Starting off the book is a great introduction chapter providing an overview on Moodle and its progression to the latest release. Although Mary does highlight that the book is aimed at “users familiar with Moodle” it can certainly be enjoyed by those with little or no knowledge too.
Chapter one of the book highlights that Moodle 2.0 is cleaner and faster and provides a swift overview of the key features that enable this smoother operation, all of which are covered in more detail in the subsequent chapters. Through the first few chapters you realise that the tone of the book is one of a friend explaining to you about Moodle over a cup of coffee on a summers day.
Moving into chapter two, Mary introduces her cast, that is the teacher/students which are used as examples throughout the chapters to illustrate the features. This is a nice touch and helps set context as the book progresses.
Navigation is the main subject of the second chapter, and Mary demonstrates the new features including the block docking facility which is a major change from Moodle 1.9. Mary also introduces other blocks, such as the settings block, which like the navigation block has undergone major changes, and finishes on other block changes which include the settings for blocks and the method of moving (which thankfully is improved).
One of the big challenges that some faced with Moodle 1.x was the html editor and that it was not as strong as some of the others out there, in addition to it not working with all browsers. Mary tackles this key issues in chapter 3, focusing on Editing Text and Managing Files.
Mary notes that the editor has been replaced by the much more functional TinyMCE – which is an editor produced by the very able gentlemen in Sweden called Moxiecode. These guys have produced this amazing editor which is used by so many many companies in various projects including Facebook, WordPress, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, SAP, and Joomla. Hats off to Joakim and Johan. Ok, lets get back to the book.
Mary introduces the new File Picker which has been a huge leap forward for Moodle, and touches on some of the repository options like Youtube and the Private Files block. The chapter continues explaining the differences between Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0 for files which is a big change, albeit a good one. Mary ends the chapter with a brief look at the Portfolio API, which is another big bonus in Moodle 2.0.
I think that the book handles these significant changes in a very easy to follow way. The balanced informative approach draws the reader onwards through the plethora of changes without realising how much they are covering.
Thats all Folks! for now anyhow, more to come in the coming days..