Update and upgrade Moodle using Git

Git provides the easiest way to manage Moodle code, including updates and upgrades. An update is a minor version change such as from 3.3.2 to 3.3.3 for example, whereas an upgrade involves a major version change such as from 3.3 to 3.4. These examples were all run on CentOS Enterprise Linux 7 but should be similar for any Linux distro.

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Mininet on CentOS 7 KVM

Mininet is a Linux-based network emulator which enables the prototyping, development and sharing of OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) networks. Given the growing importance of these networking technologies, Mininet has potential as a teaching tool in the IT lab.  This post describes how to get Mininet running in KVM on CentOS 7, and introduces some basic commands and workflows.

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Certbot solves HTTPS

There is general agreement these days that the internet as a whole needs to be more secure from eavesdropping and content hijacking. This could be achieved by a general move from HTTP to HTTPS as the default protocol, but for years the issue of the certificates required to do this has been dominated by the SSL certificate mafia. This cartel which includes Symantec, RapidSSL, GeoTrust and Thawte has discouraged the widespread adoption of HTTPS by making it an expensive and tedious chore. Not any more.

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Zabbix and ICTNWK403

The unit ICTNWK403 Manage network and data integrity covers a mixed bag of skills and knowledge around the “development of asset protection processes, determining threats and implementing controls to mitigate risk“: in other words, keeping the show on the road.¬†Topics range from the management of user accounts, file permissions, assets and backups to handling environmental and virus/malware threats and deploying network monitoring systems.

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Thai language machine translation

Machine translation between many languages is now at the point where the translation gives a very good indication of a text’s content even if the translation itself is not exactly publishable. This is not the case for all languages, however. Sometimes the translation gives little idea what a text is about apart from a few random vocabulary items. Thai to English machine translation is a good case in point.

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Thai reference grammar review

Serious Thai language learners quickly exhaust the useful online learning resources available in YouTube for example. On the one hand, much material there is elementary, repetitive and little more than advertising for one language school or another. At the other end of the scale, there is plenty of authentic Thai language video material available, but it is of limited use to language learners without curating and support such as transcriptions and subtitles.

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Teaching Python programming resources

Python is a widely used general purpose programming language. It is a great first language for teaching purposes, and also a language that is in high demand in industry. Even better, it is free and open source, installed by default on most Linux and Mac OSX systems, and easily installed on Windows.

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Mininet SDN teaching tool

Mininet is a Linux-based network emulator which enables the creation of a realistic virtual network, running real kernel, switch and application code, on a single machine (VM, cloud or native), in seconds, with a single command. It is a great way to develop, share, prototype, research, teach and experiment with OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking systems.

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eLearning tools and pedagogies

Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Moodle are all the rage these days in higher education course delivery. While an LMS almost certainly simplifies the day-to-day administrative tasks involved in higher education, it does not necessarily deliver better pedagogy or a better educational experience for students.

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