08 April 2009

Second Life + Moodle = Sloodle

Moodle is one of open source's greatest success stories. It's variously described as an e-learning or course management system. Now, given that education is also one of the most popular applications of Second Life, it would be a natural fit somehow to meld Moodle and Second Life. Enter Sloodle, whose latest version has just been released:

Version 0.4 integrates Second Life 3D classrooms with Moodle, the world’s most popular open source e-learning system with over 30 million users (http://www.moodle.org). This latest release allows teachers and students to prepare materials in an easy-to-use, web-based environment and then log into Second Life to put on lectures and student presentations using their avatars.

The new tools also let students send images from inside Second Life directly to their classroom blog. Students are finding this very useful during scavenger hunt exercises where teachers send them to find interesting content and bring it back to report to their classmates.

Tools that cross the web/3D divide are becoming more popular as institutions want to focus on the learning content rather than the technical overhead involved in orienting students into 3D settings and avatars.

As an open-source platform SLOODLE is both freely available and easily enhanced and adapted to suit the needs of diverse student populations. And web hosts are lining up to support the platform. A number of third-party web hosts now offer Moodle hosting with SLOODLE installed either on request or as standard, making easier than ever to get started with SLOODLE.

SLOODLE is funded and supported by Eduserv - http://www.eduserv.ac.uk/ and is completely free for use under the GNU GPL license.

The project was founded by Jeremy Kemp of San José State University, California, and Dr. Daniel Livingstone of the University of the West of Scotland, UK.

Follow me on Twitter @glynmoody

No comments: