Moodle 2: Where are you?

At the start of this 2012 I did a post entitled The trials of a Mass Move to Moodle 2 which you can read from the link. It explained how, in my school area of Lancashire and Cumbria in the North West of England, we were still on Moodle 1.9  following  a takeover of county IT services. Where  all school Moodles were formerly looked after and kept up to date by LUNS they are now in the hands of One Connect,   a joint venture between Lancashire County Council and BT. The date for moving us all over to Moodle 2 was delayed, but I was willing to believe this was because BT One Connect had other issues to resolve first and would get to us ordinary schools in the end.

So as we near the end of 2012, this is a follow up post with the progress that has been made. A group of schools were given a test install of Moodle 2.2 in May with the aim of feeding back on this and then moving to Moodle in autumn. However, we have heard nothing. Training sessions advertised  by our advisors have been cancelled and no more information about an upgrade has been forthcoming. Lancashire and Cumbria schools have a “Moodle User Group” forum and members  of the Moodle development group started posting somewhat frustratedly about the lack of communication. At the start of October we were assured that (quote)

Feedback ….. details of the functionality provided in the newly released Moodle 2.3 [sic] are being used to plan the next steps. Once this has been completed we will be able to provide further information of how and when the VLE provision for schools will be updated.

Still no date then. I remain positive and optimistic because surely One Connect, seeing the impact Moodle has had on 700+ schools would not wish that to wither?  Last Tuesday I even introduced Moodle 2 to our teachers in a staff INSET session – all the usual cool stuff like drag and drop file upload, but some brand new 2.4 stuff as well – like group assignments and blind marking -since I figured, well, Moodle 2.4 is out in December so by the time we get any version of Moodle we should at least have that one :)  Christmas approaches. We’d need at the very least one  term to train administrators and then teachers in using it so even if they told us on Monday that it was on its way, it could not be before Easter. And that’s a bit short notice really. So will it be September 2013? Nearly three years since Moodle 2 arrived?

North West teachers  would be understanding  if we only we knew what the actual issues were. Is  it technical? If so, the geek in me would like to know what! There is a whole Moodle community out there who have managed to upgrade over the last 2 years so surely help must be at hand. The unfortunate consequence of BT OneConnect’s silence is that rumours begin to float around regarding reasons for the delay which might be totally unfounded, but which thrive in the absence of comment. Is there a deliberate political move to halt progress on Moodle because, BT being in league with Microsoft, have got plans to roll out Sharepoint instead? Leaving us free to maintain unsupported our 1.9 Moodles but nudging us towards their shiny new IE-friendly alternative? Surely not, but nobody is there to reassure us…

So, ten months on from my initial post, we’re still wondering:  Moodle 2 – where are you?

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