We wrap a MoodleMoot from the “Big Easy” (New Orleans)

August 3, 2017 By

Thunderstorms, rain and extreme humidity did not stop Moodlers from around the US and our own Moodle HQ staff from around the globe, to travel to the “Big Easy” New Orleans for the first chapter of our MoodleMoot US 2017.

Just a recap, this year we decided to hold the first of two US MoodleMoots this year in New Orleans from 25 – 27 July.

MoodleMoot US 2017 - New Orleans

The second chapter of our MoodleMoot US 2017 will be in Miami, Florida from 6 – 8 November and Moodlers, you won’t want to miss out on catching our chief Moodler, Martin, tell us about the direction of our open source project for the next 10 years or hear from our Education team, and find out the latest about our Learning Analytics integrated in Moodle 3.4.

Early bird registration and presentation proposals submission are now open and we look forward to bringing all of the above and more (follow us on Twitter @moodlemoot_us for the latest updates).

MoodleMoot US 2017 - Florida

We already sense the enthusiasm and excitement as we count down and make our way to Miami.

But let’s get back MoodleMoot US 2017 – New Orleans for the moment and join us as we take a journey back through 25 – 27 July for a wrap-up!

Day 1: An afternoon of masterclasses

We felt the big welcome in New Orleans for our Moodle community from our co-hosting organisers, BbWorld on our first day.

Our team – Martin (chief Moodler), Tom, Elizabeth and Brent (members of our new Education team), Pau (Moodle Mobile team member) and Gavin (our Business Development Manager) were all looking forward to sharing the Moodle “vibration” throughout the 3 days.

The first day of MoodleMoot US 2017 – New Orleans started with an afternoon of two part masterclasses on mobile learning (brought to you by one of our Moodle Mobile team members, Pau Ferrer) and learning analytics (led by our Research Analyst, Elizabeth Dalton).

Pau’s mobile learning looked at the following important features and uses through the Moodle Mobile lens:

  • Content creation and suitability
  • Assessment approaches
  • Communication
  • Mobile Strategy, Moodle Mobile App and going offline

Meanwhile, Elizabeth took our Moodlers on a journey in a two part workshop, discussing a variety of perspectives on Learning Analytics and how they work and within and outside of Moodle.

Of course, Project Inspire – our open source solution to learning analytics – was hot topic and Elizabeth provided a thorough update on progress to date and next steps in the roadmap.

Project Inspire

You can also read an update on Project Inspire on the news section of our website or join the discussion in our community site.

As this was a co-hosted event with BbWorld, our Moodlers also got a chance to listen to keynote speaker – former US Second Lady and educator, Dr Jill Biden.

Day one ended with Moodlers having the time to mingle, catch up with peers and also meet up with some of the exhibitors at the welcome reception.

We were very happy to see the smiling faces of our Moodle Partner, eThink Education and Moonami, who were supporting our MoodleMoot US event and helping many with their Moodle related questions and requests for services.

Day 2: We showcased 16 presentations and workshops

A full second day greeted Moodlers in New Orleans, with our program filled with presentations, workshops and discussion sessions.

To officially kick off our MoodleMoot US 2017 – New Orleans, Moodle Founder and CEO, Martin Dougiamas (you can follow him on Twitter @moodler), took centre stage with a keynote address, highlighting, as per previous German and French Moots, the roadmap for Moodle for the next 10 years.

A full house gathered to listen to Martin as he shared new ideas, reaffirmed our Mission and Values and let us know on some exciting plans for the future.

Following Martin’s keynote, our breakout sessions quickly started with short and pico presentations on everything from gamification, Office & Google integration, reporting through to We-chat integration in Moodle.

