Widgetization of OpenLearn Rolls On…

Three nice convergences underway… and a new map widget in my blog gutter, showing who is logged in to OpenLearn right now as a result:

1. Tony Hirst’s increasing deployment of scrapers, aggregators, pipes, and other tools to make OpenLearn content more suitable for Personal Learning Environments (Tony’s blog: here).

2. Stuart Brown rolls out an OpenLearn NetVibes Universe (blogged: here | universe: here | OpenLearn: here), increasing both worldwide exposure of OpenLearn and private personalization capabilities at the same time.

3. Alex Little rolls out independently-embeddable MSG Map Widgets (blogged: here). The OpenLearn Universe widget you see on the right of this blog is that exact embedded code in action.

Great going, guys! Stuart, I personally would make the ‘webpage’ tab on the NetVibes Universe 100% custom content written by you, rather than recursively embedding the entire site in a frame, since I think your own custom ‘About’ intro will be less confusing than mushing together both styles… just my two cents…..

This is disaggregation and widgetization at work… why does this matter?

  1. OpenLearn, the Open University’s boldest experiment since it began almost 40 years ago, is gaining ground, and is an important scheme in its own right.
  2. The Facebook and NetVibes steamrollers are continuing to gain ground at least partly as a result of opening up to third-party widget providers, evidence of the importance (as if we needed reminding) of both social software and ‘roll your own’ customizations.
  3. Significant experimentation is needed to understand how to leverage the best of multiple worlds, in particular the worlds of open educational resources and social software
  4. Supporting bidirectional embedding (I can embed third-party content and/or feeds in my own personal site, and conversely a third-party portal or centralised-service site can accommodate the embedding of my own personal widgets) is great source of experimentation, socialization, sharing, learning, and unforeseen consequences: let’s see where this goes!

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One Response to “Widgetization of OpenLearn Rolls On…”

  1. Mike Lewis Says:


    Whenever I load a page on your blog I get the following error pop-up:

    The Google Maps API key used on this web site was registered for a different web site. You can generate a new key for this web site at http://www.google.com/apis/maps/.

    The OpenLearn Live! box is white, as if that is the missing content.

    Hope this helps, not hinders,

    Mike Lewis

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