I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m only now getting caught up with my sleep after the iMoot 2017 Online LMS Conference. It was an awesome event, and running continuously over two days there was always temptation to stay up through all hours of the day to see as many presentations as possible. I thought I’d comment on some of my favourite moments.
I had the privilege of presenting twice at iMoot this year. Bootstrap Hacks for Teachers was a look at how a little knowledge of HTML and CSS and the Bootstrap framework can allow a teacher to improve the appearance of their course. 26 Tips to Make You a Better Moodler was a year’s worth of my Fortnightly Tips delivered at a very quick pace. Both were very well received, and I was glad to share my knowledge with the community.
The sessions at iMoot 2017 were fantastic. One of the highlights was Professor Hideto Harashima’s keynote. Prof. Harashima was the president of the Moodle Association of Japan, an organisation I have had some experience with in the past. His keynote included much of his history of building support and enthusiasm for Moodle in Japan, the history of the MAJ, and how this feed into the building of the Moodle Users Association. It was a fascinating story, and Hideto is an excellent storyteller. His presentation was very well received.
I also was fortunate to catch Andrew Chiu’s keynote as well. I don’t know Andrew personally but I know he’s a friend of iMoot. Andrew is the Educational Technology Coordinator at the American International School in Hong Kong. I had a chance to speak to Andrew a bit more during Oranges Cafe – one of the informal hallway tracks at iMoot. We spoke about competencies in Moodle, and our experiences with implementing them at his school and at TAFENSW.
Speaking of competencies, one of the presentations I found fascinating was Michelle Hollister’s presentation one the subject. Michelle works for the Bureau of Meteorology, and has worked with competencies in 3.2 for their Antarctic training programs. She has developed a definition for their hierarchy based on the idea of “perishable” and “non-perishable”. Anything perishable, such as communicating with a specific technology (i.e. mobile phone, radio, etc), is not included as a competency, where as the underlying skills (“communicate effectively”) are competencies. It’s an interesting take, and perhaps somewhat different to what VET sector teachers have to deal with. I certainly want to keep in touch with Michelle as competencies are a complex issue, and it’s fantastic to see someone with a different perspective.
New Zealanders at iMoot
Some other great presentations included Stuart Mealor of Moodle Partner HRDNZ speaking about plugins, and the site plugins.moodlebites.com. This site is a place where you can trail the 50 most popular Moodle plugins. What a fantastic resource, one that I’m happy to tell people about. Stuart also teased that something exciting is coming to elearningworld.org this year.
There were quite a few New Zealanders presenting at iMoot. Tabitha Parker and Miriam Laidlaw put on perhaps some of the most entertaining sessions outlining communication in 3.2 and all places the Boost these moved everything to. Mahara guru Kristina Hoeppner of Catalyst IT outlined simplifications for getting Mahara and Moodle to talk. I’ve seen quite a bit on Mahara, but I’ve never actually used it. Her talk has me inspired to play with Mahara, so expect a mahara.scott.technology sometime soon. Especially since she’s interested me with talk of running Mahara on a Raspberry Pi; this is something I really must try myself.
My friend Justin Hunt, a Kiwi in Japan, presented on Poodll and getting started in Moodle plugin development. Justin is a great guy and a real asset to the Moodle community. I love hanging out with him, either virtually or those rare times we are in the same country. I’m a fan of Poodll, and I hope to see more of our clients use his plugin. I was also able to catch a session by Don Hinkelman from Japan as well, another good friend from the MAJ.
My good friend Julian Davis also presented on adult learning styles. Julian is an old friend from SWSi TAFE, but he’s now in Brisbane and I don’t get to hang out with him enough. His presentation was really interesting, discussing the roadblocks that adult learners have and how we can help them overcome these obstacles.
Moodle User Association committee member and Moodle World blogger Jaswinder Singh presented on H5P. An interesting presentation and I took the time after to ask about MoodleMoot India. I have some dates, and a location, but I think I’ll let him make any official announcements. It would be awesome to attend a Moot in India. Or a WordCamp in Malaysia for that matter – and presenter Sam Suresh is an organiser for WordCamp KL! Sam presented on using Moodle as a backend certification platform for a Joomla! front end. I think Sam should get a special award for sneaking WordPress and Joomla talk into an LMS conference.
Team Pukunui and Team iMoot
I was very proud of the Pukunui team for our presentations as well – Priya, Dom, Shane and Vinny all presented and the whole Pukunui team (including Lindy, on maternity leave) was there to support iMoot (especially Vinny and Wendi). There was also a great international team, with old friends Kim Salinas, Karrie Vitti, Stephan Rinke and Gareth Bernard doing major work behind the scenes.
So you missed all this iMoot fun? No worries – Mini iMoot dates were announced in the closing session. Mini iMoot is what it sounds like, a mini version of iMoot. It’s 24 hours of fun, and if you recall, I was the Keynote Speaker for Mini iMoot16, so they know quality.
Mini iMoot 2017 will be held November 17 and 18. Watch this space for more details.
One of my iMoot presentations was a great opportunity to introduce more people to Fortnightly Tips, and the 26 Tips talk was actually broadcast to my Fortnightly Tips audience as well as iMoot. Fortnightly Tips is a free webinar held every two weeks to give you a simple tip or trick to help you be a better Moodler. In the past I have run tips on competencies, conditional activities, and making changes to your users or courses by uploading a CSV file.
This fortnight coming up – June 2 – we are going to cover Big Blue Button. Big Blue Button (or BBB) is a way to host a virtual classroom in your Moodle course. We use it often at Pukunui, and we ran iMoot on BBB (and BBB had a sponsor session). It’s great software and I’m excited to show everyone how to use it, although I’m still trying to figure out how to show BBB using BBB – there’s a meta boxes in boxes thing going on there, but I’ll sort it.
I hope to see you at the next Fortnightly Tips!