Moodle Moot Australia – Reflections

Having gone to the Australian Moodle Moot two weeks ago, I found there two be two main interesting concepts that I brought back to my school (NBCS).

Moodle Is Exploding!

Moodle is fast growing to be a real contender for other commercial LMS platforms such as Blackboard. Looking at some of the graphs one the moodle.org website it is clear that this growth is just the start.

Stats1

Moodle Doesn’t Have a Pedagogy

One of the most interesting comments that I heard was from Julian Ridden, a prominent Moodler:  “Moodle doesn’t have pedagogy”. He went on to explain that the LMS itself does not have any inherit pedagogy but it is the user/developer of the courses who create the pedagogy. Another comment he made was ..“PDF, PDF, PDF, PDF, QUIZ, QUIZ, QUIZ wouldn’t cut it in the classroom, so why do some people think it’s okay online?”

This got me thinking, how do we change the way we teach online? How do we move from resource repositories, to active, engaging and authentic tasks?

As an ICT integrator and teacher at our school how do effect this change?? Food for thought..

Grant Harbor

Using Windows Live Writer to Update my WordPress Blog!!

 

LiveWrite

This is pretty cool! I have just downloaded Windows Live Writer onto my computer and am creating this blog post from the comfort of a offline application with all the normal “Word Style” features that you have with a stand alone application.

Gone are the days of having to log into the admin page of my WordPress Blog and wait for the java upload apps to run..

It seems fast and very easy to use.. give it a go and hopefully you’ll be able to blog all that more often!

This could be a really good system to use for a class to update their blog’s based on a project etc..

Grant

Using Moodle to train teachers in Rwanda

Hope Rwanda

I’ve been working on a project with Hope Rwanda recently to create a Moodle installation which is aimed at setting up mentorships between Rwandan teachers and Australian teachers.

Basically Rwandan teachers are very disconnected from any professional help and support. It has been suggested that having an online forum, chat room or resource centre where Rwandan teachers can get advice, support and help would do much to improve this problem.

That’s where www.hopeeducationtraining.org comes into play. This moodle installation will be used by both the Rwandan teachers and Australian teachers to connect and share their experiences and problems.

You can visit the site and have a look around, if you are a teacher and would like to be a part of this mentorship program please message me back and I’ll get in contact with you as soon as I can.

It’s really exciting to use technology to reach the world!

Interactive and Grade-able Forums with Embedded Video.. (Moodle)

Forum Picture
Video Embedded Forum with Ratings

I’m pumped!

I’ve been frustrated with boring and “static” forum discussion in my moodle course and now I have found a cooler way to get good class discussion going.

In my moodle course I use a “Single simple discussion” and this makes any text I enter in the setup the first and only discussion topic for that forum. Secondly I have found that with the latest upgrade to moodle 1.9 when you copy and paste a YouTube URL the video is embedded into the post. Finally I select the “Maximum rating” option so that I can grade my students forum responses!

This means that the students can watch the video and respond at the same time (no browsing back and forward), they get to see other students answers and can also see other students ratings for their posts.

Much better and I’ve seen the difference!

Embedding Twitter Feeds Into Your Website… Feed Source

Mission Cambodia
Mission Cambodia

Hey everyone,

I’ve finally learnt how to get my twitter feeds into my web page and it was simple!

Using an online application called Feed2JS which quickly created some HTML code that I could copy and paste into my website. This means that I can embed the Mission Cambodia Twitter Feed into my web page for Mission Cambodia! This means that as things are happening on the ground we can twitter about it and the website will automatically be updated without any need for a CMS or other compicated PHP!

How cool is that…

Can’t Communicate Your Assessments Clearly Online? – Use Camtasia Screen Casts!

Hey there future thinking educators,

I’ve been playing around with screen capturing software and found that by simply recording a screen cast of the Assessment PDF with me talking, can give students a baisc walk through of the assessment in the same way that you would walk through assessments with your face to face class.

I’m using Camtasia to record my screen casts but obviously you can use any screen capturing software.

Have a look at the example above of one of my assessments on Moodle. (HSCOnline)

Keep pushing the boundaries!

Grant

Copy my Moodle Glossary Creator…

txttoxml

Hey you moodlers out there, I have created a simple method to create extensive glossaries for your moodle course pages from basic text documents.

Given a text file which has the term followed by the definition followed by the next term and definition my simple program converts this into the required XML needed as an import to a moodle glossary.

So get creating! I’ve used glossaries to link syllabus outcomes within the course to a list of outcomes at the top of the course page and all kinds of stuff..

If you are interested in this conversion program:

Try downloading it from my Google Docs account at: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B98WZB2Fr-47YzFmMjgzNTctMzVmYS00MGVhLWIxMmQtNDI0YzJjNTY4ZWEy&hl=en

If this does not work you will have to ask me by commenting on this post and I’ll email you the zip file. (WordPress doesn’t like zip files or exe’s for that matter).