This morning I went to the edna Collaborative Tools Workshop, the venue was a room at QUT Library Gardens Point Campus. I went to the workshop last year that was run by Kerrie Smith and it was nice to see with her again. To be honest the main reason I went was to see her again. Just like last time there was around 16 people, apart from myself and one other guy the rest were female. Kerrie ran through a presentation on edna groups, they’re upgrading moodle this Sunday and we got to see the new design and hear about some of the upcoming features like the podcasting and blogging module. One of the interesting stats was there are currently over 500 edna groups with 6500+ users and 800 owners.
I also learned that there isnt actually an upload limit and some groups have around 600mb of data stored, there is a limit on upload file size and after Sunday thats going to be raised to 10Mb, thats wonderful news to me because when I was playing with the embeded video players I used the Internet Archive because my screencasts are generally between 5-10Mb so now I will be able to use edna for all that and hopefully teach others how to do it as well without having to run through how to use the Internet Archive.
If I remember correctly edna is funded 80% by state government and the other 20% comes from education.au limited, a ministerially owned company. As my friends know I have a background working in public education and I believe free and open source software and content can have a significant impact on improving public education, when I used to try and introduce foss based solutions I had a lot of difficulty, among other lame comments they would say that free stuff is crap, when edna started using moodle for edna groups that made a huge difference and these days most teachers have heard of moodle, some even receive awards for using it with their students. I want to write something about whats available for teachers in Qld but it would probably just look like sour grapes so people make sure to tell teachers about edna groups, its free and easy to use and they can store their files there. The common scam is to sell the teachers some web based service that claims to make publishing online easy and tell them that they could earn some money from royalties then turn around and steal their work either using fine print in some dodgy agreement or using copyright so help them avoid that by telling them about edna groups.