Moodle Blog

Book Review: Moodle 1.9 for Teaching Special Educational Children (5-10)

Moodle 1.9 For Teaching Special Educational Children is a challenging book. Its author, Vanessa S Olsen, is a Speech Therapist and- as I discovered in my googling – comes from a family of Packt authors – her husband, Gaston Hillar, is an ICT consultant and author and her sister-in-law Silvina P Hillar wrote Moodle 1.9 The English Teacher’s Cookbook which I will review next time.

This is a Beginner’s Guide and each chapter presents us with opportunities to use technology and Web 2.0  to engage young children with learning disabilities.  We follow a little  girl and boy, Alice and Kevin, in the experiences of their daily lives  and learn to create relevant learning oppportunities with a great emphasis on the Visual. While you can see the complete chapter breakdown here on the Packt site, examples include using HotPotatoes and J-Click for matching exercises with images and/or words and using Moodle’s own Quiz and  assignment types such as the online text assignment , upload a single file assignment and the non-standard Nanogong assignment. In order to generate these activities, the reader is taught to use other programs such as GIMP and Inkscape for image manipulating, Audacity for sound recording, and is even encouraged to delve into the world of webcams all the better to help their young students do likewise. You can read a sample chapter here “Associating images with Words” We’re not restricted to a keyboard and mouse either; we investigate digital pens, game pads, touch screens and more.

The wide variety of -mostly free – software covered in the book – is both its strength and  potential drawback: the reader, whom we assume to be an SEN teacher with little experience of Moodle, gets to grip with many programs they might not have otherwise considered or even heard of and is empowered to make their Moodle  course all the richer for it.  In fact – and this is an important point – much of the book’s content (just like Moodle 1.9 Multimedia ) would apply to other Virtual Learning Environments too – which is great! Indeed, the “adding to Moodle” aspect is often just dealt with summarily near the end of a chapter. We don’t build up an actual course but just  upload to a section and test it out for our student. Therefore, if you were expecting to “learn Moodle”, the book will not suffice; but if you were wanting to improve your ICT skills to help your students – then you will be happy. How happy of course depends on your willingness and dedication to learn. Vanessa takes great care in going through the new skills step by step with a friendly style. (At times I feel the English is a bit quirky, presumably because it isn’t her mother tongue, but that in no way detracts from the understanding and is quite endearing) However, I can imagine for example, the Special Needs teachers at my school struggling with the HTML code for coloured writing in a Hotpotatoes exercise at the start of Chapter 1. There is a lot in the book that would be totally unfamiliar to a “regular” teacher on a full timetable –  But then – that’s the challenge and that’s where the  dedication comes in! Likewise, if you are a tutor of individual children with Special Educational needs, you will need to  help them achieve the outcomes required in the exercises – recording and uploading  their voice for example, or filming themselves on a webcam and uploading the movie. A learning curve for you and them -but heavens, rather that than the Word Document Scroll of Death 🙂

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Saturday, 24. July 2010 um 14:00 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Moodle abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen. Du hast die Möglichkeit einen Kommentar zu hinterlassen, oder einen Trackback von deinem Weblog zu senden.

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