Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why you should blog about Moodle

The Moodle community forums are vast. Every day hundreds of questions and answers are posted. It's really the best place to go to if you have a Moodle-related question or for any of the below reasons:

  • Having developed some expertise in Moodle you want to give something back. You can answer questions posted by others and you're willing to take out time to do this.
  • You're motivated to get a Moodle badge, such as the "particularly helpful Moodler" badge.
  • You want to become a better Moodler by reading posts in your area of interest, even if you don't plan to make many posts.
  • You just want to be part of the worldwide Moodle community and see what happens. There's even a "lounge" forum for informal discussions.
When you have a question about how to do something in Moodle and search for answers online, chances are you'll see hits to discussions in the Moodle community forums. And you just might find a precise answer to your exact question.

Given the massive online presence of the Moodle forums and opportunities for any Moodler to take part, should you even consider blogging about how you're using Moodle? I think so, because...
  • You become a better Moodler when you share what you do, learn, and think. (I suppose this applies to any professional.)
  • Your blog can be a sort of journal -- your catalog of what you've done. You can refer to your own blog posts if you're in doubt about how you did something!
  • Your blog becomes part of your professional portfolio, and if you've made a bunch of reasonably intelligent posts, you're going to look good.
  • You blog might show up in search hits and be of help to someone. Some Moodle forum discussions are really long and gold nuggets of information are in there somewhere, not very obvious. If you make discoveries in the course of your work, a simple, focused post about each discovery, no matter how small, just might offer more immediate help.
  • It doesn't have to be a choice between blogging or community participation. Do both!
  • Being part of the community forums, although a great experience on the whole, can sometimes give a sense of preaching to the choir. It seems to be mainly a place for keen Moodlers who're not afraid to ask a question or post a response. But there are a lot of people in the world who make decisions about organisational Moodle use, and they are not Moodlers. They might even have fundamental doubts about online learning and platforms. I think it's good to have a big Moodle blogosphere with diverse people writing about their diverse experiences of using Moodle, so it doesn't seem like all the talk about Moodle is happening only on the Moodle community forums.
At least, those are the reasons I want to blog about Moodle!
Here are a few examples of great blogs published by Moodlers:

But a word of caution: don't hastily use "Moodle" in your blog domain name. The word "Moodle" is protected by trademark. See this page for more information, and I'd suggest you write to the Moodle headquarters if you're in doubt.

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