July 1, 2012 6 Comments
Getting towards summer now when many think of education getting quiet… for me it’s anything but, lots of new developments this week!
Moodle 2.3 finally landed and it looks to have been worth the wait. This one finally makes 2.x look like a finished product and sorts out the usability annoyances that have bugged Moodle users since the dawn of time. Drag and drop upload is awesome and combined with AJAX makes moving resources around courses so much simpler. The only gotcha to watch out for is that it’s not going to work on IE8 so XP users will need to use Chrome or Firefox.
Book module finally makes it into the core at last, had a little niggle with my Aardvark theme where in the name of clean design it hid the hide navigation menu but sorted that by adding a “post” region to the theme’s config.php file. Just checking back on the Moodle forum there’s a fixed config.php file available now that incorporates a couple of other pages that needed sorting, get it here http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=201585#p898105
While at the JISC e-factor 2012 event I found out that a new version of the ULCC ILP block will be coming soon as well. Perfect timing for us as we continue to build our new Moodle and Mahara sites. Check out the e-factor site http://moodle.rsc-london.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=110 as there were some really useful presentations on the day which should be up there soon.
And finally as if that little lot wasn’t enough Microsoft officially released Office 365 for education, will be getting that on my demo domain shortly for more testing.
My initial thoughts are that it has potential and there’s some interesting products in there (Lync particularly has caught my eye) but that the amount of space per student (500MB!) is poor compared to Google. Some might say that’s still plenty of space for documents but after seeing some colleges using Google Apps as a student e-portfolio I think that space could get used up very quickly so will be interesting to see how it pans out.
Also a bit uncertain about the use of Sharepoint right now as the interface isn’t the friendliest out the box, although it does seem easier to get at from within Windows which is a bonus. Quite a few people on the web demos I attended were asking for Moodle integration… a repository API for Sharepoint would be perfect, just need someone to make it happen now (remember MS that you can do this very easily with Google Docs right now…)
Next week I’m hoping to have my production Moodle 2.3 + Mahara sites up and running ready to start building course category structures and update my training courses for staff… let the fun begin!