Showing posts from June, 2010

#Moodle Tip - Mentoring Students with AutoCreate Groups and/or Learning Diary

With a large influx of new teachers, I want to quickly setup a mentor/mentee environment using Moodle. This would enable me to assign 1 mentor to one or more teachers. Each mentor would only be able to see their mentee(s) content/comments but no one else's.  I'm not sure how to best setup Moodle to accomplish that. At a recent MoodleMoot, I encouraged participants in my sessions to tap into their Twitter network for real time advice. I decided to follow my own advice again and sent out a tweet for help.

Announcement:Join #etdrive, a Texas wide conversation focused on 3 strands using "push to learn" technology, VoxerChats. Follow these two steps to begin your learning journey now.

There are a variety of possible solutions, but the only one that seemed workable involved a LOT of work. Or at least, I thought it did. Thanks to feedback via Twitter from Gavin Henrick in Ireland--responding to my request in minutes

So, to break it down, Gavin offers two s…

DiigoNotes - Facilitated Round Table Discussions Protocol & Timing Guide

Thanks to Bud the Teacher for sharing these!Evernote shared notebook: PublicFacilitated Round Table Discussions Protocol & Timing Guide
Total Time - 50 Minutes
This guide is meant as a way to ensure a similar experience for all participants of the ISTE Leadership Bootcamp.  Please attempt to remain on time as that will ensure a consistent experience for all.  
You will conduct, basically, the same session twice:
Time to conveneTime to processTime to discussTime to process
That session should look something like this:
Time to Convene (10 minutes)
        (1st session only) Brief introduction of everyone in the group - name, affiliation, why you came to the Bootcamp and something useful that you’ve seen/heard/learned/discussed today in one sentence or less. (You’ll have to do this quickly to ensure that you have time for the protocol.)Explanation of facilitator’s role as not the expert in the room, but the person who will guide the conversation and keep it on track. It is important to real…

Aviary for Education Beta


Some time ago, I was WOW'd by's Audio Editor. How neat that they just announced the launch of their beta Education site! Not so neat? It's going to cost. Sigh.
We would like to announce the launch of the "Aviary Education" beta site! We are developing "Aviary Education" specifically with educators in mind. We hope that websites, like yours, will help promote this new education technology initiative. If you will write a short piece or link to the article on a post, we would like to give your readers a special offering. Please let your readers know that if they put the code AroundCorner01 into their request for a beta, we will put them on the top of the list of setting up accounts!If you (or anyone you know) are/is interested in the beta, please email us at (the amount of students or accounts) and we will gladly set you (or them) up.  We look forward t…

Avoiding Complacency with UbuntuLinux

Last night while I was reading The Death of Chaos (3rd time because I love the way Modesitt's writes in his understated way), it occurred to me that I'd gotten a bit complacent with what I knew or didn't know about UbuntuLinux. It was the idea that I'd learned what I needed to learn and, as such, could just rest on my laurels, no need to learn anything more. So, I decided to ask myself, what else could I learn about UbuntuLinux that would make my use of it easier?

As such, to avoid complacency, I decided to do a search on "Ubuntu tips" and see what came up. Some interesting results:

Result #1 - Command Line Shortcuts
While I probably won't remember all of these at first, it would be pretty easy to remember 1 or 2, and over time, remember them all as I use them at the command line. The source for these is's excellent post on 15 Great Ubuntu Tips.

Ctrl-aMove to the start of the line.
Ctrl-eMove to the end of the line.
Alt-] xMoves the cursor f…

Finding Disk Space on UbuntuLinux

How do you measure disk space on your computer? Running UbuntuLinux (latest version), it should have been easy but I couldn't find the Disk Usage Analyzer that typically is installed at Applications->Accessories.

Fortunately, a short tutorial allowed me to type "df -h" (without quotes) at the command line that yielded these results:

For fun, I installed another program and it gave me slightly different results (probably because I installed a program, Discus):

I'm sure there are fancier programs to accomplish this, but often, I like the text only approach that tells me how much space is left. In this case, I uninstalled Discus in favor of df -h which is already installed and provides the info needed.

