ACal – mindless free-format information overload or a structured Web 2.0 e-portfolio for your Moodle site?

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I was dabbling with Arthur Wiebe’s ACal freeware PHP calendar system the other day. Then I discovered that besides being able to link to images, each day’s cell could load up Web 2.0 embed code as an event. So you could have Web 2.0 content right inside the calendar. For example:

Post Pages - Post Inline - WIRIS
  1. YouTube videos
  2. TED
  3. Flickr slideshows
  4. Preezi presentations
  5. ISSUU E-publications
  6. Scribd documents

It dawned upon me that this “mashup” could have some possible pedagogical uses:

  1. As a homework list for students to refer to so that they would know what videos the facilitator wanted them to watch
  2. As an e-portfolio (provided each student had access to his or her own calendar) where the student could showcase the videos that he or she had watched over the past week
  3. As a record of self-directed learning activities. The proof is in the event entries that the student enters. The facilitator/teacher/lecturer is able to access the student’s calendar to see what the student has learnt over the week.
  4. As a multimedia diary of the facilitator/teacher/lecturer lectures and tutorials.
  5. Just for fun – a mishmash of Web 2.0 visual content to spice up a Moodle course

For a demo, please go here. For ACal installation instructions and detailed information, please click here.

So, what do you think? Is ACal a mindless free-format information overload or a structured Web 2.0 e-portfolio tool? You decide.

The Calendar shown in a Moodle course

Frankie Kam
Melaka, Malaysia