Sunday, July 28, 2013

Finally bitten by the Mahara e-portfolio Bug

That's the Mahara 1.7.1 website that I set up this week. I really dig (like) the Primary School theme. I've had an epipheny. I've finally understood the significance, importance and usefulness of Mahara in an educational setting. Prior to this week, my knowledge of Mahara was that it was a repository of student work that sounded like a North African desert. I did know that Moodle is where a teacher stores her lecture and tutorial resources, and that Mahara was where a student would store his or her work. However, I didn't really appreciate Mahara then.

Making the Moodle User Interface Look Good

Cartoon by: Hugh McCloud

This post is dedicated to great resources on the Net on how to make your Moodle site look good.
I start off with an excellent post by Smarter Made Designs. Below is a PDF iframe embed of their article entitled  "Make Moodle Look Good using HTML- Quick Guide PDF".

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Moodle? Frog? Others? A comparison of VLEs.

A very instructive read on choosing a VLE. Check out the table listing the pros and cons of each VLE researched by Andy Kemp. This is actually a 2009 post. You can read the html version here.

Here's nother good discussion on whether to use Moodle or another VLE. See window below.

PhpChess and Moodle

Mikhail Tal (November 9, 1936 – June 28, 1992)
Can Moodle be used to teach chess principles online? I believe it can. If you have or are thinking about setting up a Moodle page on chess, I recommend you take a look at PhpChess. This software allows you to create a Chess Management System, complete with an A.I. chess player for games. 
I recently took the challenge to install 
phpchess version 4.1 on my web server. 

How I enabled Single Sign On (SSO) to Mahara from Moodle with the LTI plugin

I've managed to enable Single Sign On (SSO) between my Moodle site and my Mahara site. That's pretty cool as now I have TWO major learning sites. A Moodle site for teachers to put their learning material, and a Mahara site for students to showcase their work through their portfolios.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nelson Mandela - Happy 95th Birthday Madiba!

Photomosaic image created by Frankie Kam, July 2013
Software used: AndreaMosaic

Contact me at boonsengkam dot gmail dot com if you want me
to create a photomosaic for you.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Integrating Moodle and Wordpress. A Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) Battle Royale to setup - but well worth it!

Many THANKS to Chris Kenniburg for his hard and generous work
in showing the Moodle community how to integrate Moodle with Wordpress!

Update: This post will only work with Wordpress 3.x. It won't work with Wordpress 4.2.2. For an updated (year 2015) blog post, please go here. Cheers, Frankie Kam.

LTI. Learning Tool Interoperability. 

Remember the term. It's massive. It's here. It's now. LTI is all about integratiing Moodle with external tools and web services. In this post, I'd like to announce that I FINALLY got the Moodle-Wordpress integration to work on my Moodle 2.5 site. Yippee!!!

Now you can blog in Wordpress style, 

without ever leaving your Moodle coursepage!

What this means is that Moodle users can blog in Wordpress inside a walled garden environment (Moodle 2.5). At the same time, the Wordpress url is accessible on the Internet. If you're an English teacher who wants your students to write more, you might be interested in this integration. Imagine having all the world-class benefits of Wordpress blogging, all inside a Moodle coursepage with a shared single-sign-on!

That's awesome and way, way cool. Like totally.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

3 Categories of Moodle Wow Factors for the English Teacher who is new to Moodle

°·._.• ʍ๏๏ďℓ€ ώ๏ώ ƒąȼţ๏я$ •._.·°

I've had a flash of inspiration vis-a-vis Moodle Wow factors. Assume you were to give a demonstation of Moodle to an English Language teacher with no or limited current experience of using Moodle. Think about it. Which features, blocks, activities, or technology of Moodle would you show?. To my mind, there are 3 categories of Moodle Wow Factors when it comes to English language learning.
Each category contains a set of Moodle tools and/or activities. I, personally, would spend more time demo'ing the first Wow Factor category as it is the easiest to grasp and, quite possibly but subjectively, the easiest to get excited about.

'Student' Wow Factor Category.
These activities are familiar to the English teacher. They are online exercises where students who take them are graded. These activities mirror or are an online version of exercises given in class. 

Figure 1. MILAs on Matt Bury's website

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Use Geoffrey Glass' Marginalia to annotate forum posts in Moodle 2.5+

Remember Geoffrey Glass' Marginalia? The cool forum annotation tool for Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0? I initially thought that it only worked with Moodle 2.0. I managed to get it to work in Moodle 2.5+ with some sleuthing and tinkering around. I think that it's a great tool for English tutors and teachers as you can annotate text and words within a standard Moodle 2.5 forum! It's great for (manually) correcting spelling or grammar errors in students' forum posts. 

Most of the code is Copyright (c) 2005-2011 Geoffrey Glass and the United Nations. Marginalia is one of those unique plugins that once you realise what you can do with it, you'll wonder why you never used it previously for your Moodle site.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Save your fingers (and your job!) with this mouse emulator Autohotkey script

I found a great mouse emulator script for the popular Open Source program, Autohotkey. I use this script with Autohotkey to relieve the stress of mouse clicks on my right index finger. Now I can press F1 for a mouse click and F2 for a right click. If I hold the F1 key down, it simulates a left-mouse-click-and-hold. Right now, I find it indispensable.

It's not easy to find an Autohotkey script that does this. If you do, please let me know. I spent at least 2 hours looking for a simple script that could do this. All thanks to the forum member "deletemeafteraweek" for posting this, whoever he or she is.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain