Moving to Moodle 2.0: Pt.1 The Decision

It wasn’t easy and came with a lot of investigation, thought and discussions, but we’ve decided to make the move to Moodle 2.0 this summer (2011).

We have had a number of our teachers, students and tech staff playing with Moodle in a sandbox environment for the past few months.  We signed up for a course (Moodle Pathfinders with remote-learner.net) to learn more and even met with educators from other schools to talk about their experiences (including @peterkrich) and while there are some concerns as we make the move, we are confident.

We have been using Moodle for about 4 or 5 years (time blurs) and it is an integral part of our school.  In “Moodle: How big is big?” I have detailed the size of our install, but in short we have roughly 1800 users and over 1200 courses in the system.  We have been a self-hosting school the entire time and the while we have considered remote-hosting the size of our install makes it cost prohibitive (annual estimates have been roughly $10K).

One of the issues that we are dealing with on the technical side is that our support. Our support company has not yet announced their timeline for moving their clients to 2.0 and because of that fact we have taken on the burden of migrating our install from 1.9.5 to 2.0.3.

Complicating matters is the fact that we are installing on new hardware and a new OS; moving from a Linux CentOS rack mount server to an Apple Snow Leopard server on a MacMini.  While we’ve been very happy with our current Linux server, we don’t have much experience supporting Linux within our environment and want to be able to do a better job of managing the server, backups and upgrades.

What will come in the following posts is a detailed description of the steps we’ve taken to make this move, including: information on the hardware we are moving to, the steps taken to prepare that hardware for Moodle, the actual migration process and the steps taken once the moves have been made to optimize performance.

A special note and thanks to Damien Barrett (@damienbarrett – http://appletechnician.com/), with whom I work, for all of his help and effort with this project.  While Damien and I have a good understanding of the Apple OS we are by no means MySQL/PHP programers and it is through a good deal of trial and error, not to mention a certain degree of “Google-foo” that we have been able to do all of this.

Stay tuned there’s more to come…

 

 

 

About William Stites

Currently the Director of Technology for Montclair Kimberley Academy, "Blogger in Chief" for edSocialMedia.com, husband and father to two crazy kids who make me smile everyday.
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