Need Desperate Advice on Selecting a One-Stop-Shop Website/ Blog/ Wiki/ Moodle, Shmoodleedoo!!!

Ok, so my title is a bit exagerrated at the end, but at least I somewhat got your attention!

 

I teach 8th grade language arts (literature, vocabulary, grammar, and writing) within a two-period block session each day. (I also teach two religion classes for 7th grade, so my questions apply to them as well).

 

Now that you know I teach English, you probably know I have no life since I spend my days and nights collecting and grading endless essays and spelling. Blehhhhh.

 

Here's my issue. Last year, I started a wikispaces site because I LOVED the fact that there was a discussion component, and I frequently had them post journals and vocabulary stories there.

 

Over time, I found it was hard to organize my spaces ( still now, I don't know what I want to implement on my site. My goal was to post homework each day, but the formatting issues annoyed me and the pages started to look unprofessional, under or oversized, and just plain overwhelming).

 

And here we are. Summertime, where I STILL spend my days and nights drooling over work, but work I enjoy-- infusing tecnology into my classroom. I've been researching my eyeballs off (almost literally... contacts are off, and eyeglasses are on).

 

I'm overwhelmed. But, I'm a perfectionist, so I also want it all. I want the best of the best, and I want it now. Oh, yeah, and it needs to be free.

 

So here's what I want to implement. I don't know if it's best to have more than one site to make it happen or slap it all onto one place:

 

- Discussion forum

- Calendar with editable events

- Quiz section with assessment tool, so I don't have to grade everything by hand under the sun!

- Abilty to test online (with the ability to block the students from accessing websites to cheat).

- Blogging forum

- e- portfolio capability where students can showcase all of their writing

- Podcast and video embedding

- Photo Gallery (for shots I take of my students in school or projects)

- Lesson materials (where I can post upcoming assignments and notes)

- Webquests

 

I'm sure there's more, but I'm delirious. Am I missing anything else that needs to be online?

 

Oh yeah, I want the parents to be able to access their work to see their progress.

 

I know Moodle seems to be quite popular, but by putting all these "wants" in one place, does it limit the ease and quality of the tool? I want my students to blog, but I would like for them to be able continue blogging in high school once they leave my class. Is this possible within a one-stop-website?

 

Should I stick with a wiikispaces site and have a separate blog site per student which can also serve as their e-portfolio?

 

Wikis, and Moodles, and Blogs.... OH MY!!!

 

Help!

 

Thanks a million!

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Ok, so maybe my post is a bit lengthy.

What is everyone using to hodge podge everything on basically one site? Does one site work or is it better to use several sites for different tools?
Use Moodle as you base.  Here you can have your students already in your system.  You can put assignments here
and track student work and grades.  The discussion area in Moodle is good and 
there are tools in place track student activities in Moodle. No computer based testing is 
cheat proof but there are tools to keep them honest.  Moodle tracks EVERYTHING students do in Moodle and 
is a nice way to show what students are doing.  I will add links to Moodle for other tools I use like Google Docs or
Bubbl.us

Good luck!
Mahara + Moodle.
Hi,

I do like Moodle and use it currently. However, there is definitely a learning curve and administrative duties to deal with. Also, and I realize this is a silly reason to dislike it, it looks clunky. That is unless you add a different theme and play around with the coding.

Therefore, I am seriously considering Edmodo. It has a more elegant GUI than Moodle and there is nothing to install and configure. I'm just afraid my teachers will not be happy to have to learn another technology!

Mark
Mark on Twitter
Use wikispaces due to its ease of use for content and having students make a main page. Transition their creation of content to google docs. Have students put links on their main page to their tests on a testing site. Google Docs would be their portfolio and set them up for future use.
Have you tried Edmodo?
I have tried, and liked Moodle. It is certainly the catch (more than any other app) all for onlline education purposes and FREE. But, the learning curve is not for the faint of heart. LOTS of features.

EdModo doesn't come close to the features that Moodle possesses. I spent about an hour with EdModo and feel that its feature set is very limited, but for many, another blogging option with grading and few other things is all that is desired. I didn't get the impression that online quizzes/tests were possible on EdModo (could be wrong, if so, it is difficult to tell).

Have you tried Edu 2.0? I believe that it is an easier/friendlier counter-part to Moodle. BTW, its www.edu20.org.

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