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Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide Paperback – October 24, 2011
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About the Author
Nicholas Freear got into software and educational technology through a series of happy accidents. During research for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham he was thrown in at the deep end, learning to program in C++, using the Windows API, and programming against the interface card for an early digital camera (a "frame grabber", since you ask). Bizarrely, this didn't put him off. In his next job, he was a programmer at a high-tech startup company helping to create products from voice recognition and speech synthesis software. However, the World Wide Web was calling. After a character-building stint as a self-employed developer and accessibility consultant, Nicholas joined the team that was working on The Open University's next generation e-learning environment. And so, he was introduced to Moodle and the open-source software community. Following several fruitful years, Nick joined the Institute of Educational Technology at The OU, where he got to talk to more academics, pursue his accessibility and usability interests, and work on many different education and research projects. He blogs (http://freear.org.uk), contributes to the Moodle community (http://moodle.org/user/view.php?id=93815), and likes to talk at workshops and conferences despite his stammer. When he's not trying to understand the mysteries of the Web, Nick likes to sing, cycle, listen to loud music, and learn about all things Chinese. Occasionally all at the same time.
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Top customer reviews
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The title Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide intrigued me straightaway, as the idea of using Moodle with such young learners seems to be very 21st century indeed. This reflects a sign of the times, which is increasingly geared towards blended learning.
Who is the book for?
According to the official blurb, "This book is aimed at teachers of children aged 4 to 9 who wish to integrate the Moodle open source virtual learning environment into their teaching. It assumes a basic knowledge of the Web but no prior knowledge of Moodle, although it is expected that you will either have Moodle already set up in your school, or a friendly IT technician who can do it for you."
This book provides a comprehensive and useful amount of information, which is specifically geared for teachers of this particular age group. It was a little bit technical in some parts for me, but I am sure this would be appreciated by most teachers dealing with Moodle. The author mentions throughout the book to ask for in-house technical support if a teacher doesn't feel confident enough to download relevant plug-ins and so on.
The book also contains insightful sections on creating games and quizzes and these activities are what most children find enjoyable. The step by step instructions and references are very clear, and can be followed easily with the ample amount of excellent screenshots provided.
I particularly liked Chapter 3, Telling Stories, which outlines various creative writing projects, which young learners would find entertaining. Specific chapters are devoted to Fun Games, Spot the Difference and Interactive Puzzles, thereby resulting in a huge bank of diverse activities for the keen teacher to develop and enhance any Moodle course for young to very young learners.
Would I recommend it?
I feel that Moodle 2 for Teaching 4-9 Year Olds Beginner's Guide does exactly what it sets out to do very well. If I were teaching this age group, I would certainly want to own this book in order to take advantage of all the exciting features Moodle 2.0 offers as a learning platform.
This is an easy to follow book with lots of tips for the novice and the intermediate Moodle user. You understand how to create activities and quizzes that are specially adapted for younger children and are quick and easy to setup in Moodle. Also the step by step lessons help in making things a lot easier
One shortcoming of the book has to do with editing. There are some non-English sentence structures and some font inconsistencies that are slightly confusing.
But overall, this book achieves what it promises.
If you are teaching with Moodle then you will definitely want to add this book to your library and keep it within arms reach.