“The Fun They Had” and Moodle

Moodle and other LMS are not those mechanical teachers you may have read about in stories such as “The Fun They Had” (a science fiction story by American writer Isaac Asimov). And yet, because of the times we live in, I am reminded of such mechanical teachers and that short story. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, many children nowadays may feel like Margie: She is a character who, at first, is skeptical about the notion of what it must have been like to study together with other children (and with a real person as a teacher!). By the end of the story, Margie daydreams while sitting on the chair before the mechanical teacher about what it must have been like for “the fun they had”.(see source)

I am a High School teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Israel. In Israel (and elsewhere), it has been said that K12 pupils might not be the main group affected by the Coronavirus. However, the pandemic has disrupted their lives in ways that can affect their future. Many pupils will continue with distance learning, which means that they will not meet their friends, classmates, and teachers in that place called “School” on a regular basis. They might go back to school part-time (in ‘capsules” – read more), but they will not be experiencing school life as they did in the not too distant past.

Via Moodle (and yes, via Zoom, too), among other stuff I have encouraged pupils to use their English to speak about how they feel about distance learning and going back to, or staying out of, school. I have provided assignments that require them to record themselves or write, about this subject, and others. There is much more on this that can be done with Moodle: You can use Moodle Choice to poll them on this topic, and then have them analyze (and verbalize) the results; you can embed an H5P interactive video on the topic so that Listening and Reading Comprehension can be added to the teaching resources used, etc. In short, and since I am crazy about Moodle, I can say that using Moodle in Coronavirus times has its added value indeed.

Video Clips (in English and Spanish) I shared on a Moodle Moot 2020 Spain Forum

English: https://youtu.be/m5UYs4WKSgo

Spanish: https://youtu.be/pdy7t8OtGuw

Creative colleagues can surely add to the few examples that I have provided. It is high time, however, that we went back to school physically. As much as I am a Moodle enthusiast, for K12 (well, High School is what I am familiar with), I prefer to use Moodle for Bended Learning and not for fully online teaching.

The Fun They Had “is about computerized homeschooling, and what children miss out on by not being in school together (Wikipedia). Moodle is not computerized homeschooling and is very good, but for me, it is great mainly as a supplement to what I can do as a teacher in “That place called School”.

Be well and healthy!

Eduardo Lina
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Eduardo Lina

Born in Argentina, Eduardo has been living and working in Israel since 1979 - and he loves to use Moodle! Married to Susy, with two daughters: Gabriela and Maia, and one granddaughter, Sol, Eduardo is teaching English at school. Having completed with HRDNZ both MoodleBites for Teachers and the six MEC courses, Eduardo is a Moodle Certified Educator. He is a Certified Israel Ministry of Education Teachers’ teacher. He has developed and facilitated several Israel Ministry of Education's Spanish and English as a Foreign Language online workshops.

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