This year, I am revisiting Moodle as the Learning Management System (LMS) for my Pre-Calculus classes. I considered making a switch this year, but settled with Moodle again since I already created a course for my Pre-Cal classes last year and it worked out really well. Using Moodle again, to me, is like getting to teach the same course again– I can add to what I did last year and make it work even better for my new classes. I was able to delete last year’s students and add my new groups very easily. Check out my Moodle at http://mrsblanchet.net/moodle.
This year, rather than going through the tedious process of adding each student individually with a fake email address like I did before, I imported them from an Excel .csv file I created with each student’s first and last name, their WORKING email address, and a generic password I created for all students. I was even able to add them to our course by adding it as a column in the Excel file. Here is a link with instructions on how to format an excel file to upload your users all at once: http://docs.moodle.org/19/en/Upload_users#Upload_users_file_format. It was so quick and easy, I’ll never go back to manually adding users again! I also worked with my hubby to redesign my Moodle to make it look a little cleaner and prettier. One major change that really brought the site up to date was replacing the icon set. My site looks 100% better because of this simple change. I hate to say it, but the default icons are pretty ugly and outdated, taking the whole look of the site down a notch. Update those icons and it will be an extreme Moodle makeover, I promise!
Keamber made my day!
After an exhausting afternoon, I returned a call to one of my graduates from last year’s Pre Cal class who left me a message yesterday. We chatted for a few minutes about her life after high school, and I asked her what made her give me a call. Much to my surprise, she informed me that she was now a student at the University of New Orleans (my alma mater–go Privateers!) and that they recently made the switch from Blackboard to Moodle. She said that she just wanted to “thank” me for “making them Moodle” last year, since now all of her quizzes and classwork were being given on the same platform. What a blessing! I was so inspired that she took the time to find my number and call me up to share this, and I was truly touched to know that my Moodling is not done in vain! One of the best parts of teaching is when kids take the time to come back and tell you that you actually taught them something that they could use in their adult lives. Thanks for calling me, KeAmber, you truly made this teacher’s day today! Next time one of my students throws a fit about not wanting to Moodle, I will smile to myself and think of you. 🙂
Today I continued my Problem of the Week (PoW) process by opening a discussion on our Moodle “PoW Forum” requiring each student to reply with at least one “I wonder” or “I notice” statement about the problem scenario. If you read yesterday’s post, you may be thinking “didn’t you do that yesterday?” We did, but not every student tweeted an answer. Some just don’t tweet, while others did not have access to a Twitter device. I am not making anyone’s child tweet against his or her will, but this Moodle discussion is being added to each student’s participation grade. I did this to ensure that every student is a part of the PoW “noticing and wondering” activity. I still have to see my other class tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with a screenshot of the statements I received so far (I deleted names and the problem for privacy):