Long, long ago, in a different century, a ten year old girl spent two weeks in “Majorca” with her mum, dad and brother and loved it, even making the effort to learn some Spanish before setting off. Still got the book – cost 6 shillings! It’s rather faded, and dog-eared – with a child’s scrawl attempting the now rather politically incorrect exercises:
But the memory remained! And so last week, I returned to Mallorca with my own (grown up) daughter to attend the Spanish Moodle Moot hosted at the University of the Balearic Islands and organised by Toni Mas and Spanish Moodle partner CV&A Consulting . My daughter is a trainee History teacher and her half term holiday was the week of the moot. Fortunately (for me) she speaks more Spanish than I do; unfortunately (for her) she is not very familiar with Moodle as her school doesn’t seem to bother with a learning platform..
We arrived shortly after our HQ colleagues Helen Foster and Gavin Henrick late afternoon of Wednesday 21st October. That first night, we ate together at the excellent Cook and Beer which was both a delight because we had that rare (to Brits) joy of being able to sit outside to eat and also very useful to me because, eating at 7 broke me in gently to the Spanish tradition of eating from 9pm onwards
The venue is about 7.5 kilometres from Palma centre. Much to the joy of my daughter (and me) the sun was shining and the sky was blue! What a great location for a campus – I can imagine finding it hard to focus when you can so easily sit out and admire the mountains…
Although the conference proper began on Friday, Thursday welcomed keen participants to a pre-moot hackfest with Gavin and Juan Leyva, our mobile app expert, while non-developers joined Helen and me in sessions on the Moodle tracker, translating Moodle, documenting, usability and accessiblity and QA testing. There are some collaborative hackfest notes available here. What struck Helen and me very much in our non-technical sessions was how much participants were both keen to improve their own skills and also eager to share their experiences and tips with us and the others. I often come away from Moodle moots thinking I have learned a lot in a very short space of time, and this was no exception.
The hospitality of our hosts was second to none and I loved our meal on Thursday night at a fantastic seafood restaurant with wonderful view of the harbour. (I just can’t remember its name!!) Salmon, prawn, mussels, crayfish, all delicious, followed by the fascinating tale, from Jordi Vila , CEO and founder of CV&A Consulting (website) of Spain’s popular Anís del Mono drink.
Helen and I started the moot off on Friday morning with our keynote “El Futuro de Moodle” which is on slideshare.:
We talked about registering your site, about the funding model of Moodle and the positive impact of the Moodle Association; we discussed MoodleCloud, plans for Moodle moots, HQ development priorities and of course, our next Learn Moodle MOOC starting in January If you know anyone new to Moodle or who’d like to help out, please encourage them to sign up.
Our keynote was followed by Juan’s presentation about exciting developments with the Moodle mobile app, a very important priority for Moodle. You can view his presentation here. After this, we were introduced to a new product, Open Drako TRP, presented by Jordi’s partner Albert and then Gavin cast his expert eye on Improving the Student Experience. Here is Gavin’s presentation.
(These photos are all from my camera so I apologise if they are not clear. Take a look at #mootes15 on twitter for more and better ones from everyone else.)
Many presentations and workshops followed, and I especially appreciated the detailed documentating by participants. If you could not attend a session or even if you couldn’t get to the Moot, you did not miss out.
On Saturday, Helen and I ran a workshop on – er – the workshop. We were delighted to have so many join us, especially as the session was in English. The Moodle docs page on Pedagogy lists five ‘referents’ of Social constructionism, of which the first is:
All of us are potential teachers as well as learners – in a true collaborative environment we are both.
We definitely felt our session reflected that: participants discovered workshop tips they were not aware of and Helen and I got to hear about the various ways experiences participants have in their own organisations. (Thanks to Sara Arjona Téllez for the photo below)
I also enjoyed a session on Learning Analytics by Roger Dominguez - Roger speaks very clearly and his slides were easy to follow – so I understood quite a bit; thankyou!
After another useful session by Gavin on Competencies, another HQ Priority, the moot ended all too soon. As our flight back to London was not until the following morning, this gave me the opportunity to have a custom made, 3 hour walking tour of Palma’s attractions, with my daughter as tour guide – she having made the most of my time indoors I got to see the old town, the Cathedral, the Arab Baths, the Palace and.. well… I recommend anyone to go there and explore for themselves. Thankyou very much Jordi and friends for inviting me, and thanks for the Ensaimada. Mallorca was great, even better 46 years on