Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

Moodle 2 Course Conversion Review

Posted on May 3rd, 2012 in Books, Moodle 2.0, Resources | No Comments »

If you’re a beginner to online learning and Moodle and want to have a course up and running quickly, Moodle 2 Course Conversion, by Ian Wild,  is the book for you. This book is aimed for Moodle 2.0 Course Conversionnewbies to Moodle but I also found it useful being a Moodle 1.9 user. It stepped me through the basics of Moode, which I already knew, however it covered Moodle 2. I found it useful for myself because I’m currently getting materials and documents together to help our user’s move from 1.9 to 2.0. I documented some crucial differences between the versions that I know my users will be used to doing one way in 1.9 but may be done a different way in 2.

The author really starts from step 1 and brings you along to create a robust Moodle course. I would recommend reading the book and actually following along with your own Moodle course – you will get much more out of it. The cover does say Beginner’s guide, which is right on.

The author does not cover every single tool but all of the important ones, in my opinion. He even gives the reader real-life examples and tools to use (like a Voki and other multimedia). I noticed the book also covers some small, yet crucial tips along the way. For example, using separate enrollment keys to easily put students into groups. He hit on a few common and useful tasks in Moodle that my Moodle users use all the time.

I highly recommend this book to any new Moodle user or a Moodle user who is beginning to use Moodle 2. Sure, there are many pages you could skip but in my case it helped me tremendously to prepare documentation and help for next Fall when we transition. As always, this Packt Publishing book came with easy to understand instructions and screenshots.

Related Links

Watch @moodlerific to win a copy of Moodle 2 Course Conversion eBook @packtpub

Posted on February 3rd, 2012 in Books, Resources | No Comments »

Quick reminder–watch @Moodlerific today to win a free copy of Moodle 2 Course Conversion eBook. I will tweet a question about the book and the first one who replies to me with the correct answer wins the book!

I will tweet the question with the hashtag #winM2CCbook. Good Luck! And don’t forget to fill out this form for another chance to win the book! You have untl Feb. 14th!

and now for a totally random image..

Win a free copy of the “Moodle 2.0 Course Conversion” eBook from @packtpub

Posted on January 24th, 2012 in Books, Moodle 2.0 | No Comments »

Packt Pub is giving Moodlers more chances to win a copy of Ian Wild’s (@iandavidwild) book, Moodle 2.0 Course Conversion. If you haven’t already, check out moodlenews.com to see how you can double your chances of winning!

What will you learn from this book?

  • Incorporate your existing handouts, worksheets, and other resources into Moodle courses
  • Quick methods to make your Moodle courses engaging, attractive, and fun
  • Fast ways to add multimedia to your course, or incorporate existing sounds and videos
  • and more

 

Two ways to win

#1. Learn more about what the book has to offer, FILL OUT THIS FORM and tell me what 1 thing you plan on learning and using right after you finish reading the book. Or perhaps something you hope to learn and use right away after you finish the book. Please enter before Feb. 14th.

#2. Keep an eye out for @moodlerific ..I will be tweeting a question [related to the book] in the next week or so and the first to reply with the correct answer gets the copy! I will tweet a reminder the day I ask the question so everyone knows it’s the question for the contest!

That’s it! Again, head over to moodlenews.com to enter their contests as well.

 

Book Review: Moodle JavaScript Cookbook @packtpub

Posted on November 21st, 2011 in Books, Development, Information | No Comments »

I recently read and reviewed the book “Moodle JavaScript Cookbook” by Alastair Hole. The book’s cover promises to give the reader “over 50 recipes for making your Moodle system more dynamic and responsive with JavaScript” and it definitely opened my eyes to what’s possible with Javascript and really what very common dynamic features and enhancements are created by Moodle JavaScript CookbookJavaScript and it’s libraries.

A quick note on my background with Javascript is that I’m a newbie. I know HTML/CSS and some PHP. I can sort of manipulate other code but in no means can do much harm from scratch. This book is my first attempt of learning/understanding JavaScript concepts.

The book says it’s “aimed at developers and admins, familiar with customizing moodle with themes, modules and patches.” Which is pretty right on. It also says “no previous javascript knowledge is needed”. I didn’t have any previous knowledge and some parts were over my head and frustrating, especially when the code wouldn’t work for me but I’m betting that if a person who has intermediate knowledge of JavaScript read this book they’d fly through it. It was just annoying when the code was over my head or didn’t work, it was hard troubleshooting. I’d say the audience would be admins who have some understanding of coding but doesn’t necessarily have to know JavaScript, which the book says.

