Google apps support in Moodle 2.0>

Moodle finally has web 2.0 and cloud support starting from version 2.0. Here is a quick overview how to use it for Google applications.

Before you can use the Google apps the Moodle administrator has to enable them in the repository section. It is possible to enable
  • Google Docs
  • Picasa
  • YouTube
Moodle lets you import Google Docs documents and use them independently of Google Docs. That means, if you want to use a document collaboratively the better option would be just to link to or embed the file. However, if you want to provide study material this is a really quick way of importing documents.
The following file types are used:
  • documents: rtf
  • presentations: ppt
  • spreadsheets: xls
The Picasa repository is a quick way of embedding images into your pages, tests, etc. Moodle creates a local copy instead of simply linking to the photo on Picasa (which you should bear in mind in case you want to export a test).

The YouTube module is definitely the weakest link. Here are the minuses

  • You can’t access your own account but only use a clumsy general search when insterting a video
  • Moodle creates a link to YouTube, so you can’t embed them in tests, pages, etc.
  • Moodle uses the old <object> (=flash) code instead of the new HTML5 code which would allow you to watch the videos on iOS devices
My recommendation is not to use the YouTube repository at all. Occasionally you might want to link to docs and images rather than import them. All in all, it is a good start for Google apps support in Moodle, however. In future support for more Google services would be welcome, in particular for Google Calendar and Google Maps. 

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