Obama-China inundation on Google+ is an opportunity not a threat

I've come across a BBC article about Chinese internet users inundating Barack Obama's Google Plus page. Here is Obama's Google+ page. This bit of news gives me a warm feeling. Apparently "many simply voiced delight at their freedom to speak: they talked about occupying the furniture and bringing snacks and soft drinks."

Nomensa's open source Accessible Media Player - first look

I was tipped off about Nomensa's player, newly open sourced (thanks Chetz), and ever curious, I thought I'd take a look.

I came across version 1 of the player last year, and I must say at the time I was a bit bemused. It seemed to be a thin wrapper around either YouTube, or the JW Player (I can't remember which), and Nomensa weren't upfront about saying so.

Note, I'm not going to go into the accessibility aspects here, but instead concentrate on how the open-source project itself is presented.

oEmbed at Dev8D 2012

I'm happy to say that I'll be going to Dev8D again this year. Dev8D is organized in part by the JISC DevCSI initiative, and is aimed at all developers and IT people in UK higher education. It is free, and an excellent training opportunity.

OU web developer's coffee morning - OU player

These events are fairly informal, but some topics we may like to cover:

* What is OU player?
* What is OU embed?
* What is oEmbed?
* What are the benefits, for developers, end users etc.?
* How can you embed using these systems - in Drupal/ in Wordpress/ using Javascript/ in Moodle?
* What is the status of the project? Future plans?

16th Annual SEDA Conference 2011

The Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).

Using Technology to Enhance Learning
17 November 2011 - 18 November 2011

"The conference will be of particular interest to all those involved in promoting effective change in HE learning, teaching and educational development. This includes:
Academic and staff developers
Lecturers and teachers in further and higher education
National and institutional teaching fellows
Heads of academic schools and academic development
Learning technologists ..."

Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide book

Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide is available now.
Download a sample chapter, view the table of contents and buy the book on PacktPub and Amazon

Moodle is a virtual learning environment that is being used in more and more schools worldwide. It is ideal for teaching a younger age group as interactive lessons enable children to learn quicker and with greater ease.

Timeline widget on Moodle.org

Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide will help you to adapt your existing lesson plans to online Moodle courses and will give you ideas to create new activities, quizzes, and puzzles to make the learning process fun and interactive for young children. More from Packt.

Moodle Calculated Objects question type

Over the past 12 months I've created a number of contributed plugins for Moodle. Moodle is an open-source e-learning or virtual learning environment (VLE), that teachers, lectures and trainers can use to enhance face-to-face and blended teaching. It is also used by a number of large institutions like The Open University for distance education.

OU player Why CodeIgniter?

I have been asked to present the reasoning behind our choice of CodeIgniter over Drupal for the OU player/ OU embed projects.

I will argue that the OU player project provides an ideal case study for why The Open University, including the central IT providing departments should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to the choice of information technologies. At present, I think they are in danger of doing this. You may also be interested in Juliette Culver's post, Why we moved from Drupal to CodeIgniter, and Will Wood's post, Agile Ballooning.

First, some background. CodeIgniter is a minimal model-view-controller PHP framework. It is open source, makes full use of the object-oriented programming paradigm, offers database abstraction, an ORM (object-relational-model) layer, and various extension mechanisms including libraries, hooks and helper functions. By default, templating/ views are implemented in PHP, though an alternative templating system such as Smarty could be plugged in. There are many third-party plugins available, and it is a simple matter to plugin other libraries, for example parts of the Zend framework. As a low level framework, its benefits are a shallow learning curve, the promotion of maintainable, well-structured code, small footprint, performance and flexibility (http://codeigniter.com).