The author describes the book.. “The Moodle JavaScript Cookbook will take you through the basics of combining Moodle with JavaScript and its various libraries and explain how JavaScript can be used along with Moodle.” Which really sums it up well. If you read more of the description it continues to be accurate with what the book covers. A book’s summary should usually be accurate yes, but as far as I can think back I think this Moodle book compared with other books does a great job of preparing the reader on what they will learn.

The format of the book was a lot like other Packt Pub Moodle recipe books. It would give you a recipe and describe it, then show you how to do it and then explain what’s going on. It was pretty easy to follow with the exception of some of the code examples. I had a lot of issues with Chapter 4 and trying to get a few of the examples to work. It could have been an error on my part but it was a bit confusing looking at the code in the book and the code that was given. It didn’t always match up and since I didn’t have any prior JavaScript knowledge it was frustrating. It seemed to be just Chapter 4 for some reason — maybe I was tired that night : )

The book did have a lot of illustrations and like I said you were able to download the code. In my opinion it is crucial to be at a computer and download this code to test it out for yourself. You will get a lot more out of it.

The first few chapters of the book went over the basics. Chapter 1 talked about integrating JavaScript with Moodle 2.0 and best practices. It was a good warm up to see how JavaScript works and how it runs. Chapter 2 introduces us to the YUI which we use quite a bit in the rest of the book. It introduced us to the idea of what a library is in regards to JavaScript. Chapters 3 and 4 continued to talk about more advanced concepts and gets more into coding.

Web DesignChapter 5 and 6 things started getting cool. In these chapters we actually got into using Libraries and how using those libraries really enable you to make your page dynamic and enhance simple elements like text, tables and menus. Chapter 7 was even better with menus. The author shows us how to take simple list elements and use libraries to make them into good looking drop down and fly out menus. I never knew that using JavaScript and these libraries had sort of “pre-made” code. If you wanted you could then further customize the elements with CSS. Chapter 8 continued to show us more things you can do like animation.

The last Chapter covered using other libraries and shows the reader more potential of using JavaScript and Libraries. It’s good to know the other popular libraries and how they work with JavaScript and YUI. I’ve always wondered how all of these JavaScript codes and libraries work together and this chapter sort of gave me a general knowledge of at least how it works and that you need to connect with other libraries and have a file to use those libraries. It also gave me knowledge of a few frameworks that are popular and what they’re used for. It was neat seeing the Lightbox library because I’ve seen this before all over and I never realized it was JavaScript or how it was done.

Being totally new to JavaScript it opened my eyes to what actually is JavaScript on web sites and what are the capabilities. Whether it was auto complete when I’m typing a tag for my blog or clicking on a cell and having an edit box come up. Since I really didn’t know much of anything regarding JavaScript I definitely learned a lot. Some things were over my head but the good thing about the book and code is that I can go back later and re-visit it.

I always like more web development or admin focused Moodle books and this one makes me excited about the possibilities of enhancing elements in Moodle and really to any web site I’m working with. I wish there was more real life examples on how JavaScript can enhance real Moodle elements but it definitely got me thinking myself about how I can make current Moodle elements on the page better with the examples shown. It was a good read!

Related Links

 

Moodle 2.0 for Business & Moodle Javascript Cookbook @packtpub

Posted on June 21st, 2011 in Books, Information | No Comments »

Some exciting new titles have come to Packt Publishing.

I’m very excited to get reading these books. Along with using Moodle in a k-12 school district I’m also an admin for a small business. I’m hoping to get some tips to make that site work even better with Moodle 2.0. Hopefully by the time I’m done reading I’ll be itching to upgrade. The Javascript book looks interesting to me to see what I can learn to make our Moodle site more customized and dynamic.

I’ll be writing a review on each of the books. Hopefully I can get started soon, while I’m getting back into testing 2.0! Stay tuned.


Moodle Javascript Cookbook Moodle 2.0 for Business

Buy multiple Moodle books at @PacktPub & save $$ at the same time!

Posted on August 5th, 2010 in Professional Development | No Comments »

Packt Publishing, a technical and IT book store, has recently started offering attractive discounts for customers who wish to buy books in bulk. Customers who purchase 2-4 books will receive an 18% discount, while customers who purchase 5-10 books will receive a 20% discount off the books’ cover prices! If you wish to purchase more than 10 books a larger discount is possible.

If you’re not familiar with Packt Publishing, it’s a great place to find quality books about IT and open source topics. Personally, I have read (off the top of my head) 4+ Packt Pub Moodle books and I have more on my “to read” list.

These new discount offers are perfect for Moodlers because of the quality and quantity of books about Moodle they have to offer (and more to come). Whether it’s 2-4 books or if you’re ambitious and would like to purchase 5-10. Another great idea is to request at your workplace a bulk purchase of books for professional development! I actually did this last winter at the old school district I used to work at, too bad this offer wasn’t available back then!

Happy reading!

Related