“Successfully Integrating Google Apps in Education”

Posted on December 15th, 2009 in Integration, Resources | 4 Comments »

The past two days I attended the TIES 2009 Education Technology Conference and co-presented “Successfully Integrating Google Apps in Education” with some of our tech people. The presentation is about Google Apps but it also includes using the Moodle-Googleapps SSO plugin. We had a good turn out as a lot of school districts are either looking into using Google Apps or are having issues implementing it. Below is the description of our session.

Come see how Osseo Area Schools have begun to leverage the power of Google Apps for Education. Participants will learn reasons semenax in stores for using Google Apps, tips for successfully implementing Google Apps, questions you should answer before going forward, and see some examples of how Osseo is using Google Apps for both instruction and improving productivity.

TIES provided each session with a wiki so they could post links and resources from their presentations. Here’s our wiki with a link to the presentation and to our delicious account with links we used while implementing Google Apps. You can also check out other sessions and links to their presentations and resources – there were some great presentations this year!

Moodle Link Love & More

Posted on October 22nd, 2009 in Information, Links | No Comments »

Planet Moodle

Other

….and More

Recently I’ve been helping out with getting our district’s Moodle-Google SSO fully working. It had been working but we ran into a few issues. I think we have solved our problem…we’ll see tomorrow! I plan to write a complete blog post about our situation and how we were able to get it working which will hopefully help others out there in the same situation. We’re using Ubuntu 8.0.4, Moodle 1.9.1+ and the LDAP Authentication.

Moodle Link Love

Posted on August 13th, 2009 in Links | No Comments »

Here’s a few links to check out

Microsoft Integrates Live@edu with Moodle

Posted on July 23rd, 2009 in Integration | No Comments »

Microsoft is bridging the gap between their Live@edu collaboration suite and Moodle. Microsoft Live@edu is a suite for education which gives students email, online storage and collaboration tools. It  is highly compared with Google Apps Education Edition.

Microsoft is bridging the gap with a new plug-in that will allow Moodle users to integrate the Live@edu tools.

“It’s a free download that helps address the needs of interoperability and flexible technology choices in education,” explained L. Michael Golden, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Education Products Group, in a telephone interview. “Quite easily, with one Live@edu login, [users will] be able to utilize all of the flexibility that Moodle presents as a learning management system, along with the collaboration/communication capabilities of Live@edu.” [source]

Further information about the plug-in


Microsoft Live Services Plug-in for Moodle

Moodle site administrators can now include Microsoft Live Services in the list of features provided to teachers and students through Moodle. With the Microsoft Live Services Plug-in for Moodle, students and teachers can use their Windows Live IDs to sign in to Moodle and access Live Services, such as e-mail, instant messenger, and calendar without leaving Moodle.” [read more]

To learn more about this plug-in, discuss it or download it visit the Microsoft Education Labs site.

Along with the announcement of the Live@edu plug-in to Moodle, Microsoft has introduced their Education Labs site. Educations Labs will focus on software and resources for the education world.

I think these new developments by Microsoft is a good thing for the education world. The more “competition” and the more programs out there for the classroom is good for everyone because it forces other companies to keep up and create quality programs.

Our district actually compared Google Apps Education Edition with Microsoft’s Live@edu product last year for student emails and collaboration tools. We ended up going with Google Apps because we thought Google would integrate better with other programs in the future. Also, I believe we would have had to pay for the large number of accounts to be created or imported (I’m not sure exactly what the fee was for).

Although our district will not be using it, I think in Microsoft’s efforts to “join” the open-source world, or to maybe take advantage of it, is mostly a positive thing. However, I do think that Microsoft is thinking more about how to win the Microsoft/Google battle rather than how they can help the education world. It is a business after all, but I’m just saying I won’t be changing my opinion on Microsoft and their willingness to play nice with others anytime soon. I wonder if we will see any reaction from Google Apps? There is already a plug-in for Google Apps and Moodle (Killer App).

Related Links:
Microsoft Integrates Live@edu with Moodle, Launches Education Labs
Live@edu
Education Labs
Download the Live@edu/Moodle plug-in
Live@edu and Moodle: A shameless publicity stunt?

Moodle for the iPhone

Posted on May 6th, 2009 in Ideas, Integration, Resources | 3 Comments »

Lewis Carr explains how he turned his Moodle site into a nice layout and format for the iPhone without having to change the core theme. Take a look at his slides showing this.

