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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ten Moodle Wow Factors! All together now, let's say "Fuiyoh!"



I'm compiling a list of Ten Moodle Wow Factors. In Malaysia, we say "Fuiyoh!" instead of "Wow". So this post is called the Fuiyoh Factor. My goal in this post, and over the next one month, to identify at least ten things about a Moodle coursepage that are awe-inspiring, foot-tapping, finger-snapping, jaw-dropping, all-singing-all-dancing and simply bodacious to Moodle newbies. Specifically, English language teachers. 

If you had a choice of presenting three of your favourite things about Moodle to excite a crowd who have never used Moodle before, which three things would you choose? Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Bright copper kettle and warm woolen mittens?

"Things that you can with Moodle" to me include what's inside Moodle, and what you can achieve by linking Moodle with outside Web or Internet services either via embed codes or other means. If I miss any Moodley stuff with a Wow Factor, please shout it out on the rooftops by commenting in the comments section.

Before I continue with my list, I would like to say that Moodle and its collective code by the Community is already a HUGE Wow Factor. Every piece of code written by a developer, enthusiast or teacher is already a gift and a gem to educators and students worldwide. I salute all coders, testers, end users and students who have given their time and effort in creating the world's best and most-used Learning Management System. Okay, here we go then. In no particular order.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mark Ward's elegant Straw Poll block for Moodle 2.x

Figure 1. Before clicking a choice.

I stumbled upon Mark Ward's blog, Moodle Mark. "Working on ingenious plugins, themes and customisations for Moodle 2". How true. Mark is the creator of the Autohide code and concept. Thanks to Mark's ingenuity, Moodle adminstrators and teachers have an easier time editing their Moodle coursepages.
Among the many inventions of Mark, what intrigued me was the very nice looking and elegant, Straw Poll block for Moodle 2.x.

The second best reason to own a smartphone - reading eBooks!


Recently I've been using Kobo.com to read eBooks on my tablet and smartphone. It brought back the reading habit in me! It sure is fun browsing an online bookstore with thousands of titles. I love the feeling of being able to get books online which are impossible to find in the local bookstores.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fun with PoodLL and Moodle 2.5+ (Part 1) - recording audio and video


This post is about POODLL. Well sort of, because my post is obviously incomplete. I've copied inside this blog post, the contents of the POODLL filter settings of my Moodle 2.5 site. Why did I do this? Well it's simple. I finally managed to get POODLL working on my site, and I wanted to preserve the filter settings so that I can refer to them in future. You never know. When I get more time to blog about how I installed POODLL on my site, I will fill in more details.

Moodle and the Haze


Here is an insight on a few situations where Moodle comes into its own. In a nutshell, schools in east turned to the Moodle environment when school was closed due to avian flu outbreak and virus containment.
Schools in the west countered the effects of blinding snow blizzards on their schools by teaching online material using Moodle.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tweak for Danny Wahl's Autohide for Moodle 2.x when using the Topics Format

If you're using Danny Wahl's Autohide creation with the Topics Format course format in Moodle 2.x, here's a tweak for the autohide.css file that allows the Settings icon to appear on mouse hover. Before this, I was using the Weekly Format and all was fine. Then I switched over to the Topics Format and suddenly I realised that there was no way to change a topic's description as the Settings icon refused to appear on mouseover!


What a strange phenomena. Upon further investigation, thanks to Sakshi Goel and Mary Cooch in this forum, I was finally able to solve this puzzle by changing this section of the code:

.section_add_menus, /* Add Resource/Activity dropdowns (2.2) */
.addresourcemodchooser, /* Add Resource/Activity Link (2.3) */
.editing .block .title .commands .icon, /* Block Title Controls */
.editing .block .content li .commands a, /* Command in block content (add resources/activities in Main menu) */
.editing .block .editbutton a, /* Edit button in custom HTML blocks */
.editing .section .side > *:not(br), /* Section controls (can't use 'a' b/c ajax uses 'span') */
.topics .section .content .summary ,
.editing .section .summary a:first-child, 
.editing .section .activity .commands > *, /* Individual activity and resource controls (can't use 'a' b/c ajax uses 'span') */
.editing .sitetopic > a {
    filter: alpha(opacity=0);
    opacity: 0;
    -webkit-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -moz-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -ms-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -o-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s; /* half-second fade in */
}

to

.section_add_menus, /* Add Resource/Activity dropdowns (2.2) */
.addresourcemodchooser, /* Add Resource/Activity Link (2.3) */
.editing .block .title .commands .icon, /* Block Title Controls */
.editing .block .content li .commands a, /* Command in block content (add resources/activities in Main menu) */
.editing .block .editbutton a, /* Edit button in custom HTML blocks */
.editing .section .side > *:not(br), /* Section controls (can't use 'a' b/c ajax uses 'span') */
.editing .section .activity .commands > *, /* Individual activity and resource controls (can't use 'a' b/c ajax uses 'span') */
.editing .section .summary a:first-child, 
.editing .sitetopic > a {
    filter: alpha(opacity=0);
    opacity: 0;
    -webkit-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -moz-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -ms-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -o-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s; /* half-second fade in */
}

.topics .section .content .summary {
   filter: alpha(opacity=0.5);
    opacity: 0.8;
    -webkit-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -moz-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -ms-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    -o-transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s;
    transition: opacity 0.5s linear 0s; /* half-second fade in */
}

Now the Settings (gear icon) symbol appears on mouseover as it should.


Yippee!!
You can download the tweaked autohide.css file from here.

Regards
Frankie Kam



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