I’m thinking about trying several things in the following year. Apart from using Moodle still more and perhaps getting more of my colleagues hooked up to it I’d like to try some kind of classblogs. I’m still not sure if I do it from within Moodle or get some free blogs from Blogger et.al.
Moodle will offer a protected environment for my students. This should help to limit fears and get them to actually write something.
On the other hand, a blog on the internet definitely increases motivation – especially considering that strangers can post comments.
What to do?
Does your school have a strict “no phone use on school grounds”-rule when it comes to students’ mobile phones?
Luckily, my school hasn’t and so I can let my students check facts on Wikipedia, look up words and definitions during writing exercises and so on. What really surprised me was that only very few students abuse the freedom and start texting or updating their Facebook status.
I’m very lucky, it seems.
The following will probably not mean anything to you:
mplayer -vo dummy -ao dummy -identify your_video.avi 2>&1 | grep AUDIO_FORMAT | cut -d ‘=’ -f 2
mencoder -oac copy -ovc lavc -of mpeg -mpegopts format=dvd -vf scale=720:576,harddup \
-lavcopts vcodec=mpeg2video:vrc_buf_size=1835:vrc_maxrate=9800:vbitrate=5000:keyint=15:aspect=16/9 \
-ofps 25 -o your_video.mpg your_video.avi
mencoder -oac lavc -ovc lavc -of mpeg -mpegopts format=dvd -vf scale=720:576,harddup \
-srate 48000 -af lavcresample=48000 \
acodec=ac3:abitrate=192 -ofps 25 -o your_video.mpg your_video.avi
Yes, I needed to convert a video file. No, I can’t remember the options by heart.
Here are some interesting links for history teachers:
- The National Archives have complete lesson plans over here. Very nice stuff. I wonder if there are similar sites for German history teachers.
- Similar to the above, but mostly useful if you are teaching history in English is SchoolHistory.co.uk – online history lessons, revision, games, worksheets, quizzes and links. Definitely a fun site to use!
- And last but not least: If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses. I think these would be great lesson starters if I only knew how to adapt them to our curriculum.
I’ve always shunned the assumption that people who grew up with something that was introduced before they were born and is in widespread circulation when they grow up are inherently inclined to have superior knowledge about it. Like, you know, these “digital natives”.
From personal experience I can say that lots of my students are web-savvy. They have accounts at Facebook, SchülerVZ, MeinVZ, you name it. At the same time they have problems judging the validity of their Google search results. Additionally, they have trouble finding the correct expressions to feed into Google to actually get meaningful results.
But this is not all. A lot of their peers have trouble using a computer, connecting to and/or using the web with a web browser. Can we call these students “digital natives”? I think not. What is most interesting to me is that research has apparently come to the same conclusion by now.
Over at Moodle News they are having a poll whether Moodle is web 2.0 or not.
Frankly speaking, I don’t care. Moodle is a fine LMS, period. I couldn’t care less if it is or isn’t web 2.0. It suits its purpose perfectly and that is what counts!
You can pimp improve your Moodle with numerous plugins. The official Moodle website lists hundreds of them, ready for your or your pupils’ enjoyment. To give you a starting point, here are three shorter lists of the best or most used plugins:
- Best Moodle Modules & Plugins : Part 2
- What are the most sought Moodle Modules/Plug-ins?
- 5 Moodle Modules
Our Moodle uses the following plugins:
- Lightbox Gallery Resource (To give the students some eye candy. LMS don’t need to look boring!)
- Feedback (Very good for surveys and feedback.)
There you have it: Four lists of plugins. Now explore and enjoy!
Thanks to @blauerpunto for focussing my attention on this: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything. I’m not going to enjoy forums or IRC chats anymore. Just because of the image of the burning alot in my head.
I might use the comic when we discuss chatspeak in class, though.
In case you are sick of all those clickable arrows you usually use to arrange your resources in Moodle, why don’t you enable drag’n'drop?
I simply wonder why this isn’t turned on by default. Or, to be more precise, why AJAX is turned on but deactivated for course editing by default.