The wait is finally over! MoodleMoot Global 2023 has begun

September 19, 2023 By Barnana Sarkar

We are thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated event of the year, has kicked off with a great start. Day 1 was all about exploring the theme of this year’s MoodleMoot Global, ‘Lifelong learning’. 

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning’s handbook, ‘Making Lifelong Learning a Reality’, describes lifelong learning as a fusion of learning and life. It caters to individuals across all age groups, in diverse contexts, using a variety of methods to satisfy their educational needs. This UNESCO perspective serves as a cornerstone, guiding and influencing our discussions on lifelong learning within Moodle’s framework. It highlights the imperative of integrating learning seamlessly into every facet of life.

We not only engaged with like-minded educators, experts, and Moodlers from around the globe but also welcomed leading industry keynote speakers.

Opening keynote and welcome message

The event started with Marie Achour, Moodle Global Head of Product, who greeted everyone in her welcome speech. She gave us a glimpse of what was scheduled for the day, right from a fantastic speaker lineup to the highlights of the upcoming Moodle LMS 4.3 release.

Following the welcome speech, Moodle’s Founder, Martin Dougiamas, delivered his keynote on ‘Lifelong intelligence’ focusing on how artificial intelligence is changing education and the workplace. 

During his presentation, Martin shared that the more we engage with AI, the more we will start appreciating the nuances of human education, voice, and intent. He emphasised the imperative of a balanced learning approach – one that leverages AI prowess but simultaneously champions the depth of human interaction in the educational realm.

He addressed the transformative impact of AI on the future of work and lifelong learning, emphasising how AI has the potential to replace human labour as it is cheaper, faster, and safer. Martin drew attention to the need for a more comprehensive and accessible education system. He focused on the importance of open-source solutions for trust and advocated for teaching people how to learn effectively in specific fields, as well as developing emotional intelligence and self-management skills.

After Martin’s presentation, we took a brief coffee break, offering an excellent chance for networking. We took this opportunity to snap a community photo to commemorate the moment. 

The Moodle Community came together to celebrate Lifelong learning through sessions, discussions, and presentations. Source: Moodle.  Image
The Moodle Community came together to celebrate Lifelong learning through sessions, discussions, and presentations. Source: Moodle.

Morning sessions at MoodleMoot Global

The first half of Day 1 at MoodleMoot Global offered a rich tapestry of insights and discussions, spanning from the principles of open-source education to cutting-edge developments in AI and virtual classrooms.

One of the highlights was ‘Open Source? Open Platform? Open Standards?’ by Brett Dalton, Head of Education Solutions at Moodle HQ. He discussed the fundamentals of open platforms and open standards, emphasising the significance of collaboration and accessibility in digital learning. We also delved into the topic of ‘How AI and Analytics are shaping the future of virtual classrooms,‘ delivered by Fred Dixon, the CEO of Blindside Networks and Co-Founder of BigBlueButton – a Moodle Certified Integration Partner. He showcased how AI can enhance virtual classes by promoting applied learning and how related analytics can help educators assist students who are struggling.

The day progressed with a thought-provoking exploration of AI-generated content and its implications for academic integrity, sparking discussions on the evolving landscape of educational technologies. Furthermore, Kate Bazilevskaya, Head of Partnerships for Tiny,  delivered a presentation on ‘The UX Dilemmas of Generative AI’.  She delved into the challenges of user experience (UX) within the realm of generative AI. It sheds light on the intricate dilemmas that educators and designers grapple with when striving to develop seamless and user-friendly interfaces.

Several presenters spoke about the impact of AI on eLearning and in preserving academic integrity. Source: Moodle Image
Several presenters spoke about the impact of AI on eLearning and in preserving academic integrity. Source: Moodle

Afternoon sessions of Day 1

The second half of Day 1  featured a dynamic array of presentations that left a lasting impact on the community. A presentation on the ‘Evoke Game in Moodle’ by Willian Mano Araujo, showcased the outcomes from the World Bank’s Evoke project. The project’s primary goal is to address both global and local challenges through innovative means, such as using AI-generated content. 

During the presentation, Willian highlighted the incorporation of game mechanics, which adds an engaging layer, with avatars, badges, and coins as rewards for completing assignments and developing skills.  

Another standout session highlighted gender dynamics in the EdTech sector with ‘Women in (Ed)Tech’, focusing on the challenges faced by women and advocating for gender equality.  In their presentation, Amaia Anabitarte and Sara Arjona from Moodle HQ focused on real experiences of women in (Ed)Tech and shared anecdotes about female-founded startups and the gender ratio in open source contributors. The session encouraged several women in the audience to come forward with their stories. 

Networking drinks and music jam

Day 1 concluded on an exciting note! Firstly, the networking drinks provided everyone with a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to connect and network. It was a fantastic opportunity for Moodlers from around the world to come together, share experiences, and build valuable connections.

Following the networking drinks, the evening continued with a lively ‘Music Jam Night’. This inclusive and friendly gathering welcomed individuals of all skill levels to explore the joy of making music together. We had the chance to join in and experience the thrill of performing on stage at Jamboree, in Barcelona. The night was a celebration of global culture and camaraderie, ensuring that everyone who took the stage received the well-deserved applause from their fellow Moodlers.

What’s in store for Day 2?

As we wrap up Day 1, we’re eagerly looking forward to Day 2, where more engaging sessions await. Rakhat Zholdoshalieva, representing the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, will delve into the concept of lifelong learning, tracing its historical origins and relevance in contemporary times. 

Aurelie Soulier, Community Engagement Lead at Moodle, will present on the collaborative power of the Moodle community in our ever-evolving digital and physical landscape. This talk will reveal how united Moodle community members can collectively contribute their unique strengths to enrich the Moodle platform. 

Last but not least, Day 2 will culminate in an exciting ’80s-themed Moodle Party! The evening will see all Moodlers donning their best ’80s attire for a costume competition, with enticing awards awaiting the winner. 

See you on Day 2!