Moodle Demo Site Down

on Apr 24, 2014 in Moodle | 0 comments

Just a quick note, we had to take down our Moodle demo site ( The demo site has always lived on the dev branch of Moodle and with the new 2.7 system requirements our host no longer meets them. We’ve let our host know that we’d like to see a server upgrade – but for not it’s not going to happen. Rather than reinstall on a stable branch, we’ve decided to shut down the demo site for now. Moodle Text Filter Release

on Feb 13, 2014 in Moodle | 0 comments

Syntax highlighting is hard. So is porting a syntax highlighter from platform to platform. So we thought, “Why not be lazy?” Bam. Introducing the Moodle Text Filter – for the lazy man (or woman). This plugin converts any Pen URL into an embed of that Pen. Here’s a brief overview of what we’re talking about. Put some text into the ol’ text editor, and if it contains a link to a Pen (i.e. /pen/) the filter will embed the Pen. Notice that in the above image the first two lines are both a Pen URL, but look at the output: Only the first one was embedded. That’s because a link to a pen is escaped by the filter. The third line wasn’t converted because it isn’t a link to a Pen, it is a link to the details page. The fourth line wasn’t converted because, I don’t really have to explain it do I? What kind of terrible...

The Simplex Project: Introduction

on Jan 22, 2014 in Moodle | 0 comments

It’s no secret that Moodle is geared toward college and university use, or at least to higher-level learning, but there’s still a huge contingent of primary school users out there. Unfortunately the attitude generally is “take it or leave it” when it comes to usability for small children and themes exemplify this more than anything. We’ve decided to change that. Introducing Simplex, a Moodle project designed specifically for primary student and touch-device users. We don’t mean just a large logo in comic-sans or bright pink background with the normal Moodle interface resting on top. We mean a bottom-to-top redesign of the user interface and experience. Currently we’re hoping for a beta release around May and a stable release around July. If you’re interested in helping out head to the project page to see how you can help. If you just want...

Code Kids Love

on Oct 28, 2013 in Ed. Tech | 0 comments

I’ve been involved in technology so long that some times I forget how easy it is to introduce that “wow” factor to someone that’s never been introduced to it, and never had the time to become jaded to it. Unfortunately very often curriculum and standards forget this too. It’s not uncommon to hear sentiments along the lines of (paradoxically) either “Kids don’t know how to do anything with technology!” or “Kids should be doing robotics, solar powered go-karts, etc…” We’re simultaneously setting the bar low and high. And I believe that’s because tech is tough to get right. To that end I’m not advocating the following as a “solution” to educational technology and the unique challenges that it presents, but rather I’m intending to show that sometimes it’s not as hard as we think. So,...

We’ve Gone Free Culture

on Oct 9, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

That’s right, I’ve really done it now. I’ve officially changed the license for all content on this site to a Free Culture compatible one. In the past all content was available under the CC BY-SA-NC 3.0 license, but the past is the past and now we’re rocking a much simpler CC BY 3.0 license; also known as the Creative Commons Attribution License. What does this mean for you? If you see a cool code snippet and want to use it, use it! If you like one of my blog posts and want to include it in your self-published (or publishing-house published) book, do it. If you want to use some of my free code in another one of your free (or not) projects, go for it! And hopefully we can avoid things like this from happening, which is why I explicitly retain the right to dual (or triple or quadruple) license any content. Look, if you need some code, an idea, an image, whatever...