Showing posts from April, 2009

To MAMP PRO or Not

UPDATE 10/13/2009 - This past weekend, I played around with XAMPP for Mac and it runs great! I retract all the mean things ("clunky") I said about it below. MAMP is already OFF my Macbook and I'm using XAMPP. Setup was a breeze, customized the PHP.INI file, and off we go!

Two colleagues of mine setup a Mac OS X Leopard server with Apache/MySQL/PHP running on it but then left...leaving me with a server I wasn't sure how to administer. The problem is a simple one. While I'm familiar with how to do the upgrade of PHP/MySQL on different platforms, I haven't a clue how to do it on Mac OS X.

As such, I started looking for an easy way to set up a working environment. Past experience had introduced me to MAMP, which I use to backup my Wordpress and Moodle environments on my Mac...think of it as a XAMPP for Mac (careful, there is a XAMPP for Mac) but easier and less clunky than XAMPP for Mac (although I think XAMPP for Linux and Windows is just great!).


I've been laid off

It's tough to lose a job you've come to value, even if you've only been there for a short time. Over the last year, I've had the opportunity to work as a freelance writer for Education World. It's been a great started quite simply with an expectation that I write 500 words per article and then send in an invoice for $250. Of course, I always wrote far more than 500 words...and I reached people I hadn't before...and that's far more important.

As a lowly paid public school administrator, I take particular pleasure in publishing my writing to a global audience. So, it was with disappointment that I read a recent email from my editor at Education World letting me know to "STOP!" because freelance funding had been appears the stimulus money isn't there.

Now, I have ONE more article that will appear on May will be my final one, it seems. To whet your appetite, here's the intro:

Practical Moodle Tips for Technology Adminis…


The Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) supports a special interest group--TEC-SIG-- for technology education coordinators. It's a wonderful organization and by far, the most active in TCEA.
TEC SIG is the largest SIG and was established in 1989 for the purpose of providing a means of communication between technology coordinators and administrators throughout the state. The organization furnishes its members up-to-date information on legislation, happenings within the Texas Education Agency, grants, and TEC SIG activities. Members share their own technology-related experiences at three yearly meetings in an effort to educate and inform each other on what is happening in the field of technology.One of it's goals is to To promote professional cooperation and communication between educator/staff and administrators toward realizations of sound educational achievements.

Today, it has taken a significant step towards achieving that goal!

In a recent announcement, the Vice-Presi…

Engaging Learners Online: Picking the Lock on the Classroom Door (Part 1)

The following article appears in the Spring, 2009 edition of the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators On Cueprint publication. My thanks to the Editor--Jean Tower--for her inclusion of my work in their publication!

A little information about onCue:
on Cue, the official journal of the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE), is published three times a year as a value-added benefit for its members. on Cue contains topical articles, features, news and resources selected to reflects the trends, needs and interests of connected educators in Massachusetts.

Engaging Learners Online: Picking the Lock on the Classroom Door (Part 1)
Creative Commons ShareAlike-Attribution-NonCommercial Copyright 2009 Miguel Guhlin

Note: This is the first in a 3 part series on Engaging Learners Online to be published in MassCUE Journal.
The predominant technology determines the predominant learning task in the classroom.
-Dr. Alan Kay
Approximately four years ago, I began sharing my learning with others in wa…

Swine Flu in Computer Labs (Updated 05/3/09)

Image on 04/29/2009 at 8:18 PM

Several districts have closed schools--note this press release--while others are only cancelling travel for students (fieldtrips), teachers, and Schertz-Cibolo ISD closed and is using Twitter to get information out about the swine flu...the Texas Education Agency (TEA) even has a web page or two dedicated to the swine flu and school closings, asking districts to....
District officials: If your school or district is closing because of the swine flu outbreak, email information about the closure to or Please provide the date of the closure and the expected date that school will resume. Also, regional Education Service centers--such as ESC-8-- are sharing information locally. And Archdiocese of Catholic Schools are sending out messages like this one:PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM OUR BISHOP. [the] Bishop has asked parishes to assist in pr…

iNACOL Presentation Submission

Below is a copy of what my co-presenters and I submitted for the iNACOL Conference taking place in November, 2009 in Austin, Texas. I hope to see you there! Facilitator for our session include Tonya Mills, Mary Alice Appleman (PBS) and Miguel Guhlin.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend, as well as possibly present, at iNACOL. At no other time has there been so much tangible excitement about online learning opportunities using tools like course management systems (e.g. Moodle, Sakai). I'm looking forward to learning how others are approach online professional and K-12 student learning facilitation, creating online learning environments, and more at iNACOL. This is critical information for K-12 educators, especially in Texas!

Thank you for submitting your RFP appliction for the Virtual School Symposium. Below is a copy of your application for your records.

Submissions will be reviewed after the submission deadline closes on April 13, 2009. You should anticipate notification…

TCEA TechEdge Publishes Articles

Yesterday, I received my copy of TCEA's TechEdge magazine featuring two articles I've written. Those articles include:
Moodle Habitudes: Constructing Online Learning EnvironmentsWii Get Fit Together

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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

Advice to Live By

Source: BBC News

Inthesetimes, some old reminders have new weight; I'm passing them on to my children every morning:

Wash your hands,
Cover your mouth when you cough and
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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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

TxDLA09 - Moodle 411

Amanda Hefner (Northside ISD) gave a tremendous presentation on Moodle organization and administration at the Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) 2009 State Conference. It was worth the price of the conference to attend and listen to her--and the team of folks that showed up with her--share their organization of Moodle.

Here her slideshow...I seem to have misplaced the audio of her preso but will post it as soon as I locate it!
N I S D Moodle 411 Final 4View more presentations from mguhlin.

Miguel's Reflections

As I listened, I was struck by the following observations as I looked out at the audience while they listened to her:

The presentation was at a level beyond most of the folks in the audience. Simply, it was like giving a space shuttle to an agrarian society and expecting them to engage in space travel. I hope I'm not offending folks.

These folks were just starting out with Moodle, and while there was a lot of that in Amanda's preso, I honestly think that some…

GoogleDocs Tutorials

Click the links to find out more....
This morning Google announced the completion and publication of three new "getting started" guides for the Google Docs suite of tools. These new guides are designed to help new Google Docs users get started with spreadsheets, presentations, and documents.

These new Google Docs guides could be useful when introducing students and or colleagues to the benefits of cloud computing.

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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

Up Close and Virtual - THE Journal

A few months ago, a persistent writer from THE Journal kept asking me questions about Learning Management Systems. I sent her everything I'd written on the subject--2 or 3 articles--and resources materials, and didn't hear from her again. Then, I heard from an editor who was molding the story and he wanted to clarify his understanding...again, it's been a few months.

Well, tonight, a colleague emailed me about THE Journal article, Up Close and Virtual by Jennifer Demski. Here's part of the article, and I encourage you to read the rest:
Making web-based professional development opportunities available to their faculty, however, creates a new dilemma for districts: how to verify whether a teacher grasped the material. "It has to be done independently of any workshop facilitator or session presenter, because that person is not there to check for understanding," says Miguel Guhlin, director of instructional technology services for the San Antonio Indepe…