Christmas present for Moodlers

I have been waiting for a few months to write this … school is out, just announced on moodle.org ! The Mount Orange School Demo that is. What started as an in-house bashing pinata for testing Moodle 2.0 at HQ in ways likely to be used by educators is now (officially) ready for play.

And what is this site good for? Here are nine things I could think of (OK, bit of a shameless promo). If the answer to any of these is ‘Yes’ you should check out Mount Orange School Demo. Out of all these, I am definitely the most excited about the last one.

  • Ever wanted to just play with Moodle before installing or creating accounts?

Mt Orange School Demo is perfect for sandpit play. No need to install anything or create accounts – all ready to go. Don’t worry about breaking things, the site is completely reset every hour at .00. If you see some strange settings from time to time, it probably means someone else is playing in there to. Share patiently, like you did in a sandpit as a child (we hope… 🙂

  • Ever wanted to see how Moodle could be used by different kinds of users (eg teacher, student, parent, principal …)?

Be a principal and manage the school, a teacher editing courses, a student engaged in activities, a parent checking your children’s work and more!  You can create from scratch or help yourself to many examples ready for your to see and edit if you wish.

  • Ever wanted to see some realistic examples of standard Moodle features being used, together with sample data?

Seeing realistic examples of use of different standard Moodle features is a great way to generate ideas and tailor them to your context. We have just started building this site, many more to come!

  • Ever wanted to run a hands-on workshop where people would learn Moodle by doing?

You don’t learn driving a car by reading a book do you? There are plenty of existing accounts to play with. You can also download the whole site as a standalone piece, then create new accounts and play beyond the hourly reset with others in your workshop, organisation.

  • Ever wanted to introduce Moodle by pointing to a good site one can explore beyond the front page?

Unless you have a login account, you can’t go past the front of many Moodle sites (mostly for privacy and security reasons). Not so at Mt Orange School Demo – you can go pretty much wherever you like and as whoever you like in the right role.

  • Ever wanted to see or show others how an entire Moodle site, not just course or activity, could work?

Most demos show you things in a course or an activity. At Mt Orange you can see those plus many sitewide items (eg. cohorts, blogs, security settings, parental access …) to help you see the flexibility of Moodle and what can be done with it.

  • Ever wanted to compare previous versions of Moodle with the latest?

Mt Orange School Demo (always updated to the latest version, currently Moodle 2.0) is a great way to see real examples of what each new Moodle version brings. Compare, test, review, suggest.

  • Ever wanted to test Moodle 2.0 before upgrading from an older version?

Millions of moodlers out there have or are about to switch to Moodle 2.0 but want to ‘dip their toes’ in Moodle 2.0 before upgrading from an older version. Mt Orange School Demo is a safe place to do just that.

  • Ever wanted to (co)create a great course with sample data in your area of expertise to share how Moodle can be used creatively?

Mt Orange School Demo is a recently started but a living, growing site. Join a community of creative educators using Moodle creating great demo courses in their area of expertise on a dedicated building site, to later feature at Mt Orange School Demo. Register your interest to (co)create here (or in comments below if you don’t have a moodle.org account).

As stated earlier, the last one is definitely the one I am looking forward to the most!

Before I forget – feel free to join Martin Dougiamas and myself for a live ‘guided tour’ of Mt Orange Demo School on Wednesday, 22nd December 2010 at 1pm GMT (check this moodle.org calendar for details) and see how you could get the most of it and ways you could get involved in this project.

Merry Christmas from HQ and – enjoy our (serious) toy 😀 !

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