Here is the youtube video:
Would love to hear what you think about this new product. Thanks!
Here is the youtube video:
Would love to hear what you think about this new product. Thanks!
Hello Wen, you did ask!
When faced with a request for one's viewpoint-we have two decisions-don't we:
1. we can be truly honest and try to put across our views whether with the aim of being helpful and/or questioning
2. we can pretend it is all fabulous and get on with our lives.
I shall blend the two here:
the first video....my take-aways (and they are direct quotations):
'maximise time for teaching to bring the students to the next level'
contact time gained by 'getting students to do assignements at night'
'google classroom is a place for WORKSHEETS'
'teachers can distribute projects to students'
'more teaching time-who doesn't like to save time?'
'you cannot stay in teaching and keep going to the old ways-teaching becomes new again'
Given there was nothing about learning in the clip-I am left with the thought that the student is an empty vessel waiting to be filled with stuff.
I lost the will to look at the second clip-because I find it difficult to sit through explanations about a GUI/Functionality based on saving teachers time!
I supppose I should have just stuck with principle no 2. really eh
Google classroom = Google Docs + customer relationship management (CRM) software.
In Maslow's infamous words, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." -- The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance, Abraham H. Maslow, 1966
Google are trying to capitalise on teachers not knowing much about elearning and LMS' to sell their office software, much like Micro$oft conned educators into using M$ Office back in the 90s. Did M$ Office revolutionise education? Or did it create walled gardens and lock in schools to using their software and services? Remember the anti-trust lawsuits? Do you know that Google are also embroiled in anti-trust law suits in the EU? Govts., govt. agencies, schools, colleges, and universities are now saving millions of $€£s by switching away from M$ software to free and open source alternatives and open document formats.
Free and open source alternatives:
Office docs management: http://owncloud.org/
User/contacts management (CRM): https://civicrm.org/
If there's one thing you can say about Google is that they are good at advertising. The first vid is hopeful, uplifting, accessible, maybe compassionate and claims to solve my problems, some of which I didn't know I had until i saw it.
Google are also good at interfaces so that's two things you can say about Google. I don't need to see the second vid to know that they've probably done a good job and it's probably slicker and more intuitive than Moodle.
If I really have to farm my students data out to a third party, then I'd prefer to scatter it around several smaller 3rd parties where I can hope to produce a lower signal to noise ratio. So that's 3 things you can say about Google.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. In this day and age, everyone should expect Google.
Privacy is usually a long way down on most people's priority lists even though I think it's likely that ignoring it'll come back to bite them a few years down the line. When students get labelled radicals, extremists, persons of interest and terrorists for expressing and discussing their views: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/07/23/blacklisted/ It's very easy to get put on these secret lists and impossible to get taken off.
On an immediate and practical side, Google Docs (GD) is a proprietary lock-in that's potentially worse than Micro$oft Office. GD doesn't support any of the open formats like OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and AbiWord, even when dozens of govts. and govt. agencies have switched or are switching to those formats. They used to support them but stopped some time in 2012: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/docs/S6IkdnuH91E
I just tried uploading and editing an M$ .docx file and it mangled the formatting. It was unusable.
So, GD is becoming a closed, "walled garden" ecosystem. You either use GD and everyone you work with must use GD, or you'll encounter a lot of annoying difficulties. Why do you think Google are spending millions on advertising and doing special deals with teachers, pupils, students, schools, colleges, and universities to get them onto GD? This was M$' tactic with M$ Office in the 90s.
And now a number of govts. are now prohibiting their depts., workers, and clients from using Google, M$, Yahoo!, etc. at all because they've become such a security risk.
If you do a lot of work in word processors, remember to keep copies in an open format (ODF). If all your docs are GD and they end up with anything closely resembling monopoly, you could end up in a difficult situation. How much time and effort have you spent on your work and what would happen if accessing it and distributing it to others became problematic, i.e. if you're locked-in to GD?
Matt, def hear u.
...and the alternative to GD is?
Should it be €oogle now then?
Point taken Visvanath, but that's life here on Moodle.org.
I think we are in the wrong place talking here. If you really want to know what is going on, go to a forum for GE people.
