Moodle: Where are the Teachers?

I’m looking forward to presenting on Moodling with the Primaries in a few weeks’ time.  I am glad that,  like the imoot model, there are strands for Teachers as well as other users of Moodle. I intend highlighting some of the good  Moodle activities our local primaries have been doing, sharing my school’s primary liaison work and talking in general about my experiences helping primary teachers develop their Moodles.  (Incidentally – apart from interviewing  a few keen pupils from Reception up to year 6  I haven’t actually planned the workshop yet, so please if you have any special requests, get in touch!)

I’ve found Primary Moodling to be very varied – if you just take my own city, there are some (as you’ll see) doing fantastic stuff and some (as you won’t see) finding it hard even to remember the log in to their Moodle. I have a feeling that  a large number of primary school teachers with Moodle are struggling. Not because they are unwilling to Moodle (though some are) but because they are uneasy.  I’ll go into more details at the Moot but it seems to me on my travels that more often than not, teachers in primaries with Moodle find it harder to justify its use (my kids can’t even read yet – how could they use Moodle?) or get suitably proficient ( I have so many other jobs to do; there just isn’t time) or even understand how to manage it (how do the children get onto it?).

Yet at the same time,  I know from online communities that country-wide teachers and their local authorities are forging ahead with Moodle in KS2 and KS1. So will the twain ever meet? And how do we bring them together? When I spoke to a colleague about my Moodling with the Primaries workshop, he was sceptical: That’s all well and good, he said; but most of the people there will already know all about Moodling and the teachers you really want to get to won’t even have heard of the Moodle Moot – and if they had, they wouldn’t come because it’s in the school holidays. Fair point, and one that reminds me of the Twitter Experience.

Anyone established on Twitter gets to hear of online developments the minute they occur and at the same time as their friends – and we tend to forget there are lots of people out there who (if they have heard of Twitter at all) don’t use it and don’t know the latest ICT  ideas.  Australian Moodler Tomaz Lasic has just set up a long-needed course on specifically for Teaching and Learning with Moodle. But how many primary school teachers in Garstang will be checking it out for ideas? We need to get people on board -we need to Spread the Word! MoodleFairy’s on a mission!  Ok; I’m asking the question, rather than offering any answers, but I would be very interested to know how many “regular” teachers will be at the Moot – especially from primary schools.