Monday, May 24, 2004

Moodle Experience

I have not been posting here for some time...I guess one cannot be at a hundred places at the same time ...even if virtually it does seem easier. I have been participating at a collaborative experience at Moodle. Karen Garcia, who did the BaW in February invited interested participants to join her in the exploration of the Moodle and Open Source, a space graciously ceded by Venny Su on his server in Taiwan.
Some three years ago I set a short course for my students at Blackboard (when it was still free) but I have never used Moodle so I am eager to see how it works and what we can do with it.

Although Karen is the initiator, she deliberately did not want to set a fixed syllabus and is asking people to give ideas and suggestions. I must say I felt a little frustrated and irritated at the beginning, because as a participant I had absolutely no access to the tools to experiment with... I clicked and clicked and could not do anything...just receive news, fill in surveys (but could not view the results)or post in the forums, which I find useful but boring... So I asked Karen to upgrade my rights. I have the gnawing feeling that this environment is too top down for what Karen has suggested we do. I feel disturbed by the log not like the feeling Big Brother is watching every step I make, how long I stayed in each section...students must feel terrible!

As a moderator I can now do a lot more, but it is still frustrating because there is only me and her in the area. I feel that if you want a collaborative space, all must have the same rights. There should be (a) leader(s) and some kind of structure, even if loose...people who have some experience can think of a structure but newbies, who are still at loss with the technology itself, may find it difficult and this may prevent them from fully participating and venting their doubts and fears.

My personal view is that you discover better the use of a tool if you have content to deliver...what comes first..the content or the tool? Do you find content to fit the tool or the other way round?

Monday, May 10, 2004

The New Blogger

Blogger has just just been revamped - a gift for Mother's Day! I like the new look. It is clean, well-organized and very visual. I am sure my students will find their directions more easily. I am curious about what they are going to say.
I have also installed a Google bar to my browser and the Blog-this which allows me to post and publish without having to log into my account. Apparently it has also the comment feature that has been added and you can post to the blog through your mail. I have not checked this yet but am looking forward to exploring these new possibilities with the kids.

Very efficient. Way to go!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Australian Flexible Learning Community

I have just enrolled for the Australian Flexible Learning Community. and while updating my profile, Geoffrey Kaye from CompuED sent me a message. You can see who is logged in and text chat with members online. He was surprised to see someone from Brazil in an Australian AFLC ccommunity. (webheads are impossible! ). He asked me if I was interested in exploring the opportunity of delivering my teaching services using online audio conferencing :--)
I tried to log into the CompuED chat room several times, but apparently my Google pop-up blocker was interfering in the process and the application would not launch. Finally, I disabled the blocker, uninstalled the chat room , re-booted the computer and re-started the whole thing again. I managed to log in but by that time, Geoffrey had left (he's 13 hours ahead of me...) so we will meet some other time. Will keep you posted.