MootUS17 started the conversation on some of Moodle’s key projects

On 6 – 8 November, US Moodlers from the around the country gathered in sunny Miami, Florida, for the second MoodleMoot US 2017 conference at the Hyatt Regency.

With a focus on a new look and a new program that focussed on envisioning two of Moodle’s key projects – Learn Moodle and MoodleNet – this Moot was a change from previous styles of keynote and 15 minutes Moodle presentations (though these were also still available within the program).

Let’s take a look at what happened in Miami for our second MoodleMoot US 2017!

Day 1: Masterclasses

Moodlers eagerly started day 1 of MootUS17 for a full day of learning and discovery through our Masterclasses.

First off the rank was the Moodle Analytics Masterclass, where our Research Analyst and member of the Education team, Elizabeth Dalton, talked attendees through the variety of perspectives on Learning Analytics and how they work within and outside of Moodle.

Of course, Inspire – Moodle’s solution to open source learning analytics – is available in Moodle 3.4 core, to be released on Monday 13 November.

If you are eager to test Inspire, you can do so using our Inspire Test site at: /inspiretest.next.moodle.com

Straight from analytics, Moodle HQ’s Business Development Manager, Gavin Henrick, took Moodlers on a journey to take a look at learning through Moodle Mobile, especially through the lens of:

  • Content creation and suitability
  • Assessment approaches
  • Communication
  • Mobile strategy, our app and going offline

Gavin also showcased our new Moodle Desktop, which was released recently for Windows, Linux and iOS platforms.

A lunch break was set before Moodlers returned back to the talk all things “Learn Moodle” – facilitated by our Education team as they introduced key concepts from our new Learn Moodle curriculum.

The workshop considered four common learning frameworks and highly effective teaching patterns and Moodle tools for each of the frameworks.

With masterclasses done and dusted on day 1, Moodlers got the opportunity to ask our US Moodle Partners (eThink Education, Elearning Experts and Moonami) and Premium Integrators (Blindside Networks & IntelliBoard) questions about all things Moodle, edtech, support services and much more, as they took centre stage for a Q&A session.

A full first day ended with a meet and greet with the new leadership team of the Moodle Users Association, where Moodlers were able to put faces to names, get a better understanding of the Association’s work and how to get involved!

As one Moodler tweeted, the first day of MootUS17 started the trend for a “fantastic gathering of sharing of minds.”

Day 2: A keynote, Moodle presentations and “hello” MoodleNet

“Empowering Educators” was the title of our Chief Moodler’s keynote address as he opened day 2 of MoodleMoot US 2017 in Miami.

Outlining Moodle’s key projects and roadmap for the future and how they will contribute to advancing our mission were the key messages that our Moodlers resonated with at the Moot!

Inspired by Martin’s keynote, our Moodlers were then immediately ‘treated’ to a number of Moodle presentations to inspire and show the many powerful features you can use and implement in your learning site.

The list of presentations include:

  1. Containers and Virtualization presented by Paul Greidanus (Moodle HQ)
  2. Customizations for a Responsive and User-Friendly Moodle Theme presented by Todd Mathews (eThink Education)
  3. Run a reporting + disaster recovery Moodle instance with Docker presented by Matt Rice (Mid Michigan Community College)
  4. 0-60: Increase your Velocity with a non-traditional Agile Team presented by Rex Lorenzo and Amber Stokes (University of California, Los Angeles)
  5. Forging a path with competency based education presented by Claire Machia (eThink Education)
  6. Educating Smithsonian Volunteers Using Moodle presented by Mia Musolino (Smithsonian Institution)
  7. What’s new with the Moodle User’s Association? presented by Emma Richardson (East Central BOCES)

At the same time, our Moodle supporters were also running a number of “Extend your Moodle” sessions, showcasing how plugins, integration and other features can be used in Moodle to get more out of learning sites.

Then came time to talk all things MoodleNet. Doug Belshaw took to the stage to facilitate an envisioning session, capturing people’s dreams, hopes and fears with our new planned social platform for educators.

The session got many Moodlers thinking and engaged, coming up with a wall of ideas and thoughts!

Watch this space as we talk more about MoodleNet.

After a full day, Moodlers welcome a Moodle Party, filled with caricaturist, dancers, a unicycle, music and of course a lot of laughs, catch ups and networking with each other! A great way to end a full second day of the Moot!

Day 3: A final day of workshops and presentations

Last day of MootUS17 saw Moodlers greeted with important information on how to Extend your Moodle from our supporters – Blindside Network and eThink Education.

Then five impressive Moodle presentations took to the stage, talking everything from how our Moodle Mobile app can help alleviate poverty through promoting massages with Moodle:

  1. Implementing Moodle’s Mobile App for a Global Corporate Network – the Case of FINCA Impact Finance presented by Sergio Alguacil-Mallo (FINCA Impact Finance)
  2. Course design that works for Desktop, Responsive and Apps presented by Jeremy Schweitzer (eThink Education)
  3. Promoting Moodle with Massages: Running a Spa-Themed Faculty Training presented by Karla Fribley (Earlham College)
  4. Individualize! Adaptive learning scenarios with Moodle presented by Andreas Riepl (GTN Solutions)
  5. 3.4 Overview presented by Mary Cooch (Moodle HQ)

One of the “predictions” how Moodle can empower educators to improve our world that we love was summarised in this presentation:

Another envisioning session, this time on another of our key projects – Learn Moodle, greeted Moodlers when they arrived from lunch day 3, close to closing the last day of the Moot.

Our Education team members – Tom, Bob, Solange, Mary and Elizabeth – worked the room to gather feedback, present the idea to date of the new curriculum and gathered more essential information to move forward with this key project!

Following that, it was a wrap Moodlers! Our chief Moodler took to the stage to thank everyone involved and announced that MootUS18 will be in Denver next year!

So thanks once again to our US Moodlers for making this event a success – we look forward to seeing you face to face again next year but in the meantime, we will see you online!

Stay tuned while we upload presentation slides to our website and also recordings of some of the presentations onto your YouTube Channel.

In the meantime, to stay in touch and keep up to date with all things MootUS – follow us on Twitter!

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