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Free Moodle Hosting

Carl Shepherdson

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Guest Toby Cope

Sounds like a great concept for those who want to try out Moodle. I do recommend it for online learning couses.

I am setting a moodle cms up for my ActiveScience.co.uk website at the moment.


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The lack of interest is probably mainly due to the fact that most teachers switch off totally during the month of August.

Language teachers who use Moodle are a growing community. Moodle featured, for example, in several workshops and presentations at the EUROCALL 2004 conference in Vienna:


You'll find a lot of links to language materials at the Moodle site:


However, I also detect a certain degree of ennui among teachers with regard to Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). There is some evidence of a backlash against online learning among language teachers, many of whom prefer to use the Web as a source of downloadable materials that can be used offline rather than as a live, interactive learning environment. We experienced a similar backlash against technology in the 1970s, when language teachers became disillusioned with the shiny new language labs that had been installed in their schools. The labs delivered far less than they promised - but this was largely due to the lack of imagination of the teachers who used them and not the technology. In the end, the technology was blamed for being ineffective and now most language labs have disappeared from schools.

I visit many schools as an ICT trainer. It is quite frustrating running courses focusing on the Internet. Many schools block Internet access by children, unless they are closely supervised, and I have found that some security systems used by schools are so sensitive that they block access to hundreds of completely harmless websites. I ran a course in the West Midlands a couple of years ago. Access to http://www.google.co.uk was blocked throughout the education authority. Curiously, however, I found that we could get into Google via http://www.google.com

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Thanks Graham,

I understand the problems web filtering cause's in schools my job involves blocking these websites as and when i feel appropriate.

We certainly down block Google :) Its not actually the schools that block these websites it's the county! :angry: It can be a length process to get a website removed and sometimes it never is done. The main problem is when the county started adding key words to the filter i.e. 'games' any trace of this on a website the website is filtered out. So if a pupil went to www.schoolhistory.co.uk the website would be unavailable as the word 'games' was in the ban filter! It really is a pain. :o

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It was a West Midlands LEA that blocked Google UK in all its schools.

I know of at least two language teachers who have given up using the Web in school because half the sites that they wish to access are blocked - for quite stupid reasons. A colleague had an email rejected by one LEA (Medway, I think) and was accused of using obscene language. What she wrote was: "There is no single correct approach to language teaching. One needs a cocktail of different approaches". This amused another mischievous colleague, who invented the following - which is almost guaranteed to set alarm bells ringing in some email filtering systems: "Ah, cocktails for two in Scunthorpe, followed by a bumper meal. Bottoms up!"

I once wrote to a teachers' discussion list about my dog. My email included the following: "I love greyhounds. I have a retired racing greyhound called Swifty and my daughter has a dear little black greyhound bitch called Millie." My email was rejected by one LEA and I was accused of using racist language!

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