Sunday, October 23, 2011

Virtual Student for your Moodle site

Nicholas Walker, an ESL teacher at Montmorency College, has used Google Chrome + HTML5 + Google Speech Recognition + code embed into Moodle to create a Virtual Student. It is as part of a English Language Lab HTML activity that Nicholas and his colleague, Melvin Shantz, are currently testing.

What's really GREAT about the experimental Virtual Student is that it can be used by English language students to test their pronunciation skills.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Speech recognition for Moodle with Google Chrome

Did you know that Google Chrome version 11 or upwards can add Automated Speech Recognition capability to your website? Many thanks to Nicholas Walker for highlighting this cool feature to me.

Check out my webpage

At the moment, this only works with Google Chrome 11 or above:
click on the microphone icon on the far-right of the text input box.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cleverbot for students studying English. Comes with ASR. What's that?

A big thanks to Nicholas Walker for introducing me to the subject of virtual characters and chatbots. Cleverbot is one clever robot. But try convincing Cleverbot that he is a robot and you might be facing a stiff fight, er.. I mean conversation.

Launched on the Web in 1997. 65 million conversations since then. Judged to be 59.3% human in the 2011 Turing Test, far exceeding AI experts' expectations, as the humans in the same event "achieved just 63.3%" (Wikipedia). Cleverbot is one impressive piece of software.

Available on the Web with text synthesis and voice recognition, Cleverbot has been mimicking human conversations with uncanny accuracy for more than a decade. Cleverbot is also available on iOS and Android (with a spoken voice!).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve taught me to be hungry and foolish.

My tribute to Steve Jobs on

Hi Chris.

Yes, Steve will be sorely missed.

      Image by Jonathan Mak , Hong Kong

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An interesting way to navigate Moodle with hotspots

  Nicholas Walker of Coll├Ęge Montmorency has shared an interesting and instructive post on how to create a Moodle block that contains a image with hotspots that link to various parts of your Moodle course.

For those of you who would like a different approach for your users to navigate through your Moodle activities and resources, why not try it out? You can read about his method at

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Youtube video a day makes Jack (or Jill) a Web 2.0 boy (or girl) - how to embed Web 2.0 code inside an ACal Calendar

Ever heard of the ACal Calendar Project? Arthur Wiebe's ACal Calendar is one of those unsung heroes of freeware PHP Calendars.Today's post is something that just hit me as I was about to knock off to bed. So this post is going to be as concise as possible, and yet leave you wanting for more information. So you'll have to figure out the installation steps by yourself for the time being.[Note: I added the installation steps on the next day]

TimeStat: track student presence in your Moodle by the second

Here's something from the archives of that I had to post on

Figure 1: A really cool block.
Be prepared to edit the weblib.php file though.

TimeStats is an indispensible module "...that tallies and reports total seconds and minutes that students have been in a course. It’s great for tracking overall usage and gives a little better information than just click tallies and page views"

Figure 2: See how versatile the TimeStats plugin is?

Joseph explains it very well on MoodleNews. Here's what his post looks like. I'm using Bitty Browser to display the below content. Looks cool right?

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