A New Perspective Post MoodleMoot

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By Chris Kenniburg,
Dearborn School District

I’ve been involved using Moodle since Moodle 1.5 over 10 years ago.  I’ve been developing plugins for Moodle since Moodle 2.7. So I’ve been a part of the Moodle community but I’ve never really met anyone from Moodle HQ.  It’s been my wish to attend an official Moodle Moot to do so. My dream came true at MoodleMoot US 2018. Our Director of Technology, Troy Patterson, and myself, hopped on a plane out of Detroit and headed for Denver.  We were wide-eyed and excited to finally be attending a Moot.

I didn’t have any real big expectations for this Moot. I was just hoping to absorb as much as I can and see how others are using Moodle. Being part of the online Moodle community has been one of the things I love most about being involved in the Moodle project.  The discussion forums have plenty of good people helping others get the most out of Moodle. It really is the helpful volunteers, enthusiasts, and experts in the forums that help form this awesome Moodle community of learners.

The keynote was Martin Dougiamas and he laid out a vision for education.  It was a vision that was much bigger than any tool. It was bigger than any one person or school.  It was a vision to transform how we educate the human race with open tools. This vision resonates with me. I want to be a part of this. It’s inspiring to feel like you are a part of something that benefits everyone. The keynote really helped me think of Moodle as more than just a Learning Management System. This is about breaking out of your bubble and seeing a bigger picture beyond your own little corner of the world.

The coming together of all these different users and different perspectives at the “Moot” was exactly what I was hoping for.  It was a melting pot of innovation and ideas on how to think about the tool (Moodle) differently than you had before. Some ideas were grandiose, while some were profound but smaller in scope.  Each new presentation helped expand my understanding of how to better use Moodle. Each new conversation helped expand my vision for where we can take our students using Moodle. The exchange of ideas and exposure to new ways of doing things was eye-opening.

It’s these conversations and human interactions that build meaning, build trust, and allow for exchanging of ideas.  I see things a bit differently in regards to Moodle. It’s not just the tool we use at school. It’s a movement towards more equitable education around the globe with an emphasis on being an open learning platform the whole world can use.  I am glad to play a small part in this. I’m glad for all the people who are a part of this. We all have a stake in helping make the world a better place through education and we are using the best tool for that job. Thank you Moodle!