Or you need someone from Moodle.org who is going or has done a field trip to GE.
That's what I'm really looking for.
Love your work Visvanath.
Google Docs are dreadful. I used to use them a lot for collaborative stuff but never to produce anything for re-use. I have not really used them since I got a dropbox account which allowed me to collaborate on "real" documents I have full control over.
They are good at advertising because the own the biggest online advertising network...
I saw another pitch for their classroom offering which went along the lines of:
"cuts stopping you sending students on field trips, bring the field trip to the students... using Google Hangouts"
A bit of a sad pitch when you think about it and though the examples shown in the video were good they had nothing to do with hangouts, there are other ways to achive the same using Big Blue Button or similar.
I really dont like Google and am trying to keep my own kids out of their "eco system" for reasons I have mentioned in other threads.
I think its dangerous for educators to get embroiled with them, particularly when it comes to giving them control of content (MOOC platforms they were toying with etc).
Sam "The first vid [...] claims to solve my problems, some of which I didn't know I had until i saw it."
Isn't that what happens when you go a psychiatrist?
I was in the early preview for Google Classroom. Only 2 features really, discussions and assignments but I actually like the way the assignment feature works. I know our faculty would love to be able to create a template for the assignment then distribute it to the students that would already be named correctly with the students name. This was asked from our faculty not too many months ago and I am not talking about a cover sheet but to actually create a template for the assignment that gets distributed to each student automatically.
Probably too soon to integrate into Moodle 2.8/2.9 but maybe Moodle 3.0 could implement something like this?
You can create a template for the assignment and then distribute that template to all the students that gets renamed with the students name automatically. This is currently not possible in Moodle nor is the templates possible in Moodle.
Here is a video that pretty much shows how it works,
If I understand your point correctly, Moodle does automatically identify learners by name with their assignments when they submit them. There's never any confusion about who submitted what and when.
You also have to option to set a submission deadline if you wish (i.e. prevent submission after that date and time) or to allow submissions and mark them as late.
If you want to save a Moodle activity as a template, you can either duplicate it or back it up and restore it in another course.
Additionally, it looks like Google's assignment activity is missing other functions and features that Moodle has.
Google have a lot of catching up to do.
I don't think you understood what I was trying to get across for something that moodle could maybe do in the future.
Right now in Moodle,
The faculty then has to download the students submitted work, comment on it, the upload that back into Moodle.
The above is all manual work of having to download/upload.
What would be awesome,
Can Moodle one day have the Google docs integration so that the teacher can add the Google doc as template, each student would automatically get there own shared copy in Moodle and when the student clicks on it it would open in Google Docs, the student would input their work then resubmit this to Moodle.
The teacher would then click on the assignment in the grader which would automatically open in Google Docs for commenting and the saved changes are returned to the student.
Everything is done in the browser without having to download or upload anything in Moodle.
Yes we have Google Drive in Moodle but when you add documents from Google drive it converts it to a hard link .rtf instead of a link to the document in google drive.
The teacher could create the document in Google Drive then setup the share permissions so that each student would have to make a copy then they would have to manually add the teacher as a commenter. That is way too much work for a student to comprehend and for a teacher that has 70+ students in the class.
Also I think it would work if the Google Drive repository did not convert the documents to an.rtf file and instead just linked to the document in Google Drive which when clicked opened the document in Google Docs instead of downloading the converted .rtf to the teachers computer.
Yes, I see what you mean. On the other hand, if you use the essay type question in a Moodle quiz for your assignment (instead of the assignment module) you can specify a template/scaffold (a "response template") there which all students will get a copy of when they type their response directly into Moodle.
That is an idea! I will try this out and see.
On the other hand, I was looking at the code for the Google Drive repository and there is code which create the .rtf
$title = $item['title'] . '.rtf';
$exportType = 'application/rtf';
I was thinking if I copied the plugin and created a whole new Google Drive plugin I could change the code to
$title = $item['title'] . '.pdf';
$exportType = 'application/pdf';
So the teach could add the google document share link to the course as the template then each student would have view rights and then make a copy. Each student would then be able to edit the document and save in their google drive.
