Posted by & filed under mosomelt, 手记-blog.

墨是黑的,或是白的?
是真实的,或是飘渺的?
墨是随意发挥的即兴,
是千变化万的遐想,
是无法捉摸的妙法,
是无始无终的迷茫,
没有形体,却描绘万物的沧桑。

白色的墨洁净而脱俗,
抖手一滴,竟冲解出那孤独的记忆。
她在天涯沉睡了千万个世纪,
流云和枯藤一直是她的家,
没有忧愁和烦恼,
没有欲望和浮躁。
然而,那无明牵动着梦在环绕,
在刹那间释放出永恒的寂寥。

梦中的她轻轻踮脚,
发现那倒影露出浅浅的笑。
第一次见到自己的脸,
似乎久久曾经迷恋。
就这样注视着倒影,
直到风动水波搅浑了画面。

索性水边侧卧,
淡淡而来的白墨,
拓去了阴云暗朵。
一点点黑,滴落,
溅出了几条鱼儿,花几朵,
想伸手去触摸,
这梦境里世界的轮廓,
而手指触碰的瞬间,
心里怎么就有了疑惑?

闲情随着惊讶旋转,
走入了另一个春天。
醒来时来到了黑墨世界里,
空白的记忆,空白的大地。
怎样去创造,都随心所欲。
由此山河万物从心开始,
没有是非,没有限制,
而只有美丽。

她指指这里,做竹林小径,
指指那里,则寸草不生,
她把这世界当做了家,
心安理得地支配着一切,
不知疲倦地耕耘收获,
从没有在意在苏醒的一刹那,
空白的空虚。

又过了千万个世纪,
她依旧不知疲倦地继续,
直到有一天她创造了阳光,
那白色的感觉让她如此熟悉。
就这样一点微小的感觉,
她闭上双眼静静回忆,
几个画面破碎支离,
她久久伫立,
害怕失去她所有创造的东西。

画墨画不出的美丽,
在现实中歇斯底里,
我们用力地抓住它,
却毫不费力地被命运夺去。
自私而迷茫的人呐!
在欲望中追求错误的东西;
无量无边的真理啊!
经不起太多的回忆。

这很像梦中的场景,
无所从来,亦无所去;
这很像人的无知,
喜怒哀乐,天经地义。
对着大海展开怀抱吧!
尽管醒来的早晨还会发现枕头在哭泣。
无论什么时候都留住那纯净吧!
尽管无法摆脱那黑与白的对立。
微笑的画面哪怕只是一瞬间,
也能在我们的心里慰寄。
悔恨的责罚虽然只有一个转身,
却如水波一样模糊了双眼。
看不到幸福和希望,
就只有抓住腐朽的身体;
分不清梦境和现实,
就只剩下迷惑与怀疑。

无法拯救的委屈,
我们流着血疾呼着掠夺和暴力。
用尽几生几世的解说,
也只是想换取他人回心转意。
这到底是谁的错?
还是怪罪这世界太美丽?
如果她苏醒在一个五彩的世界里,
在夕阳海滩的沐浴下,
看到的会不会是一个轮回的地狱。

Posted by & filed under mosomelt.

About two months ago I started a course on Coursera.org

Before I start on my experiences, I want to make it clear that I absolutely 100% support free education such as courses on Coursera.org and FreeMoodle.org. I love the fact that we’re making this information and education accessible to anyone who can get on the Internet – which, to be fair, is pretty much anyone these days. Yes yes, there are still people in third world countries who can’t. But didn’t we recently have an ad on TV saying that the Internet in some rural, out-of-the-way small country was better than what we have here in NZ? And we have it free in our public libraries here. You don’t even need to bring your own computer.

I digress.

Free education is coming to the world, and it looks great.

Coursera.org looks really great. There are many universities around the world who are contributing actual, tertiary-level course material. They are building these courses, which include video lectures (which can be downloaded to your computer or device and viewed at your leisure), quizzes, peer assessments, assignments, exams… all the things you would expect from a tertiary level course. And they’re delivered entirely online, and entirely free.

