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Showing posts from August, 2011

Bulk Updates to User Authentication in #Moodle

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Wondering what steps to take to change the way users "authenticate" in Moodle from LDAP to Manual or vice versa? Sometimes, it's necessary to do mass updates to your users that you don't want to do one by one and/or the bulk update tool isn't appropriate.


In the screenshot above, notice that "auth" column reflections how users are authenticating in Moodle. You can change that authentication in one fell swoop rather than going one by one...this is handy when you're dealing with more than 20 users.
To switch authentication in bulk, you can do that in a tool like PHPMyAdmin. I had to do that once or twice before we switched to LDAP authentication for students.

Some SQL commands to find and update user authentication....
To FIND users (the WHERE command is critical since what you find is what you can update): SELECT * FROM `mdl_user` WHERE auth='manual'
This will give you a list of everyone who has authentication set to manual. You could switch '…

Recursively Deleting Files by Extension and Empty Directories

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Cleaning out some files, I realized I had a lot of unneeded files that were all the same extension. Unfortunately, they were scattered inside of a million folders. What I needed was a command that would go through each folder and delete those files, saving me the effort of doing that. Then, after that, get rid of any empty directories that might have been left behind.

Two commands that can be given at the command line in UbuntuLinux (or Peppermint Linux which is what I was using) work...check further down in this post for how to on other platforms:
To recursively delete fileswith a particular filename extension: find /home/mg/Desktop/books -iname "*.html" -exec rm '{}' ';' In the command above, simply replace HTML with the filename extension you want to get rid of...could be XLS, ODF, PDF, MP3, MOV, whatever.
To delete empty directories, I used this command: find -depth -type d -empty -exec rmdir {} \; Both worked great and my hard drive is now free of unwante…

Modifying Your PHP Ini Settings for Improved #Moodle 1.9 Performance

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On the MoodleMayhem.org list, someone asked:Need a little help. I am backing up courses in 1.9.6, I have two courses that are not backing up.  When it gets to the zipping backup in these courses it just quits. All of the other courses on this server backed up just fine. These happen to be the two biggest courses. Is there a php limitation or something that needs to be tweaked. I set the Max_upload to 500M just to see if it made a difference and it did not.
Some of the responses: If the files are large, it could possibly be a problem with the max_execution_time and max_input_time which control the maximum amount of time that a PHP script is allowed to run.  Try increasing the timing on these.Here are some recommended php.ini settings I use:http://www.mguhlin.org/2009/10/php-ini-settings-for-moodle.html
Fixing this problem--with making backups timing out--will also address running large reports out of the Moodle Gradebook.
To make the change, you have to edit the PHP.ini file, restart your…

Cleaning Out Old #Moodle 1.9 Quiz Results

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A colleague on the MoodleMayhem.org email list recently asked...
I have an industrial arts teacher that now uses Moodle 1.9 quizzes for all of his shop safety tests. He uses the same quizzes for 3 grade levels, thus the students are removed and re-enroll yearly. Now that we've rolled over to a new year, he reset the course, effectively removing all students. The issue that we're having is that when students enroll for a second time, their prior quiz scores reappear. Sure, the teacher can select all scores and delete them, but I am wondering if there isn't a method for achieving this in bulk, clearing all attempts for all quizzes with a single action.
Below is my response: I'm sure there is a better solution than the one I'm going to offer but...

What about backing up the course and restoring it? Backup the previous course with user info and save it somewhere so you have it.  You've probably already thought of that solution.
Some related discussions happening here for…

Free Software Funnies

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Oh, this is hilarious. I'm so sorry I'm late to this.
View this in full-size at...http://xkcd.com/806/


As funny as that is, even funnier is the story reported here,The Girl Who Didn't Want Ubuntu. It's a great reminder (for me) of how important it is to remember that some people just want to fit in...forget about changing the world, they just want to fit into the status quo, get their's and enjoy life or whatever. 
Of course, that particular attitude isn't an affliction bloggers suffer from...right?

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Dr. Rios and the Mimio Minute @drrios

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What fun to listen to Dr. Roland Rios,Instructional Technology Director from Ft. Sam Houston ISD, as he explores The Mimeo Minute:

Episodes
Using ColorsCreating a Faux ShadowUsing OrderingUsing the Reveals and Answer Areas from the GalleryAlthough not a mimeo user myself, it's fun to watch these and get insights into how others are using technologies like Mimeo in Texas schools! Get Blog Updates via Email! Enter your email address:
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Migrating from Moodle 1.9.x to Moodle 2.1

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This blog entry isn't intended to add anything to the Moodle 2.x conversation except serve as my notes on a conversation taking place on a MN Moodle list. Feel free to jump in....
Melissa Benson asks the following via an email list message to MN Moodlers: Has anyone moved to Moodle 2.x yet? We recently installed a fresh copy 2.1.1 on a fresh ubuntu virtual server. We will be using that site for mainly professional development courses, but a few advanced users will be using it as well. Right now, we are planning on having most of our staff still use the 1.9 version and next summer we will hop over to the 2.x server. No upgrade. I'm not sure how we will get our 1.9 courses over to the 2.x server but at the very worst I'd move them over. Would be a few days work but it'll give us (and the staff) to weed out courses not used and will be less of a headache (i think) than an upgrade.By way of response, I wrote the following....
Howdy! I've been working with 1.9.x and 2.1 a…

The Price of Freedom - GNU/Linux

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Nice videos to reflect upon as we consider the technologies we use today....


Revolution OS


The Story of Linux....


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Simple Image Resizing/Editing

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What program (FREE) do you recommend for teachers to use to just do minimal editing of photos for their websites?  Mainly I want them to reduce the file size of the photo.
Some solutions:
Microsoft Picture Manger comes with MS office and its great and simple and has great compression… ( I am a Photoshop nut but this one my mom can use)If you still have licenses for Office XP or so, I do think Microsoft Photo Editor is very easy to use, and was distributed with the older versions of Office. Microsoft Office Picture Manager can "shrink" multiple photos at once, but is not quite as easy for novices. Microsoft Photo Editor can be installed without the other older Office products, I believe, although it's been a while since I fiddled with it.Here's my response:


You might try this right-click image resizer (free open source):

http://imageresizer.codeplex.com/
Image Resizer for Windows is a utility that lets you resize one or more selected image files directly from Windows Expl…