So close, but so far?: Mashups, RSS, and chasing the eduglu dream

Mr T does RSSBeware Sucka: this is a collection of notes, ideas, and brief reflections -so sense and cohesion is not the common denominator here (I guess kinda par for the course)

First session at Northern Voice 2007 I attended was Mashup for Non-Programmers. You can follow the link to the wikified workshop outline on the NV wiki here.

Scott Leslie’s introduction made the case that mashups for non-programmers is not necessarily for coders, but it also is not for those who aren’t afraid to get their feet wet a bit. The art of the tinkerer in many ways.

Darcy Norman
From there D’Arcy Norman (in a very cool, calm, and collected style) gave us a tour through the Yahoo! Pipes (what he terms a visual procedural programming environment) that does a majority of the programming for free! here is a link to his demo page of Yahoo Pipes examples. One example he showed us takes the RSS feed from Twitter and mashs it up with a keyword from the twitter conversation and matches it up with that same tag from flickr (take a look at it here). He also spoke about the possibility of cloning other pipes that you liked (for examples the NYT headlines mashed up with flickr -see this here). All of this before Pipes took a dive on us and became an absent presence throughout the discussion.

Additional points D’Arcy made I need to pursue:

  • Joining RSS feeds -joining all the edubloggers into one photostream
  • Also, talked about using the Pipes to create custom search engine using pipes to search content by zip codes

Scott Leslie:
These notes are skeletal for Scott’s talk for he had so much cool stuff to say…

  • Using your del.icio.us tags to search other things. Some examples of this are Open Kapow create a service you can query off of -google search results driven by Scott’s del.icio.us tags.
  • You can also get your del.ico.us tags and use this to run a search through Amazon. Go to your del.icio.us account, click on help and then find “json” tags: Something like this for your account: http://del.icio.us/help/json/tags -I will fill in the details on this once I play with it more.
  • He also played with Dappit which you can find here,
    Dappit
    , more research to be done here.

Brian Lamb
Brian’s pursuit of the Holy Grail for eduglu continues…
It was really amazing to hear Brian eloquently and precisely define the struggles we all face in the pursuit of mashing up learning process via RSS. how do we allow students to bring their own blogs and other social services into a feeding services we provide, endorse, or create takes these disparate resources and delivers them in a coherent, and targeted fashion that somehow reflects the complex process of teaching and learning. His talk is here, and it really sparked my imagination, gave me a clearer idea of the struggle as well as re-doubled my efforts to work collaboratively to see this emerge in some way, shape or form. Eduglu -we love you!

Why can’t anything with an RSS feed provide a legitimate way to feed the students’s own tools into some larger, uber feeder throughout a campus, or series of learnig institutions? WHen are we gonna create this? -or demand it? -or hack it?

Chris Lott:

Unfortunately, in Chris’s experience, non-programmers can’t do a lot… and programmers can only get just a bit further. What is the promise of the mash-up? Is it possible to push it further for the non-programmer? Re-mixing and mashing up is still elusive in the class-room.

Some tools Chris mentioned, Grazr – a service that, to quote the site, “…lets you view as many feeds as you want without the hassle of subscribing. Grazr users can freely jump from feed to feed. It’s like surfing on a river of feeds.”

He also mentioned Google co-op as a way to search group spaces in a more targeted manner.

Create a del.icio.us site allows a more faceted classification search – as well as domain specific searches (must figure this one out -any help out there?)

And once agian, the promise of Ning for creating a great social sharing site -problems with mixing and matching at a granular level is still diffiuclt and the dream we are in pursuit of continues…

Awesome session with more than I can think about in a m onth, no less than a 45 minute span. The Moose promises, and the Moose delivers!

We re so close, yet so far to the edu glu dream…

Great, great stuff

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4 Responses to So close, but so far?: Mashups, RSS, and chasing the eduglu dream

  1. kk says:

    sweet wrap-up. can’t wait to listen to the podcast!

  2. Arjun Singh says:

    Before the session, I really had no idea of some of the possibilities for a tech loving luddite for me.

    Ning looks very promising. Yahoo Pipes, a little more daunting, but I will check it out

  3. collected? I was pretty sure I was rambling and mumbling. Glad it didn’t come out that way! 🙂

  4. Gardner says:

    Man I love this stuff. L-O-V-E it. Y’know, Jim, in addition to your other conspicuous talents, you make a hell of a journalist. This is a great write-up. Thanks for sharing it with those of us who see the vision from a little farther south….

    Funny: I just recommended Ning to a person at the University of Maryland conference I spoke at yesterday. I think we’re just beginning to see some of these meta-tools coming into their own. Yahoo Pipes also has me excited. They all have the factors I have currently identified as crucial in any real-school design: Conviviality (Ilich), Play (Vygotsky), Metaphor (Lakoff and Johnson), an Integrated Domain/Bootstrapping/Augmentation (Engelbart), and Addressivity (Bakhtin): “the quality of turning to someone.”

    Man, I wish I was there with you.

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