Things I've learnt this week - 26th April 2010

Always assume your microphone is always switched on -

Japan is awesome, it's going to send a Humanoid robot to the moon -

House M.D. is better than Lie to me

HP are going to take over the world -

The Floppy Disk is Dead? eh, I thought it went years ago -

Apple might launch the iPhone HD (4G) During the WWDC on June 7th -

Geocities lives on -

You can live without Food and Water, but I wouldn't recommend it

if you are using Groups in Moodle Forums and you send a forum message to all groups, the student's can't reply to that post, instead, they have to create a new forum post.

Apple iPad will dominate the Tablet Computer Market 

Microsoft are idiots -

Moodle Design Competition 2010

The 2nd Annual Leeds City College Moodle Design Competition has come to a close.  This is the second year where I have launched a competition to design a My Moodle Header, (a Graphic Header on top of the My Moodle Page)

I wanted to get staff and students to engage with Moodle in a much more and different way to what they have been previously used to, and overall it's been an all round positive success.

As Leeds City College is now the 3rd Largest College in the UK, I did things slightly different this year.  As it is a Moodle Design Competition I set up a course within Moodle (here) where students could upload their creations following a strict set of guidelines into an Assignment; then the eLearning & Art and Design team went through all entries to choose the 5 finalists which would be put upto the public vote (I say Public, I mean Staff and Students)

Here are the 5 Finalists Designs - The top is this years Winner - Chris Gibbs

Once it was upto the public vote, we had over 200 staff and students voting for the winner, Chris was 1st place and won a Digital Camera, 2nd Place Joel Bulsara and he won a 8gb USB Memory Stick and 3rd Place was Shazia Riaz who won a 4gb USB Memory Stick.

I plan to keep this competition running next year with hopefully bigger and better prizes.

RSC YH Moodle User Group Rundown

On Tuesday 21st April RSC YH hosted another Moodle User/Admin Group.  The venue was the very bright and modern Leeds College of Music in Leeds City Centre.

The Usergroup usually meets up 3 times per academic year to see how the Yorkshire and Humber Moodle users are getting on and share tips and ideas.  

To keep a track of the discussions taking place, I was live tweeting under the hashtag #moodleusergroup which seemed to be quite popular within the moodle tweetsphere

The Usergroup had speakers from Leeds College of Music Ruth Clark, Rob from Barnsley College, Shailesh Appukuttan from University of Huddersfield, Doncaster College for the Deaf, Louise Jakobsen from Leeds City College and Lewis Carr from Leeds City College.

You can view all the Tweets from the day here

To Recap
- Quick Link upload tool was awesome
- Demo of the Moodle4iPhone Project
- Xerte is a bit of a pain to install
- Book Module is very popular
- Moodle forums can auto tweet via twitterfeed
- can be customised
- Multiple upload file is sweet!
- Leeds College of Music - Awesome Venue
- Lunch was delicious
- All in All, a good day all round.

Firefox tip - how to get the menu bar back (via @c4lpt)

Here is a great firefox tip for those of you who have "accidental" removed the menu bar in firefox and didn't know how to get it back.

Hold down ALT - then press V then T then M


Keep Calm and Exterminate

An awesome WWII picture in tribute to the upcoming Doctor Who episode.

(via) - An awesome free website from your online info @FlavorsMe

Back in the year 2008 I set up a website which would pull together all my online social info into.  This was awesome for a few reasons such as it would automatically pull in my tweets, favourite youtube videos, my blog posts etc.  Although this was great for what I wanted I noticed that there was a couple of problems, firstly the site was difficult up update and customise and as it used RSS, it was a wee bit slow at fetching the info.

Now fast forward to 2010 and welcome allows anyone to create an elegant website using personal content from around the Internet.  So once you've set up your page you can choose to bring in your live data from a number of websites such as Twitter, Wordpress, Blogger, RSS, Linked in, flickr and many many more.

Not only does it handle live data well it's also fully customisable allowing users to have their own background images, choose where they want to have their links etc.

below is the demo video of

So in a word, is awesome and a perfect free tool for online savvy geeks, not to mention artists and photographers who are looking for a way to show off their work.

check out my page here

The Pinocchio Paradox

Moodle Server Weight Experiment #moodle

Scientists at Leeds City College have found out in an unusual way that the more users logged onto the College VLE Moodle, the more the Moodle server actually weighed.

The Boffins have conducted a 6 day experiment weighing the server at different times of the day with a different number of students logged on. The weight of the server without anyone logged on is 10.8kg and with 124 users it's 10.821kg which is an increase of weight of 0.021kg.

Professor Pilar Lofo from the Leeds City College Science & Research department claims that this phenomenon has which is called "digital-obesity" causes the hard drive and processor to physically expand in size by the occurrence of digital data shifting from one sector of the hard drive to another.

Further on from the phenomenon the scientists also conclude that the Moodle Server spikes in weight when students upload assignments and reply to forum posts.

I suppose we better get the Moodle server secured for the future!