Moodle PD – September 15, 2009

John Prepares a Video for the Group
John Prepares a Video for the Group

John went through his International School of Prague Moodle pages. It started there as a grassroots movement with a small group of teachers. They are in Year 5 of implementation and obviously far ahead from us. He said we are in good shape and can avoid the mistakes his school made in implementation. Things I learned:

All faculty at his school need to do the skills below (Moodlic Literate)

  • log in to Moodle
  • upload a file
  • participate in a forum
  • participate in a wiki

A Minimal Requirement for teachers on their pages is to post all homework assignments, and have resources (worksheets – word docs – web links.)

No requirements for teachers to post their grades. They are moving to a Admin Software that will do this for them.

ESL kids love forums on Moodle and they can write at their own pace and they don’t stand out in a classroom environment. Want the forums to be a safe environment.

New teachers when they are hired, they go through an orientation on Moodle. They get all the orientation information, and participate in forums. It would be a good mentoring method.

Administration team, committees, PTA, Board of Trustees put all of their minutes, etc. on Moodle.

All that is produced at the school through Moodlic, it is the property of the school and it gets archived. The teacher can take the course with them, although it is not compatible with Blackboard.

At ISP, Moodlic is only for teachers and students, not parents. Students can share password with the parent. The idea is that parents can’t walk into a classroom.

ISP has turned off the chat and the messenging, because too much of temptation for students.

Recommend everyone to 320 gig portable hard drive to back up their work. All students have a USB flash drive to take with them.

Teachers responsible for backing up their moodle pages.

Google docs can be integrated into Moodle. ISP is gmail. No email accounts for students.

Faculty Meetings minutes, etc. on Moodle Course. The forum occurs before the meeting.

Faculty Forum – Before the faculty meeting, Prinicpal sends it out.

Trainings – Beginning of the year 3 hours, 1 and 1/2 for veterans. The Moodle trainers (two teachers) and then ICT trainer. Give a stipend to those mentors.

Cyber Cafe – One time per week, not required for teachers to go to. This is a PD for tech stuff.

One problem is too many things going on and too many portals for people to access.

Upper School Calendar for Homework – Portal for parents (Principal and Counselor) – Talk to teachers –

One portal – email/calendars/

One portal – Moodlic

One portal – WebEIM (or alternative Admin Software)

Teachers self police and no administrator moving through the pages to see who is doing them.

Leadership Team Course Excellent!

When a student enrolls, they fill out a form allow their children to be photographed on put on the website.

Teachers need to de-clutter their documents on their moodle pages as the years go by.

ISB PD “Digital Citizenship” September 14, 2009

The Hotel Zira Had a Superb Internet Connection
The Hotel Zira Had a Superb Internet Connection

Our facilitator today is John Mikton. I’ll be blogging my notes from the conference. He is from Geneva, Switzerland and the Technology Director at the International School Prague. He is an experienced educator who has worked in China, Switzerland, Japan, and Tanzania. Before teaching, he worked in advertising. He is an inspirational speaker and I am looking forward to spending the next two days with him. Here is a link to his website.

“Change is not merely necessary to life- it is life.” Alvin Toffler

Did You Know? We watched the video, “Did You Know” which is the latest version of  “Shift Happens.” Some of the interesting facts presented were as follows:

  • There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006 it was 2 billion.
  • A NY Times daily edition has more information than a person in the 1700’s was exposed to in a lifetime.

Twitter: I helped Nadia and Janna to learn a bit about Twitter and to get accounts. It is interesting that adults use twitter much more than teenagers. I downloaded “TweetDeck” so I can have twitter on my desktop without being logged into the twitter page.

Creators and Interactive: Good point made by John, that adults are the “gatekeepers” for the teenagers creating content on line. When his school did the 1-to-1 lap top program they gave the computers to the PARENT, not directly to the students. The message was, the school is lending a computer to the parent who will let the child use it. Young people at times need this before that put stuff up online.

Strategies With Teachers Working On Laptops: Little strategies to assist teachers when students have laptops in class.

  • Laptops are in a circle and facing out so teacher can see.
  • Turn off the airport.
  • Flip down the monitor.
  • Software that allows teacher to view the student screens. Can bring it up in front of the class.


Daniel Pink Author of the “A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future?” ( and we are moving to a conceptual age. There are six minds and 6 essential senses of the future:

1) Design – Moving beyond

2) Story

3) Symphony

4) Empathy

5) Play – Bringing humor to businesses and products

6) Meaning

This is similar to Howard Gardner’s latest book.

I lost a bit of my notes from losing the connection. We watched a couple of segments from “Growing Up Online” a documentary about teens and the internet. One pertinent idea, that the divide between generations is the biggest since the invention of television. The issue of privacy is huge in international schools. It is important to view privacy also in the lenses of different cultures. For example, US parents would want the school to act upon students outside of school spraying grafitti on a wall in the city. European parents might feel not to have the school involved.

How do I safeguard my privacy?

  • Some of my photos in our account are private.
  • I don’t put my credit card information, phone number, address.
  • There are some things in my life I do not blog about.
  • My wife screens photos of her that I want to post on line.
  • I try not to blog about my future schedule, giving times and places where I will be.

Facebook – The default settings for facebook are open publicly. You need to be 13 years old to have a facebook page. John’s advice for facebook is below:

Facebook Safety Tips

The following safety tips are important to keep in mind, whether you are using Facebook or one of the other social networking sites:

  • Don’t reveal your password to anyone.
  • Check your privacy settings on a regular basis, and make sure that they accurately reflect your level of comfort.
  • Don’t reveal any personal information to someone you are communicating with online. Personal information includes your real name, address, phone number, and credit card information. It’s not a good idea to reveal where you work or go to school, either, since this information can be used by Internet stalkers to locate you.
  • Anything you post online can be read by anyone who visits that Web site. Consider that this information can be seen by your parents, the police, or a current or prospective employer. If you are not sure you want the information shared with any of them, don’ t post it.
  • People you are interacting with online may not be who they say they are.
  • Exercise extreme caution if you decide to meet someone in person you have been interacting with online. Arrange to meet in a public place, and don’t go alone.
  • Report any violations of Facebook’s terms of use immediately.
  • Any inappropriate communication should also be reported to Facebook administrators promptly.

10 Settings Every Facebook User Should Know
the video

Next topic is Cyber Bullying. This has been around for a long time. The tool they use is different. John showed us two public service announcements from

There is no good blocking software, the best method is to educate yourself and to engage your children in learning about the dangers.

Many of the themes of Digital Citizenship are very important.

1) Digital Health and Wellness – Are we providing the right kind of chairs, should age 4 students have microwaves from cell phones in their ears.

2) Digital Law – Hacking and sending nude photos are two things teens may do that they are not aware of the consequences.

Other topics – Do not blame it on the computer, the problem is social and cultural.

Case Studies –

1) Student steals password and username from another student and harasses a teacher on Moodlic.

Expel from the school because teacher involved and clearly against our Acceptable Use Policy.

2) Group of students posts videos on youtube of them drinking, insulting passengers on train and all students are underage.

School did nothing, parent contacted police, and they were punished by local authorities.

3) Student has different identities online, which are diff gender, traits, etc.

Conversation, but no official punishment from the school.

My overriding principle is to inform the parents because I would like to know if it were my son or daughter involved in one of the above. It is another question of school punishment or not.