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Monday, November 06, 2006

Stephen Downes is Wrong? Is It Really Cool?

After Stephen and I recently lamented in our blogs about the problems with comments getting buried (see How Do People Interact with Blogs and Stephen's comments) - now I'm completely throwing away all blog norms because I don't want my response to Stephen on a different topic to get lost.

My recent post - Incredibly Cool! Vision of Future of Application and eLearning Development - Stephen responded:

OK, I know why Tony Karrer is calling this "incredibly cool," but no, it's not, it's a mess. I know it seems really cool, because it brings so much stuff into a page. But I couldn't put my mouse down n it anywhere without clicking on something, windows would stay open, I have tabs piling up on each other, and through all of it I couldn't find anything useful, and there was no place to actually create anything. We're not there yet - Web 2.0 is going to be, more than anything, simple, not a horrendous desktop mess.
I just have to respond to the "it's a mess" comment. I agree with Stephen that right now this stuff is early stage and it's a mess. I'm not planning on using that particular tool anytime soon. It's more of a toy than anything else. Oh, I am using something similar to create my personalized home page. And, none of that is the point.

The point I want everyone to take away from doing the exercise in the original post is the ease with which you can pull together an application made up of services being provided by separate entities and the ease of doing this authoring of your home page through a web interface.

You need to use a bit of imagination, but picture the objects on the left as a series of Question Types and Interaction Types that you can drop onto your page. This is authoring 2010. And the components may come from places other than your authoring/LCMS vendor. And they can easily include interaction with your learners.

That's all I'm saying. :)


Tony Hirst said...
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Tony Hirst said...

I've been struggling for a long time to come up with sensible/appropriate blends of fed content and itinerant functionality to use on webtops like netvibes and pageflakes so I could demo them as prototypical PLEs.

The kind folks at Pageflakes even pulled together some of the things they thought might be useful on a demo PageFlakes student page.

My current thinking is focussed around a 'traditional' two panel environment with navigation and itinerant functionality (ie widgets) in a narrow sider bar, and then a main content window (which may or may not provide a tabbed view).

navigation is supplied via OPML rendered through a Grazr OPML browser; Widgetbox provides the widgets; and the main panel reuses a tabbed widget i found somewhere.

There's a demo of this rapidly evolving (and completely unstyled!) string'n'glue learning environment (StrinGLE) at


Anonymous said...

What I dont understand, never understood, is why I should want it all on one page. Either you scroll or you click, but it never all fits.

Bryan said...

It doesn't take much imagination. Authoring should be like Powerpoint, only the templates are Interaction Types and Question Types. We have about 8 pre-defined types in NanoLearning so far, and you don't have to wait till 2010.

And you can embed them in your blog, MySpace page, PageFlake, or whatever. That part is done. Now we just need more ideas from visionaries on what features to include next.

It certainly would be nice if there were some more standards that we could leverage for interoperability. We can spit out XML and use SOAP all day long, but I don't want to write 423 different types of them.