Intermission -

We've taken a short break from various podcasts, but we're starting back up in September, 2011 with new guests! Get the updated list online.

Episode 6 - Jen Hegna (LIVE SHOW INFO)

posted Oct 5, 2011, 8:06 AM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Oct 9, 2011, 11:31 AM ]


Moodle Mayhem Episode 6: 
Jen Hegna on Compact Course Design

When: October 9, 2011; 8:00am CST)

Listen to the Moodle Mayhem LIVE Conversation with Jen Hegna


To ensure you have a successful experience during the LIVE show, you are encouraged to review the following information BEFORE the LIVE Show on 10/9/2011:

This is the slideshow Jen Hegna used during her presentation:


The Moodle Mayhem Group is a community of Moodle-using educators who have joined together to pool their creative innovations regarding the use of Moodle with K-12, as well as adult learners. The MoodleMayhem Podcast is co-hosted by Diana Benner (Email: diana.benner@gmail.com) and Miguel Guhlin (Email: mguhlin@gmail.com).

Find out more about how to take advantage of this no-cost, free resource online at http://moodlemayhem.org , as well as find us on Facebook! Not on Facebook? Join the email list!

About Jen Hegna (in her own words)

I am the Director of Information and Learning Technology for Byron Public Schools in Byron, MN and have 16 years of edtech experience. I have a Master of Science Degree in Information and Communication Technology with and emphasis in e-Learning from the University of Wisconsin - Stout.  I am very passionate about the effective use of technology as a learning and teaching tool and advocate for its use at a regional, state and national level.
I have been Moodling for several years now and certify district staff  to become district online teachers. (through a 5 week facilitation online course).  Our high school was recently awarded the Intel School of Distinction Award (Sept 2011) for its innovative Math Program. Teachers in this program have discontinued the use of textbooks and have developed their own curriculum based on MN standards by using a blend of open-ed and teacher created resources which is all delivered via Moodle.

I recently published "Creating Student e-Portfolios with Google Sites" through a grant partnership with District 287 and Moodleshare.   It was developed using the compact design method. The course is free for schools to download and use as professional development with teachers.  You may download it (http://goo.gl/mtY8E) as well as a plethora of other courses/units for K-12 instruction at http://courses.moodleshare.org.  I am not a Moodle expert by no means, but love to design and assist teachers in designing best practice online lessons, units, and courses to help facilitate learning!

Jen's Contact Info

  • Twitter: @jenhegna
  • Email: jen.hegna@byron.k12.mn.us
  • Blog: http://jenhegna.edublogs.org/

Listen to the Moodle Mayhem LIVE Conversation with Jen Hegna

Show Links (to be updated after the show)

  1. Web-based Image Mapper - Jen shared she uses Dreamweaver to do image mapping, but you can do that with this free web-based tool.

    Episode 5 - Josh Davis

    posted Sep 26, 2011, 3:22 PM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 5:45 PM ]

    Title: Building a Moodle Community, One Classroom at a Time
    Guest: Josh Davis (Email:  joshosu@gmail.com; Skype fwsquatch)

    Note: Apologies...some parts were cut out due to static emanating from an errant microphone. You'll probably figure out where.

    The Moodle Mayhem Group is a community of Moodle-using educators who have joined together to pool their creative innovations regarding the use of Moodle with K-12, as well as adult learners. The MoodleMayhem Podcast is co-hosted by Diana Benner (Email: diana.benner@gmail.com) and Miguel Guhlin (Email: mguhlin@gmail.com).

    Find out more about how to take advantage of this no-cost, free resource online at http://moodlemayhem.org , as well as find us on Facebook! Not on Facebook? Join the email list!

    About Josh Davis in His Words
    Originally from Stroud, Oklahoma, I am a graduate of Oklahoma State University.  I spent the last 11 years teaching in and around Fort Worth, Texas.  I have been both a High School Math teacher and a Middle School Tech Apps teacher.  I also did some web development and tech consulting on the side.  During my time teaching computers for Eagle Mountain/Saginaw ISD, I discovered Moodle and became interested in finding ways to use it in my class.  Because EMSISD didn't have a server yet, I ran a Moodle for my classroom on an old laptop that the Technology Department had lying around.  

