Martin Weller and Tony Hirst have joined Marc Eisenstadt as bloggers from the UK’s Open University whose posts I now eagerly await, so it’s a distinct pleasure to find Martin posting about Tony’s project, Stringle.
I can almost hear the chorus now about how “a PLE is not an application” and yes, but whatever. Tony has assembled a really useful demonstration of how, using feeds, services like grazer and OPML manager and many of the free web 2.0 applications out there (this demonstration uses Google docs, PBWiki, ELGG and Gliffy to name a few), a fairly comprehensive environment can be aggregated together for learners. I don’t think this precludes all of the great learning resources out on the open web at all, in fact it rather welcomes them, and tools and services like Dappit, OpenKapow and ScreenScrapper are now making it easy for anyone to create RSS feeds for web content where previously there were none. It’s not hard for me to see how with something like OpenID implemented on many of these services all of a sudden you can have your safe password protected areas for student work and eat your open web 2.0 cake too. Take some time and play around with what Tony has assembled and see if it doesn’t jog your imagination. Is it going to replace your CMS tomorrow. Probably not if you are wedded to how that’s working for you. But darn if it doesn’t beckon to a day when making use of a new Web 2,0 app in your course in a way that works for you, for students AND your administration isn’t as easy as … rip, mix, feed. – SWL