MoodleMoots, our events dedicated to users, developers and administrators of the popular open-source LMS Moodle, are a fantastic opportunity to share good practices and exchange ideas to improve how open technology can better support teaching and learning needs.
We do this through a lot of networking, workshops and presentations – both from Moodle HQ and from our Community members. These presentations are an invaluable way of knowing how other people use Moodle, be inspired and start collaborations. They are also a chance for presenters to receive feedback from peers and from Moodle HQ.
Today we speak to Chris Kenniburg, Website Administrator at the Dearborn Public Schools district in Michigan, about what it is like to present at a MoodleMoot. Amongst his tasks, Chris supports and maintains Moodle for more than two thousand staff members and over twenty thousand students. He has also developed and released to the Moodle Community several plugins and Moodle themes, and he shared his Moodle story at MoodleMoot US 2018.
Moodle HQ: Hi Chris! Thank you for talking to us today. For those who might not know you, could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
Chris: First and foremost, I am a husband and father to a beautiful wife and three kids. Professionally, I am a web administrator and I manage web publishing tools for Dearborn Public Schools. In that role, I maintain and support Moodle for 2,400 staff members and 21,000 students. We’ve been working with Moodle since around 2004. In that time we have been very focused on using Moodle in K-12 and have released several plugins. Most notable have been the release of the Evolve-D, Pioneer, and Fordson themes.
Moodle HQ: Last year at MoodleMoot US 2018 you shared your experience of successfully implementing Moodle in your institution to help facilitate blended learning. How was the experience of presenting at the Moot and what did you learn?
Chris: The great thing about presenting at a MoodleMoot is that you get to share your ideas with a diverse group of people who also use Moodle. It’s people from business, educators of all levels, and developers of every stripe with unique skills and needs in using Moodle. This dynamic group of people helps you form a bigger picture of just how powerful Moodle can be when used in ways you never considered. Did I get this perspective from presenting? Probably not. But presenting helped make me an “active participant” at the conference instead of a “passive participant” where I might not have gotten as much out of the event. When you are a presenter, you are definitely more engaged in the conference and that is always a good thing. The folks at Moodle HQ are very helpful and it was a professional highlight to meet so many of the people that help make Moodle possible.
Moodle HQ: You are a very active member in the Moodle Community and contributor to the Moodle Project; what do you like most about getting together with other peers and Moodle users at MoodleMoots?
Chris: Empowered educators sharing unique and interesting ways to use Moodle is the highlight of a MoodleMoot for me. A MoodleMoot is about sharing experiences and broadening your understanding of what Moodle can do and how it can be used. The interesting thing about bringing all these people together is the actual MoodleMoot conference format. It allows for a jam packed day of sharing ideas but also provides a lot of time to socialize and build relationships.
Moodle HQ: Some of our readers may have never attended a MoodleMoot yet and might be considering joining us in Philadelphia in September; what would you say to them?
Chris: If you use Moodle, you need to attend an official MoodleMoot. I thought I had some pretty clever ideas on using Moodle and then the MoodleMoot US opened my eyes to a whole new perspective. It is a great way to jump in and get to know the Moodle community. I would also recommend joining the support forums over at Moodle.org to join in the online discussions. The best part of attending and presenting at a Moodle Moot is that you do not need to be an expert. It’s more about ideas and sharing to encourage people to go farther with their own use of Moodle.
Moodle HQ: And finally, will we be seeing you at MootUS19?
Chris: I surely hope so! It was a rewarding experience and one I would recommend to anyone using Moodle or thinking about using technology to enhance learning.
MoodleMoot US is now open for presentation submissions. Send your proposal before June 17 through this page.
Share your story at #MootUS19.
How are you using Moodle to enhance teaching and learning outcomes?
What creative best practice for organisational training with Moodle have you discovered ?
Have you developed custom admin processes or plugins that can improve the maintenance and management of Moodle?
We want to hear about it all!