany, animal behavior, and even music
For your main research project, you will chose one of the following statements and be able to defend your opinion:
I think Leonardo da Vinci's most important work was as a painter/sculptor.
I think Leonardo da Vinci's most important work was as an engineer.
I think Leonardo da Vinci's most important work was as a scientist.
I think Leonardo da Vinci's most important work was as an inventor.
Here's another idea I have but haven't implemented it yet. The Moodle Glossary feature allows for each student to add content to be commented on. I think it would be neat for each student to find a piece of art----painting, sculpture, photograph...other students could discuss their feelings about the artwork.