While I have reservations regarding Moodle which I am going to set out in future blogs, I think MoodleCloud is a marvellous development for those of us who want to either try the open source learning management system software and perhaps develop their skills in using it or simply use it to structure their own course but without having to pay for hosting.
The signup process was very simple, taking just a couple of minutes to enter my name, email address and a mobile number for text-message authorization and I now have my own functional and latest release Moodle page at https://e-learningmatters.moodlecloud.com
Why are Moodle doing this and how is it funded?
According to the Moodle site, Moodle want to empower educators to do their jobs, but not all educators are tech savvy enough to deal with the process of installing open source software on servers or deal with upgrades and general maintenance. MoodleCloud provides a space for initially smaller users to be able to get up and running simply and quickly. However, as those users become more assured perhaps and want to grow, Moodle provides them with the their Moodle Partners service. Moodle Partners are a group of organisations that offer ‘certified Moodle services world-wide such as consulting, installation, support, theme design, training, courseware creation and of course hosting.’
So, put simply, MoodleCloud is a free and simple solution for people that want to dabble or set up something small which they can later grow through taking up services with Moodle’s Partners or set up hosting themselves.
MoodleCloud’s limits are:
50 users maximum.
200Mb disk space
Core themes and plugins only
One site per phone number
They have also integrated a free version of the online conferencing software BigBlueButton so users can try their hand video conferencing, audio, whiteboards and desktop sharing.
In setting up my new site, I excluded the domain from my browser’s adblocker as MoodleCloud is funded by some unobtrusive ads which you can hide for AUS $5 per month.
All in all, this is an excellent solution for anyone that wants to try Moodle out or host their own small LMS.
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