Educational Tools for my School


This week I am trying to get more educational tools ready for the teachers and for my computer club.

Today I finally got Moodle up and running.  It is functioning which is the good news.  I still need to add the classes and students to our Moodle instance but within a week, teachers will be able to use it with their class.  Moodle is an open source learning management system popular around the world.  I am a Sakai guy myself but it is actually more difficult to install and maintain than Moodle.

Moodle Learning Management System
Moodle Learning Management System

For the Vietnamese teachers, being able to add YouTube videos and Flash presentations, as well as Powerpoint Presentations, will make Moodle a powerful tool for them in the classroom.

The goal is to have all the teachers at Horizon using Moodle with our new activeboard purchased from Promethean.  Though it is not open source, Promethean provides a Linux version of it’s software, ActivInspire.  I just added the Promethean repository and was able to use apt-get to install ActivInspire.  My initial thoughts about ActivInspire are good but again I prefer an open source equivalent.  It is hard to integrate Moodle with ActivInspire at this moment.  Instead the teachers can print their flipcharts as pdf and then upload them to Moodle.  I am waiting to see if ActivInspire supports exporting their flipcharts as Flash.  If so, Moodle can import these files easily.  Yes, I know Flash is propriety as well.

ActivInspire on Ubuntu Linux
ActivInspire on Ubuntu Linux

If I have some time this week, I want to install and integrate LAMS with Moodle as well.  It is another powerful educational tool teachers can use to create online learning activities for their classes.

Lastly, for my Computer Club, the only class I teach this semester, I will show my students how they can use Gimp and Synfig to create images and animations for their website project.  Both are open source software. 🙂

Here is a great demo for Synfig: