Moodle with a Beginner’s Mind

It is summer now, the year is behind me. I am a survivor and it is a thing to be proud of. Someone told me this and it rings true and frees me from my own ruminations about the nature of self. The summer is to reset, from the pandemic, and a brutal year.

When the year started, somewhere in July of last summer, when I was hired and dashed up to Bellevue and grabbed a laptop to use in a class they had signed me up for, and found a condo and purchased it (yes, all in the same day) and launched my year…one of the things I realized is that I was in for change and it might well be approached with a Beginner’s Mind in all facets. It was a great plan. I remain attached to it now. The pandemic was hard and it isn’t clear that any alterations to the plan would have changed that.

It is day one of summer. Three days ago began a journey that surprised me. An interesting experience with Moodle has begun. I have used Moodle since 2005 after it was chosen by students completing a research project for me into what Learning Management System I should use.

I am sure I have reloaded before and yet, often it is with courses and configurations and methods I have used in the past. This time I simply did a clean install, taking all the features in that Moodle now utilizes, keeping no legacy files, classes, or organization and just starting again.

It is configured and sits working through backups again tonight and each day I have added one thing so far and am easing into making it a productive system. Starting with making it a working system. The possibilities, of starting with a Dashboard, and having Learning Plans up front and all manners of things is simply so cool and energizing. To look at this with my experience but also beginning again, from the beginning with nothing to remain attached to, this is so cool and makes it so easy to simply flow through the short activity this morning, it was so engaging, a reminder that the entire plan was to approach things with a beginners mind was the essential piece.

The rest happened and was mean spirited and for the most part punishing. But that is fine, it need not define me or my teaching practices and teaching students.

Hacktoberfest 2017

IMG_20171101_134454I had my IB students sign up for Hacktoberfest which is open to everyone in the global community!

The learning target was to learn how to participate in the global open source software development community.

  • Seen here, the first student with a shirt awarded for making four pull requests between October 1–31 in any timezone. Pull requests can be to any public repo on GitHub. Pull requests reported by maintainers as spam or that are automated will be marked as invalid and won’t count towards the shirt.

A powerful statement about the kind of learner who can be successful in software engineering!


Students: Get Free Developer Tools Through GitHub

It pays to be a student.

via readwrite

students

Hacking new technologies can be time-consuming … and expensive. So to help students create technical projects or learn how to use new tools, social coding site GitHub and a handful of technology partners have created theGitHub Student Developer Pack that provides access to 14 developer tools for free.

The project has been in the works for over a year, said John Britton, education evangelist at GitHub. The company already provides a free "micro account" to students, which provides them with five free private code repositories; this plan normally costs $7 a month. (GitHub’s normal free plan requires all such "repos" to be public). Now it’s expanding on that offer with limited free access to tools like Stripe for payment processing and DigitalOcean for cloud hosting.

Many companies offer free services to students who aren’t shy about asking for them. But Britton says most companies make these offers on an individual basis, because it takes time and effort to manage an entire student services database.

“Students would write and ask GitHub for tools—a lot of companies are happy to do it, but it’s ad-hoc,” Britton said. “It’s an administrative burden. We thought, ‘If we’re going to do the administrative work anyway, why not offer other tools as well and take the admin responsibility?’”

Over 100,000 students have already used a free GitHub account.

While it’s a charitable move on GitHub’s part, it won’t just benefit students. Once aspiring coders and engineers have grown accustomed to certain services, they’ll likely stick with the ecosystems they know when the free trial expires. That means more customers for companies like Stripe, which is waving fees for students on the first $1000 in revenue processed.

GitHub Developer Pack

It will also benefit teachers who want to teach a class in something like game development. If they want to use the Unreal game engine, for instance, teachers can tell students to sign up for a GitHub Student Developer Pack, which will save each student almost $20 per month.

Students must sign up through GitHub and show proof of student status such as a university dot-edu email address or a student ID card. If neither is available, GitHub says an enrollment letter or transcript will work as well. Any student aged 13 or older can sign up for an account.

Participating companies will rely on GitHub’s student verification. So once students sign up through the company, they’ll get coupon codes or unique access links and can begin to use the full suite of services.

The offerings are as follows:

  • Atom: A free text editor from GitHub
  • Bitnami: Business 3 plan ($49/month for non-students) for one year
  • Crowdflower: Access to the Crowdflower platform (normally $2,500/month) and $50 in worker credit
  • DigitalOcean: $100 in platform credit
  • DNSimple: Bronze hosted DNS plan ($3/month for non-students) for two years
  • GitHub: Micro account (usually $7/month) with five private repositories while you’re a student
  • HackHands: $25 in credit for live programming help
  • Namecheap: Free domain name registration on the .me TLD and one free SSL certificate for one year
  • Orchestrate: Free developer accounts for students (normally $49/month)
  • Screenhero: Free individual account while you’re a student (saves students $10/month)
  • SendGrid: Free student plan for one year (saves students $5/month)
  • Stripe: No fees on first $1000 in revenue processed
  • Travis CI: Free private builds (normally $69/month)
  • Unreal Engine: Free access to the service (usually $19/month)