When the submit the assignment to moodle using the new plugin for drive that I would create it would add the submitted assignment as a PDF.
Since Moodle as inline PDF commenting the teacher can comment on the PDF assignment then return to the students.
Maybe Dan Paltawski could comment in if just changing the code to pdf would work and if I copied the plugin and renamed it so it would be a new plugin to Moodle?
I think we want to make this an option in core - there is an existing bug open for it: MDL-33483
That would seriously be the coolest thing ever! This would help our Faculty who have 70+ students and would not have to download and mark each file and then upload them back to moodle. I tried teaching them the bulk download/upload but they always mess it up some how. Student would just upload their document as a PDF through the repo plugin and then teacher would be able to edit in the browser!
Thanks Again for Looking this way! I will be keeping an eye on the tracker for future updates.
Learners can submit their assignments as online text (Submission types: Online text) and that also gives them the option to embed multimedia, either uploaded or as a "hotlink".
Teachers can view and comment directly on learners' submissions as well as giving feedback and grades. You can actually do more on a Moodle web page than you can in a document file.
Additionally, if learners don't have M$ Office, they don't have to buy it in order to participate on courses. Google Docs are a closed, proprietary format too, so there could be compatibility issues in the longer term. And what if learners have ethical objections, e.g. privacy concerns, to using Google Docs?
If the assignments are for long-form writing, learners should use a text editor or word processor to do their composing and then copy and paste it into Moodle in order to avoid losing their work due to browser/internet failures.
BTW, if you really want integrated office docs in Moodle, I think using Google and/or M$ Office 360 would be a continuous source of issues since they're likely to change their APIs, deprecate features, etc. thereby "breaking" 3rd party integrations with them. Google are particularly bad at doing this.
A free and open source and open document alternative that could be a more stable and longer-lived solution would be something like WebODF: http://webodf.org/ A number of governments and education systems are switching over to ODF so it's likely to become a well-supported (even required) standard in the not too distant future. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are already well-established, mature projects. ownCloud.org already supports ODF.
but it is Java script and not PHP. Dan is doing his best...for the sake of sustainability-that should work.
....here we go You said do you know the difference between server-side and client-side languages?
Now, do you think that knowledge is encased with the crown jewels? Dependent on your thoughts there-you can choose your own answer to your own question:
1. Dawn knows
2. Dawn doesn't know
If you would like to get a bit more info out of me about my post....the one relating to the tricky move in getting peeps to move to ODF then you have a couple of choices in what you ask:
1. Dawn could you expand on what you mean please?
2. I am interested to know why you posted that message-could you explain a bit more?
3. Dawn why do you mention sustainability with Java and PHP?
And I could go on Matt.
So will wait to hear from you-but do remember I am busy I have a list of over 100 things to do, so this is not a priority for me
Absolutely! And we must be careful that once the clients have zoned our proximal developments, that our side-servers assimilate the interface the languages from the clients effectively.
BTW, my server-side dialect is the ecmascript based hypertext pre-processor (recursive).
Thanks for that. I have had a bit of a nauseating day...happens to the best of us eh! However, did you know there is this 'click-language' in parts of Africa....basically if someone asked you to make the sound of a horse trotting...how would you make that sound with your tongue? Clip-clop...sound yeah. Well I read in a reliable source that Java script is based on that language-honestly.
Ref: (Tink & Pan) The Pixies and Fairies digest (2014) (page, 219)
I am very proud of that knowledge and it is with the beefeaters-I checked during my last visit-safe under glass and key.
As admins we tried to tell them to use the online text but we run into the issue again for templates. We have some templates that are 20 pages in length with tables, form fields, vb macros and such. This is currently not supported in the online text function in Moodle nor I don't think any other part in Moodle. We require all students to have Microsoft Office because most of the templates use the above that I mentioned, it is in our catalog along with the PC requirements, we also do not support non laptops/pcs such as phones or tablets for online courses because of the amount of work they have to do in a office application.
Our Google Apps domain is completely locked down so they are not able to share outside of our domain with other users nor can they communicate with anyone outside our domain so the privacy is not an issue.