Some of the presentations on day 2 of our MoodleMoot included:

  • Moodle-Wechat Integration to Improve Mobile User Experience by Zhigao Li
  • Moodle and Google Calendar – Can They PLEASE Play Together? by Paul Tannahill
  • Using Pandas and Python to Easily Investigate Your Moodle Data by Michael Spall
  • Customizing Boost to Look MORE Attractive by Rick Jerz
  • Building Interactive Content with H5P by Andy Braden
  • Steppin’ Your Scholarly Game Up: Engage Students with Gamification by Jenna Corraro

One of the presentations that many Moodlers attended was on “Making course content accessible for all” by Aaron Page and Marlene Zentz.

In this presentation both Aaron and Marlene talked about a new MOOC that was created to show schools how to design fully accessible and inclusive course content.

Day 2 ended with our chief Moodler, Martin and Moodle HQ’s Gavin taking back the main stage to talk about “The Future of User Experience” in an envisioning session.

Martin and Gavin started discussions by asking “With the influence of numerous user experiences factors including accessibility, mobile design, AR, and VR experiences, how do you envision workplaces, schools, and universities advancing or changing?”

A summary of the envisioning session was shared by Martin and can be accessed from the tweet below:

Day 3: A big final day to close #MootUS17 – New Orleans

We closed off day 2 with an envisioning session and started day 3 with another envisioning session, this time led by our new Head of Education, Tom Murdock!

Tom explained that today, when you visit moodle.org, you encounter thousands of discussion forums aimed at using Moodle. If tomorrow, you wanted to visit moodle.org what kinds of teacher-related resources and activities would engage you?

The session invited participants to pitch ideas that they would like to see in our community site for the future.

Head of Education, Tom MurdockStraight from Tom’s session, we continued with more interesting and inspirational Moodle presentations, which ranged from how to support at risk students with Moodle tools through to CBE strategies and how Moodle can be used to reduce university drop out.

Again, a full list of our presentations can be viewed on our website, however, here are some we want to highlight:

  • Social Reconstruction Moodle Design by Brent Parkin
  • Mentoring interface on Moodle – An strategy to reduce the University dropout by Manuel Melendez
  • So You’re A Brand-New LMS Administrator? Let’s Chat by Paul Tannahil
  • Leveraging Moodle tools to facilitate high enrollment graduate course by Jim Friscia
  • Update on the Learning Analytics Processor with Moodle by Lou Harrison
  • Governance is Important: How NC State makes LMS Decisions with Transparency and Community Buy-in by Martin Dulberg

As is becoming tradition at our MoodleMoots, our time in New Orleans ended with a Q&A Moodle Community Panel session, chaired by Martin with guests including Tom Mudock from Moodle HQ, and our Moodle Partners representatives – Brian Carlson (CEO, eThink Education) and Jason Hardin (Moodlerooms)

Moodle Community Panel session

In this session our panel members each provided a short update on every aspect of our open source project – development, testing, documentation, support and services through the partner community.

Moodlers were also invited to share their experience and hopes for how engaging engagement can be improved for our Moodle community.

And it’s a wrap!

Three days came and went pretty quickly in New Orleans. We do hope that everyone enjoyed the first chapter of our MoodleMoot US 2017.

And remember if you missed out on catching up with peers and discovering all things Moodle in the US, you can still join us for our second chapter in Miami, Florida on 6 – 8 November.

Stay tuned for videos of some of the presentations on our YouTube channel soon and also more updates on #MootUS17 – Florida by following us on Twitter or subscribe to updates on our website.

See you all soon again Moodlers!

PS Here are some must-do’s in New Orleans from our Moodle HQ crew

Extra, extra! Read all about it…..here are three tips of “must-do’s” our crew would like to share:

beignets et cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde

If you are going to New Orleans, you simply must have beignets et cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde

poem about “it”

Get a poem about “it” on the streets of New Orleans

Canal Street

Start the New Orleans journey on Canal Street

Jackson Square

Get on a carriage ride from Jackson Square

Creole townhouse

Stroll down memory lane past a Creole townhouse

Louis Armstrong park

Put your Jazz shoes on and dance your way to the Louis Armstrong park