Here's my (somewhat incomplete) posting http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/server-devel/2007-June/thread.html
And an earlier plan I drafted in their wiki
So -- the door is open! come lend a hand! -- we're looking at things like:
- RPM packaging
- Configuring PAM-MySQL PAM-PgSQL to perform lookups against Moodle
- Looking at the OLPC's fascinating HIG document and figuring out what it means for Moodle's UI
Though the students can access internet either from home or independently bandwidth will be a problem in poor countries
It is time to think of developing a Moodle LCMS appropriate for OLPC as Linux did
After seeing your posting I spent sometime to work on Moodle for OLPC XO. I have put a demo site at
username and password =student
I have a developer OLPC and two OLPC XO for testing.
I requested another Moodle community member Andy Choo to post a demo content on maths
Similarly I have tried to test the online interactivity suite developed with Flash Media Server 2
I will be happy to get your advice, suggestion and feedback
Hi! This has been dormant for a while but I am getting back on it, and will be doing quite a bit of (volunteer) work on it.
The core plan is unchanged, but the underlying platform has moved forward quite a bit. I am trying to get a reply from Ivan on the state of BitFrost -- I need it to complete the OpenID-based SSO part. If you think you can help with any of the items I mentioned in my opening post (OpenID, RPM packaging, PAM configuration, a theme to match the HIG), let me know.
We also need ideas from people with experience in K-12. I've never seen Moodle "in action" in a K-12 environment, so I wouldn't know how to provide sensible "defaults".
To Nagarajan -- I see you've been posting to the OLPC lists that Moodle won't scale well on the XS. Please don't say that!
- It is wrong. Granted, some versions of moodle have had sub-par scalability with thousands of courses, but each XS will have a handful of courses at the most, and they will be running v1.9 of Moodle which I have fixed, big time. So if a school wants 50 thousand courses in their Moodle, they can too.
- The XS will have Moodle preinstalled with the OS with a tuning recipe I am preparing. It doesn't get much better than that, if I may say so myself
So there are several things to worry about. Scalabily is not one of them
Martín - just noticed OpenID mentioned here.. I have a bit of an interest on doing some OpenID stuff on Mahara, and it'd make sense to share the code with Moodle if that's appropriate. I'll grab you for a chat about it sometime.
And second: Moodle's resource requirements go up with the number of courses/users on the system. This doesn't mean that it "doesn't scale" (which is a pretty nebulous concept anyway) but that its scaling profile is a good match for the way it's commonly deployed.
(I think I'm agreeing with Martín there... must be time for my meds. :P )
I hope that Moodle will actually come installed on the XS server -- there seems to be conflicting stories on that in the documentation which is why I wrote these instructions. Currently, even MySQL is not installed.
But Martin, I am sure that you are the best person to come up with the tuning recipe in whatever form the XS ships.
For our school, we are going in the direction of using the XO's for remote villages in Zambia where it seems like a more appropriate solution than the laptops we have been bringing over and is a different direction than selling to a whole country, as the OLPC foundation is focusing on. And we hope that this experience, together with Moodle and the OEPC initiative (and other books) to remote areas will be helpful as a model for use of laptops in underdeveloped areas of the world.
School use of Moodle is my area, and would be happy to help with defaults, etc.
As we are taking a side road on this project, if others are interested in the work we are doing, please contact me.
Great guide - but I agree, it should be in-the-box. AFAIK the plan is to have at least Moodle+Mediawiki there.
Gary - do you think you can help me host a discussion on this forum (or other - where?) to get people talking candidly about things (with Moodle mainly, perhaps and similar/complementary tools) they've found that work well with K-12 age groups?
The target is to see how to make the most of what we have today (not to spec a Moodle rewrite, though it will be interesting to see how it influences future directions).
So we may want to see what we can do ensure that it part of the package.
I have Mediawiki installed on our XS server as well and am sure that should probably also be an appropriate part of the standard server configuration.
I would be happy to join in to this conversation and will let you take the lead as to whether it should be on a separate forum, and if so, where. I could certainly host it on an actual XS server if that would be useful.
While the use and the nature of activities in the target age group is one of the issues, another is the needs of a school in a developing countries with limited Internet access and probably limited technical administrative skills. And perhaps that can get fleshed out in this discussion.
If there's a K-12 forum here in moodle.org somewhere, that'd be the appropriate place...?
I'm interested in making my current work on the OpenID plugin compatible with the OLPC server. Following feedback from you and Martin D. elsewhere in the forum, I've made several changes to the plugin which should be available in the launchpad repository this week. Out of interest, how is the OLPC project using OpenID for SSO?
how is the OLPC project using OpenID for SSO?
That's the part that I can't manage to nail down Ivan Kristc has written a great high level spec for BitFrost, but I am missing a good picture of how much of it is implemented, and the details of exactly how the hell we get the laptop safely indicating the identity to the XS.
Currently chasing down Ivan on that
OTOH, we may need to implement a server (IDP) implementation of OpenID as part of the plugin. How do you feel about that?
OTOH, we may need to implement a server (IDP) implementation of OpenID as part of the plugin. How do you feel about that?I'd be happy to take a look at it. I've yet to spend any time on the server aspect of the library so it'll be a good learning opportunity.
Happy to note that this thread is getting the needed attention and involvement from the moodle community members.
