Relearning Moodle

I’m going to write an article about how Moodle can be used by teachers forced to be socially distanced from their students during this pandemic. Eleven years ago I set up a Moodle server which I used in a class on digital citizenship. I can’t remember what version of Moodle that was. I liked Moodle because it fit the curriculum I was teaching and the students could access the server from home. It was a virtual machine that I downloaded from Turnkey Linux. My latest install of Moodle is also a VM but it’s running in Virtualbox on a MacBook Pro. I’m running it within my home network.

I wrote an article several years ago about MoodleBox which was a implementation of Moodle with a Raspberry Pi. It was a great implementation of Moodle. One of the new developments for me is that it doesn’t seem to be possible to download ready made courses for Moodle anymore. That used to be a feature. If anyone reading this blog can point me in the direction of pre-made Moodle content I’d appreciate it

I’m also looking for good videos that explain the nuances of Moodle Administration and content creation. Please feel free to comment.

New theme

Theme change for the first time since I began blogging on WordPress a few years ago. I liked my old theme, but was ready for something different.  This has been a year of change and I’ve experimented with my life a bit. I followed my heart back to St. Bonaventure University even when the lure of doctoral program at another school beckoned. I would like to get a doctorate at some point and maybe my trip to Bonaventure will eventually produce that. I just love research and finding out new information and applying it. After I overcame my initial worries about keeping up with my classmates in a subject area I had not officially explored.

This spring I’m going to be involved in an internship in special education. It’s an area I know very little about, but its quite fascinating. This fall I took school law and leadership. Initially I liked the leadership course quite a bit more than the law course, but my love of research took me deeper into the law. I discovered that I had a trivial pursuit understanding of such important cases as Brown v. Board of Education.   Going back to school at 56 was also a concern. I was self-conscious about being the old guy in the class. That was quickly allayed by one of my classmates who wrote such a touching response to one of my initial answers that it brought me to tears. Those tears were a blessing and a benediction which provided the acceptance within my own heart that I was doing the right thing.

I also purchased a MacBook Pro because I wanted to be a bit more mainstream. I was afraid that using Ubuntu and Open Office would be frowned upon at the University. I was wrong about that. All of my writing was actually done in Google Docs and OpenOffice.  I learned that I could use open source tools in higher education with no penalty. Bonaventure is a Microsoft oriented school, but many students had a Mac like me and professors are really only concerned if work is done.  Our course was delivered in a hybrid format which featured Moodle, yet another open source application.  My experience has left me looking forward to the spring semester with great anticipation and the knowledge that I can contribute. I feel younger too and energized.

I often found myself on campus working at Friedsam Library. Entering and leaving the library I was greeted by a display of my old friend Thomas Merton. In fact Merton is everywhere in my life, my trips to Mt. Irenaeus, University ministries, walking across campus and looking up at “Merton’s Heart.”  There’s a new theme in my life and it’s really an old theme that’s been restated.