Open source technologies play an important role in education, especially when it comes to e-learning. One open source Learning Management System (LMS) in particular, Moodle, is widely used with over 300 million users. However this LMS has its challenges with plugins for the mobile app and integration with existing video conferencing solutions. An upcoming hackathon hopes to help create solutions to those problems.
'Get plugged into education!' with Moodle will be the first project in a series of hackathons part of a joint initiative launched by The United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) and the Directorate-General for Informatics of European Commission (DG DIGIT). These hackathons will aim to improve and contribute to open source projects that have an impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The open source project chosen to improve this SDG is Moodle which is a widely used LMS around the world. Many students in developing countries have had to abandon their education due to the lack of appropriate digital learning infrastructure since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Moodle LMS is an open source platform used by goLearn – a United Nations-managed software platform for quality education – which hosts more than 250 custom courses for over 125,000 teachers from the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Participants will work with Moodle mentors to establish concrete open source software solutions that can then be re-used through open source licensing terms and conditions. The objective of the competition thus is to extend and/or improve existing Moodle App plugins through two challenges:
- The Mobile App Challenge – to improve or extend existing Moodle plugins so that users can access Moodle functionalities via mobile devices.
- The Video Conference Challenge – to improve or extend existing Moodle plugins for video conferencing so that users can easily switch to virtual classes with little effort.
The “Open Source Software for Sustainable Development Goals – OSS4SDG” opening session will take place on Monday 16 May, at 09:00 (EST), 14:00 (CET). This will be the first of a series of innovation competitions of the OSS4SDG initiative. The hackathon will last for two weeks with a kick-off ceremony online.