Life on the edge of the moodleverse

QuickStructure Block – swerving the moodle ‘scroll-of-death’

Quickstructure is a custom block that developed out of a desire to:

  • make it easy for teachers to add colour heading strips and thumbnails to course sections
  • allow students to use a visual menu to avoid the moodle ‘scroll-of-death’

The following 2 min video shows [real time], how quick a course can be formatted using the quickstructure block [granted I’ve done some of the hard work by having the images ready to go 🙂 ]


Social networking the school bulletin

In a vibrant school of 1600 students and 200 staff, communicating everything that is going on is a challenge.

We are increasingly using our VLE landing page to deliver important information – on average we get two hits per user per day on this page so it is useful real estate.

Students and staff are allowed to submit 600×120 banners for events – these roll at the top of the page [starting at a random point in the sequence on each page load]

Bulletin items are tweeted out [@kgv_bulletin] – but to really take the message to the kids those tweets are also picked up by a facebook fan page – thus bulletin items appear on the students’ Facebook walls. Cool?

Notice – we’ve been tweeting from kgv_bulletin for a 2 weeks – and routing to Facebook for two days. Already facebook has a greater following!

NB: this video is taken in the first day of the summer holiday – nice and quiet!

NB: For those interested I used the RSS Graffiti Facebook plugin to get Status updates in my fan page from our twitter feed.

What’s it all about?

My intention with this Blog is to share some of the ideas and work I’ve been doing with moodle at my school (King George V School) and within the English Schools Foundation (ESF) here in Hong Kong.

I am [or I guess I was] a teacher/Head of ICT for 17 years, first in the UK before moving to the wonderful city of Hong Kong. However, in recent years I’ve been working on development of Moodle extensions and customisations full time on a sabbatical.

I’m not the best coder in the world – my Computer Science PhD was a lot more theoretical than practical – but where I’ve been successful [IMO] is in marrying my technical skills with knowledge of [secondary] school learning and teaching needs. Hopefully some of the work I intend to display here will illustrate that point.

I consider myself to be very lucky to be working within a school where staff are largely open minded [and good humoured]; where staff feedback regularly on how our VLE can be improved and enhanced and where I can see examples, on a daily basis, of staff and students using the various enhancements I’ve created.