HPS Moodle Intermediate Training

Jason Neiffer, Capital High School/Montana Digital Academy, Facilitator

Hello and welcome to HPS Moodle Intermediate Training!

This training assumes that you have taken the beginning Moodle training in the Helena Public Schools.  FYI.  :)

Technology Tools I am Using Today:

  • Jing: I use Jing to capture stills and screen video to put in my virtual workshop handouts.  Jing is both very powerful and very easy to use.  Much of Jing's functionality comes free with creation of an account.  I have opted to spend $14.95 for Jing Pro, which is worth every dime!
  • Google Sites: Although I love Wikispaces, I have recent started using Google Sites for my virtual workshop handouts.  It is free and has a very powerful editing engine.  I was able to use Google to purchase "workshophandouts.com" for just 10 dollars a year and then use Google Application to host content.
Format for Today's Workshop

I have planned five exercises for today (and I will demonstrate a sixth if time allows!), aimed mostly at bringing in outside content into the Moodle, based on requests in addition to feed back from HPS's Moodle trainings over the years.  Some of this may, indeed, be review for you.  If it is, I hope you will take this as an opportunity to brush up on your skills.

Getting Started: Basic Moodle Review

  1. Editing Function of Moodle
  2. Settings Function of Moodle
  3. Blocks Function of Moodle

Part I: Integrating Simple Documents

Basic Way: Directly Import Into Moodle

It is very easy in integrate Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat PDFs and other documents into Moodle using the Moodle interface.  The basic way of doing it is to simply place that document into the Moodle.

Screencast Demonstrating Simple Document Management in Moodle:

  1. Quick and easy!  Just a few steps and you have integrated a document into your Moodle.
  2. Complete control!  The document is only on HSD #1's Moodle server, which means you can share materials that you have the license to use with your students without worrying about violating the dreaded copyright laws.
  1. Students may or may not have readers for Word, PowerPoint, Excel or Adobe PDF documents at home.
  2. It generally takes time to download and view documents in external programs.  This can impede the learning experience to someone in your Moodle.
  3. You may not want to give students the ability to print a document.

Advanced Way: Use Document Embedding Service to Create Moodle Document Reader

  • Scribd: This is the service I will demonstrate today.  It is a very robust, easy to use document management package.
  • DocStoc: This is a similar service but seems intended more towards those that want to publish their materials for other to purchase.

Screencast Demonstrating Integrating a Scribd Document into Moodle:

Part II: Easy Integration of Multimedia Content into Moodle

If you have audio or video files you want to share with students, you can integrate them directly into Moodle.  In most cases, Moodle will provide a player for that media automatically so users can then have the content streamed to them.  I will demonstrate with both an MP3 (audio) file and a video file.  These files were taken from Podcasts and Videocasts and could be examples of repurposing video and audio as class text materials.

Screencast Demonstrating Uploading an MP3 File

Part III: Integrating Other Web 2.0 Content into Moodle

Moodle has the ability to insert hundreds of useful Web 2.0 bits into Moodle to dramatically add both functionality and content.  Any website that offers content that is "embeddable" can be placed into your Moodle in a similar way to embedding a document.  I will demonstrate a couple of examples today.

Embedding Video

There are hundreds of sites that allow users to take existing content and embed it into another page.  The most common is YouTube, however, other alternatives like TeacherTube and SchoolTube have similar functionality.  Many other commercial sites also allow you to embed, including Hulu and news outlets like CNN.  It is even possible to embed live video with services like UStream.TV.

Screencast Demonstrating Embedding a YouTube Video

Embedding Other Content

Other examples of embeddable material that could be useful to you or your students:
  • xTimeline: Create and share or embed timelines
  • Bubbl.us: Create and share or embed concept maps and other bubble-type diagrams
  • NumSum: Create and share or embed spreadsheets or other number
  • Google Documents: Create and share or embed documents, spreadsheets, presentations or forms
  • Strip Generator: Create and share or embed comic strips
  • Google Calendar: Create and share calendars, including very easy-to-update assignment calendars!

Part IV: Embedding Automatically Updated Content into Moodle via RSS Feeds

Part V: Super Extra Credit: Embedding Audio Lectures with Slides into Moodle

Many of the tools can work together to create powerful learning modules inside the Moodle.  We are going to practice today taking a PowerPoint presentation, adding an audio track and then embedding both of these into the Moodle, lecture style.

Here are the core tools:
  • PowerPoint: PowerPoint is on (nearly) every machine in the district.  If you don't have a copy at home, you can always use the very powerful, and free, OpenOffice.org.
  • SlideShare: SlideShare allows someone to upload a PowerPoint presentation for sharing or embedding.  They have a newer feature called "Slidecasting" that allows one to take an MP3 file and place couple it with presentation slides, including automatic slide advancement.
  • Audacity: Audacity is the free, open source audio recorder.  I am providing a "portable" version today via the class resource CD, however, consider installing this at home or asking that it be installed at school.  It is free, powerful and really useful.

Part VI: Using Moodle as a Podcast Platform

We have added functionality to use Moodle as a podcast publishing platform.  This is an advanced feature that doesn't work as consistently as we would like, but has been used successfully in test classrooms.

Screencast Demonstrating How to Create a Podcast in Moodle

Screencast Demonstrating How to Subscribe to a Moodle Podcast Using iTunes

Helena Public Schools Moodle Intermediate Training
Jason Neiffer, Facilitator

Presentation History:
8/19/2009 @ Capital High School
4/8/2010 @ Capital High School