Choosing a platform upon which to teach or blog or run a server is a crucial step. It isn’t simply that it is important to consider which is the latest and greatest, nor to discard that as often a newly developed system gives a much needed thorough housecleaning; however, it helps to consider which platform has an active and open community.
Take Moodle for example, this plugin crossed my vision yesterday and I was reminded that a community that produces software because a platform allows it will always offer some advantage beyond the initial setup.
Reader: a plugin module to track and incentivize reading by students. Available for Moodle 2.x, the reviews suggest that "the gamification features make this a highly motivational tool to encourage reading for fun". Visit the site for more information j.mp/plg-reader
I have been asked the question frequently recently with the changes in Ubuntu.
I am reminded of what I teach my classes, each and every one of them, consult your decision matrix: the answer is easy.
I remember one young man who went on to meet with the president of the statewide software association and upon being questioned about his classes expressed his dissatisfaction with being forced to complete a decision matrix. His decision matrix, simple, elegant, one page (all the rules) resulted in my choosing Moodle. The unforeseen serendipity was that a major University in Oregon caught a lot of heat for making a decision without one. Theirs was not only an expensive mistake but also one they could never explain later, having no decision matrix.
The point is that it really doesn’t matter what you put down for the 10 categories or reasons in the first column, or what 3-5 choices you put along the top, it simply organizes your decision. Now, down the road, you simply review it and move categories up and down in priority and weight and review the columns and review the answers and it all becomes dead simple again. It is a simple revisit of the decision.
This is critical thinking. If you don’t do this, well, what are you asking someone else to do?
Now if you ask me what category do I think should be on each person’s decision matrix, I suggest that one considers the actual community where one finds support, encouragement, tips and tricks, and friends. It can sometimes split into two: virtual and physical. It should never be left out.