MoodleMoot Japan Recap (by Don Hinkelman) #mootJP11

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The following is a recap of the 2011 MoodleMoot Japan (held at Kochi University of Technology) by Don Hinkelman, stay tuned for more about the event!

The third annual MoodleMoot Japan, held at Kochi University of Technology, exceeded expectations with 208 participants and unanimous approval of the inaugural Constitution and By Laws of the Moodle Association of Japan.

The two day event, February 22-23, held 49 presentations, four beginner training workshops in both Japanese and English. In addition, a “Meet Martin” question and answer session was held early one morning, and attendees participated in a Closing Panel Discussion on the “Future of Education and How Moodle is Changing”.  Twelve showcase presentations (online “poster” sessions) included a remote presentation by BigBlueButton, the open source live streaming plugin for Moodle. Through that medium, Martin Dougiamas was able to have a live contact with the Executive Director of BigBlueButton.

Before the event Martin Dougiamas, and MoodleMoot organizers embarked on a pilgrimage to the thousand year old, Chikurin Temple to offer prayers and solicit blessings for the upcoming release of Moodle version 2.0.2. The intrepid pilgrims sent a cedar plank as an offering to secure good luck and bug-free installation to all worldly sites in Moodledom.

As a cleansing ritual, some making the trip later spent over an hour soaking the steaming hot and icy cold pools of the Kuro Shio Honjin Hot Springs (onsen) on the seacoast overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Kochi Prefecture, one of the most remote sections of Japan.

Althought many of the presentations centered on video and audio for language teaching, a number of interesting talks covered subjects such as:

  • Moodle for Fire-fighting Training and Knowledge Management (by the head of the Yokohama Fire Bureau systems engineering section) and
  • Moodle for Call Center Training (by the head of Adobe Systems Support Center).

Both presenters offered to head an Evangelism Committee for Enterprises (governmental and corporate).

Next year’s MoodleMoot Japan 2012 is projected for Mie University in central Japan.  The keynote speaker, Dr. Haruhiko Okuyama, is tentatively arranging to host the Moot in one of the original universities to adopt Moodle in Japan.  Dr. Okumura is the co-author of the first book on Moodle in Japanese, called “Introduction to Moodle”.

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