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September 12, 2008

MUPPLE - Mashup Personal Learning Environments

I'm off to Maastricht next week to take part in a workshop on mashup personal learning environments (MUPPLE) as part of the EC-TEL conference. I'll be presenting a demo of some work we've been doing on integrating widgets into various platforms.

I'll post a link to the paper when I get back, but in the meantime, here is a screenshot to give you an idea of what I'll be showing: spot the Apple Dashboard widgets in this Elgg 1.0 installation!

screenshot of several Apple and other widgets being displayed in Elgg 1.0

This is all possible at least partly through the efforts of W3C in coming up with a common Widget specification, but also through many modern platforms such as Elgg, Wordpress and Moodle having a "Widget" concept in their plugin architecture that makes embedding of other bits of web far easier. The combination of these factors made building a generic widget server technology that can serve widgets from existing platforms such as Dashboard, Sidebar, Konfabulator (etc.) into web environments feasible.

We've also extended the widget spec, and enabled stateful collaborative widgets, like the "Natter" synchronous chat widget you see in the image. With no special server-side coding whatsoever - its all Javascript and AJAX calls to standard widget service methods and events.

After MUPPLE I'll be at IMS in Birmingham, quite possibly for a repeat performance, but this time showing this technology being combined with learning design sequences.

More information on MUPPLE here.

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