Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Moodle-google apps integration

Starting to think about next year and the requirements of a Single Sign On, and Software as a Service.

What LMS to stay with or go with
We currently have knowledgeNET as our school LMS, moodle as a independent LMS for specific staff, Ultranet is now on the board as a possible alternative.

Syncing users and information
SMS to AD integration, AD to LMS, AD to google apps. Though I have now been looking at AD to LMS to google apps, through a simple block which will provide student access to moodle and google apps through the same login. This means we have to link in through moodle, though there is talk in the knowledgenet camp of hooking in moodle blocks which will also mean access to the google apps environment as well.

But then again, should be we paying for access to a LMS, when there is an open source solution, or are we paying for a domain name, hosting and support?

Username and passwords are also on the agenda,
Currently the format is Surname, First Initial of your first name, year the cohort started school and form class, say David Smith, Year 11 student and in P13 would be SmithD7P13, this has lead to a unstable and unmanageable Active Directory, with students leaving not being removed, students changing form class, yet I don't know how this has been allowed to happen, and mistyped names and details. Our SMS creates a login name and password which is where we are looking at, but I can see differences happening here as students change there prefered name or some details of their name have been entered incorrectly which will cause an issue later on as well. The other issue is the students who have exactly the same name.
Or should we be looking at a StudentID number login name, that links into an actual name in the LMS and google apps, but this will have the same issue with two names that are the same.
Another issue is logins for assessment, will these go through to the LMS and google apps. It would have to be managed in such a way that these accounts do not go through.
I will have to keep an eye on the mle-reference-group on how they suggest this works.

I am some amazed at what some schools have been doing, they have just created a moodle group and teh aim of that group is to share courses and developments with each other.
The three schools are
Eggstranet inaccessible...
Saint Cuthberts inaccessible...

There is a New Zealand schools group starting up

Just an update: I am starting to get more of an understanding of administrating moodle as I play with it more and more, working out that editing on and off gives you more choices and details, though it would be nice to get the External Search Module - DigitalNZ working.

Hot Potatoes, we have been using Hot Potatoes at school since 2005, it has been a download that you had to register after running with a code. as of the 1/9/2009 it is now been classed as freeware. This means that there is no longer a registration code that needs to be entered.
To download Hot potatoes goto - and download.

Some might ask what Hot Potatoes is?

The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is freeware, and you may use it for any purpose or project you like. It is not open-source.

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