Google Apps and Office 365 are the behemoths of cloud based productivity tools and offers a special pricing for educators. The tools provides easy collaboration and access from any device. For Moodle users, there are few plugins which allows you to easily integrate Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 with Moodle and leverage the benefits.
However, as Dr. Martin Dougiamas and Moodle HQ team observed:
“One of the priorities for the next version of Moodle is the integration with Google Apps and Office 365,” he said. “This means schools will have the benefit of working with documents collaboratively in those environments, but also having them within the LMS in a way where all the permissions are synchronized and part of activities.”
For example, if a teacher wants to share a private spreadsheet with their class, they can simply post it into their Moodle course and the entire class will immediately have access to it.
Dougiamas pointed out that now, teachers need to add students’ permissions individually.
“Group handling is really rough and there’s no synchronization with other tools,” he said.
And as Martin wrote in this forum thread:
The starting point is that Moodle must integrate well with these systems, because many places are coming to depend on them and both Google and Microsoft have products called Classroom that aim to replace Moodle’s richness with a dumbed-down idea of an LMS and online learning.
The second point is that the existing integrations out there (partly because of the plugin constraints) are not very good at all, and currently make Moodle look like a poor option.
Moodle HQ developer team has organized an open community meeting this Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 4:00 PM GMT. During the meeting, Moodle HQ dev team will discuss with the community members about integrating the Office apps in Moodle core. The Moodle HQ team will try to find out whats good and bad about the existing integrations, and ideas about what the requirements should be for an ideal office integration.
You can also share your valuable thoughts/suggestions with other Moodlers by joining the meeting. You can join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/604102893
Are you using Google Apps of Microsoft Office 365 with your Moodle? What are the new features which you would like to add to these integrations? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.