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Moodlefairy goes to UK Moodle Moot 2011

MOOTUK11: Day 1

It was good! I didn’t attend the Developers’ unconference on the Monday, obviously, as, despite being a closet geek wannabe I wouldn’t have understood a word of it – so #mootuk11 for me began at 9 am on the Tuesday when, upon grabbing my badge, I turned round and had the delightful pleasure of  encountering my online stalker husband groupie THE Ben Reynolds who good humouredly shares my loves for moodling and writing.  Grainne Conole gave an articulate, academic and discussion provoking keynote on New Pedagogies for Social and Participatory Media. References to Moodle were in there but it wasn’t all about Moodle. I missed the second keynote as I had an appointment with a handsome young man who took me sightseeing along the Thames in the sunshine (well ok, my university student son) but I am aware from twitter that some people felt some of the keynotes should have been more Moodle-based. I don’t necessarily agree – the important thing in my view is to have something entertaining and educational to say that is related to E-Learning. (I don’t recall any similar comments last year after Prof Sugata Mitra’s Hole-in-the-Wall keynote and that had no Moodle in it at all)

Coffee next – I maintain the best parts of Moodle Moots are the breaks! The chance to network and meet new Moodle enthusiasts. If I tried to name everyone I was pleased to meet I would surely upset someone by inadvertently missing them out  – so I won’t mention everyone, sorry!  I did like the morning pastries and  biscuits; less impressed by the lunchtime sandwiches but always happy to eat food prepared and tidied up by someone else so I will leave it at that. Nice to catch up with Kristian Still and to meet for the first time Geoff Riley and Michelle Moore who both offered helpful tips on the long haul flight to Sydney in July. A big thankyou to Kathy Chilvers who, having no home baked cupcakes for me, gave me a beautiful  bracelet that I shall take with me to mootau11 as my lucky charm.

The morning presentations I attended were on school related Moodling: Fiona Hook-Mackenzie of Glamorgan University showed us how Welsh primary schools use Moodle so that  parents of very young children can see how their offspring are progressing in school, and Meredith Hanson of Catalyst took us through how NZ schools are supported in their Moodle installs. Facilitating was the cheerful and professional  Jim Judges who looked after me and Drew Buddie in our afternoon session. Drew had been most concerned about the lack of teacher presence at the Moot:  in the morning it seemed we might be talking to ourselves (and Jim!) but in the end we had just under half a room full  and a good discussion afterwards. AND we got Sean Keogh the legendary original UK Moot organiser! I  talked about  helping non-technical users learn Moodle and make the move to 2.0, while Drew took us into his Merapolis Moodle to show us how teachers at his school use the Advanced Uploading of Assignments for Controlled Assessment in GCSE. This is the type of presentation I enjoy most because it is Real – we get to see inside a Real Moodle or we get screenshots of a Real Moodle (which is what I tend to do as I am not as brave as Drew, trusting the internet connection during a presentation!) Sadly, owing to having to be present at my own session meant I missed one by the lovely Frances Hill whom I met at the JISC NW meet in March, and also one by Davo Smith, a teacher and Moodle developer who surprised both me and Gavin Hendrick by being completely normal!

MOOTUK11: Day 1

I returned the next morning to some more of Philip Butler’s compering I like his cheesy shirts and MC skills; I shall miss them at the Mahara Conference and next year’s UK Moot, as neither will be hosted by ULCC . (maybe they can hire him out?! ) I don’t hold it against him that he banned me from entering the win-a-Moodle-book competition on the grounds that I was the author!  I had no idea how many pages in Moodle 2.0 First Look so I wouldn’t have stood a chance  anyway…

Martin Dougiamas’  morning summary of where Moodle 2.0 is up to and where it’s going to was very welcome – surely only SuperHeroes can spot people (me) in the audience thousands of miles away! Following on from that was something new to Moodle Moot UK:  a knowledge cafe.  I didn’t know what one was, but it was a sort of discussion workshop in smaller groups and I felt that has great potential in a Moot. It is good to  hear presentations, but to have time to trouble-shoot in groups is rewarding. One of the topics discussed was the future structure of Moodle Moots.  We thought there  is a place for perhaps hands on workshops, at different levels,  for practitioners too. These would have relevance to all sectors, from  schools through charity to public services to commercial -all could benefit from sharing best practice in Moodle tools. Thanks to Lauren Shinfield for chairing ours.

Synergy Learning’s Alex Büchner presented on making Moodle course as a game, which was an excuse to talk about Conditional Activities and Completion – and I found myself nodding in eager agreement every few minutes as he highlighted misconceptions in these areas. I wanted to jump on the stage and join in! (Need an example of misconceptions? Look on the forums on for Course prerequisite – it doesn’t mean what you think.)  The OU’s Tim Hunt followed on with a fascinating insight into the new quiz question engine that he has five weeks to get ready if it is to become core in Moodle 2.1 out end June. So powerful, so many feedback options and long awaited new question types.  One of my secret ambitions  is to answer more questions on than Tim does –  but he needs to go on a long holiday to give me a chance. Unfortunately Tim told me he doesn’t have any booked for some time – so I cruelly took advantage of his presence on the stage to sneak in to the forums and increase my question response count…

After a quick chat with Paul VauganI had to leave at 2 to catch a train, but the twitter feed seemed to suggest the final keynote was exploring Happiness -a subject painfully dear to my heart; I wish I had been able to stay for that – BUT- apparently all presentations were videoed so we can catch the ones we missed. I look forward to it and look forward also to #mootuk12. Bring it on! Someone! Please!

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Wednesday, 20. April 2011 um 21:09 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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  1. It was a pleasure to follow you, Moodlefairy, into Alex’s Game workshop. I was in the front row nodding, too. Li-Ling and I think Lesson’s branching (“branching” has a new name in 2.0, I think, & is due for an overhaul?) in the game design, just leaving the Lesson incomplete but using it as a middle stage decision point with the other activities needing to be complete or opened.

    I think the way to get more pre-college teachers/practioners in might be to run a longish day or series of strands for just those folks. And say that there will be such a thing up front. London is not cheap, and teachers are not rich. So, if one could do the day, enjoy the evening do, and roll onto a train . . .

    Great Moot!

    Comment: The Ben Reynolds – 20. April 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  2. Thank you for this great post Moodlefairy. I wish I could have attended the Moot.

    Comment: Bryan Williams – 21. April 2011 @ 3:17 am

  3. Great to hear about the Moot because I couldn’t make it this year. Like the sound of the knowledge cafe.

    Mostly I’d like to hear more about your thoughts on completion and the game presentation with CAs. Would you be so kind?

    Comment: daibarnes – 21. April 2011 @ 9:06 pm

  4. Yes- I missed my hug ! I think if you hang on a bit, all the presentations will be online and you will be able to see the Man Alex delivering his Course, Chat and Match session himself! And if not -well, I will oblige, as ever..

    Comment: admin – 21. April 2011 @ 9:26 pm

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