Copying 20+ pages of a document into the online text field is cumbersome for a faculty to sort through and then try to comment on and grade then do the same for 60+ more students in their class.
I think if the Drive import or any other repository plugin could be able to import as PDF or have the option like Dan stated I think we would be good. I am actually modifying the code according to the tracker linked to see how well it would work as PDF. The only downside for now until Moodle HQ adds the import chooser is that all Google Drive documents will be imported as a PDF no matter what.
Re: " we tried to tell them to use the online text but we run into the issue again for templates. We have some templates that are 20 pages in length with tables, form fields, vb macros and such." -- Have you tried the Quiz module?
With the Quiz module, you can set up banks of questions, duplicate collections of questions, use banks of questions across courses and across an entire site, and reorganise and adapt them at granular levels. Moodle's Quiz module is one of its more versatile strengths in this respect.
Is there an issue with encouraging faculty/teaching staff to change over from M$ Word to Moodle? From what you're describing, it sounds like they're pretty much using Moodle as an elaborate files repository, in which case, why use Moodle at all?
I think that most of the popularity and success of office style document repository services is that it's what people are used to; they don't have to change their work flow or think about how to organise it in different ways. It's an understandable and fairly rational view of doing things given how much things are constantly changing.
Re: privacy, the ethical issues have less to do with learners', teachers', or the public's access to documents and more to do with what companies like Google, M$, and addThis.com do with users data. Here's an article about some of the issues (BTW, Google are already being sued in California for breaching their own contracts with universities which promise not to abuse students' and staff's privacy):
"Eyespy: Dodgy data deals
SILICON Roundabout is the groovy name for the UK tech sector, backed with taxpayer cash through Big Society organisations like Tech City Investment Organisation and the Technology Strategy Board and estimated to be worth £225bn, or 12% of GDP, by 2016. But since almost all this will come from "big data" - information gathered for marketing purposes - our blossoming industry might more accurately be called Surveillance Roundabout.
Between them, consumer intelligence companies, credit reporting agencies and data marketing firms hold detailed and current information on almost the entire population. They often suffer data breaches at the hands of hackers, who then use the loot (name, address, national insurance number, etc) for identity theft and fraud. Since there is no law requiring big data companies to reveal hacking or even use encryption, it usually gets covered up. Only when the damage is massive do we see it in the news, as was the case with Experian, Barclays, Lexis-Nexis and Equifax recently.
Besides safekeeping, such an intrusive industry raises another question: is sensitive personal information now mere merchandise? Most UK data brokers have sense enough to hide their creepier practices, but there are exceptions. Clear Data Ltd, based in Herefordshire, advertises lists of old people ("over 65 and mostly female") waiting to be targeted by quack doctors, boiler room conmen, telephone raffle operators, and pyramid schemers in need of credulous targets. Data Broker Limited, from Cheshire, caters to predatory lenders -- "[if you're] offering new loans to people With poor credit history and [county court Judgments against them], Databroker have the largest list related to loans for postal, telephone, mobile, SMS, email and social media campaigns".
The company also provides lists of consumers who "seek online relationships". If you can't get a loan or a shag, we'll let the right people know. Or if you're struggling with a betting habit, a firm like the Data Octopus of Manchester might pass on your details in one of its databases of habitual gamblers.
While Washington is looking hard at Silicon Valley data brokers in the US, a recent Senate inquiry describing them as secretive and opaque, the chances of scrutiny here look slim, even though some of the biggest companies directly named in the inquiry report -- Epsilon, Experian and Acxiom -- also operate extensively in the UK.
UK politicians love getting into bed with trendy tech companies -- David Cameron has extensive connections with Google, the tax-dodging behemoth whose revenue model is data surveillance. And how many of our legislators and regulators know anything about the web? Judging by how the Data Protection Act is taken as a joke by techies and as a useless tool by prosecutors, few indeed."
Source: Private Eye, No. 1632, 21st March - 3rd April, 2014, Page 31.
I might have worded it wrong but that specific assignment is maybe only 10% of a course for each week. They utilize almost every activity/resource in Moodle in their course not just uploading documents. They use the Online text for other functions but not for this specific assignment since it has all the items I outlined and is so many pages.