Of course, another way to check wouldn't have involved the command line at all. I simply had to go to the System Monitor (System->Administration->System Monitor) and then click on the appropriate tab (System) to see:

Lots of other nifty information there, too…

DiigoNotes - Virtual school is the latest home school option | - Local

Virtual school is the latest home school option | - LocalVirtual schools' in Texas are part of the Electronic Course Program offered through the Texas Education Agency.They are state funded education programs that provide online learning for third through ninth graders who do not have to be physically present in the classroom. While some applaud the new option, others say the virtual school experience is not right for them or their children.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

DiigoNotes - Libraries fading as school budget crisis deepens

Libraries fading as school budget crisis deepens - News Radio 590 KLBJ - The AP WireLibraries fading as school budget crisis deepens

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP Associated Press Writer As the school budget crisis deepens, administrators across the nation have started to view school libraries as luxuries that can be axed the American Association of School Administrators projects 19 percent of the nation's school districts will have fewer librarians next year, based on a survey this spring. Ten percent said they cut library staff for the 2009-2010 school year. Since few state or federal laws mandate school libraries or librarians, and their job losses are small compared with classroom teacher layoffs, library layoffs may seem minor to some observers. But librarians say few administrators or parents understand how involved they are in classroom learning and school technology.
Those who remain are doing the jobs done by two or three people a few years ago. Gigi Lincoln, the librarian at…

Draft - #Moodle Course Planner

Image Source:
"What if I had a simple Moodle course planner that would remind me what options were available to me?" I asked myself yesterday. "And, what if I added suggestions for OpenWeb tools--like the list of 48+ embed tools--that would help me remember just what was out there?"

This past Friday found me attending meetings and working on a partial course begun by a previous team member, Diana Benner (co-host of Moodle Mayhem and online learning specialist for Dallas ISD). I was intrigued by the course but wanted to make some adjustments, especially in light of our conversations at the TCEA MoodleMoot and my own appreciation for what makes an "Online Learning Workshop."

Although I didn't make it that far--meetings--I did get a chance to play around with a Moodle Course Planning tool. At this point, I'm not sure I have it exactly the way I want it but thought I'd share it wit…

Embedding Stuff in #Moodle or Anywhere

Update: You may want to read how to do this in Moodle 2.2
Puppy Cam: An Example of How You Can Embed Media in Moodle Puppy Cam Litter Bio Breed: Goldador Born: April 22, 2010 Dam: Griffin Sire: Norm Litter Size: 7

Creating interactive web sites is all the rage. Why? Interaction pays off big for engagement, whether you're working with K-12 or adult learners. There are MANY tools available to embed content, and usually, I wouldn't even spend time on them. What is worth spending time on is WHERE you are going to embed them. As I prepare for a Moodle workshop focused on multimedia, it seems only natural to compile a list of places that have content.

One of my favorites is embedding the puppies shown at the top of this blog entry. Simply highlight, copy and then paste it into your Moodle HTML page, block, forum post, works!

For Moodle, you'll want to do two things:

1) Multimedia Filters - Turn them on

2) In SECURITY->SITE POLICIES, allow embedding:


Google-Moodle Integration Question and Response (Updated)

Earlier this week, I received a question from someone in Arizona regarding Google-Moodle Integration. While I didn't know the answer, I did know who to ask the following question:
We are thinking of integrating Google Apps with Moodle for a charter school we are starting in Arizona.  We need to have logs of all communication taking place.  Are there accessible logs generated from the messages send through Gmail when it is integrated with Moodle?Rusty Meyners (Eustace ISD, Tx) was kind enough to reply, along with one other response from the Google Certified Teachers (GCT) list: Couldn't swear but almost certain that Moodle will have no logs of Google communications. There might be a little variation in exactly what Moodle-Google Integration means in your enterprise but as far as I'm aware, Moodle will only log the act of accessing the links in the Google Block and of course the authentication but even then I'm not sure you can tell if the login authentication was called b…

Podcast - #Moodle Moot 2010 - Informal Learning Experiences #tceamoot

Youtube video at
Today, I found myself driving to the TCEA MoodleMoot 2010 taking place in Ft. Worth. While you may not know it, I've found that I sometimes get apprehensive when going to such a focused conference. It's a funny feeling to have to know, that feeling that what you know and do on a daily basis just doesn't measure up to what others are doing. This is a feeling I've had for some time in regards to much to learn, so many people who have been using it for years. I sometimes ask myself, "Wow, the potential applications are through the roof! Do I have the imagination to use it in novel ways?"

I share this feeling with you because I know that a lot of folks tell me the same thing about how what they're doing doesn't measure up to what *I* am doing. I laugh at that, knowing from experiences like the one I just shared with you that it's normal to feel inadequate...The trut…