Over the last couple of years, Ive been running an online education program(www.g8.firstnationschools.ca) for grade 8 students in isolated First Nation communities in northern Canada. In a nutshell, the main goals of the program are:
- Help students prepare for high school by reinforcing grade 8 expectations that have a direct connection to the grade 9 curriculum.
- Encourage students to interact with students in other First Nation schools
- Help instil awareness and pride in First Nation culture by highlighting the various places, programs, events and people in First Nation communities
- Promote literacy, numeracy and computer skills
This summer I managed to get a small budget to customize Moodle to better fit the needs of the G8 Program and isolated learners in general. Mike Churchward agreed to turn my designs into code and the new format is called G8Moodle. Im still working on a few other features, but I thought Id share the current changes with the Moodle community. The complete version should be ready in 3 or 4 weeks at which point it will be provided as open source to anyone who wants to use the whole thing or just selected parts. Some highlights of the G8Moodle format include:
- A new weekly navigation systemA tracking system for completed activities
- An option to exclude any activity from the grade book
- A Casual Forums block
- An Activity Forum block (mirrors forums that are included in the activities section)
- An Opinions Block (Opinion is just another name for the Choice activity)
- A Map (to show the location of participating schools)
- An Announcements center block
- Some of the links within other blocks have been renamed and/or relocated
- The Gradebook displays activity names vertically (to maximise space)
- Customized help file
- Removed the front page link from the breadcrumb menu (student view)
- Some other minor changes
Other changes still to come.
The test site is located here: http://branches.ca/g8moodle
Use student as login name and password to enter.
Any suggestions or bug reports are appreciated.
PS. While I have the conch, Id like to throw out an invitation to any experienced Moodler who might be interested in putting together a grade 8 math course for this program (using WebWork, flash demos as well as the regular Moodle activities). The course would consist of about 25 lessons (each one hour long) and this would be a paid contract.