In Memoriam – #Moodle #digitalcitizenship Keep It Simple

When you read articles like this one–featuring Moodle-related videos–I can’t help but ask myself, “Was I too hasty in allowing teammates to switch to Edmodo and use that in lieu of Moodle?” Of course, the answer is immediately answered, “No,” but it’s a qualified “No.”

Today, I found myself working on an online course–digital citizenship again–because an accidental deletion had wiped out the original course in Edmodo upon which all copies were dependent. We were trying to replicate the Digital Citizenship course from last year with minimal updates, only that the quiz was reset.  I’m reminded of teachers making copies of their lesson plans so they can re-use them. Still, it’s a relief after a busy summer to incrementally update content until it is transformed.

With Moodle, my brain whispered in the background, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. You’d just make a copy of the course, restore it as pristine, update it, and then be ready to go! What’s more, courses would be enrollable using participants’ Active Directory account…no need to coach those new employees in how to login to Edmodo. And, forget about interactive activities…I mean, I could add them but what’s the point? This course is designed for quick consumption, not a multi-week/month-long course that we’ll have long reflective conversations about. Modeling the use of GoogleSites with Edmodo is a worthwhile combination to share with teachers, rather than teaching a system that some claim has grown too fixed with a preponderance of features few care to explore or use. Of course, that’s true only so far as it goes.

And, that’s probably why this approach works so well for me as a course developer. It’s easy to put together short, online professional learning courses that need not adhere to iNACOL standards.

And, the hybrid approach–blending GoogleSites to house content with Edmodo to facilitate assessment–to be fairly straightforward and less stressful. Since the GoogleSites is part of GoogleApps for Education, it was easy to restrict access to only district employees with a GoogleApps login (sorry folks!).

I have to admit that my favorite module is #8 focusing on Protecting Confidential Data. Here’s what that one looks like:

Module 8 – Protecting Confidential Data

Instructions:
In this module, watch the video tutorials, then try lock/unlock items.

Background

Protecting confidential information is a critical new skill. As an education professional, in addition to protecting confidential data on paper, you have to also secure electronic information that may find its way into digital files, folders, or emails.

To help you, the District is recommending the use of the following two tools to “lock” confidential information up whenever you have it stored on a laptop computer, a USB flash drive (which should be avoided), or sent as an email or an email attachment. 

Some critical reminders:
  1. Never send confidential data via email unless it has been encrypted. Passwording an MS Office document is insufficient protection for confidential data; you must use AES-256 level encryption, which is included in the solutions shared here.
  2. Never save confidential data on portable media such as USB flash drive (a.k.a. pen drive, stick drive) or external portable hard drive.
  3. Encrypt data before storing it in cloud storageMost commonly-used cloud storage (e.g. Dropbox, Box.net, SugarSync, Copy) solutions are NOT encrypted. Before storing data in those solutions, encrypt the data.
  4. Do NOT write your password on a sticky note and put it on your desk. Use a secure password program like KeepassX.

Try It Yourself
  1. Lock/Unlock Your Email
  2. Lock/Unlock Your Digital Files and/or Digital Folders
  3. On an iPad or Android device? Make sure to enable passcode security.

Digital Footprint image source: http://goo.gl/QZYNp4


Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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