Revisiting MoodleMoot Australia 2016. The Present And Future Of Moodle In Perth

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Revisiting MoodleMoot Australia 2016. The Present And Future Of Moodle In Perth

MoodleMoot Australia 2016 is history. Let’s jump right in with a recap of the three days that were, with the help of Moodle blog coverage and social graph activity.

WIRIS

Day #1 ― Monday, September 26th

This Moot felt special. In a way, Moodle’s creator (the “Moodler”), Martin Dougiamas was playing host for the world’s Moodle community.

The first day began with a series of workshops. An introduction to Moodle by Mary Cooch aka “Moodle Fairy”, this time partners with My Learning Space‘s Chad Outten. A masterclass in Mobile Learning, the present and next frontier, by Moodle HQ’s Pau Ferrer.

An Analytics & Moodle (& You) session conducted by Liz Dalton, which combined with a Moodle Assessment session sparked some online debate about gamification and whether metrics “focuses too much on the game”.

Analytics is definitively one of those great upcoming things that are already here. But I think Moodler could explain it better:

The Dev Jam Sessions began, and on they one it accomplished two goals. First, to show the new productivity tools for today’s Moodle developer:

As well as next-gen classroom features ready for exploitation by instructors:

Day #2 ― Tuesday, September 27th

Keynote time! In the most expected talk of the event, Dougiamas took the stage with The New Moodle. A passionate message, at both times idealistic and grounded. Did you sense the heat?

https://twitter.com/PlainFleur/status/780940859260809216

A Moodle course should be thought of as a campfire. Not just the wood burning, but the people gathering around to share thoughts and warmth. This is what makes Moodle sustainable. Supporting all learners, making a platform accessible to everyone, is what Moodle is about. Thanks to this clear mission, Dougiamas argued, is why Moodle is what it is today, and to what owes its relevance.

He reported on the continuing success in adoption of Moodle. But success invites new challenges, with players trying to replicate Moodle success, and the continuous shockwaves that evolving technology brings. Is the learning world turning away from screens and into augmented reality and IoT? And if so, he wonders if Moodle is ready for the new normal, and if institutional users would.

Delving into details, he discussed the many features coming up with Moodle 3.2. The audience seemed to be particularly excited for the LTI standard for content interoperability. Prominence and improvement of existing features for Moodle 3.2 count the Recycle Bin, User Tours and Messaging.

Another exciting bit of news was the release of the Branded Moodle Mobile App, a model through which organizations can have a customized app for their users.

This also signals the creation of a dedicated UX team at Moodle HQ, which itself illustrates the bet on mobile, even if the app cannot offer 100% of Moodle just yet.

At the end of the day, commercial success is not Moodle’s raison d’être.

Achievement conceded to Moodler, which we will see if it validates once Moodle 3.2 is out in November.

But Dougiamas’ was not the only fascinating talk of the day. On the afternoon, interesting discussions, almost bordering on subversive, took the stage. Navitas‘ James Hamilton asked “Is LMS dead?“, at his Moodle in Wonderland: 7 Impossible Things talk.

An inspiring story told by USQ about using Moodle in prisons, and presentations by reknown moodlers such as Damyon Wiese, Marina Glancy, Blackboard’s Mark Bailye and John Okely filled the afternoon.

Short sponsored presentations went along the speakers, including WIRIS, Catalyst, Amazon AWS, Echo 360, Moodlerooms and My Learning Space. The Swivl cam caused a minor uproar!

Summing up the day, Dougiamas reigned over the online conversation. But there were some space for excitement about more features designed (or redesigned) to improve teachers and students workflows: Grading and Assessment, Filters, Team Evaluation, and plugins given to Moodle by commercial and non-profit contributors.

By Tuesday’s end, I start to suspect that the ability to create and customize the Moodle experience is what brings this additional sense of collective excitement. It’s as if we were all thinking “look at all the things I can do now” when a new feature or plugin was on stage.

To top the night, the Conference dinner. Food, beer, drinks, networking, conversation.

Day #3 ― Wednesday, September 28th

It was MUA (Moodle Users Association) Day. An important opportunity to bring awareness of this ensemble, its committees and initiatives to create a better Moodle through, among other things, ongoing interaction with the world’s users. It was the collaborative process of MUA that gave Moodle the Recycle Bin, among other features.

For more on MUA, go here.

As the day went on, thing were about to get STEAM-y.

Melissa Silk shared a highly engaging presentation about the tech learning possibilities that arise when we joined STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) topics with Arts, to empower creativity and critical thinking. Silk discussed LittleBits, an electronic building blocks kit that initiates learners into robotics, programming, and more general problem solving. The best part is that LittleBits is not only for young girls.

Silk discussed many of the possibilites of LittleBits and the benefits of a ongoing conversation between arts and sciences. She talked about all the latest 21st century gizmos: 3D printing, augmented reality, synthesizers, you name it.

You can find out more about Silk’s current work at STEAMpop.zone.

To complete the event, presenters put Moodle to the test in circumstances never consider safe for an LMS before. We had:

  • Australian National University’s Med School and their new Juris Doctor Online law degree.
  • Students with mental health issues at Wonthaggi Secondary College.
  • Promoting basic IT literacy at Fiji National University.
  • A robo-butler for Moodle teachers, by Monash University’s Luke Low.
  • A Moodle course on carpentry? Yes! Developed by the TAFE Illawarra in New South Wales.

There was so many content I apologize for not giving space to all that merited it, during the three days. I hope this helps to make up for it:

 

A final Q&A panel included Dougiamas, along with Cooch, Glancy and Moodle HQ’s Community Projects Manager Gavin Henrick.

It’s a wrap, everybody!

No matter your reasons to follow the event, I hope you had an interesting time.

Many online thanks to the diligent coverage contributed by @Orangedrummaboy@michael_sankey@PlainFleur, @JPdownunda, and @moodlemootau.

And a bonus: check out the Moodle-Doodles by @martyq67 on the talks he attended. Martin was paying attention!

 

 


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