Sunday, September 19, 2010

PersonalBrain 6 and Moodle Perfect Together


Over the years I have been a big fan of the PersonalBrain and having used the PersonalBrain 6 Beta Release, I am really impressed with the feature set and the direction of the product. I  have used the PersonalBrain as a way to store and easily find information that is important in the work that I do in the field of assistive and educational technology. The PersonalBrain is a great way to visually store information and see the relationships of the data and thoughts that are embedded in your brain. I particularly like the fact that the PersonalBrain is a flexible tool and one that never locks you into a corner. If you want to keep your PersonalBrain structured by all means do so, but if you want less structure just feel free to drop information into your brain and everything is automatically indexed. Using the Search feature or the Advanced Reporting feature allows you to have the information you need at the tip of your fingers.

The PersonalBrain 6 is very tightly integrated with the WebBrain making it very easy to synchronize your brains to the web and back them up. I was particularly interested in the embedding function since my college is in the process of moving our Learning Management System over to Moodle. The question I had, would it be possible to embed one of my brains into Moodle so that students could visually search the database and use it as part of one of me courses? One of the things that I really like about Moodle is how it handles embedding code. I have successfully pasted embedding code from other sources and was able to render videos and flash objects without a hitch. I decided to see how well the embedding code worked and if I could integrate a Webbrain into one of my Moodle courses. This was a lot easier to do than you would think and within minutes I had my Webbrain working with my Moodle course.

I'm sure you want to know how I did it so here are the steps.

  1. Log into your account at WeBbrain.com and open the brain you would like to embed.
  2. Click on the Share icon on the top right of the Webbrain screen.
  3. Copy the Embedding Code from the dialog box
  4. Open your course in Moodle and Click on Compose a Webpage
  5. Name the Resource and then Click on the icon <> Toogle HTML Source in the Compose a Web page section and past the embedding code
  6. Save the page and watch how your WeBbrain is automatically rendered
Once you get the steps down there is no telling what you can do and how you can use PersonalBrain 6 to enliven your courses using Moodle.This is a wonderful way for me to share information and I for one know that I will take advantage of this synergy when using Moodle in the courses that I teach.Here is a sample brain for you to look at.

 
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