If you want to do more than just learn more about how to use Moodle by (and for) yourself, do consider taking up the Moodle Educator Certification Program (MEC). You will not regret it.
While Moodle is not the only choice of an LMS that can be used in the framework of school, I am glad that The Israel Ministry of Education has chosen Moodle as one of them (The Ministry of Education Moodle Platform is available for free to any teacher who works in the system). When I decided to take up The Moodle Educator Certification Program (MEC), I just saw it as a way to learn more about how to use Moodle by (and for) myself. However, one of the outcomes of the program has been to give me more confidence to help colleagues try to build effective teaching and learning activities with Moodle. As I do this, I learn along with them. I doubt all this would have been possible without completing MEC.
The Israel Ministry of Education allows (and encourages) us, Junior High and High School teachers, to choose the LMS (and also ready-made Digital Content) we would like to use with our pupils. When interested in accompanying classroom learning by further practice in a digital environment, we have a choice. Indeed, there are several online environments that are approved by the Ministry of Education: while some are free for schools and teachers because The Ministry has taken care of any payment that is required, others are provided together with some other digital tool a school (or district) pays for, and others are provided for a fee.
The Ministry invests in helping (and training) teachers to learn to use these environments. Some teachers (like me) go through the process of becoming qualified to do much of that work. Workshops are developed that take care of much more than the technical side of “how to use” a given LMS. I am glad that as a result of having completed MEC I have the confidence (and, yes, the Certificate) to be proactive in coming up with proposals on ways to boost the use of Moodle in Junior and High School.
Unfortunately, amongst some (or many) teachers and decision-makers of all sorts, there is a feeling that Moodle is a lot more cumbersome to use than other digital environments. It is difficult to break stereotypes, but then I like the challenge. By means of different Hands-on workshops, I have tried to
help colleagues feel that Moodle makes it possible to carry out advanced teaching, learning, and assessment processes from anywhere, anytime, and by any means. Well, that is part of the philosophy of Moodle, isn’t it?
Ah. Let me point out that the content of the following paragraph appears (in Hebrew) in a Ministry of Education Webpage (I share it with colleagues). Moodle is
“Secure, free, and available by all means.
Enables individual learning.
Assists in the implementation of online collaborative learning.
Flexible, and allows adaptation to the unique needs of the teacher and her/his pupils.
Allows feedback to pupils as part of a formative assessment.
Allows guidance and monitoring of learning processes.”
There are other (commercial) alternatives to Moodle available (and some are pushed more aggressively). As for me, I like the idea that I am trying to boost the use of an Open Source Platform that “belongs” to The Ministry of Education. I see it as “the right thing to do”.
OK. All this may sound pretty idealistic, but then, you (I) need a high dose of idealism to still be teaching in (the same) High School since the 1989-1990 school year, as is the case with me. I believe that “the discovery of Moodle” in 2013 (I am a latecomer), as well as the MEC program, have helped me recharge batteries so that I keep doing my job at school, and, no less important, with teachers. The 2021-2022 school year seems to be about to open up a new door that, without MEC, may not have been there for me at all (more on this in the future, if things turn out to be the way they seem.)
If you want to do more than just learn more about how to use Moodle by (and for) yourself, do consider taking up MEC. You will not regret it.