Moodle Blog

Moodle Moot UK 2009- a Meeting of Many Moodlers

Thursday, 09. April 2009 von Mary

This was my first Moodle Moot – I  had attended the 2007 one virtually and had been disappointed there wasn’t one in 2008. It began for me rather inauspiciously as I arrived late on campus Monday night, in the dark, couldn’t find my room, couldn’t swipe my card when I did find it,  and then failed miserably to find anywhere to eat or anyone to talk to.

The following morning, Loughborough University looked considerably  friendlier in the sunshine;  I tagged along with the beautifully named Jago to locate the breakfast block where I finally recognised some familiar faces – Drew Buddie Moodle Man and Moodle Fairyand the larger than life, equally big-hearted Julian Ridden, who commented there seems to be a whole Moodle family on twitter now – he and myself, with @moodledan @moodlegirl @moodleguy, to name but three. Martin Dougiamas gave the Keynote speech to start the proceedings, highlighting the progress of Moodle since its inception, giving us a taster of Moodle 2.0 and describing the ten steps he sees in a teacher’s progress in using Moodle.

Making Moodle Fun in Key Stage 3After that we “broke out” into various sessions – mine on “Making Moodle Fun for Key Stage 3” was one of the first, which meant I could then relax for the rest of the day. Thanks to Irene Krechowiecka for moral support and  thanks also  to Miles Berry and Russell Dyas (from the legendary Edugeek) who tweeted my talk which revolved around ways to engage younger children with Moodle and Open Web/Web 2.0 applications. I based it on the four C’s – Captivate/Create/Collaborate and – of course Chocolate and hope to make it available on the conference site eventually. We ended with some games including a  Moodle-based sword fighting game from Andrew Field‘s Content Generator products. And I only mentioned my book once!

The problem from then on was which session to attend when there were always at least two, sometimes three, I would have liked to watch. Ian Lynch of the Learning Machine/INGOTS presented on Teaching Children to Become Community Members and I then indulged myself by going to Julian Ridden’s Theming Workshop  – a very clearly presented, step by step guide to making a Moodle theme. Over lunch I finally met in person  both  fellow teacher and moodler KristianStill,  and also developer Dan Poltawski, the Force behind the CLEO Moodles. I  talked language teaching with the original moodler himself Martin Dougiamas, Mary Cooch Martin Dougiamastalked books with two other Packt authors,  Ian Wild  and Alex Buchner from Synergy and was very flattered by nice compliments from John Mannion and Antonella Veccia. Thanks to Howard Miller of Glasgow University and E-Learn Design  showing me the way to  the food and drink, Tuesday night was considerably more successful than the previous evening!

Wednesday morning was a delight with the charmingly enthusiastic Martin Langhoff explaining how Moodle links in with the One Laptop Per Child initiative.   My next choice was a fascinating insight into Second Life and Moodle – via SLOODLE, presented by Daniel Livingstone – but- I’m still unsure…. Moodleman Julian Ridden gave a whistlestop tour of Moodle plugins, several of which I have tried and wholeheartedly recommend  but  a couple, dimdim and the podcasting module I have not, and am now inspired to test out on one of my Moodles or on Julian’s own free moodle playpen.

I hadn’t know what to expect this being my first Moot –  it exceeded my expectations in terms of ambiance, networking and inspirational ideas. The  organisation of it all by Sean Keogh of Pteppic was flawless – and it is entirely understandable he would like  finally to pass it on to someone else next year! If I had to make one comment it would be that there should be more for schools – high schools – primary schools – regular secondary schools. This is a sector increasingly using Moodle – all the more so as, in the UK, they turn away from their LEA/BSF imposed commercial VLE and go with Moodle. I was pleased to receive several compliments about the relevance of my presentation to “real” teachers  – let’s hope than in #mmuk10 we at the so-called “chalk face” will be there in force!


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