His hack is for his site only and would be useless to just copy and paste in yours. He replies to a comment:

The stylesheet I use is a modified CSS of my current theme, it would be useless for any other theme.  The hack relies on you modifiying your existing css to add the code.  However, I am createing a stand-alone iPhone theme to work on.. -Read more

Lewis Carr has many great Moodle developments, check out his (best I’ve ever seen) http://moodle.parklane.ac.uk/. You can also  follow him on Twitter or take a look at his site.

Google Apps + Moodle Integration Struggles

Posted on May 4th, 2009 in Integration | 5 Comments »

We have been trying to integrate Google Apps with Moodle for the past couple of weeks. With a little help from Matt Montagne on creating the keys we were on our way. We installed the blocks successfully and had no errors while setting everything up. We followed the instructions from here and everything seemed to be going okay. After enabling the API setting in Google Apps, we took a step back to see if it worked.

It seemed like the local and LDAP Moodle admins were created (they had “OK” for the Google Apps Sync block status). However, when I tried going into Google Apps it gave me a “This service cannot be accessed because your login credentials are not yet valid. Please log in and try again.”

Most of the LDAP users (students and teachers) were not even created in Google Apps and gave me a “Failed to create Google Apps account” in the Google Apps Sync block. When I run the /blocks/gdata/cron.php it gives me “Starting Moodle to Google Apps synchronization Google Apps error: Google Apps error: The server encountered the following errors processing the request: Error 1402: InvalidPassword Invalid Input: \”\” Google Apps error: Google Apps error:” over and over again.

What is odd is that random users are created in Google Apps and seem to be syncing but they are still not able to get into Google Apps. This has only been a half dozen users and the rest are not being created. The error above tells me it’s a password issue but I am not sure what to change.

We are kind of in a waiting mode right now to see if it just needs time. However, this past weekend Google Apps announced they have created an LDAP plugin. We may have to look into getting LDAP to work that way but we would really like to have the SSO.

Moodle + Google Apps = : )

Posted on February 20th, 2009 in Features, Integration, News | No Comments »

Google Apps Education Edition is coming to an open source learning management system near you. Moodlerooms, a Moodle partner, is launching a new enhancement to the open source LMS in collaboration with search giant Google to provide access to the application suite using a single sign-on. [read more]

This really excites me! Our district has been looking into student email possibilities and a way for students to collaborate. Google Apps Education Edition seems to be a top choice for secondary students. This would be an awesome integration for us! In the article, I think this is the most important reason why I like the idea of a Moodle/Google App integration:

“This greatly simplifies the task of implementing a collaborative suite, as well as enables institutions to leverage the work they’ve already done integrating their platforms with their other systems. From a teacher’s perspective, this provides an easy way to assign students to collaborative tasks without having to worry about the students having different operating systems or incompatible software or being unable to access an online system. From an IT staffer or CIO’s perspective, this provides an integration tested with large-scale data loads and built on industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols for secure single sign on and information transfer.” [read more]

Easy integration, fewer logins and “places” to go seem to be very important for teachers. If our district does decide to go with Google Apps this is something really look into.

Source: http://campustechnology.com/articles/2009/02/20/google-collaborates-on-moodle-integration.aspx

Moodle & Alfresco integration in Moodle 2.0

Posted on January 15th, 2009 in Features, Moodle.org, News | No Comments »

Alfresco Software Inc., the leader in open source enterprise content management (ECM), today announced an OEM partnership with Remote-Learner.net, the provider of open source solutions for online learning management, record keeping and learning object storage to corporate, academic and governmental clients. The partnership will deliver solutions to allow learning organizations using Moodle’s open source course management system (CMS) to access Alfresco’s robust open source ECM repository to support content development and reuse. – read more

I take a great interest in this integration because our school district is looking into Alfresco as a possibility for document management. I have no experience with Alfresco but I have heard good things about it. There is a free version and an Enterprise version you can pay for. Learn more at Alfresco.com.

Remote-Learner is a Moodle Partner that hosts Moodle sites and is “a learning company providing technology services”.

Moodle 2.0 is impressing me more and more each day. I feel like there are many improvements (some free, some may be “paid-for” services) in file management and repositories. Glancing at the admin plug-ins section I can already see that they have made it easier for Moodle to integrate with a variety of sites and other software like Alfresco, Box.net, Flickr, Picasa, WebDAV, Wikimedia and YouTube.

Read more:

Alfresco Press Release -Alfresco and Remote-Learner.net Partner to Deliver Moodle eLearning Integration

Moodleman blog post –  Alfresco tie-in in Moodle 2.0

Moodle Docs – Repository API