Well whoever! If you are in a school, college, university or any Moodle using establishment then this might be of interest to you. You might want to join the North West Moodle Users group and read on to see why…
This is actually the final instalment of a long sorry story which I began telling in a January 2012 :“The trials of a Mass Move to Moodle 2″ and continued just over a year ago today: Moodle 2: where are you?
Following the 2005 Harnessing Technology initiative, Lancashire and Cumbria schools were blessed with the offer of a free and regularly updated Moodle (and later Mahara) from the combined efforts of the council, the broadband consortium CLEO and (for training) Synergy Learning. The guys up the road at Lancaster University Network services did a sterling job of providing 1000 schools, from city centres to rural villages, with the world’s most popular VLE. This slideshare presentation by Dan Poltawski from 2007 gives the background to the project and makes fascinating reading in retrospect.
With such strong support, Moodle flourished and a thriving community of enthusiastic Moodle users from schools in the region started swapping ideas on a shared CLEO Moodle
Fast forward to 2011 when local government reorganisation resulted in the management of our Moodles being taken over by BT, alias One Connect Ltd. With little interest in the education of children, OCL neglected the Moodles and, despite valiant insider attempts by some employees, Lancashire and Cumbria schools got stuck in 1.9 and members of the MUG forums grew increasingly cynical about ever getting to experience the cool new stuff of Moodle 2 which had been released in late 2010. I told the story to sympathetic listeners at the German Moodle Moot in Munich and the French Moodle Moot in Bordeaux (Link to my French presentation video) Three years on, and still stuck in 1.9, we’ve now had word the situation is resolved. My Big Campus is available! (You can google it yourself)
While a number of schools had already left to go their own way with Moodle (Our Lady’s Preston being one example), others now are faced with the choice: sort Moodle out themselves, at a price, or throw away everything they’ve built up over the last 7 years and start again with My Big Campus. (Well, it does look pretty…)
One casualty looked likely to be the regional Moodle User Group, which began with people troubleshooting and collaborating and deteriorated into people venting their frustrations about lack of upgrades. I always promote the help forums on Moodle.org. ( I live there in fact) But local groups have a useful place too .
This morning I was alerted to a replacement Moodle User group. set up to support those who will be left high and dry. It’s a Moodle site, of course. It’s at http://www.nwmug.org.uk/ and while its inception was prompted by the imminent demise of free support for Lancashire and Cumbria schools, it’s open to everyone in the area using Moodle. The more input the better.
So innovative and motivating was the CLEO Moodle project that it spawned (can’t think of a better word!) three members of Moodle HQ. There are 30 members of Moodle HQ. That means 10 percent of Moodle HQ cut their teeth on Lancashire and Cumbria Moodles. Moodle “up North” can’t be allowed to die Join the group