Google, Moodle or a Website: Option for accessing content on locked down 1:1 device

Our freshmen will soon have a locked down Android tablet. They will not be able to randomly surf the web or get to any website unless it is listed in our course information area. I'm planning on having the students use the tablets frequently and I'd like one central location for them to always go to when they come to class and that location will have the links for the day. I can put the link to this location in my course information area and then any link listed there would be accessible to the students.

My question is which option would be best for me and my students to access daily? We have Moodle, Google sites, Joomla and also my own school website on our school's servers that I can use. I'm just not sure which one would be better. 

What I know so far is that....
Moodle = I can turn links on and off, but it takes more time to set up those links than the other options.
Google sites = I was told that if I wanted my students to view a video that I upload there, I have to give them all permission to see it. I have not yet worked with Google sites.

Any ideas or suggestions on which format would be easier and better for my students and for me?

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Hello Julie,

The beginning of you post drew my attention, "Our freshmen will soon have a locked down Android tablet. They will not be able to randomly surf the web or get to any website unless it is listed in our course information area." I worked for a school district in NY where the student accounts had access to a limited number of websites whereas the faculty had access to almost everything, minus pornography. Faculty would approve sites and those would become available to students. We also had an extensive array of databases available from the librarian.

Now back to your question. I think you would be much better off controlling your content from your school approved website, if editing content is easy to edit. I would want to have my life as simple as possible and having to worry about Google, Joomla, moodle, etc. would be a bit much for me.

Evaggelos,

Online School Records

I agree. I need to pick the option that is the easiest since I'll be using it almost daily. I used to use Front Page which was super easy for me but when our computers got upgraded, I lost that program and am looking for a free web design program. 

Hi Julie,

I teach with Moodle every day and it works great. The site is a little 'clunky' but it's simple to use. It allows you to have more options than the other tools you mentioned. You can add almost anything to your moodle site including videos (you mentioned using these). All you need is to embed the media and you will be all set. Also, with moodle you can transfer the content you created to your next course without having to rebuild. It will simply remove the students (and their content) and keep the rest. 

Best of luck!

Michelle

Thanks, Michelle. There is a lot one can do with Moodle and I will use it but I know that it is not the easiest and simplest to set up. One of the problems with our Moodle is that I cannot upload files over 2 MB from home. I can at school but I end up doing most of my planning at home. Our Moodle expert just tells me to upload at school but I don't always have the time to do that.  I'll figure out a solution.  I think I need to try different things once the kids have their devices and go with the option that works best for me and them.

I agree - I love using Moodle. I know there are other options like EdMoto or Google, but Moodle has so many available options and I love that it keeps all your content. It is good for organizing and students can learn forums, wikis and if you give any multiple choice/matching/true false/ short answer or essay tests it works GREAT! It is a lot of set-up, but they payoff is great later!
Have fun!

Julie,

I noticed that you said students will have locked down tablets. Our school has a class set of Android tablets. We would like to block things like facebook on the tablets. I am wondering if you were able to block the websites on the tablets or are the sites blocked through the router. We would like to be able to block specific sites on the tablets if it is possible.

Thank you for any information you can offer.

David

I would think that Moodle would be the best resource for course content management. You can make adding links easier by creating the resource "page" and just listing links in there. I would use Google Docs for all document management and just share the docs as links in the Moodle course.

Why are you locking down the internet? That seems to defeat the entire purpose of providing students with a mobile device. Do you not have a web filter in place? It is important for students to be able to learn how to find, curate, evaluate and vet a web source. You are also losing the opportunity for discovery of new content and differentiated resources. What you have is simply a textbook? 

Try Symbaloo.com for a cool way to turn links into buttons.  You can embed in a wiki, too.

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