When this first was released, it was a case of “must try this”. More and more schools, and businesses are thinking about using Google Apps. The simplicity of using cloud type applications enabling easier cooperation and collaboration is quite a powerful offering. Having the mail, docs and calendar extending the VLE outside of Moodle could become the killer app for education.
Type: Other Requires: Moodle 1.9 Status: Contributed Maintainer(s): Moodlerooms Inc.
When you search the modules and plugins section of Moodle.org, you find 14 entries for “Google”. These include Translator, Ajax search block, analytics block, Google Apps authentication, Google Apps, Google Translate, Google Traductor, Moodle Google, sitemap generator, Moodle-GoogleApps integration, Google Gears and Google Map.
The one to get is the Moodle-GoogleApps integration.
This is the integration which Moodlerooms and Google worked together on. Its pretty much complete, with all the things you would normally need :
- Auto User creation (when you create a moodle account, its created in Google automatically)
- Real single sign on (when you log into moodle, you are also logged into google mail/docs/calendar)
- A Moodle “Google Block” linking to the core services
This is not a simple drop in, and it works module. Its a complicated setup, even for the psuedo technical among us. Real techies wont have any major problems, but if you dont understand certificate creation and such, get some help!
The documentation is hosted on the Moodlerooms site but there is no account creation required, and the good old “&username=guest” gets you past even having to click on login as guest. This documentation is fairly detailed, and easy to follow. It breaks down the setup into nice easy steps. Nicely done.
From a teacher point of view, once its installed, configured and the block added by the technical admins, then its just straight forward usage. You need to understand the permissions for Google Docs and Calendar to make good usage of it. But its immediately there working, with no great problems encountered.
As with the teacher, as long as you can use the Google applications, this is straight forward. Log in, click on a link on the block and there you go. However the first time you go to Google, you need to setup some settings but thats about it. Clean, easy, and practical.