Category Archives: Moodle

Moodlemoot USA 2015
August 6th

Moodle Moot USA Review #mootus15

This week I’ve been attending the 2015 US Moodle Moot in Minneapolis. You might remember I attended the Dublin Moot a few months back, well this is like that only bigger! The big push this time was on the ideas of “learning through feedback”, something very closely related to the ideas of Learning Analytics discussed at the Irish Moot.

The big news at this conference was about Moodle releases, and it was announced that Moodle 3.1 will be an LTS release, as is done every four releases. Of course, this means we won’t be seeing it until next May, but it’s always important to be prepared! An LTS allows us to develop for and from a more stable code-base, so we can provide more world-class service for our customers.

Moodle HQ are also launching and relaunching some other products, including the latest version of the Moodle Mobile app for all modern smartphones, the MoodleCloud free trial platform and the Moodle Association. This last one is the most exciting because it turns the development of Moodle into a more democratic operation. Companies or individuals pay a fee to become a part of the Association (ranging from $100 to $10,000), and are then invited to submit ideas and requests for development. All association members then vote for the proposition they like best, and the fees are put towards development for it. I think this is a really interesting model for funding (a similar thing has already been tried with communities in Detroit, to great success), and I look forward to seeing what the Association can produce.

MoodleCloud is an interesting proposition to us as suppliers, and we think it’ll really help to sell people on the benefits of the open-source LMS. Instances can have up to 50 users and have 200MB of storage space, so it’s perfect for a teacher in class who might not want to use or have access to a full VLE offering. Additionally, they won’t need to worry about security or updates – being a cloud platform, MoodleCloud will be kept always up-to-date. These Moodles will be ad-supported in order to cover hosting costs, but otherwise are full-featured. While students will see standard Google Ads, teachers will be offered services, to help promote the work we do.

As well as offering MoodleCloud, Moodle have identified four key priorities for the development of the LMS:

  1. Usability
  2. Competency-based education
  3. Templates
  4. Moodle Mobile 2.0

I think these are great things to aspire to, and we’re fully behind them in their endeavours, especially number four – with social learning on the grow, a focus on making the app better really is a no-brainer.

During the conference we presented with Apollo Education Group on the topic of bleeding-edge learning and UX design.  After a brief introduction by myself, Josh Painter, Vice President of Apollo Professional Services, took over and delivered a great talk on how Moodle’s learning experience can be enhanced by some awesome plugins they have developed. Apollo’s new theme and user interface is used to deliver their Innovator’s Accelerator, which features some of the most prestigious innovation experts and authorities from around the world, such as Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School.



Webanywhere at BETT 2014

Sean Gilligan at BETT 2014

Sean Gilligan at BETT 2014

Michael Gove’s speech started the BETT Show 2014 at Excel in East London. BETT in it’s 30th year was busy not just with UK schools but many international delegations. The Education Minister mentioned three key words in his speech which give resonance to what we do at Webanywhere. Michael Gove in his speech mentioned open source software and flexible technology that stretches learning outcomes.

Our commitment to the world’s number one open source learning platform is most certainly a positive with the Cabinet Office and Francis Maude recognising the need for free open source software to reduce government spending on IT.

Webanywhere’s core business value is to be flexible so again the need for flexible IT is in parallel with many of our software product roadmaps. Our tag line is stretch beyond and stretching learning outcomes is one way in which we judge whether our software deployments are a success.

I was very proud to launch the latest version of our market leading software School Jotter at BETT. Two additional apps have been launched within the platform including School Merits and Jotter Learn. School Merits is an online reward system and is particularly useful in evidencing how schools utilise their pupil premium budgets. The Jotter Learn application allows teachers to create compelling learning sites within School Jotter. Learning sites can be edited and created in a similar way to your school website but with a different set of widgets designed specifically for digital online learning.

In some ways I don’t like the great expense and cost to both schools and business of the BETT Show. On the other hand it’s great for team building and a celebration of UK innovation in education with a worldwide audience. BETT 2014 was an open source, flexible and a stretching experience and long may it continue. See you at BETT next year.

Webanywhere at Learning Technologies and BETT 2013

Leaning Tech 2

Webanywhere are taking up residence in London this week as we show off the latest in education and workplace learning technology at BETT 2013 and The Learning Technologies Exhibition.

My colleagues in Workplace Learning and I kicked off proceedings this morning at Learning Technologies, with a rush of visitors to our stand (122 – come and visit us tomorrow if you get the chance, it’s well worth a visit!). As well as getting a chance to talk face-to-face with workplace learning professionals, and promoting new offerings (such as the Compliance Module for Moodle, and a groundbreaking social video platform for training) we are also hosting our partner The British Safety Council on the stand, as they promote their great range of health and safety e-learning courses.

A big highlight at the show tomorrow is the joint Webanywhere-Google seminar – Stretch your organisation further with Google Apps for Enterprise – not to be missed.

Tomorrow also sees the first day of BETT 2013, the world’s largest technology in education show. The Webanywhere presence at the show will be our largest to date – here’s just some of the reasons to drop by our stand:

    • Free Mathsanywhere account for primary schools who visit the Webanywhere stand
    • 5% discount for BETT visitors on the Webanywhere product range. Simply visit the stand and get the promo code(s)
    • Launch of the new look Learner Journey e-portfolio and safe social network for schools, with enhanced functionality, improved user interface and a range of new themes
    • Demonstrating the great new Learnanywhere mobile app, which allows the primary specific VLE to be accessed on the go
    • A joint promotion with Planet Sherston (stand F310) – take a product demo at both stands and claim a sticker. Attach both stickers to flyer to get a promo code for a fantastic special offer

…as well as the chance to talk to our e-learning consultants, who I can proudly say are the best in the business.

I’ll have updates throughout the week; be sure to follow @WebanywhereWork and @webanywhere_ltd for the latest Twitter updates, or check out the show hashtags #bettshow and #LT13UK

Learning Tech

Welcome to BETT 2012


Yesterday I travelled all the way down to London with the team for the first day of the BETT Show 2012. We set up in the morning at Stand K49, and its been all go since then. With Wednesday traditionally meant to be a quiet day, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were rushed off our feet all the way till Saturday 14th of January when it finishes.

The show, for those of you that don’t know, is an annual event that showcases the best uses of ICT and e-learning in education. It’s a great opportunity for me and my staff to meet new customers and catch up with a few familiar faces too. The exhibition is also a big inspiration, with plenty of exciting demonstrations and eye-catching inventions.

We started the day with a Webanywhere presentation at the Google stand all about Google Apps. Then, we dived right in at our own stand with chats, coffee and demos of our software. My personal highlight was showing off the brand new version of our school website builder; School Jotter 2.

As well as a team at the stand, we also had our multimedia crew filming and snapping the event. Take a look at their BETT 2012 video round-up of the show, featured below.