It is fully FERPA and US-EU compliant and we require two-step enrollment and verification.
I'm somewhat confused. Are you saying that it can't be done with something like the Quiz module (or Questionnaire module or something similar) or that faculty/teachers don't want to/won't do it with the Quiz module?
It seems logical to me, from what you've written, if a learning activity requires learners to complete text fields, choose options, etc. that the Quiz module, Questionnaire module, or something similar would work just as well, if not better, than requiring learners to download, edit/complete, and upload M$ Word documents. Having learners' responses in a coherently structured database and accessible to analytical tools can make teachers' and admins' lives a whole lot easier. What difference does it make if they're looking at a collection of pages in a desktop app (M$ Word) or in a form in a web browser (Moodle)? It also means you can correct those embarrassing typos and clarify instructions and questions more easily (e.g. when several learners ask for clarifications on the same questions) and they'll be immediately reflected throughout Moodle, wherever they're used.
Re: Google's illegal activities...
The lawsuit against Google is specifically for their breach of the privacy agreement section of the contract that clients have signed with Google for Education: http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=15951 and http://www.ibtimes.com/google-sued-data-mining-california-students-claim-violation-educational-privacy-1562198 and http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/03/13/26google.h33.html and http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/19/google-lawsuit-email-scanning-student-data-apps-education
Additionally, Google, Apple, et al are embroiled in a wage fixing scandal so big that the judge rejected a $324.5 million settlement that they came up with. It looks like the judge thinks a much larger compensation package is warranted for Google, Apple, et al's employees. How would you feel if you discovered your employer had deliberately conspired to deceive you suppress your and your colleagues' salaries by 10 - 20% while raking in unprecedented profits? Are these the people you want to entrust your learners', colleagues', and organisation's future to?
We tried every possible activity in Moodle. The only real thing close to something we could use is the Dataform plugins but the submitted paperwork and according to our accrediting bodies must be in MLA/APA format.
Not sure why that school in those articles had advertising turned on for their Apps Domain. I logged in our control panel to see the warning that is displayed when you enable Ads for your domain but the option is gone, probably after that schools lawsuit. It read something like, by turning on advertising we will target ads to you users. That school should have had ads turned off from day one, we have been using Apps for EDU for 6 years now and have never had 1 ad come across or displayed to our students/faculty/staff. There are a ton of other services in the Apps for EDU that if enabled, Google will mine data, it says right on it before you enable it. Schools need to be sure and read all the sections before enabling any of the services/features for their domain. Even enabling Google+ will allow google to mine for data, we have it turned off as well. Same for youtube, which we also have turned off.
The complaint against Google isn't about displaying ads in Google for Education, it's about violating users' trust, as defined in their contracts. Google promised not to mine users' data and they went ahead and did it anyway. Users noticed that their data was being used for targeting ads, based on their Google for Education data, elsewhere on the internet. Google follows you and watches you everywhere, whether ads are displayed or not. If you want a small demonstration of how pervasive, persistent, and intrusive Google's surveillance software is, you can try two tricks using Firefox web browser:
#2 - Turn off local storage (Local Shared Objects) in Flash Player: https://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/help02.html You'll see error messages every time a web page tries to store local data on your computer. Google uses this (AKA "Flash cookies") to identify users who may be blocking surveillance by other means, e.g. NoScript.
The latest development is to use HTML5 to perform Canvas fingerprinting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canvas_fingerprinting To get around users who block both Flash and JS surveillance. The only way I know of to block this so far is to use the TOR browser bundle: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en
N.B. Using TOR in some countries may alert the interest of their security agencies and can have you put on secret extra-judicial watch lists as a radical, extremist, or person of interest, and can even contribute to you being put on so called "no-fly" lists: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/07/23/blacklisted/
Simply put, there are plenty of legitimate and reasonable objections for learners to raise against being forced to use web services from Google, M$, Yahoo!, DropBox, etc.
Regarding the Google Drive repository a new thread was opened here:
for those who may want to follow this specific subject.