November 21, 2007
"Using Moodle," Second Edition--New from O'Reilly Media: Extending the Chalk-and-Talk Classroom with the Open Source CMS
Sebastopol, CA--In recent years, Course Management Systems (CMSs) have
matured to the point that they're now considered critical software for
many colleges and universities. Moodle, the popular open source CMS, has
emerged as one of the leaders in the field. Used in more than 190
countries with support for more than 70 languages, Moodle can scale from a
single-teacher site to a 50,000-student university.
"Moodle is the fastest growing CMS in the world, and a lot of people
are just learning how to use it," says Jason Cole, coauthor with Helen
Foster of the new edition of Using Moodle (Second Edition, O'Reilly
Community Press, US $39.99).
Moodle gives teachers and trainers a powerful set of web-based tools for
an array of activities, such as forums, messaging, quizzes, assignments,
wikis, blogs, and databases. Available for free on the web, its tool set
and features are comparable to those of the leading commercial packages,
and the system has the added benefit of being built on a sound education
philosophy with a huge, active community that supports and develops it.
The book is written for teachers who use Moodle to teach or enhance their
courses. It covers Moodle 1.8 and is tied to the Moodle Teacher
Certification standards, making it the ideal reference for teachers
interested in Moodle. Using Moodle is more than just a how-to manual;
each chapter includes suggestions, case studies, and best practices for
using Moodle effectively. It also exposes little-known but powerful hacks
for the more technically savvy users.
According to the authors, applying Moodle's tools opens up new
possibilities for learning that simply weren't possible a few years ago.
For example, instructors can use the online environment for content
delivery and save course time for discussion, questions, and problem
solving. "While Moodle's install base will continue to grow, the way
Moodle is used will also continue to change," notes Cole. "As more
instructors become comfortable with the basics, I hope we'll see more
creative uses to help us learn how to effectively use Moodle's
capabilities to enhance learning. I hope the examples and stories inspire
teachers to use it to enhance their teaching."
Using Moodle, Second Edition, is part of the O'Reilly Community Press
series, which spurs the development of interesting technologies by making
online documentation available in print. Key players in technical
communities create and edit the content of O'Reilly Community Press
titles, and O'Reilly manufactures and distributes the books. Each book
reflects the knowledge and voice of the community that has created it.
Jason Cole is currently the academic technology manager at San Francisco
State University, where he's responsible for managing a Blackboard
implementation that has over 15,000 users. A member of the Moodle
community, he has developed a student data integration tool for the
system, and contributed to discussions regarding a document management
system and object model for version 2.0. Jason earned a Ph.D. in
educational technology from the University of Northern Colorado.
Helen Foster is the documentation steward for Moodle.org, the largest
Moodle site at more than 300,000 users. She is a facilitator for the Using
Moodle course, which provides free 24-hour support for users worldwide.
Helen has a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of London and a
Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Cambridge.
More information about the book, including table of contents, index,
author bio, and samples
Using Moodle, Second Edition
Jason Cole and Helen Foster
ISBN: 0-596-52918-X $39.99 US, £24.99
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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