Moodle Blog

Moodlefairy goes to Maharauk12

And what a nice day it was too! First Plus: only a short journey up the motorway, chauffeur driven by Our Lady’s Assistant Head Mark Greenwood to Lancaster University where this year’s Mahara conference was warmly hosted  by Andrew Nicols and Ruslan Kabalin from LUNS and co-organised by TDM and Catalyst IT Europe. Second Plus:  The morning keynote was given by a secondary school educator: Deputy Principal Jon Bowen of St Peter’s College Palmerston New Zealand. I always really appreciate presentations where you can actually SEE what students are doing, either through screenshots or live pages, and this was  a great feature of Jon’s keynote. He is a music specialist and all the time I was thinking how our own Principal Teacher of Music would have enjoyed  this.

I went to watch Kristina Hoeppner present virtually  on how new features get into Mahara. A few minutes into her talk she suddenly announced there might have to be a short break as “I think we’re just having an earthquake” We in our stable and far away seats in Lancaster all burst out laughing… what a funny thing to happen in a presentation!! And then a second later we were silent, it dawning rapidly upon us that this might be somewhat more serious. Fortunately, after some minutes running around and fiddling with her audio, Kristina bravely soldiered on, and even blogged about it right afterwards.

Coffee times are always the best times for networking and I was pleased to meet ex LUNs and now BT One Connect’s Kimball Johnson at last, learn the story of his name, and talk face to face about the planned upgrades to Lancs/Cumbria Moodles (and then, after that, Maharas) Nice to catch up again with the lovely Meredith Hensonwhom I seem to meet at every Moodle/Mahara event these days. And delightful to meet once more the polyglot that is Dominique Alain JanFresh from a presentation in French at the French Moodle Moot the other week, he would be doing the second keynote here, in English, his first languge actually being German. Absolutely my kind of linguist!

Before lunch I was very interested  by the double act of Steve Wright and Andy Holyhead – the trials and tribulations of using Mahara as a PHD learning journal (or not, in Andy’s case) and trying to get others to do the same. It was both entertaining and original. Top marks. I also listened with double interest to Allison Miller’s “Generating Visually Rich Evidence to Support Learning”, double interest because, on top of the content, I was tuning in to her Australian accent and having nostalgic thoughts to this time last year when I headed off to Sydney for Mootau11.

Food! However good your keynotes, however informative your speakers, it’s always the food people remember. Well we got proper food – curry and rice and salad and cheese and crackers and fruit and – oh ! The best! And the orange juice was delicious and there was as much coffee as you could want.

Next up was Dominique’s keynote  on what is in Mahara 1.5 and what is coming in Mahara 1.6 (out in autumn/winter) Like Jon Bowen’s earlier on, this was illustrated with screenshots, clear and large, which definitely  gets the Moodlefairy seal of approval. In 1.6, I especially looking forward to control over iframe embedding and sensible URLs, but there’s much more than that on the way…

Mozilla’s Open Badges are talked about a lot in the twittersphere at the moment. The final presentation I was able to attend, (because sadly Mark was expected back at school) related to  Open Badges and Mahara – that is, Moodle as the issuer, Mahara as the displayer. Richard Wyles of Totara Learning Solutions explained the project designed to set up and deliver badges which can be used in Mahara following achievements in Moodle – or even the other way round. I first came across this initiative in this forum post on and apparently it has just these last few days got officially underway. Richard put up a timeline, which I was too slow to copy down or photograph, but I did notice something about beta version being around next Feb/March. If anyone has more information or even the timeline, please speak up! This is great news for Moodle and Mahara.

Unfortunately we had to set off back then so we missed the final sessions and the close. I also missed being able to say goodbye (Da Svidaniya?) to Andrew and Ruslan who are both so sweet and kind that I have decided officially to adopt them as my own (as long as  my on-screen husband/stalker@thebenreynolds doesn’t object to a couple more sons!!) It was a really successful conference with a friendly atmosphere. Well done Zoe too; and keep up all the good work in Mahara and Moodle.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Wednesday, 04. July 2012 um 00:01 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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