Moodle Blog

Moodle HQ, Our Lady’s Preston, Hats and Me

Often when I give  talks , I show a slide of me wearing several “hats” relating to various aspects of my job.

Last week when I told my two (grown up) children  I was on the “Meet the Team” page of Moodle HQ, I got two different responses.

Daughter: (gleeful expression) Great! When can we visit you in Australia for a free holiday?

Son: (puzzled  expression) You never told us you were leaving Our Lady’s High School!

Both of these were misunderstandings I corrected at the time, and it’s occurred to me since that it might be useful to clarify the situation here as well. So here goes:

(1) I’ve enjoyed helping out on the Moodle forums for several years and for just under 12 monthsI’ve been helping bring and keep the documentation up to date  for the ever-changing, ever-improving versions of Moodle.  Recently too,  I have been helping  build up Mount Orange School Demo site, the brilliant brainchild of Tomaz Lasic and a great way to explore features of Moodle in a real “fake” environment with real “fake” students.  I was -I am! really honoured to be a  member of the Moodle HQ team, but as several  members globally illustrate, you don’t have to move to Perth Australia! It’s a sign of these modern times that it is perfectly possible to contribute remotely, as Moodle Community Manager Helen Foster based in Belgium does every day. Most of Moodle’s  core developers for instance work in an office in Perth (with a  fancy coffee machine, balcony and kumquat tree) but others  work elsewhere  around the world. This has the advantage, as one developer pointed out in the tracker recently, that they can work in their pyjamas! And I confess now that I have documented many a new Moodle feature in bed with my laptop!!

So- to my daughter: sorry, no free holiday in Australia…

(2) I am still at Our Lady’s High School Preston where I have been since 1985.  The school understand the usefulness of the Moodle work I do and are very supportive in allowing me time to put my “Documentation Fairy” hat alongside  my teacher and trainer hats. While it would be tempting to do nothing but Moodle all day, I think it’s essential that if you are dealing with educational tools, you should use them in a real context yourself, spot the bugs, share good ideas, work out workarounds. For me, that applies not only in teaching but also in training. I  often use examples from my own teaching experience when I am training others (with my OurLearning training hat on) and I don’t want to lose that connection. I recall when staying at Tomaz’  house in Perth last year he explained how he loved working for Moodle but missed the buzz of teaching and using Moodle with classes. Basically, I want it both ways and my school is being very accommodating!

So to my son: no; I am not leaving Our Lady’s…

Aside from the frustrations of still being on 1.9 ( a local authority issue we don’t have much control over) our school Moodle is an active, busy and happy one.   To clarify another common misunderstanding, I had nothing to do with its implementation and its developing success and even now, I only play a minor advisory role in it. Our network manager does its administration and the  ladies in the office keep the staff and parents pages up to date.  It’s a whole school, community effort that  was masterminded by our Assistant Headteacher Mark Greenwood and a team of “champions” (including Computing Guru Alan O’Donohoe) who started with a few classes and then rolled it out to the whole school in September 2006.  It was because of my enthusiasm using it with  my own pupils that Mark suggested I might like to help show colleagues how to use its more advanced features… and my role has gradually changed since then…

So you see – Moodle HQ, Our Lady’s Preston and me – it’s all a question of Hats!

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Friday, 20. July 2012 um 17:21 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. And a fine job you have done with Mt Orange Mary! Much simpler and clearer, new examples.

    Sounds like you have found a very nice balance Mary, great to hear.

    Regards from the house with the lemon trees 😉


    Comment: Tomaz Lasic – 12. August 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  2. Lemon trees – oh such happy memories of a lovely time with a lovely family!

    Comment: Mary – 18. August 2012 @ 2:11 pm

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