Technology Boot Camp – CEDFA Pre-Summit Session


Technology: Exciting, Disruptive but No Longer Overwhelming! – –


Moodle: Bringing True eLearning to Your Classroom


Presented 1/20&21 at the Ohio Free-Tech Conference in Cincinnati




Moodle Benefits

About Moodle

Moodle Philosophy

Review of HS use of Moodle–introduction/moodle-at-aiken-high-school–images.php

Getting Started

Blackboard vs. Moodle

Hot potatoes – Create Interactive Activities

Wikipedia’s Moodle Article

Demo Course – Features

2 Minute Moodles – Videos

Moodle Documentation

The Networked Student


This is a great video on a general overview of how a teacher can use technology to revolutionalize how students access and interact with information. Instead of a text book, students are expected to create their own text book, and interact with the creators of the writers of the various blogs and sites that make up the body of information they create.

Perhaps you’ll see a lot of things that you are already doing in your classroom in this video. Hopefully this video will inspire you to take technology in your classroom to the next level. Instead of adding a little technology in, let the technology completely change the way you “do class”. It’s not about requiring students to create a powerpoint every now and then, it’s about introducing them to a global, constantly changing body of knowledge that hopefully, they’ll utilize for the rest of thier lives.

Using YouTube in the Classroom – without filter hassles


YouTube is often blocked at schools due to the inappropriate content that is hosted on the site. However, there is a great wealth of educational content as well that you might wish to show to your classes.

We will be downloading a copy of the video that you can bring into class. You’ll find that while downloading the video does require some planning, it offers some great benefits:

  • The file you bring in can’t be blocked by the filter
  • You have the video for years to come in case it’s taken down from youtube
  • You can show the video anytime, no longer dependent on an internet connection
  • Students won’t be exposed to the little thumbnails and links to other videos on the youtube site, which might not be appropriate.
  • No more loading or buffering waits!

In order to make showing a youtube video a smooth experience for your class, please follow the following steps.

These steps will be preformed at home (or somewhere where youtube is not blocked)

1. Copy the youtube video’s URL (web address). Example:



2. Go to Click Download Videos. Paste the URL for the youtube video in Step 1. Choose the format to convert to. AVI is a good choice. Step 3 – Enter your email address. Hit Convert and wait while the video is converted.


3. After you file has uploaded, you should get this message. In a few minutes you should receive an email


4. When you view your email from zamzar, find the download link below the pitch for you to sign up

5. Click on the download link on the web page. You now have a copy of the video that you can copy to a USB drive or burn to a CD to bring to school.

At School

6. Open your video file with a video player, such as VLC or Windows Media Player.

Note: There are many different services that will allow you to download a youtube video. A quick search on google for “youtube downloader” will give you many other sites to use in case zamzar goes down or isn’t working for some reason.

TeacherTube – A Safer, Educational Youtube for the classroom?



Youtube has plenty of educational content, from Photoshop tutorials to great speeches from history, just about ever content area can be found on the site. Unfortunately, a ton of inappropriate content can be found too. How can you keep the good yet protect your students from the bad?
TeacherTube may be the answer. It’s a youtube-like site that has many of the same features yet has some protection built in to keep out the bad. In the past, educators have found that no matter how stringent a site is on content, it’s always possible that something could sneak through and make it to your students. Evaluate the site, see if there’s good content and if you feel comfortable using it in the classroom.

Wikipedia – Is it credible and can we use it?


Wikipedia LogoWikipedia is a great source of all sorts of information. I often go there myself to get a basic understanding of a topic. But wikipedia has been attacked as non-credible and containing false information. We’re going to explore if these claims are true or false and decide what to do with wikipedia. First, we need to understand how wikipedia works. The word “wikipedia” is a mashing of two words. “wiki” is a Hawaiian word for quick, and the end of wikipedia is taken from encyclopedia. A wiki on the Internet is a site that allows anyone to edit the information on the page. Anyone can change a wikipedia article by clicking the edit tab and making changes.

  • Problems?
  • At first glance that might seem like a huge problem. If anyone can change the content, how do I know if its accurate? Wikipedia is based on the concept of peer collaboration. The basic idea is that so many people use wikipedia that any errors or negative changes will be fixed by another user. A common quote is that “given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow.” In wikipedia’s case, the bugs would be false information that’s been edited into the page.
  • Studies
  • In fact studies by the BBC and Nature Magazine have shown that wikipedia has the same reliability as traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Britannica. Others believe that the main issue with wikipedia is trusting in it blindly. Wikipedia can have errors and it’s important to check the information. Perhaps an important lesson we can learn is that all sources (since they were created by people) can have errors and should be evaluated. Wikipedia can (and does) conatain errors, but so does the Encyclopedia Brittainica and many other sources. Evaluate every source by checking the information with other sources. If one says something totally different, then you know that they’re may be an issue.
  • A Reasonable Conclusion
  • So where does that leave us? Basically my policy (and I believe many other teacher’s) is that wikipedia is a great source to get basic information, but don’t use it as a cited source. Middlebury College in Vermont recently took this position. If you read that article, you’ll find a very sensible solution. Wikipedia’s greatest value in research paper’s is the citations they used in the article. Every article should have citations to source-worthy sites. The Wikipedia article on Wikipedia has over 100 references, may of which would be perfect as a source. Read the wikipedia article, then check their sources and see if they’d be a fit for your paper.
  • In short: Use the references from wikipedia, cite them, but don’t cite wikipedia itself.