San Lorenzo City, in the landlocked country between Brazil and Argentina, was this year’s host of MoodleMoot Paraguay, which coincided with the Sydney event. Despite the smaller venue and marketing efforts, attendees enjoyed an evening worthy of the more prominent Moots in the region and elsewhere, as it took place within the First International Congress of Distance Learning. More than 20 expert speakers from Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Spain took part of the joint conference, organized by Educa, the Elearning Department at the National University of Asunción (UNA), a public and the nation’s top Higher Ed institution.
The setting allowed for an interesting contrast of Moodle practice and use cases against the larger picture of issues facing EdTech and online education in South America. In any case, the outlook has more things in common with the rest of the world than differences, and addressing the challenges usually benefits from solutions and theoretical frameworks developed in other regions.
Just a few points as evidence: A talk on applications of the TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) model, initially developed at Michigan State University, was given by Julio Barroso from Spain’s University of Sevilla. A presentation on intercultural contexts in online learning, given by Gláucia Queiroz, a Brazilian psychologist working in Bonn, Germany, shedding light on Paraguay’s outstanding ethnic diversity, even in relation to the rest of the subcontinent. Indigenous Guaraní people, whose language is one of the nation’s official tongues, coexis t with mestizos, remnants of the Spanish colonization; and European diasporas in the XIX and XX centuries, Germans and Polish in particular.
Moodle Partners in the region were represented by Atypax from Peru, whose status became official only last November. At the San Lorenzo gathering, CEO Luis Félix Atuncar discussed “Moodle: más que un LMS” (more than just an LMS), a talk given in Guatemala and Colombia at their respective Moots last month.
The array of subjects touched upon at the Moot was rounded out with cloud-based Moodle, OER, Transmedia, Digital marketing, and International cooperation. The event closed with Moodle HQ’s Juan Leyva on a livestream, answering questions about Moodle 3.3 and Moodle Mobile.