The ups and downs of a Moodle Upgrade: One users experience with KeytoSchool’s recent transition

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Frankie Kam (who is the Moodler behind some cool tricks and tips [link]) posted this comment over the weekend and I thought it was worth a share with all Moodlenews readers.  The comment is from our post about KeytoSchool’s transition from free for all to SaaS for new users.  Frankie (like myself and 1000s of others) has long been using K2S for it’s Moodle hosting and shared his experience with their recent ‘across-the-board’ transition to Moodle 2.0.  Thank you for sharing these keen insights, Frankie.  Here’s the comment,

WIRIS

Well my free site http://scm.moodlehub.com (under keytoschool.com) was upgraded to Moodle 2.0. And with that I lost my 30+ themes, Lightbox Galleries, WizIQ functionality and all the other blocks, filters and third-party activities that were available when my site was running under Moodle 1.9.8.

On February 26th 2011, I felt like I lost a good friend when I surfed to my site and noticed the total revamp in the interface (from Moodle 1.9.8 to Moodle 2.0.2). Some site “tenants”, I believe, will be GRIEVING over their “loss”. Like my English lecturer colleagues who use the site exclusively for their Intensive English classes.

Couldn’t a choice be given to site “tenants” to retain Moodle 1.9.8 on keytoschool.com?

Well it was a GREAT service that keytoschool.com offered all these years (since 2008/2009?) and they (and Jai Gupta) did a magnificent job. But I fear that there will be many an unhappy site tenant who would have one day woken up only to realise that his or her site (among the tens of thousands of other sites residing for free in keytoschool.com land) had suddenly changed its theme and look and feel to Moodle 2.0.

…It is a free service and one cannot be too demanding, considering that they offered very fast server access and reliable service all these time! It was a DREAM come true. The realities are that the donation monies did not cover the annual gargantuan costs of free Moodle hosting.

My hope is that as Moodle 2.0 stabilises and strengthens over time, the free moodle sites can only grow better and stronger in terms of functionality and usage. Moodle 2.x.x will be stronger and better because of the development team and the community behind it.

In the meantime though this current MAJOR bump in the road may have quite a few casualties among site tenants who may not be willing to wait so long for their site to mature into a iron-clad CMS that is what Moodle 2.x.x will be.

For those who felt that the change was a major crisis in their Moodle life, please take heart that in the real world, CRISISes happen all the time, but the human spirit will prevail.

Jai Gupta, if you are reading this, I would like to THANK YOU for keytoschool’s wonderful free Moodle service that you are maintaining. Your free service’s servers are even faster than my paid VPS hosting that I am using for my paid site http://scm.moodleace.com. At least that was what it was when my site was running under Moodle 1.9.8! Maybe it is still as fast. Anyway, I wish your company ALL THE BEST with its paid hosting plans and may you and your company SUCCEED.