Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moodle and Social Networking

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Since the focus of my research lately has been Social Networking - I was intrigued to see a presentation on how Moodle & Social Networking could be brought together. Now I believe Social Networking is bigger than just one tool (i.e. Facebook) and I align it more with the PLN (Personal Learning network - see great post by Jeff Utech) way of thinking and I was happy to see that this session took that same viewpoint.

One of things I worry about is "throwing" too many tools at my faculty. It takes so long for them to overcome some of the hurdles of tool acquisition, that I would rather use an existing tool to do some things. However, forcing a tool to do something it is not intended to do does not always work out.

So Stuart Mealor (whom as I mentioned previously was my favorite speaker from the conference) decided to use Moodle as an aggregator of sorts (reminds me a bit of something like pageflakes or iGoogle to a certain degree). He uses a Moodle Course to "house" all of his social networking or PLN info. Since I am constantly looking for a way to encourage our students to create a web presence for themselves (and not necessarily only through html coding) I really like this idea - but how did he do it?

  • He created a new role for students as a very restricted teacher and called this "owner" (I like this idea, because in the past (like with the Student Portfolio Project) I have created another instance of Moodle and stripped out some of the tools to acomplish this)
  • Each student gets their own course to use as a homepage
The following blocks or add-ins are used:
Here is his example course - you will need to view it with Guest Access http://www.elearning.org.nz/course/view.php?id=19

3 comments:

Jeff said...

Thanks for this...what a great out of the box use of Moodle. I love it when people take a great, flexible tool like Moodle and do amazing stuff with it. Thanks for the Moodle add-ins as well. Such a great way to extend an already great tool!

Bethany Smith said...

There are so many Moodle add-ins and blocks to choose from - I am glad that Stuart shared the ones he likes that are *stable* :)

KerryJ said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm working with Moodle as a free, open source social network tool for Australian educators.

What Mealor has done in terms of the plug-ins and template is wonderful. Your excellent notes made it understandable!