Live Blogged at the AIMS Retreat near St. Michael, MD — please forgive misspellings and awkward wording
The morning Keynote is about to begin, and announcements are being made. There are 128 members here, so it’s a group who knows each other. One young man has announced that he has a networked projector here, and offering to show it off. Another young man announces that the attendee who was going to drive him home, didn’t et to attend afterall. Is anyone driving to Northern Virginia after the conference. He found someone.
Michelle Moore, the keynote speaker, is very sick this morning. Michelle is a Kansas Moodle consultant and was going to present about this tool. It’s disappointing to me because a briefly got to know her last night and discovered that we have mutual friends in Kansas. So Bill Pickett, one of the board members is picking it up, describing how his district useds Moodle.
He’s taking us on a tour of this service. It’s started with a an listing of services. A new module is now available that I didn’t know about, SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). With it, you can bring a variety of content into Moodle.
The session has turned into a discussion of Moodle users expressing their favorite features. Some of them include:
- The ability to track how students are using the service, and to check to see if a student did indeed try to submit their homework, or that they saw the page that described a project.
- The kids are much more engaged in the content of their classes because of the discussion boards. They talk in class and outside of class. One participant mentioned that she was, at that moment, monitoring a conversation of her students.
- Another teacher is talking about a teacher who has to fly back to London to clear up a Visa problem. So, she sits in the Chicago airport, connected to the Net through her Tablet PC, with head set on, and lectures her lession, recording it, and posting on the class Moodle site. Now we’re seeing the lesson, here in the conference. She’s talking, and on the board, we are seeing her work through the algebra problem. Are these the capabilities of a 21st century teacher?
- One distinction that one attendee found to be interesting was that as they started watching the logs of use of Moodle, the saw that tens of thousands of activities were being logged. However, when they looked at the content that teachers were posting, it just wasn’t that robust initially. Of course it has become much more robust, but it indicates that students have been chomping at the bit for this kind of information activity.
- This is simple but important. Nothing gets lost. Kids use to lose their rough drafts, their homework assignments, etc. Now, everything’s online and safe (reasonably).
- Individual teachers feel a part of the entire knowledge base of their students, as they can visit the Moodle pages of their other teachers.
- At the primary grades, Moodle is being used for the sake of parents, to give them access student work and to conversations with each other.
- There are problems. One middle school child was having problems sleeping. They learned by going into the Moodle log, that the child was IM’ing at 1:00AM. Moderation in all things!
I is still a shame that Michelle was not able to deliver her address, but it turned out to be a very useful session. It was a conversation.