    I am passionate about open-source software and enjoy tinkering with Linux servers and desktops.  I also get a kick out of networking and my idea of a fun afternoon is flashing a new firmware to a router or setting up automated off-site backup for my wife’s laptop.  This is part of what drew me to Moodle.  I love that it’s open source.  I like how much it can do “out of the box” and I really like that it can be modified to do whatever you want.  

    This summer I moved back to my hometown in Oklahoma and now teach High School Math.  I’m also a Technology Consultant  for our district.  It has been a real culture shock moving from a school district with more than 16,000 students to a place where there is only 2500 people in the whole town, but it’s great to be back.  Because I am now a full time Math teacher, time to work on our Moodle server is in short supply.  I’ve been using every trick in the book to streamline content creation for my classes.  My main focus this year is building a Moodle server and filling it with as many teachers and courses as I can.

    Show Links
    1. You can find Josh's resources online at http://moodle.stroud.k12.ok.us/
    2. Get a video tour from Josh - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQRPDQxQTPM
    3. View images - http://letscrate.com/fwsquatch/moodle
    4. MoodleShare.org

    Intermission Ends

    posted Sep 24, 2011, 6:29 PM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Sep 25, 2011, 5:51 AM ]

    Moodle Mayhem Podcast Co-Hosts Diana Benner and Miguel Guhlin are happy to announce that our intermission, a short break, from podcasting comes to an end September, 2011! We have a new schedule and slate of guests! 

    We are also planning to take advantage of various recording mediums that will allow more access to guests. Special thanks to Peggy George, Steve Hargadon of LearnCentral.org for their help!

    Podcast #4 - Ian David Wild

    posted Aug 8, 2010, 2:49 PM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Aug 11, 2010, 5:48 AM by ian.wild@heavy-horse.co.uk ]

    Earlier today, I had the opportunity to chat with Ian David Wild, author of Moodle Course Conversion and Moodle 1.9 Math. In spite of some fascinating Skype obstacles--mostly on Ian's end, so they were resolved quickly--we managed to connect for about an hour conversation.

    This wide-ranging conversation touched on many of the initiatives Ian's been involved with over the last few years, and I'm afraid we barely touched on a subject of great interest to many listeners--Moodle and Mathematics instruction online. For that, we've agreed to have a later conversation. For that, I'm hoping the EdTechTalk or Classroom 2.0 LIVE folks will be willing to help out so we can encourage math educators and moodle enthusiasts to join the conversation live. And, no, I haven't even asked either group if they'd be interested.

    There are a variety of remarks that resonate throughout the conversation, including ones such as "Engage early and engage often," and how Moodle can be used to protect student data (as opposed to the "puffy cloud" that gets blown away...I hope Dan Rezac is reading! (smile)).

    Jump in and listen!

    On a podcast hosting note, Diana Benner has decided to step out of being Moodle Mayhem podcast co-host! While I'm not sure how long her absence may be, and look forward to welcoming her back, it occurs to me that it would be fun to bring on various Moodle Mayhem members to future podcasts so that we can all get a chance to meet!

    So, here goes the announcement of a Moodle Mayhem Co-Host Round up!

    Moodle Co-Host Roundup - Looking for a High School Math Teacher Using Moodle. If you would like to be the co-host, please send me an email at "mguhlin@gmail.com" letting me know what your experiences are. Co-host duties include:

    1) Sharing how they use Moodle with others on the podcast

    2) Preparing for the podcast interview with the guest(s)

    3) Having fun!

    Remember, you can listen to other Moodle Mayhem Podcasts online at http://moodlemayhem.org

    Twitter: iandavidwild
    Plurk: Ian Wild

    Ian in his own words:

    Resource Links

    In Ian's Words:

    For Synergy Learning (that's the Moodle partner part-owned by "Moodle Administration" author Alex Buchner), in North Wales I was involved in the rollout of a network of Moodles to schools, colleges and work-based learning organisations for the Wrexham eLearning Network. I've also been providing the training for "CLEO" - Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online - approximately 1000 K-12 schools... which also includes Mary Cooch's school! I've also been involved in fascinating work for organisations as diverse as the Ordnance Survey (a government organisation that produces maps for military purposes), the Royal College of General Practitioners (medical doctors receiving, and being tested on, their 5-yearly "Essential Knowledge Updates" in Moodle) and, most recently, cascading essential updates using Moodle to government-funded lawyers via the UK's Legal Services Commission. I've also been involved in a pilot project for the National Health Service (NHS) that is supporting moving face-to-face university medical training online using Moodle.

