The Future of Moodle and How Not To Stop It (iMoot 2010)

Yesterday morning I got up at 6:30 to deliver a presentation at the very first virtual Moodlemoot: iMoot 2010. All in all it was a hugely enjoyable experience. I had people attending from among other the United States, Ireland, Zambia, Australia, Japan.

The platform for delivery of the session was Elluminate, which worked flawless. I am still amazed at the fact that we now have easy access to the technology that makes a virtual conference with a worldwide audience possible.

My talk was titled “The Future of Moodle of How Not to Stop It”, an adaptation of the book by Zittrain.

The Future of...
The Future of...

I first recapped the recent discussion about the death of the VLE:

[wpvideo htbfDWKU]

I showed how Moodle was conceived and developed when the web was less mature then it is now (the social web as we know it was basically non-existent) and how a teacher can create a learning experience for his or her students using nothing but loosely coupled free tools. Horses for courses.

I then looked at the two mental models that Moodle could adapt from Drupal:

  1. Drupal’s tagline is “Community Plumbing”. I believe Moodle’s could be “Learning Plumbing”.
  2. Drupal sees itself as a platform. This is exactly what Moodle should reinvent itself as.

In the final part of the presentation I looked at how the new Moodle 2.0 API’s (repository, portfolio, comments and webservices) will be able to help make the shift towards a platform. I finished with asking people to imagine what an appstore for repository plugins and what an appstore for learning activities would look like.

The slides are on Slideshare and embedded below (you can also download a 2MB PDF version). The session has been recorded. Once that recording comes online, I will update this post and try and share that here too.

[slideshare id=3065049&doc=100204imootthefutureofmoodle-100203180009-phpapp01]

The one difficult thing about a virtual conference, by the way, is communicating the dates and times. Timezones add a lot of complexity. iMoot, for example, provides users with a custom schedule for their timezone and replays each session twice after the live event. I am starting to believe in the Swatch Internet Time concept again. Wouldn’t a single metric .beat not be great? See you @850!

15 thoughts on “The Future of Moodle and How Not To Stop It (iMoot 2010)

  1. Hi Hans,

    I think the idea of having a ‘moodle-app store’ is great. I’ve got only one question: Do you think companies will open ‘their’ environment regarding to specific curricula’s and assesments (one of the reasons why VLE’s are often used for). I agree with your point that the benefits of the existing VLE’s are mainly for organisations who want to manage learning and not for the learner. I would be great when the intrinsic needs and motivation of the learner can be adapted by offering all kinds of apps to their VLE.


    1. Hello Job,

      Thank you for your comment! I am not 100% sure I understand your question… Are you asking whether companies will let go of their near obsessive need to measure and report instead of trying to assess true business effectiveness? Then the answer might slowly be turning into “yes”…



      1. Hi Hans,

        I meant the fact that in many companies e-learning is still content driven and the curriculum is strictly guarded by curriculumdesigners (or worse, managers with obsessions for measures and reports)

        If moodle shifts towards a platform for delivery, then third party ‘contentapps’would be very interesting. I think that many companies find it hard to support an explorative learningstyle. Anyway I think the concept of moodle as a platform is still a good idea!


  2. Hello,

    I’m writting from Peru (South American). I want to know if Moodle is dying then Sloodle is dying too?. Second Life and Drupal could be supplemented?


    Frank Casas

    1. Hello Frank,

      I don’t think I meant to say that Moodle was dying! Moodle will be around for many years to come. Same for Drupal. I am less sure about Sloodle, nor would I bet my money on Second Life being around in five years time.



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