Using Mediabird Study Notes

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Using Mediabird Study Notes.

Mediabird is a contributed code activity module that allows context based collaborative note taking in Moodle.

Features

  • Students can take notes related to any page in a Moodle course.
  • They can note anything that comes up in by writing text, drag and drop content or search notes of other students.
  • All notes can be annotated, tagged and shared. This way, problems in understanding course material can be solved quickly and collaboratively.
In-place note taking using Mediabird Study Notes.

Typical uses

Using Mediabird Study Notes is divided into two steps: Taking notes and reviewing them later on.

Taking notes on any page

Take notes button

While you're on a page such as a resource, forum post or quiz, you can note down anything that comes up in your mind.

  • Click on the note taking button.
  • Wait for the overlay to finish loading.
  • Drag and drop content from the course page or simply enter your notes.
  • Navigate between your note sheets using the yellow buttons at the lower left corner of the notepad.

Reviewing existing notes

Review notes button
  • Click on the review notes button in the lower right corner of the notepad overlay.

Sharing notes and collaboratively working with them

Community button
  • Click on the community button
  • Click on more... next to Sharing
  • If you want to create a new group:
    • Click on Create Group
    • Enter a name and click on Create
    • Invite friends using the Invite friends button
  • Click on Share note folder
  • Click on Create

Accepting invitations and finding shared notes

You can accept group invitations using the Community button

Search notes button

You can find shared notes using the Search button

Setup

The basic setup is very simple.

  • Download the Mediabird Study Notes packages.
  • Extract the archive into the moodle folder of your installation.
  • Log in to Moodle as admin and go to the admin page.
  • The activity should set itself up now.
  • After the installation, add the Mediabird Study Notes activity to a course.

Setting up in-place note taking (recommended)

If you want to take notes while studying, you can enable the in-place note taking function that displays an icon on all pages of a course. Clicking on that icon displays the Mediabird notepad and allows for taking notes in-place. These can be reviewed in the activity later on.

Note: You need to adjust your theme as outlined below to enable this feature.


Setting up the equation editor

  • Install a LaTeX distribution (see below for more specific instructions)
  • Make sure the dvipng helper application is installed
  • Make sure you have installed the LaTeX packages AMSFonts, AMSMath, xypic
  • Locate dvipng and latex executables and specify their paths in the activity settings in the admin panel

Windows

  • Install MikTeX and check for xypic, everything else should be included in the default setup
  • Both dvipng.exe and latex.exe usually are located in C:\Program Files\MiKTeX 2.7\miktex\bin or similar

Linux (Debian/Ubuntu)

  • Install packages texlive, texlive-pictures and dvipng
  • The paths will usually be /usr/bin/dvipng and /usr/bin/latex

Theme adjustments for in-place note taking

Using the included theme

If you don't mind about the theme you use, you may easily

  • go to Appearance in the admin panel
  • select Theme Selector and choose standardmediabird

Note: If the theme does not appear in the list, make sure you've extracted it from the Mediabird Study Notes packages into the theme folder of your Moodle installation.

Using a custom theme

If you are using your own theme, all you need to add is the following line in the file header.html from your theme folder

<?php
  include_once($CFG->dirroot.'/mod/studynotes/ext/overlay_snippet.php');
?>

after the line

<div class="navbar clearfix">

which is located near the middle of the file.

Prerequisites

Moodle 1.8.9 or 1.9.2+ and PHP 5.2+

See also