A new partnership between Dell and Moodlerooms brings cloud computing, software and open source technology together in the classroom. The result is an online learning application— currently being used in 200-250 districts nationwide—that allows teachers to focus on the individual needs of students, incorporate collaborative and engaging tools and provide a platform for professional development.
Moodlerooms' interactive courses support collaboration and individualized learning through social media and data tracking features including wikis, blogs, messaging, forums, glossaries, assessment tools and grade surveys. Dell hosts these services by providing the cloud-computing infrastructure.
Professional Development Tool
"We're seeing a lot of activity in the K12 arena for folks looking to open source technology for both professional development and teaching in the classroom," says Joe McAvoy, vice president of sales and marketing at Moodlerooms. "These are really powerful technological tools that are giving people new, different and innovative options."
According to McAvoy, most districts initially use the platform for professional development and then it is rolled out to the students as interactive courses. This gives teachers the opportunity to engage in online professional development at their own pace to fit their schedules.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
"Information is stored in an elastic and scalable way," says Tim Cooper, business development for higher education management at Dell. "It can be delivered via browser and the students can consume it in an anytime, anywhere fashion."
No hardware is purchased, as the application can be accessed from any device that has a Web browser and Internet connection. Districts can purchase just what they need—an enticing option for districts with tight budgets seeking out affordable solutions and remote learning opportunities. The software is provided as a subscription-based service that provides the learning management platform, implementation services, faculty training and fully supported products. Dell then provides the delivery and innovation aspect.
"The platform extends learning beyond the classroom," says McAvoy. "These are two organizations that share the same values around education."