If you sometimes wonder how you can do better with Moodle, I suggest you think of taking up The Moodle Educator Certification (MEC) program. I did, and, in many ways, it has made a difference. Indeed, it was a Wonderful MEC Program, and it has had a long-lasting impact on me.
Generally speaking, and specifically concerning Moodle, being proactive is a key to engaging in Teacher Professional Development. It is a good idea to try to attend Moodle MOOCs and Virtual Conferences to catch up with what is going on in the Moodle World. Watching those Moodle MOOTs videos and Webinars available also helps, but a program such as MEC makes you focus on aspects that are central to teaching/educating with Moodle. It is hard work, and nobody promises you a rose garden (I had to stretch my patience to the limit to try to meet the demands), but then I believe you get the feeling that the effort is well worth it.
Over the past two years, I have shared on ElearningWorld how I use Moodle with High School pupils. I have also touched on how I try to help colleagues use Moodle, too. While before COVID-19 I had been involved in activities in both activities, my MEC experience has done what Moodle purports to do: Moodle has empowered me as an educator.
How has the program done that? On the one hand, both the contents and required tasks on each of the MEC courses made me delve deeply into “things Moodle”: I had to figure out the why, who with, which, what, where, when, and how to use Moodle in a way that went beyond the technical aspect (check the competences and you will see what I mean). It was not a smooth path to the final point, and I am glad it wasn’t.
On the other hand, the program gave me the confidence to go beyond merely developing and facilitating several Israel Ministry of Education How to use Moodle workshops in English and Hebrew (I did that in Spanish in the past, too). To make a long story short: people at The Israel Ministry of Education have been open to initiatives from teachers in the field (like me), and have been willing to take risks and try them out. As a result, I have been, and am, involved in developing Moodle Templates, which colleagues will be able to request as copies, that are bound to reach many teachers and pupils in Israel.
Indeed, it is my MEC experience, and perhaps the Certificate I got, too, that have contributed to get me to do several things I am not sure I would have been able to do without it:
I have developed, jointly with a colleague, a Moodle Template for the Computerized Oral Bagrut Examination in English that many pupils all over Israel have and will use. Teachers all over the country can request as many copies of the Template as they need, and their pupils have access to them as they are automatically enrolled.
I have been helpful in digitizing (as Moodle Templates) exams in Hebrew, English, and Arabic (!), this last one working closely (but from afar because it was during one Covid-19 lockdown) with an Arab-speaking colleague.
I am involved in creating Moodle Templates aimed at enhancing English skills (in fact, English for Specific Purposes) for school subjects that are taught in Hebrew and/or Arabic (to mention but a few examples, “Information and Data Trend – Data Analysis”, “Hairstyling and Beauty Care Trend”, “Market and Economy Trend”, “Advanced Transportation Trend”, and more.). These Templates will enable subject-matter teachers to request copies (with their pupils already enrolled) so that they, and not teachers of English, work with pupils both at school and from home.
To sum up, my MEC experience has opened up new possibilities for me. I love Moodle, so I am happy that I try to help colleagues and pupils in Israel to experience teaching and learning with Moodle.