    Again in school: Birmingham City Council - who are the largest local authority in the UK (bigger than London, in fact) are rolling out Moodles to all K-12 schools (starting with about 400 "junior" schools - right now I can't remember how many "senior" schools!). In Birmingham we also have a city-wide document management system - called "The Hive" and rather like the Alfresco DMS that Julian Ridden was describing in his second podcast - that is fully integrated into Moodle. The Hive means teachers can share resources and best practice across the entire city. In the UK it's a unique and fantastic project.

    At the moment I am working for Nord Anglia Education. We are implementing an international network of 10 Moodles (I'm the senior architect working with a great team of guys here in the UK). Regarding international collaboration, there are lots of issues regarding data protection and the legal issues involved with hosting and transporting children's data across international borders that I could tell everyone about. E.g. why you have to be careful with children putting their work into GoogleDocs when Google can't actually guarantee where in the world that data is stored!

    Podcast - Book Review - Moodle 1.9 Theme Design

    posted Aug 4, 2010, 7:54 PM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Aug 8, 2010, 2:26 PM ]

    "Could you design a new Moodle theme for me?" I asked plaintively of Tonya Mills (email: tmills0220@yahoo.com), a colleague who is an expert at Cascading Style Sheets and designs themes for Joomla and Moodle with an ease that never ceases to amaze me. The Texas Junction theme--appearing at the top of this blog entry--captured the attention of the teachers participating in the program. Tonya's past designs also enthrall. That said, "What happens if Tonya isn't available to do the design?" For organizations who are one person deep on theme design, it can be a tough question.

    In Moodle Mayhem email list, for example, the question came up and Lewis Carr's Moodle theme was suggested. In recent podcast interviews, Julian "MoodleMan" Ridden has suggested watching these videos he created. In spite of the best work out there, a need for awesome themes is ever-present. But how do you get started? A new book out from Packt Publishing may set you on the road to success, provided you have some background knowledge--or are willing to develop it.

    First, a bit on what a Moodle theme is:
    A Moodle theme is a template that controls the way Moodle looks. A theme can be changed by the Moodle Administrator and can have its settings altered through the Moodle Administrative interface. . .Moodle.org has a large library of free downloadable themes, and there are many other third-party Moodle theme providers.
    Source: Moodle 1.9 Theme Design: Beginner's Guide

    Note: You can find a list of some Moodle themes I've located and shared in the past as a Moodle Tip online.

    Sure, you could go out and hire one of the many providers of themes to put one together for you. The operative word is "hire." Other, more do-it-yourself types might prefer to design their own. In that instance, Packt Publishing's Moodle 1.9 Theme Design: Beginner's Guide by Paul James Gadsdon might come in handy.

    Since theme design lies just beyond the horizon--or so I tell myself--of my own skills, and is an area I have little interest in learning, I thought I'd lend my recently provided copy of Gadsdon's book, graciously shared by Packt Publishing, with Tonya Mills for a sardonic, albeit positive, review. That review is shared as a short 10 minute podcast linked below.

    That said, some of my own take-aways from the book included the following:

    • Theme Priority - In the early chapters of the book, Gadsdon shares theme priority, the order in which Moodle loads and applies the different themes. In that section, Gadsdon shares a tip on ordering themes for the primary device it's going to be loaded on, such as for a mobile device. This is a neat tip I didn't have a clue about!
    • Defining types of files in a Theme - The author explains the different types of files--and their purpose--in the a Moodle theme. If you don't know what to look for, this sections helps you get a better grasp.
    • Code Downloads - Working with code can be daunting for folks (myself included), so I was grateful to see that code Gadsdon shares in the book is available for download from the Packt web site, although no specific address is shared in the book. That address would have been helpful but it's gotten quite easy to google what you are looking for.
    • Beginner's Guide - As you will hear in Tonya's podcast, though this book casts itself as one for beginner's, it does require some experience/familiarity with Cascading Style Sheets and HTML. You also have to know about how a web site is organized on the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) side.
    • Theming Moodle - Of course, Chapter 6 of the book gives you the option of adding freely available themes from the web to your Moodle...and walks you step by step in how to include it. This portion of the book is helpful, and should probably been located a little further closer after the introduction of the book!
    • Wireframes - I've been creating wireframes all my life but didn't know that word. A wireframe "is simply a graphic or sketch of the main areas, minus any text or detail, of the page that you are planning. It is similar to a paper sketch but would contain no details at all. Planning out a wireframe also helps develop a hierarchy and gives an insight into the best positions for key elements of the theme." Gadsdon then introduces us to Balsamiq web application for accomplishing wireframes using software--as opposed to paper and pencil.
    As I feared upon coming to the end of the book, there was little for my brain to "hook" onto because so much of the work was given over the how to design. Yet, for the right folks with an interest in design, Gadsdon's book provides some much needed information on theming Moodle...like Tonya, I'll be curious as to what themes look like for the 2.0 version of Moodle

