Moodle in the Classroom - Live Classroom 2.0 Follow-up

Earlier today, I shared my concern that I wasn't able to respond to all the questions asked about using Moodle in the Classroom. As an administrator, I am certainly about encouraging technology use in the classroom, can extrapolate based on my own teaching and using technology, but there are limits unless I step into a K-12 classroom and facilitate. For that, I rely on my talented team of facilitators.

To that end, I made this suggestion to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE folks via email:
Howdy! At the Moodle session, Kim mentioned that she'd like to have me on for a 2nd show. To be honest, I was thrilled to participate once and would be happy to again...however, I'm concerned that I was unable to respond to the teacher group that asked some really great questions about using moodle in the classroom.

As such, to meet the needs of folks my experiences couldn't help yet, I'd like to encourage you to consider having someone like Tom at The Human Blog, as well as maybe 2 others in K-12, join in and do a Moodle LIVE focused on facilitating K-12 learning using Moodle. I wrote about it here with Tom, but, of course, the decision is ultimately your's.

I haven't spoken/emailed Tom at all and don't know him all that well aside from his 2 minute video series on Moodle 1.9 (which is a great resource to share, BTW).

On a related note, I've also responded to usability section of the questions asked during Classroom 2.0 LIVE. At any point, will this be emailed or shared with Classroom 2.0 participants? I hope that my audience from Saturday gets access to those responses.
While they are mulling it over, I received this email from Tomaz Lasic (The Human Blog). He had already responded to the questions!! Although you can read them in this comment he left in response to my comment over at his blog, I'm also reposting them here...thanks so much to Tomaz for taking the time to respond and share his ideas!

Please note that I'm also including a link to work on Online Literature Circles. This is some of the stuff she prepared. A video appears here but is offline but should be back by 03/15/2009.

Here's Tomaz Lasic (The Human Blog) response to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE questions on Moodle in the Classroom:

