Moodle Me This: Thing Number 33

As a free open-source instructional format, Moodle may not be the most elegantly designed and even the most intuitive to use, but it has many features that are useful for the classroom:

(1) It can extend the instructional time of a course. Students can continue to interact with it, with each other, and, possibly, with the teacher beyond the confines and the schedule of the school day.

(2) It offers an introduction to hybrid or online courses that students will undoubtedly be taking on the post-secondary level.

(3) It is a time saver for teachers: Tests and grading and recording can all be administered by Moodle, thus freeing up the teacher for less mundane activities.

(4) Moodle may open the door and provide a source of motivation for students who don't thrive in a traditional environment. That's a potentially significant advantage.

(5) What have I forgotten? Moodle and its cousins have many other advantages. I've only begun to explore them. You should, too. Find Moodle


Thing 32: And now for an update . . .

Strictly speaking, this is not a new thing, not entirely anyway. It's more of an announcement to let fellow Web 2.0 followers know that this blog has been cleaned up (meaning the links have been fixed, not what you were thinking in terms of language . . . ), and the content has been updated. For your patience, here's a reward: One of my favorite Web 2.0-like search engines: Search Me. Take a look.


Thing 29: The Dumbest Generation

If you've had a nagging feeling that Web 2.0--or the Internet in general--may be oversold, that maybe it's not contributing to the miracle of improved education and access to information, that maybe all the glitz and interactivity amount to a lot of distractedness toward no larger consequence, then you're not alone. Take a look at the dumbest generation. Does it have merit?

In the interest of fairness, see The Dumbest Generation? for a rebuttal.

For another view: Generation Y: The Dumbest Generation.

And another: The Dumbest Generation?


Thing 28: More on Virtual Reality

I recently watched a video conference offered by Minitex entitled "Library Trends, Fads, or Folly." While it didn't actually discuss anything that one could define as folly, it did get extensively into Second Life and how libraries could play a role in their patrons' use of virtual reality.

What about kids? Is there virtual reality for kids? It turns out there is. One such example is called Whyville. While it's a bit primitive in appearance, it could be an introduction to a virtual world that kids will probably be using as commonly as we use the Internet today. The kids of today will--if not forgo brick and mortar education--undoubtedly supplement it with classes in virtual reality. Will it happen in twenty years? Ten? Five? Well, universities today are already offering courses via virtual reality. Have you signed up for one yet?


Thing 26: Shared Resources with a Catch

Quia is a site that offers several free samples of lesson activities from a wide variety of curricula. After that it charges. Is it worth the cost? Explore it to come to your own conclusions.


Thing 25: Web 2.0-Like Resources

I've been accumulating resources in my quest to enrich the available activities for others. Whether they all constitute Web 2.0 applications may be up for debate. Still I've included them for general reference. My list includes examples of simulations, interactive sites, video sites, games, and virtual reality. A few items overlap from my previous entries.

My list also includes several essays about the issues surrounding using these relatively new kinds of applications and about how to best use them for educational purposes.

It's messy. It's disorganized. But it's also full of useful stuff. Check out my list.


Thing 24: Smarty Pig

Not to be confused with Smartypig.org, Smarty Pig is another Web 2.0 social networking site that has a financial purpose: You can set up a savings account and invite others to contribute to it. They can then check up on your progress to determine how well you're achieving your financial goals. A question: Wasn't the Me-Generation back in the '70s?

Another question: Can you say tech-narcissism?

Setting up an account is not as easy as what is required by other sites. Check this link to find the detailed personal information this site requires. Related to the question of setting up such an account is an increasing number of stories about the inherent risks of social networking sites, including identity theft. Check out this site for a discussion of social networking sites and identity theft.

Others: Can Social Networking Cause Identity Theft?
Defenses Lacking at Social Network Sites