Posts filed under ‘repositories’
Les Carr covers an interesting angle in his post, ‘Repositories should be more like email (apparently)‘.
Personally, I have always used email as a kind of personal repository, sending myself a copy of any document I’m working on as a backup or ‘work in progress’, while also being useful if I’m ever working at home. Now, I know that really what I’m talking about is just a bunch of messages with documents as attachments, but a Firefox extension called Xoopit changes that somewhat. Xoopit sucks all the multimedia content (including links to YouTube videos, etc) from your Google Mail account and displays each item as a collective sideshow within your mail window. Alternatively, users can login to the Xoopit site and see the items in a list, categorised by type (images, videos and files).
With a recent Australian school’s move to Gmail considered “the largest private deployment of Gmail [known as Google Mail in the UK] in the world” (thanks, Andy), commonplace features like this would enable pupils and students to better locate documents, presentations, PDFs, etc.
Still in a private beta (check this article for an in-depth look and sign-up code), the application’s massive drawback is the need for it to take your password to access your inbox. Hardly security-conscious, I still think it’s worth a look, as you can always contact Xoopit to delete your account (and change your mail password) after having a peek. Will this kind of multimedia idea become a mainstream part of mail in future?
The DCC’s Chris Rusbridge recently speculated on whether we wanted repositories to be more Web 2.0-like. The post was a follow-on to an earlier thought on negative
cost click repositories, where Chris pondered the merits of depositing if the cost of deposit was less than the cost of non-deposit, hence the term ‘negative-cost’ (later changed to negative click) repository. In the latest post, Chris proposes that ‘going Web 2.0′ is not necessarily a good thing, mentioning an irony-strewn attempt made by two Oxford students to minimise the “multitude of different websites” used for groups to remain organised online … by creating another site which does not appear to import or bring in data from any other sites. Indeed, registering for GroupSpaces.com confirms as much – it’s adding another tool to the list and fattening the problem pig that the founders moaned about in the first place. Why on earth should we manually add an event when it could be pulled in dynamically from a specified online calendar?
On a separate note, Chris thought that all his management identity problems might be “solved by OpenID or something like it”. I found this interesting, as I have used my OpenID login details so sparsely, I cannot even remember which provider I initially chose. It took a search-and-trial-and-error approach before I found the correct site and then the correct sign-in details. In fact, after visiting OpenID.net, I found out I could actually have used my Flickr sign-on details without even creating a separate OpenID account in the first place.
And as for Chris wanting to “emerge into the Web 2.0 sunshine” … how can you apply rounded corners to the sun?’
On 16th February, I attended the Intrallect Future Visions Seminar, held in Edinburgh. The day consisted of four presentations, each outlining the speaker’s view on the future of learning, with voting on some issues. First up was Intrallect’s Martin Morrey, speaking about repositories in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010. Martin’s view was that the 90s focused on ‘intelligent tutoring systems’, adaptive content and global re-use, but the 00s have shown/will show that computers are not that intelligent and that it is hard to make content adaptive. Martin also covered content management, sharing and re-use, alongside repository infrastructure and services.
Anne Eastgate talked about BBC Jam, in which interactive content aimed at schoolchildren helps to assist with learning. A visual-intensive presentation, we were treated to several demonstrations of activities from the application, with activities and games to participate in. They didn’t have this when I was a lad!
Note: BBC Jam was suspended shortly after this – see the notice on the website.
The remaining presentations were harder to follow, most likely due to the media-rich format they were trying to follow, but it was a useful day.