Thursday, October 18, 2012

#Moodle on the #iPad (Updated 8/13/2013)

moodlEZ iPad app ($2.99) for Moodle Teachers/Admins
Earlier today, I found myself exploring the differences between a variety of tools for use with the iPad. The question had come up, What's an easy way of providing a single repository for student work created on an iPad? 

The reason it came up is that traditional LMSs/CMSs are vying for the privilege, competing with newer startups in the field (e.g. Edmodo, Schoology). To try and simplify the offerings and as well as capture my own thinking, here's some of what I shared with others. Your feedback, suggestions for improvement are welcome!


1) Edmodo + WebDav Server running OwnCloud.org: Edmodo is a light-weight virtual classroom that provides mobile support on various devices. Although Edmodo lacks storage for non-text, images, video projects can be saved on a WebDav server setup up specifically for that purpose. Students can save video, audio, etc. there, then link from Edmodo. Not all apps on iPad support WebDav. 

Cost: The price of a server to run OwnCloud on. No cost for Edmodo.
2) eBackPack: This is a vendor solution that designed to work with iOS systems. eBackpack is essentially a professionally hosted WebDav server.
Cost: Depends on the number of students.

3) Traditional Course/Learning Management System: My recommendation is Moodle, although there are other solutions like Blackboard (which absorbed Angel Learning and WebCT), Instructure's Canvas.  Traditional LMSs are still developing support for the iPad because the iPad doesn't work like a regular computer; you don't save files to your hard drive then upload them to the LMS. 
Video: Here's a video that shows built-in Moodle support for iPad. And, there's a Moodle app (free).
Cost: No additional cost at this time for Moodle, but there would be for Blackboard.

***

Ok, so those are the 3 options I shared. But then, I realized that it's been six months since I studied what Moodle was doing on the iPad. What's changed?

I posted my question to MoodleMayhem email list, and received the following responses:
  • Joseph Thibault's Moodle Mobile page via Jeff Kitterman
  • UnOfficial Moodle App via Mary "MoodleFairy" Cooch
  • Joseph Thibault shared the following: "I know that for ipad the one thing that people most often say they cannot do with just the browser is upload files to Moodle.  That is solved by MoodlEZ (app by Ali Ozgur) which is available in the itunes store.  Otherwise the browser should suffice, most sites render pretty nicely.  "
By the time these responses came in, I'd already downloaded 3 apps for Moodle on my iPad, one of which was free (and didn't work) and two that worked wonderfully well!

The list of working apps is as follows:
  • moodlEZ  ($2.99) - This makes it very easy to interact with Moodle 2.x sites. More importantly, it allows teachers to upload content from their Camera Roll...enabling uploads of video and images.  From their iTunes app page: moodlEZ renders your Moodle site as is and provides you a button on the toolbar when you hit a page which includes file uploads. moodlEZ provides full support for Moodle 2.x modules and all roles (teacher, student and administrator). moodlEZ supports ONLY STUDENT usage scenarios for assignment, forum and glossary modules on Moodle 1.9.x
  • MoodleTouch+ ($2.99) - This is really focused on a student experience or interface for Moodle and requires the use of MyCourses setup for Moodle. It's a nice colorful interface and grabs your attention. Check out these videos.
My first impression of moodlEZ? Simply awesome. I've started to rethink my bias a bit, provided other Moodle issues don't get in the way (level of complexity for designing courses).

Here's what it looks like (in addition to the image at the top of this blog post):

A list of courses in Moodle 2.x (latest version) and featuring courses from MoodleShare.org
One of my courses.

And for those of you wondering how uploads happen, here's what an upload looks like to a Forum posting...notice that you can pull content from Documents, Camera Roll, and other places!



In the meantime, check out this interesting video of Moodle development over time....



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

3 comments:

net-buoy said...

But if you depend on flash for instruction, well, you are going to be spending time with swiffy or looking for another solution.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on working apps. On iPad with safari can do almost everything in Moodle except uploading from the iPad which is great but to be able to upload to assignments for me is key.

The free Moodle official app does not offers limited facilitates that are usable for our learners and some that would not be suitable.

Am investigating Moodle NZ to see further how can be used. For me it works great just need to bottom out how to get documents such as word ones to be uploaded. I have done this but not sure how I did it. Have you looked at this aspect yet?

Neville Cervantes said...

Moodle on iPad works out good, at first it has some issues like browser to upload files to moodle was not possible, but this later on was solved by MoodleEZ. iPad while accessing through Moodle now makes the job much easier than ever.

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Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure