Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Microsoft Announces Office Plug-In for Moodle

Info I received about Microsoft announcing an Add-in for Moodle:

As teachers look to simplify and reduce the time spent on planning and administrative tasks in order to spend more time teaching, truly integrated solutions are few and far between. Two of the most widely-used technologies in classrooms today are Microsoft Office and the learning management system, Moodle. However, using these solutions together in an integrated fashion has typically required teachers to go through a significant number of steps to perform basic tasks.

Today, we are announcing the Microsoft Office Add-in for Moodle . This new add-in provides teachers with an easy, time-saving solution for finding, opening and saving Office documents housed in Moodle, and allows documents stored in Moodle to be opened from Office without multiple and sometimes complicated steps. For example, teachers will have “Open to Moodle” and “Save to Moodle” as options directly from their Office menu button. The Microsoft Office Add-in for Moodle is free and available for download today at www.educationlabs.com.

A handful of K-12 schools and universities have already had the opportunity to experiment with the new add-in. Elisabeth Kraus, Associate Director for Curriculum of Extended Education at Northwest University, shared her thoughts with us:

“We’re always having to move quickly to get things done and even when every class is different – different syllabus, different curriculum and different student needs to name a few. Any quick and easy technology like the simplicity of this add-in are helpful, and especially when it requires little to no training.”

The Microsoft Office Add-in for Moodle is the latest innovation from Microsoft’s Education incubation group called Education Labs. Education Labs was formed in July 2009 to quickly create prototypes of new tools and applications to showcase how Microsoft technologies can meet the needs of teachers and students in the classroom. The Office Add-in for Moodle is one of several free tools created by Education Labs to help teachers use technology to meet students’ needs and become even more efficient in their classrooms.

We have two video demos of the Office Add-in for Moodle available here; there is one that provides an overview of the tool, and another that shows the “before add-in”/”after add-in” experience. News about the Office Add-in for Moodle is also featured on the Microsoft Blog.
Also released today is a white paper that guides IT administrators on how to set up SharePoint Server as the file system for Moodle. IT pros can save the day by recovering accidentally deleted files or restore previous versions of overwritten files. It also allows for a great search feature, so a teacher can use SharePoint search to search for files across all of their Moodles. To download the white paper, click here.

This could prove very useful to Moodle users who also use Microsoft products.

(I am not compensated by Microsoft in any way for this post.)


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