I am afraid that my contention was on paradigm shift for moodle and not on scalability. I am happy to say that Martin D was in appreciation of my view and suggested for a research group on creating a new Moodle under version 3. I am sure you will be one of the prominent members.
My views are:
Though there are cases avilable on the use of Moodle in K12 level, the moodle fit is yet to be established for the age group 6 to 12 (focus group for OLPC)
As you are aware Moodle servers, particularly Linux servers, are stable under different distro and combo. OLPC restrics the use only to fedora seven with pre defined hardware specification. I am afraid that this is an exclusion earlier practiced in the case of XO machines (exclusion of Windows and Intel).
Moodle is yet to be sized to function in the mesh network environment. Moodle is yet to be organised as a content repository. Moodle is yet to find a solution for the creation of individual portfolios. In short Moodle is only a LCMS whereas you require the Moodle server for OLPC to take care of content management and knowledge management. Earlier versions of Moodle coexisted with other opensource CMS and KMS software.
Finally the basic philosophy of constructivism needs to be redefined. In future Moodle may be used predominantly children (6 to 12)with sub notebooks, (OLPC XO, ASUS triple E, Classmate and many more). They may learn to learn and see the world more through peers and less with teachers. Even new roles in Moodle such as parent and peer are envisaged.
As you have rightly pointed Moodle for OLPC must be lean with new roles and features. However the OLPC will be served better by Moodle provided the developers and community are alive and sensitive to the changing learning scenario and technology.
There's an erroneous notion floating around that computers aren't for younger kids; my experience says that computers are the perfect tool to use to teach reading and writing. Getting an 8 year old boy to revise something he's written on paper is almost as hard as getting someone with a PhD to make a revision, but the 8 yr old actually thinks it's kinda fun to revise things on the screen ( I wish revision happened with adults as easily.)
The thing to remember with younger kids is to keep it simple and build in extras only as needed, otherwise they get overwhelmed and confused - I think that's true for us older folks, too, but we don't like to admit it.
One of the useful new nings that is focused primarily on k-12 is at
I also think there's a future for OLPC XO in urban areas. We have more poverty than we should have right here in River City. I recently heard about a possible implementation in an Alabama urban area.
We are currently using Moodle in our K-8 schools. We actually introduce it to teachers as an alternative to the traditional, static, classroom web page. Initially, it may be as basic as publishing basic information about the class, but it has progressed to creating specific Moodle "courses" for a single literature selection/story in a third grade class.
As we all know, these online environments will be a part of our children's lives from here on out, and the earlier we can provide contexts for discussions related to information literacy, safety, etc., etc., the better.
Some or our middle school teachers have gone beyone the built in capaiblities and are embedding Web 2.0 resources directly within their Moodle sites.
In terms of what is useful. If you were to ask a middle school student, they would say:
1. The ability to message their peers. Some people turn this off due to the fact that they feel it is not of educational value, I tend to disagree. Education is social, these communications tools take practice and understanding. It's much easier to teach a students about the persistance of content on the web, and the fact that nothing is private, when they push the boundaries, say in language use, within the Moodle, than it is when they are older an interview for a job, etc. etc. That make sense? There is also, clarification and assistance happening between students when "messaging" in Moodle.
2. They like the online assessments (quizes). Primarily for the immediate feedback. When teacher utilize this activity, the students use it. (However, it's not the most intuitive or easily used activity in Moodle.) But i understand there is ongong work on improving the item bank and quiz generation.
3. And finally, just being able to review what was shared in class, whether it was a static diagram, or a Jing tutorial on solving and specific math equation.
Those are probably the things they would say they like about Moodle. After that it's a toss up.
3. Discussion, the Moodle implementation of Blogs, and their ability to tag blogs in Moodle (tags is how they are able to comment to other student blog posts...I've heard that due to the fact that Moodle users, can't comment on another users blog, it's not a true blog. However, some of our students have figured out that taging their entries with the same tag is as good as a comment field.) Again, anything that provides them with a voice to share, they like.
If you were to ask a teacher what they like, they would probably say...
1. The ability to republish their classroom content for students to get beyond the classroom walls.
2. The ability for students to submit electronic assignments.
3. Quizes, though they wish they could export questions from other resources into Moodle much easier, specifically an application we usually have bundled with our State adopted texts, Examview.
4. We're constantly working on helping teachers to create engaging electronic instruction, that brings the content back in front of the students. These can be as easily as inserting (CreativeCommons) images from Flickr to a glossary activity when developing vocabulary in your students, to embedding VoiceThread or GoogleVideo into their Moodle pages. The explosion of embed-able "Web 2.0" resources on the web and the abiltiy of Moodle to embed these resources provides a wide variety of engaging instructional materials for teachers (to create and share).
5. The database activity can also be very useful, from providing resources (iamages, audio files) to a whole class computer activity in the lab, to students creating a database of the current items in the school's "lost and found."
As for the OLPC project, my only suggestion would be to create a template that fits the smaller display factor when this is ported to the OLPC server as a activity. But, I'm sure you've already thought about that one.
Though we use Moodle in a "walled garden" evirnonment. I see that changing a bit in the near future with the importance of having student communicate and collaborate with students in other school districts, states, and countries. Collaborative projects in Moodle between different groups of students is a "no brainer." The OLPC Project would seem to benefit our students in an understanding of their world as well as the fortunate students that are receiving these wonderful tools.
I know that was long, but Martin requested I post some comments to the thread. I hope that was helpful