Camtasia alternatives and other media tools for screencasting

Camtasia is one of the best and most complete set of tools out there for capturing a recording of your screen (called screencasting) but comes at a cost of $313.99 per person (as of this writing). While you might be able to afford it for a few licenses, if you want to give access to this tool to your whole staff, the cost can really add up. Here are some recommendations for (mostly) free media related tools — for those on a limited budget: Greenshot — Simple to use, comes with an editor to annotate still screenshot (no video). Kind of like … Continue reading

Multi-language content in Moodle

So, you are have a Moodle website that runs in multiple languages. To date, you’ve been doubling up all you text doing things like “This content is in English. / Ce contenu est en français.” As a result, the site looks a mess no matter in what language you use Moodle. In addition, this results in an accessibility issue because users of screen readers get really confused when the alternate language comes through their speaker… and not even pronounced correctly. What can you do? If you haven’t come across it yet, take a look at the Multi-Language Content (v2) Moodle plugin available … Continue reading

Choosing a Moodle theme

While you may simply choose a theme based on the way it looks, smart people know that themes are more than skin deep. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a Moodle theme: Make sure that the theme is compatible with the version of Moodle you want to implement. If it is not, contact the developer/vendor to find out if that was an oversight, or if they are imminently planning on releasing an update in the near future. Choose a layout that you like. Changing the layout usually means changing the theme source code which makes it hard … Continue reading

Productivity Tip: Copy and Paste without Junk

Have you ever tried to copy information from a web page or a MS Word document and got more than you bargained for when you pasted it into another Word document or web page? Text often comes with unwanted junk in the form of extra formatting codes. The solution is usually to use Paste Special and then choose to paste as Plain Text or Unformatted text. Word actually gives you an opportunity to also choose whether you want to paste using the sources formatting — where you got the content from, target formatting — uses the formatting in the current … Continue reading

So you want to install Moodle, eh?

There is an increasing number of businesses who are looking at Moodle LMS to meet their training requirements for their employees and/or their customers as an alternative to commercial LMS. Open source is a very attractive alternative to pricey licensing of commercial products or alternatives that lock you into either a contract, a provider or technology — or all of the above. Have you considered giving Moodle a try? Moodle Quick and Simple The simplest and quickest way to give Moodle a try is to install a stand-alone instance of Moodle is to install it on your local Windows computer. … Continue reading

Finding a Photo’s License Using Google Images Search Tool

Have you ever come across the perfect photo and wanted to use it on your blog, website, social media post like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, report or print publication? Google Images has a very useful tool to search for an image and hopefully find out the type of copyright license attached to it. Searching for an image To search for an image, you will either need to get the address of the image on the web or you will need to have a copy of it saved locally on your computer. If the image is located on a publicly accessible website … Continue reading

31 Free Stock Photo Sites for Your Web Projects

Adding photos to your web page can be a great way to connect with visitors who are more visual and to make your website generally more appealing. Here is a list of websites where you can find free stock photos for use on your web projects, in your e-learning courses, blog and social media posts and other types of publications including print. The old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here. You will often find the best of what a photographer has to offer, the photos that have been touched up to perfection on commercial stock photo sites like … Continue reading

Moodle Cron

Although it is not an obvious part of the installation of Moodle, setting up Cron is very important when it comes to Moodle. For example, some emails are sent out immediately while others are scheduled and only sent out when cron runs. Other things that are often affected by Cron jobs are report generation. Eventually, if you never run cron, your Moodle site will also stop working so it is important to make sure that this is setup properly. This happened to one of our clients. They had their own people do the installation and they skipped the step of setting … Continue reading

Useful Tools and Resources for Moodle Developers

Here is a list of resources that helped me get started in Moodle development. I’ve even put together a few articles of my own to share covering topics like Getting Started in Moodle, Git for Moodle Developers in Windows and Upgrading Moodle packages for Windows (XAMPP Control Panel, PHP, phpMyAdmin, Apache, MySQL) [Updated: This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on October 25, 2013] Moodle Development Environment Moodle XAMPP installation for Windows or Mac OS X. Moodle Reset OPCache plugin — Allows you to instantly reset you PHP OPCache from within Moodle,,, for those times when nothing seems to change. Moodle Code-Checker … Continue reading

Creating Multilingual Moodle Content With mlang Tags

My experience with the Moodle LMS has involved dealing mostly with multilingual sites. Unfortunately there are still many core Moodle plugins and third party plugins and themes that still do not support multilingual content. However the situation is improving with each code release. One Moodle plugin which has made life a lot easier when implementing multilingual courses is the Multi-linugual Content (multilangsecond) filter by Vanyo Georgiev. Unlike the core HTML based Multi-language Content filter plugin that comes bundled with Moodle, multilangsecond has a non-HTML syntax that enables you to wrap your content in plain text language markup tags like {mlang en}Hello{mlang}{mlang fr}Bonjour{mlang}. Entering these tags require no knowledge … Continue reading