    Reading the book has given me a deeper appreciation for the work that Tonya does in designing a Moodle theme. Thanks to Gadsdon for helping me achieve a deeper appreciation for my colleagues and the Moodle Theme Design community!

    Tonya (left) and Martin D (right)

    Classroom 2.0 LIVE (07/17/2010)

    posted Jul 17, 2010, 7:59 AM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Jul 17, 2010, 8:02 AM ]

    On 07/17/2010, Saturday morning, Moodle Mayhem will be featured on the Classroom 2.0 LIVE show on Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 12pm Eastern time!  The Elluminate link to the session on Saturday is: http://tinyurl.com/cr20live . Please share this link with other Moodlers!

    Hashtag for Plurk/Twitter: #liveclass20

    Here's the official announcement:

    The topic Saturday, July 17th, will be "Moodle Mayhem", with special guests, Miguel Guhlin and Diana Benner. Join us to discuss the Moodle course and resource repository called "Moodle Mayhem". More information and session details are at http://live.classroom20.com
    If you've never participated in a live webinar, don't be afraid to come and observe. 'Dip your toes in' the conversations until you feel comfortable enough to "jump into the conversations with both feet"! We want to encourage "experienced Web 2.0 users" to join us by contributing and extending the conversation by sharing real-life examples and tips/suggestions. More information and session details are at http://live.classroom20.com
    If you're new to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show you might want to spend a few minutes viewing the screencast on the homepage to learn how we use Elluminate and navigate the site to find the archives of previous shows and resources. Each show begins at 12pm Eastern and may be accessed in Elluminate directly using the following Classroom 2.0 LIVE! link athttp://tinyurl.com/cr20live.

    Classroom 2.0 LIVE!

    Ms. Diana Benner and Miguel Guhlin will participate as the guests of the show, discussing questions such as What is Moodle Mayhem? and sharing the great resources available online at the web site, how to join the email list, etc. The real treasure, though, of Moodle Mayhem is educators who have signed up to participate in Moodle Mayhem, a non-profit initiative focused on facilitating learning about Moodle's use in teaching and learning situations.

    You can find out more about Moodle Mayhem online at http://bit.ly/moodlemayhem

    Here are quick ways to get folks started with following knowledgeable folks about Moodle:
    1. Login in to your Twitter account on the Web as well as Google Reader before clicking the links below.
    2. Subscribe to Moodle related blogs using this link: Subscribe
    3. Follow Moodle Twits. lso, if you are signed in to Twitter, you can quickly sign up to follow for 100+ Moodle Mayhem members! Follow Moodle Mayhem members' twitters by clicking the link below: 
      FOLLOW Moodlers on Twitter

    When you click on the link above, it will start the process.

    Feel free to share and make suggestions about other blogs/twitterers that need to be followed.

    Podcast #3 Part 1 - Julian Ridden

    posted Jul 13, 2010, 10:29 AM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Jul 18, 2010, 2:21 PM ]

    Podcast #2 - Mary Cooch

    posted Jun 8, 2010, 6:19 PM by Miguel Guhlin   [ updated Aug 12, 2010, 7:54 AM ]

    Listen to classroom teacher and professional learning guru, not to mention author of Moodle 1.9: Teaching 7 -14 Year Olds, Mary "MoodleFairy" Cooch share her wisdom regarding Moodle use! 

    Update 08/2010: Due to the unexpected departure of Edublogs.tv from the scene, the audio source link has been updated above.

    Podcast #1 - About Moodle Mayhem

    posted Mar 27, 2010, 7:58 PM by Miguel Guhlin


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