In a surprising announcement this morning at the Australia Moot, founder Martin Dougiamas announced the launch of MoodleCloud, free Moodle classroom hosting for educators worldwide.
The service will provide educators around the globe the ability to sign up, create courses, and host their classes online for free all on a current Moodle version without needing their local IT staff or administrators to setup a site or fees for hosting.
The official free course hosting launch is a welcome service for Moodlers who for years have used a slew of “freemium” Moodle hosting sites which have suddenly pivoted, languished versions, or slowly become defunct due to latency or lack of a sustainable business model (see a list here).
While the site is not designed for running a MOOC or larger course (users are limited at 50) it does come with free access to BigBlueButton web conferencing for up to 6 users at a time, potentially a great resource for online tutoring sessions and live instruction.
The service will be supported through “minimal advertising”.
According to the official press release [read the full document here],
“Moodle’s mission has always been to help educators improve learning with open, accessible
tools to use as they wish. Our Moodle Partners take care of many thousands of institutions and
individuals worldwide with second-to-none services, and through their royalties they continue to
fund Moodle in achieving our mission. Today we launch MoodleCloud, for teachers and trainers
with small needs and even smaller resources to quickly and easily set up their own learning
environment direct from the people making Moodle” said Martin Dougiamas, Moodle Founder
and CEO, speaking to over 500 delegates at the official MoodleMoot conference on 6th July
held in Melbourne, Australia. “Education is the foundation of nearly every important thing we do
on this planet, and I’m proud that Moodle is able to offer alternatives for everyone from the
largest university to now smallest individual classroom with MoodleCloud”.
MoodleCloud site administrators have the ability to manage multiple courses, add content, enrol
users and use Moodle’s famous range of interesting and unique collaborative learning activities
within their Moodle learning environment. With automatic updates to the latest Moodle release,
MoodleCloud hosting seamlessly gives educators the choice to adopt the open source learning
platform for their teaching and training objectives without the need to install, maintain and
upgrade software and servers themselves.
Certainly more to come on this exciting news.