Interview with the Folks behind #iMoot2013

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As you know the 2013 iMoot is coming up next week, I was able to do a email interview of Vinny Stocker and Julian Ridden (@Moodleman), two of  the folks behind the scenes of the event put on by Pukunui and supported by a few other organizations (Blindside Networks, and Packt Publishing).

WIRIS

Registration is available at http://2013.imoot.org/mod/book/view.php?id=31&chapterid=9

Where’d the inspiration for iMoot’s 2013 theme come from?

The inspiration for iMoot 2013’s theme for this year came about when we began to think about the direction online education is taking. Open Source, at it’s core, is all about openness. Moodle, at it’s core, is also about collaboration through openness via a constructionist methodology. Education globally is moving towards openness with the growing trend towards open online publishing via tools like iTunes U and YouTube and the growing movement in MOOCs. Seeing all these existing ideals and emerging trends moving together made an iMoot on “Open” an easy choice to make.

Who all is behind iMoot in it’s 3rd year (orgs and individuals)?

iMoot is itself a collaboration attempt by many in the Moodle community. It is facilitated by Pukunui Technology, and with over 50 people presenting either sessions or Keynotes, and hundreds of participants having conversations either on the iMoot site, the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/imoot/ or on Twitter #imoot2013 these are the people that make all the difference. We love how the community gets behind the iMoot, it is a great opportunity to learn more about Moodle, and make new friends.

What makes this year different?

This year (with the “Open” theme) we’ve decided to use BigBlueButton to run the presentations. We are proud to promote BBB as a high-quality open source web conferencing system.

What is your favorite memory of last year’s iMoot?

Our favourite memories from last year were seeing the global Moodle community coming together over the four days. Typically online events often come across as stale and clinical, disconnected event. The atmosphere of an iMoot is the opposite of all of these. And it is this atmosphere that seems to just get better each year. We can’t wait to see where the community takes us this year.

What are some of the Moodle addons and technology that make the iMoot work?

The iMoot site http://2013.imoot.org/ is a fairly standard Moodle installation. This was a conscious decision, as it helps to showcase what a ‘vanilla’ Moodle can do.  The only things we have added are the BigBlueButton integration to facilitate the live aspect of the conference and a custom script for displaying the session times.

What do you hope people will take away from the experience?

Our goal at iMoot is to unite the growing global Moodle community; to foster the learning and development of these passionate educators’ practice and encourage collaboration and sharing. If attendees can just take away a small handful of ideas from our many presenters then I would say our job is well done.

In 5 years, is there still an iMoot and what does it look like?

It has grown so much since it’s inception, hopefully the iMoot of 5 years time is even larger and more interactive! We would love to see ways of bringing in live sessions from around the world and turn them into truly “blended” sessions.  We are also keen to try and build the multilingual nature of the event. Moodle is used in 233 countries – it would be great to have participants from every one of them.

What Moodle projects or development initiatives make you most excited these days?

We are passionate about Moodle and the positive effects it can have on groups of learners. It’s impossible to pinpoint individual developments or initiatives, because there are so many, however, the thing that really gets us excited are the regular twice yearly releases of the core Moodle code. It is awesome to see how the Moodle community keeps making a really great product better and better with every release.

We are really looking forward to meeting new Moodlers, and seeing old friends,

Keep Calm and Moodle on!

Vinny, Julian and the iMoot 2013 team.

As a bonus, here’s a behind the scenes video from last year’s iMoot featuring the Moodleman himself [direct video link: http://vimeo.com/42906511]

iMoot 2012 – Behind the Scenes from iMoot Moodle Moot on Vimeo.