[Offtopic] Moodle vs LAM's

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Jan 24 00:22:18 EST 2009

Quite apparent NSW is very lucky indeed to have Debbie Evans as
their Centre Director of the Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre ..

> From:   deb48 <debevans48 at gmail.com> 
> To Professional community for teachers <oz-teachers at rite.ed.qut.edu.au> 
> Date:   Fri, 23 Jan 2009 17:32:21 +1100 
> Subject:   Re: [Oz-teachers] Moodle vs LAM's 
Dear Lisa,

As Jenny said Moodle is different to LAMS but LAMS can be integrated into 
Moodle so that you can do both. Essentially Moodle is a content / 
learning management system and therefore you can design course work for 
students to access online. Students are placed as learners into those 
courses and can be set up only to see the courses they are enrolled in.

Works very well. Teachers, as course creators, can see what activities 
students have completed and to what degree. If the course includes 
collaborative tools like a forum, students can share their ideas. 

There is no particular control over what students do first/next etc other 
than controlling what students see.

LAMS is also a content / learning management system but the difference is 
that when the teacher designs the course, all of the activities are 
organised into a particular sequence that the teacher deems to be the 
best design for optimal learning. 

This means that, at anytime, a teacher as monitor of that sequence can 
see where the student is up to in the learning sequence and what their 
input is. 

One of the beauties of LAMS is that if the teacher designs the sequence 
with some of the more collaborative tools included (like forum, chat, Q & 
A, chat and scribe or forum and scribe), students work together with 
defined roles to collaborate and share their ideas. 

Because of the nature of the collaborative tools, all the students in the 
learning sequence can see/share what their peers have said/done and can 
also journal their learning along the way using the notebook tool. The 
notebook tool is a journal tool where notetaking can be done as a student 
works through the sequence of activities. It is saved automatically and 
can be kept private or shared amongst the class as required.

There are some similar tools as in Moodle (eg. mult. choice quizzes) but 
the great thing is that some of the tools can be connected to each other. 

For example, if URLs or a file (eg. ppt)  is provided as a resource, a 
forum be attached to the resource/s in the sequence for students to 
directly discuss findings immediately. 

Some of the more recent improvements include the ability for branching 
and grouping. Classes can be separated for some of the activities within 
the sequence without having to create a new sequence. 

These groups might do different activities for some of the sequence or 
the same activity but at a different level. The groups might work on 
different tasks for part of the sequence of activities and then come back 
to the whole class for later activities in the sequence.

The latest version of LAMS 2.2 has some new tools like google maps, 
spreadsheet, wiki and data collection tool which can be included in the 
sequence and I know that the LAMS team have a few other very cool tools 
to be included in 2.3 soon. 

Also, you can include offline activities in the sequence so that when a 
student gets to that activity in the sequence, they are specifically 
instructed what to do away from the computer. 

All these sequences can be shared with other teachers, changed to include 
new or different content and/or re-designed to suit different classes. 
Also, the sequences can be uploaded to the LAMS Community for others to 
share /use / redesign / change as required.

At Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre, we provide a server with the latest 
version of LAMS as a playground for schools in DET. 

Teachers can be added to our server to play, we can add your classes and 
they can start running their sequences with students and we do the 
administration for them until they become very comfortable or the school 
gets their own server. We currently have about 3000+ users on our server. 

In the meantime we also run courses in LAMS (Basic and more advanced). 

Lately I have been doing some over Video conferencing to schools too far 
away to travel to the Centre.

We are running a LAMS course soon. Our latest course flyer with the dates 
for the LAMS course are on our website www.macict.edu.au

Interestingly, the LAMS guys have developed a new pedagogy planner tool 
so that if you are a novice in LAMS, you can use the planner to just 
insert content and it builds the sequence for you automatically! We will 
be offering courses in that space soon too.

Just to explain, we also have a Moodle server which we provide as a 
playground too. So we don't have favourites! But we generally only 
provide that resource to teachers, not their students.

We are a DET facility, and all our staff are DET, so offer these services 
at no cost to schools..

This year I will be working with teachers in developing a LAMS project 
where we work with their students to learn how to design LAMS sequences 
for each other. Students do some very clever things when it comes to 
learning design and we are very keen to work with LAMS in this area. 

If you are interested please feel free to contact me. I hope this has 
been helpful.

Debbie Evans
Centre Director
Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre

On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 7:33 AM, Lisa Belfield <lisabel at ... > wrote:

Hi everyone,
this year I will be doing the computer teaching at my school and as we 
draw closer to school resuming, I have been tossing round a few ideas. I 
would like to know the advantages (if any) of using moodle over LAM's.
I also would like some help with unsual fund-raising ideas. I want to be 
in a position to be able to purchase Lego Mindstorms, a decent digital 
camera for the computer lab, an external dvd burner etc and I already 
know the technology budget is virtually non-existent! I am looking for 
ideas that don't include cake stall, mad hair day, funny socks etc.
Thanks and regards

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