Two weeks ago I took a ‘kitten-break’ from posting social justice issues on Facebook.
For 24 hours, when a (lack of) social justice post or meme occurred in my Facebook timeline, I posted a picture of a kitten and the tag #kittensnotviolence. I got to 29 kittens. There is a post about the experience here : My ‘Kitten-Break’
So many posts about abuse come up in my timeline because I am so engaged with social justice – particularly around disability, gender, and sexuality. I share injustices about rapists being set free, companies protecting their executives, governments not taking care of the elderly, mentally or physically ill, organisations ignorantly stomping over workers rights, … things of that ilk… and I share how change can happen.
It’s emotionally exhausting!
I decided I needed another ‘kitten-break’ this weekend and for 24hrs I posted pictures of baby goats and bantam chickens with the tags #goatsnothate, and then #goatsnothate => #chickensnothate. There were 38 replacements this time.
The switch from goats to bantams occurred after a friend alerted me to her fear of goats — it wasn’t difficult to change, and because I’m a big fan of reducing anxiety I wasn’t going to cause any.
I can report the same effect as last time — I feel lighter and ready to keep up the fight!
Want to see the cuteness?
Full disclosure – no photos or goats or bantam chickens are mine…
Boost is the default theme for Moodle 3.3 (and the upcoming 3.4) installations. If you’ve been Moodleing for a while, you might find the navigation to be confusing at first… and you’ll either love it or hate it. I’m personally not fond, but hey, not everything is about my personal preferences. Apart from that, its nice and clean, and gives you a fresh look.
Let’s have a peek and get a little content in here…
The Naked Moodle
A Naked Moodle is one of the scariest things you will ever see. It has so much possibility in it, but it looks unfriendly and unyielding. From the thumbnail, you can see that its not going to be scary forever. As soon as we begin to add in our own elements, such as colours, logos, text… we can tame it!
If you have an installation of Moodle that was put together by a Moodle Partner, such as My Learning Space (who I work with), they will often do this initial work for you on your Live Moodle. but because we are playing with an installation on your laptops, you don’t get to leap ahead to something friendlier.
TIP: Run Moodle on your Laptop
I used the Moodle4Mac (Moodle4Windows is also available) which came with a virtual server filled with everything I need to run Moodle offline ONLY on my laptop – no-one else can access this Moodle.
You might also have access to a ‘test Moodle’ or ‘sandpit Moodle’ which IS on the server, but only for trying things out – it won’t have students/staff, and it won’t be running current courses.
If you are going to mess about with Admin Settings, or even build new Courses, this is a fantastic way of doing that and finding out the problems BEFORE you touch the Live Moodle on the web server that all users have access to.
I’ll be mostly talking about playing with the Moodle on your laptop (or desktop or test/sandpit Moodle installation); but if I need to talk about the Moodle on the web server, that likely has courses already running and users added, I’ll refer to that as your Live Moodle.
Let’s add some logos
Before we look at what is available in Theme Settings, there is a place in Site Administration to add some Logos to the site. I got all inspired and made a video…
TIP: Logo Sizes, Shapes, and File Formats
Unfortunantley, Moodle doesn’t give us exact sizes for what might look good on the site and that seems to be so you are in control and you need to think about what screens will be seeing your Moodle.
Moodle does give you a hint that the Logo would be better as a wide shape, and the Compact Logo is more square shaped “…such as an emblem, shield or icon. The image should be clear even at small sizes.”
Of the two file formats accepted, JPEG and PNG, I’d use the PNG most of the time. PNG makes vectors (lines and plain colours) beautiful, and that’s what you need when you are talking a little graphic with a shield or similar. JPEG/JPG is better at photos and pictures with blended colours. Maybe use JPEG for the wide Logo if you need it.
Next… we’ll look at what we can do using the Theme Settings for Boost