Moodle Blog

Farewell, my Moodle Friend

Today, along with many others, I say goodbye to  a former colleague, Assistant Head of Our Lady’s Catholic High School Preston, Mark Greenwood, who passed away suddenly  on April 14th aged 51. He was my Friend.

He was also the person who got me into Moodle and  – as they say – “gave me my break”.  Although I left the school last year to work full time for Moodle HQ, I still went in regularly as a volunteer to join him on Moodle-based projects and in fact since January I’d been working with  a small group of his Year 10s who were developing  their own Moodle course.

I had known Mark since 1994 when he arrived at the school but we barely exchanged a word until 2006, living as we did on different planets – me in Languages  and Geography, and Mark in Design Technology and then ICT. In 2006, Mark headed a team of teachers investigating Virtual Learning Environments (it was that time in the UK when we were all meant to have a Learning platform) I overheard rumours  in the staffroom of  the school choosing “Moodle” and, not wanting to get left behind, I got myself one and started trying it out with my own classes. (Because you can do that with Moodle!) It was another colleague, Alan O’Donohoe @teknoteacher who got Mark and me talking, realising my  lone-ranger approach  might be more usefully channelled into the whole school Moodle project. By 2007, Mark had  me training the school staff, then other teachers elsewhere, then…   Moodle had been my hobby; I’d spent many hours teaching myself Moodle  for the fun of it, but it was Mark who gave me the chance to turn my hobby into my career and Mark who put Our Lady’s Moodle on the map.

Bob, Me, Mark.

Last summer, we were visited by Australian teacher and Moodler Bob Willetts who came especially to see the pastoral way in which Moodle was used (picture right)

Mark was one of those people who make things happen quietly in the background. He didn’t complain, boast or make a career out of social media; he just got on and did stuff – encouraging and inspiring others along the way, and always with the school in mind. I once asked him to describe himself in one word and he said “supportive”.  He was instrumental in the School achieving its Maths and Computing Specialism,  played a major part in its Outstanding Ofsted report of 2012, and he  masterminded the Our Learning training centre which adds significantly to school funds by offering teacher CPD.  The school has recently become a Teaching School and as Director of the associated Catholic Teaching Alliance ,he was excited about this new big project which again would benefit the school and future teachers. And all this while at the same time being a devoted family man, husband to his wife, also employed at the school, and to their three children.

We worked together in the training centre from 2008, collaborating daily. But it wasn’t easy! After rarely speaking for 12 years ,when we got to know each other, we found out we were complete opposites. Mark’s favourite word was “team”; my favourite word is “I”. Whereas I’m an introspective,compulsive, wordsmith;  Mark  would just let things wash over him and calmly “move on”  What others would say in ten words, Mark would say in three, but unfortunately, sometimes you needed at least five words to be able to grasp his meaning. But it didn’t matter. We were soul-geeks, and when we were experimenting with new software, testing out new ideas, signing up to different websites, all in the name of enhancing Teaching and Learning,  we were both on the same wavelength and didn’t need to talk. He was always looking for ways to improve his students’ experience and we would spend hours trying things out on Moodle, feeding back, honing,  improving. Some people love gaming; some walking; some fishing.  I love playing with Moodle. Mark loved playing with Moodle.  And I will miss that shared interest more than anything. I’ve lost my Moodle friend.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Saturday, 26. April 2014 um 00:19 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Moodle abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen. Du hast die Möglichkeit einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, oder einen Trackback von deinem Weblog zu senden.

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1 Comment »

  1. I am so sorry to hear that news Mary. He was so welcoming and willing to share the school’s meteoric push forward with moodle. He really got it didn’t he?
    Steve Glover

    Comment: Steve Glover – 28. April 2014 @ 11:45 am

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