Sunday, September 10, 2006

Open Source Integration

Very interesting project started about a month ago over at OpenAcademic.org in an effort to integrate four useful open source tools into an environment that would have lots of features for e-learning. The tools they are working with are Elgg, Drupal, Moodle, and Mediawiki. This integration should result in the following features being offered:

  • a public facing web presence
  • departmental intranets
  • club/extracurricular sites
  • online class sites
  • a personal workspace for all members of the school community; this workspace includes web-accessible file storage, social bookmarking, a blog, a podcasting platform, and a presentation/portfolio creator
  • a single user base -- no duplicate data entry, no need to synchronize users between multiple databases
Additionally, these technologies/approaches are supported:
  1. Podcasting
  2. Safe social networking
  3. Tagging
  4. Informal learning
  5. Learner centric
  6. ePortfolios
  7. Personal Learning Environments
  8. Blogging
  9. Wikis
They are still looking for development help in the form of developers, designers, educators and funding bodies. Check them out. This is an ambitious undertaking. This is pretty close to what I've been thinking needs to be done by the academic community to not be held hostage by the Blackboard patent goons and large corporate interests.
A tip of the hat to D'Arcy Norman from whom I first heard about this.

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