Scott Wilson, February 17, 2006
D'Arcy Norman has posted a shot of the whiteboard for EduGlu. EduGlu is an example of the sort of middleware proposed for intelligently gathering and filtering items from a wide range of services, creating as its output a contextualized feed.
This example shows a query-based approach to contextualization, using tagging. Other examples such as SuprGlu have adopted the approach of selective inclusion at the source level.
This type of middleware may become an essential part of the toolkit for teachers, facilitating the production of customized resource sets to support common activities, such as reviewing students' conversations about a particular topic or assignment, gathering submissions for marking, and tracking usage on recommended sources.
For learners too, having "packaged" feeds filtered from a wide range of primary sources can be very useful, in this case the "glu" is being used as an instrument with a similar purpose to the traditional reading list.
There is also the potential role for feed middleware in the contextualization of resources through conversation-building: generating a feed containing posts that contribute to the development of an idea. This could replace the traditional hosted forum with a more flexible distributed architecture.
Of course, there is a great deal more flexibility in this type of processing technology, and could lead to some interesting innovations.