Are you thinking of joining Moodle HQ and the Moodle community in Mumbai, 18-19 December for MoodleMoot India 2017?

We speak to Moodle user and MoodleMoot India committee member, Michelle Chawla, about the benefits of attending this MoodleMoot.

Moodle HQ: Michelle, thank you very much for taking the time to chat to us today about MoodleMoot India.

You are a long time Moodler and active member of the Moodle community in India.

Can you start by letting us know a little bit about your involvement with Moodle?

Michelle: I run an alternative educational experiment in a village in Dahanu, Maharashtra.
We have about 150 first generation learners on our campus and realised when we started in 2010 that technology had the potential to revolutionise the way we learn and are taught.

However the edtech world largely caters to the privileged sections of society and commodifies knowledge. We believe that knowledge must be free, open and accessible to all

The only way for us then working with a rural marginalised community – to build equity in education — was to chart a path in open source technologies. We began looking at what was happening globally. We started to adopt a lot of open source gaming softwares like Gcompris and Tux Math – but soon realised that we need more tools to enable us to contextualise learning and make it more meaningful. We also wanted children to learn at their own pace, be producers and not consumers of knowledge and become critical thinkers.

We found an open source Learning Management System (LMS) like Moodle and as we began playing with it – we realised it gave us all the flexibilities that we require– interdisciplinary learning, ability to learn at your own pace, learn in the real digital world (like adults) away from textbooks, create, produce your own knowledge, and engage in learning that is more creative and interactive.

Since 2012 – we have set up our own Moodle site (http://mybigcampus.in) and students and teachers are enjoying engaging with learning through this learning platform.

Moodle HQ: You were also a committee member for MoodleMoot India 2016.

What were some of the major highlights for Moodlers attending the event in 2016? What were some of the benefits they talked a lot about from attending?

Michelle: The Moodle community in India is small. For a start — it was good just to get together and see the community. However, for a country like India, Moodle needs to be a sociological project and not a technological one. MoodleMoot India 2016 was a good starting point to get people involved in technology and education. But a lot more work needs to be done to get people to understand how open source technologies are the only way for us to build education equality.

Moodle HQ: In 2017, the Moot will be organised by Moodle HQ. We are really looking forward to organising the Moot together with our event committee and Moodle Partners.

Why do you think Moodlers in India should attend this Moot?

Michelle: Contemporary realities are changing dramatically even for a young person living in a village in rural India. The mobile phone revolution and the easy data access is making almost everyone a connected “digital” being.

Knowledge can now be accessed far quicker than ever — yet the digital divide is huge in India, access to quality education is low and we are still struggling with literacy rates.

Open Source technologies like Moodle can work to bridge these societal gaps in India — primarily because they are in the open domain and can be implemented by individuals, institutions and organisations on a large scale.

Moodlers or potential moodlers (that is people in education, technology) should attend MoodleMoot India 2017 in Mumbai from 18 – 19 December to understand the power, potential and possibilities that Moodle offers to bring about the much needed creative change that education needs in India.

Moodle HQ: For those not familiar with Moodle or new to the learning platform but would like to find out more about a powerful and cost effective learning solution, what can they achieve from attending the Moot?

Michelle: I would encourage teachers, freelance open source workers, educators, curriculum developers, principals, consultants to come to MoodleMoot India 2017 to understand how a LMS can refresh their spaces, bring in creativity, participation & collaboration, remove hierarchies and existing compartmentalisation of knowledge to truly make education an accessible, challenging and fun experience.