Join Oliver Schinkten for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up your MoodleCloud account, part of Teacher Tech Tips.
- Welcome to Teacher Tech Tips. I'm Oliver Schinkten. Have you incorporated blended learning into your class yet? A blended learning experience is one in which both face to face learning as well as online web-based learning are incorporated into a class. In order to prepare our students for their futures in the digital age, it's going increasingly important to help them develop web-based communication and collaboration skills. Today, we'll look at a great way to achieve this using MoodleCloud. Another reason to incorporate blended learning is the quality of technology tools that we now have access to.
One of the most effective tools in making this a reality is a learning management system. A learning management system, or LMS for short, can help to engage students in online discussions, store and share resources, send assignments and assessments, and track student progress. Some of the more popular learning management systems include Canvas, Moodle, Schoology and Blackboard. One of my favorite options is Moodle. Up until this point, however, Moodle wasn't a realistic option for many smaller learning environments, such as the single classroom.
Moodle requires you to download the open source code and install it on a server, something normally done behind the scenes by an IT specialist. Recently, however, Moodle released a really neat innovation called MoodleCloud. MoodleCloud is a cloud-based LMS that offers almost all of the functionality that the Moodle platform offers. However, now, you can easily and quickly sign up for an account and begin using Moodle in your classroom without the need for a server. Let's take a look at MoodleCloud. I'm currently on the MoodleCloud homepage, located at www.moodlecloud.com.
And if I scroll down, you can see some of the benefits of MoodleCloud. First of all, you will always have the latest version of Moodle. Being cloud-based, it will always upgrade to the most recent version. You will have access to the BigBlueButton Conferencing, which is a great conferencing platform. There's community resources available. You can monitor usage and statistics. And also, there is a mobile app available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Let's scroll back up to the top and sign up for an account. Click on Sign up, and the first thing you need to do is to enter in the name of your site.
So you can customize it, but it'll appear in the format of whatever name you choose .moodlecloud.com. I'm going to check out ovhslifescience, that's already taken. Try ovhsbiology, and that is available. You have to select your hosting location. Mine is the United States. And you have to click here to show that you are not a robot. So if you are a robot, you will not be able to use MoodleCloud. And now click on Get My Site. Now I have to enter in some more information, including my name, email address, timezone.
One of the more important things is your mobile phone number. So you will have to provide a cell number, because this is the way that MoodleCloud authenticates your account. In order to verify your account on the next page, they will send you a text message with a activation code that you'll have to enter in. One limitation to be aware of is that MoodleCloud does limit you to 50 students, and you can only sign up for one account per phone number. If you need the LMS for more students, this may not be a good option. You could still use the original Moodle platform, but won't be able to use MoodleCloud.
I've already created an account with my phone number, so I'm going to log in to that account right now. I'll log in as the administrator. And once I'm inside of my account, I'll have the ability to customize the look and layout. In this video, my only goal is to introduce the MoodleCloud platform and show you what some of the functions look like. If you want to learn more about creating an account, customizing your page, or using some of the different features, you can check out my MoodleCloud First Look course on lynda.com. I want to show you a few things that you can do with your MoodleCloud account.
So, on the left hand side i see these white rectangles which are called blocks. There's a Navigation block, and an Administration Block. I'm first going to select Turn editing on, which will then allow me to customize the page. The next thing I can do is to scroll to the bottom and I can add a block. So quickly, if I go back up and turn editing off, I do not have the option to add a block. If I turn editing back on, then I do have that option. So I'm going to add a block and I'm going to add a Latest News block.
You can see the large number of different blocks that are available. Now, if I scroll down it has added a Latest News block. I'm going to add a new topic, and I'm going to title it Water Quality Grant. I'll paste my message in here. And I want to let my students know that we did receive a $5,000 in grant for doing water quality testing. So in here I'm going to click on Post to forum. So I could include an attachment, but I'm not going to do that.
Okay, so that was successfully added to my news. And I'm going to go back to my homepage. Now, if I wanted to, I could click on the gear icon, configure this news block, and I could put it so that it appears on the right hand side. So, in other words, I think right now that the left hand side is getting kind of crowded. Click on Save changes, and now you can see that my latest news block appears on the right hand side. Within the Administration block I can go to Edit settings, and you'll see that we have the ability to customize a lot of different things.
One thing to note is that MoodleCloud does have a limited number of themes and plugins compared to the full version of Moodle, but there's still plenty to choose from.