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Moodle in Schools reference group - christchurch meeting

Under the ideals of Watchdog and supporting teaching through professional development, they have introduced two groups, one in Auckland to support moodle schools and also another on in Christchurch to support schools in the Canterbury Region. Although Watchdog supply a moodle hosted service it is in reality to support schools that want to use moodle, be it hosted by Watchdog, Catalyst or hosted onsite, this is around open source and connectedness.

The meeting main focus was on introducing the concpet of the refererance/support group and what the outcomes would be. It was agreed to share information about the product, what works for schools, what ideas they have come up with and the ability to share ideas and settings/configurations.

Discussion came around to Regional meetings, these would be run by people that have an interest in the area, Gerard MacManus in Christchurch and Mark Osborne in Auckland, they will have a show and tell aspect, updates from Watchdog/Catalyst and idealy one meeting in each term.

One of the focusses from the meeting was around the forum that already exists, http://moodleinschools.org.nz this is a great way to ask for help, get ideas/solutions and put through thoughts on changes that would help the community.

There was also talk around the moodle hub trial http://www.moodleinschools.org.nz/forum/topics/4251 to get access to the moodle hub trial need to contact Kristina at Catalyst

End of Year Rollover, this is an issue with SMS-LMS interoperability, the suggestions that have come out of this is to back all courses up and have them in one folder that can be hidden from students and have the ability for teachers to restore their course, there are some issues around this that are being sorted out and will hopefully have a better solution shortly.

Moodle plug ins

Burnside have been proactive and paid for a drag and drop plug in to be added to moodle in schools nz build, but this is not sustainable for one school to do. Discussion came up around why can't school request any module and get it added. This is a security issue for the companies that host the moodle installations for us, and we enjoy having a product that is secure. This brought up a discussion around hosted vs non hosted.

Interoperability update

Musac have released a new websync tool and hopefully with the updates and supporting SMS v2.2 that it will provide better syncing of classes and students.

KAMAR have been proactive in this area and supported SMS v2.2 for a while now.

It was decided that the next meeting would be in weeks 5/6 term one next year, with the possibility of using video conferencing as a method of delivering the meeting, almost every Christchurch school now has a Video Conferencing unit and would see the meeting as serving two PD factors, being able to use VC and learn more about moodle and develop the ideas.

We would love to have other schools join us, it is not about one vendor, it is about supporting teachers in their learning and development. It would be great to be able to run both meeting in Auckland and Christchurch at the same time through video conferencing, we just need a venue in Auckland to be able to support this.

Schools should explore not only how ICT can supplement traditional ways of teaching but also how it can open up new and different ways of learning"
-The NZ Curriculum (p36)


  • Sean Lyons

    Hello Gerard et al. Its great to hear this kind of collaborative effort being pushed for development from within the community. I applaud your efforts.


    It would be great to be able to run both meeting in Auckland and Christchurch at the same time through video conferencing, we just need a venue in Auckland to be able to support this.

    I don't know how big a venue you require for this, but we have a facility ar NetSafe in Auckland with an IP based polycom video conferencing facility which we would be happy to put at your groups disposal. Let me know if thats any good.


  • Peter Potter

    Thanks for sharing this update Gerard. I look forward to future updates Tongue out

  • Derek

    Gerard, great idea and well done.  Is there a meeting planned soon?

    Any more news?


    My first post.  Just discovered this group.  



  • Gerard Macmanus

    One of the considerations that I am aware of at present is that there is two moodle meetings happening in Christchurch, one that is run by GCSN and the other run by watchdog. Both are looking at the use of moodle within schools and provising support for teachers.

    Tomorrow there is a meeting at Burnside High School http://www.gcsn.school.nz/community/event-calendar/workshop/gcsn-moodle-users-group-3 that looks at the use of Moodle within a school.

    Though it maybe that the ideals of these two groups may need to come together.

  • Derek

    There is a lot to do Gerard.  There is plenty of room for Moodle support/interaction. 

    Good to have a summary of what went on in the last meeting here.

    I found out the Auckland meeting may be on in week 6 (term 2 2012 - for anyone reading this in 2014).  Any thoughts on when you may meet in Christchurch??




Moodle is an managed learning environment (MLE) and this is a group for folk using any version of Moodle. A great place to share our Moodle experiences, tips and tricks.