What’s not to like?

So I did a course called Gamification. I have to say that at the start I was very motivated. The content was interesting, I handed in my assignments and got full marks, I got full marks on the quizzes. Yet I never completed the course. I never did the final assignment or the final exam.

Why? What happened?

What happened is the same thing that happens to a lot of students. They come into the semester all motivated, enthused, keen to try something new and exciting. Then about midway through, no matter how exciting or interesting the material, motivation lacks.

In fact, this gamification course talked a lot about motivation.

At the start there was a lot of intrinsic motivation to do the course. I was keen, I wanted to learn new things for myself. I was a motivated student.

When I got full marks on the first quiz I was motivated to continue. A little bit of extrinsic motivation there. Same with the grades on the first assignment, though they took a while to get to me. The feedback on that wasn’t quite immediate enough for the motivation to hit me.

By the time I got to the last week, I had no more intrinsic motivation left, and there was no extrinsic motivation for me to continue with the course.

  • I hadn’t paid for it, so I wasn’t losing any money.
  • No one else was requiring me to do this course for any reason, so I wasn’t letting anyone down.
  • I wasn’t going to get a qualification.

The only extrinsic motivation I could find was, “Oh, it would be neat to put this on my CV and maybe get the certificate.” It wasn’t enough.

So I suffered the same fate that a lot of other students do – I stopped trying. I stopped working. I was interested in the material, but without any further motivation to read / watch it, I found more interesting things to do with my time. I had no investment in completing the course, so I just didn’t.

What could have been done to keep me interested? I’m not sure, but I know what frustrated me:

  • Having to wait so long for feedback on my assignments.
  • Having to watch 10 – 15 videos in one week (the format never changed, I would have liked some variety – podcasts, videos, text, interactive journeys)

And this course was only 6 weeks long.

I signed up to another course called Design. We’re one and a bit weeks in and I haven’t even watched the first lot of videos or submitted the first assignment. I’ve lost this one before I’ve even started. The lack of motivation that I felt in finishing the first course leaked over into this course, causing me to not even start it. And I LOVE the idea of design.

So I will be taking a rest from the free online courses until I can figure out why I lost the motivation so utterly and completely that I didn’t even bother starting the second one, and what I can do to make sure that motivation stays. Perhaps if I figure that out, I can figure out some sort of secret formula that can be applied to the classroom as well!

 


Posted by & filed under mosomelt.

I did a presentation today at ULearn all about looking at what you can do with an LMS such as Moodle other than just upload files to it.

See this course on MoodleLair.co.nz for further details. Work your way through the course as a student to see what sort of interactive activities are available.

Also, you can view my presentation below, in the form of a PDF. It won’t make a lot of sense unless you were there, really.

Links to the places on the last slide:


Posted by & filed under moodle, mosomelt, Themes.

At the iMoot this year I did two sessions on how to customise Moodle themes if you don’t have a lot of experience already with PHP and CSS.

This PDF is my presentation, but of course there’s a huge section where I did some demonstration.

Basically what it boils down to is:

  1. Get yourself a theme that has a custom settings page with a custom CSS box. There are quite a few standard Moodle themes that already have this, so you don’t even need to download and install one.
  2. Get yourself Firebug for whichever browser you prefer to use. For theme design, I prefer using Firebug in Firefox, but the browser extension is available for several different browsers.
  3. Watch this quick YouTube video on how to use the Firebug extension specifically with Moodle and a custom CSS box.

Away you go!

Just remember a couple of things:

  • Never, ever make back-end code changes directly to a core Moodle theme. Reasons why are in the PDF presentation.
  • Your changes in Firebug are temporary and will be lost if you refresh the page. To keep any changes, they must be put into the custom CSS box of your theme.
  • If you do want to make back-end code changes to a theme, DUPLICATE it first.

If you want to learn more about Moodle theme design, try our MoodleBites for Theme Designers course!