Let me start off by saying that I have NOT used any of these services, I host my own Moodle for my Cisco Networking classes at Ibiblio (shout out to UNC-CH for the free web host!). I would warn anyone that setting up and managing a Moodle site at a web host is not for the feint of heart or for anyone who isn't prepared to spend some time "tinkering". So, the alternatives I've found are the following:
- WebTeacherTools.com (http://webteachertools.com/wtt/)
- This site isn't nearly as pretty or slick as the Global Classroom site, but, I really like the feel of the site. The motives behind this site are genuine. (See http://webteachertools.com) This is a REAL moodle site which works and operates like one should.
- Teachers have to send an email to info [at] webteachertools [dot] com to request a new course. Your email should include Class Subject and your username.
- Students will need to create their own account for your course. You'll need to give them the URL of your course. They can sign up to your course from there.
- There are Google text ads, that doesn't scare me, but, for free it's worth it!
- Remember to backup your site often see the Disclaimer of Liability at http://webteachertools.com/.
- This is an older moodle version (1.6.x)
- If you know how to use moodle, it's a slam dunk!
- Global Classroom (http://www.globalclassroom.us/)
- This site is impressive. After a brief sign up I was quickly assigned a course and was able to get to Moodlin'. Apparently my site is hosted at nc.globalclassroom.us, and I am able to add just about any type of resource and I can backup and restore courses. Looks pretty full service to me.
- Students will need to create their own account and it's probably best to direct students to the url of the course itself i.e. nc.globalclassroom.us/course/view.php?id=xx.
- Good for users who already understand and can use moodle.
- Can't tell what version this is, but, the use of roles makes me think it's at least 1.7.x
- Be aware that this site makes their money off of staff development and other "add-ons"...
- CRTeacher.com (http://www.crteacher.com/)
- I know I said FREE, but, I would be remiss to not mention this service.
- For $99.95 per year (http://www.crteacher.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=418) you get a slew of services that you can't get from the free ones above.
- Custom themes, upgrades, and support for those who DON'T know moodle makes this a great deal.
- If you don't understand moodle or want to seriously use it in your classes in a professional way, this is the best way to go about doing it.
- CRTeacher is a Moodle partner. The ONLY way to support the development of Moodle is to work with Moodle partners (Thanks, Fred!)
- This is the midpoint between FREE and hosting your own moodle on a Dedicated server like we do at QTLMoodle.
Another post with great comments:
It might also be a good idea to inform your users that the sites you list do nothing to support the ongoing development of Moodle. If everyone hosts their sites at 'free' Moodle sites, then Moodle will cease to exist.
The way Moodle is funded is by people working with Moodle partners (listed at Moodle.com) for hosting and support services.
Certainly, no one should ever pay a non-Moodle partner for Moodle services - this just lets companies profit off of Martin Dougiamas, et al. hard work without contributing anything back to sustain Moodle development.
Free Moodle Hosting is available at http://www.keytoschool.com/
I tried NineHub.com provides free Moodle hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Good enough!