  1. Tomaz Lasic Says:

    Thanks Miguel. No problems, always happy to help fellow teachers (hey, the tagline of my blog says so :-) See below:
    Cheryl Snyder: Wondering how to use this with an active group of second graders?
    Hi Cheryl. I take it ‘this’ refers to Moodle? If so - things second graders would probably enjoy a lot of would be
    - Quizzes (great for literacy, can include pictures and videos in quizzes not just text) for their instant feedback and possibility of scaffolding to mastery (probably ungraded),
    - Lessons (I capitalise here and Quiz because they refer to standard activities in Moodle) that take them from one stage to another exploring things,
    - Wikis (where they get to build things together as a group - keeping it simple of course for 2nd grade),
    - running a little journal eg My Family (text and picture) via Blogs,
    - use chatroom or forum (depending of course on their level of literacy) to generate their own writing and possibly teach about safe use of such tools and associated social skills
    - online display of their class work, projects, video clips of ‘making cardboard city’ for their parents to see by using Webpage
    - record their work or play on video camera and post it on Moodle (great for active kids! they do the funniest and sometimes best things when the camera is on).
    In short – lots and lots of engaging things (it will not require them to look at the screen all the time either!)
    Amy Chayefsky: teachers - do you see students using the moodle outside of school? Or primarily content delivery during school hours?
    Hi Amy. Actually, the levels of use after hours in steadily increasing at our school. This could be due to kids being able to (these are just a few examples…):
    - post their assignments online from home,
    - post things to their wikis or journal through blogs as things happen after hours,
    - complete homework,
    - read class notes via News forums,
    - chat in Moodle chatrooms (the funniest ones are those with teachers in them at about 8pm – “Sir, get a life will you…” (lived to tell the story  )
    After hours access is really important if you perhaps lack the computer facilities on campus but you can get kids to complete tasks at home using their own computer (eg. great for things like media which may take big chunks of class time), or you simply want to give them a chance to think and express themselves when they ‘get it’ or when it is convenient for them (often leads to much greater quality and depth of work) – for example, I had kids who said almost nothing in online forum during class but then got going from home at 11pm (the ‘lurkers’). If you have a kind Moodle admin they may install a block connecting Moodle to school network to eliminate the need for kids to bring their work to school via CDs and USB – all edited and stored from home.
    Of course, there’s more…hope this helps?
    # Mary: I’d like to know more about the literature reading circles
    Hi Mary. These are great when run in either forums (Q and A) type, a wiki (students cn edit and add as class, groups or individuals) or as a database (bit technical to set up but great for collecting large amounts of info with ability to search).
    If starting I would go with Q and A forum. This means that each student has to post their reflection or review of a text before seeing what others have posted – it really encourages original thought. Once the initial reflections are out, kids can discuss, argue, expand , question each other in an online forum. This really frees their hands in choosing to respond to a particular view rather than hearing one person, then another, then another orally – then responding in the same fashion. With this type of online forum (any type really here) there are 25 conversations happening simultaneously instead of 1. To round things up, kids could discuss (face-to-face) their experience and produce a summary perhaps divided in sections of the text (eg Author & his background, Context, Plot, Characterisation, Language used …) as a wiki – everyone can add and shape.
    Easy to set up technically, but can support face-to-face or purely online lit circle beautifully.
    # Dan McGuire 2: MIguel, get to some of the reporting management tools that really make Moodle special. Teachers can tell who has viewed and uploaded and even from address they accessed the Moodle from.
    Hi Dan. Teachers love this one! Simply click on ‘Participants’ in your course (or anywhere where the name of the student you want to look up is hyperlinked) find the student (scroll and/or search) then click on their name. You will be taken to their profile where you can see all their ‘logs’ (today, all time etc.) This will give you up to the second report (printable too) of their activity. When I show this to my students, they simply say “ah, OK, he CAN see everything” – their choice if they want to push it becomes harder to make because everything is in black and white.
    msponseller: My students have never uses or seen Moodle. What is the best way to teach them about its features?
    Hi msponseller. The first time I used it I set up a few activities and resources (a couple of useful background documents on their topic), a forum, a simple quiz, mock assignment with funny prizes and a chatroom – and said: “Go break it!” It worked a treat.
    msponseller: How do we MOTIVATE students to use Moodle?
    Hi again. The motivation to use Moodle is no different to what you do face-to-face. But I would say it is best to make Moodle motivation intrinsic (‘there is something in it for you -> chance to express yourself, tell your story safely, show your creative side, work when it suits you best, connect with people you like, ask awkward questions…). Moodle alone will not motivate your students. (see my 5 Myths of Teaching with Moodle )
    # Leslie: Would Moodle be a good platform for student portfolios?
    Hi Leslie. Moodle 2.0 (released in around May 09) will have a portfolio as a standard feature – I look forward to it myself. However, lots of impatient and innovative moodlers around the world have used Mahara as their choice of a portfolio that
    integrates beautifully with Moodle.
    Hope this helps, I gotta go, my class is waiting. Happy moodling all!
    Let’s stay in touch (twitter ‘lasic’ probably best)

Thanks so much, Tomaz!!

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Anonymous said…
This comment intrigues me as to whether there's a particular resource I've looked for but missed:

"If you have a kind Moodle admin they may install a block connecting Moodle to school network to eliminate the need for kids to bring their work to school via CDs and USB – all edited and stored from home."

I'll be trying to search for some elaboration, because one of my "Holy Moodle-Grails" has been how to use Moodle as a portal to Home Directories and such (like we can now do with Moodle-Google). Recently installed Exabis ePortfolio and appreciate it's strengths but the limitations really really have me looking forward to better solutions in Moodle 2.0 (lateral file xfers to portfolios and maybe even WebDAV connections to Home Directories?).
Tomaz Lasic said…

The network module I refer to in my answer in Windows Web Share Client - see works a treat at our school (I did not set it up, I just got a whiz of a techie, very fortunate).
Hope this helps

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