<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
Summary of Martin Weller and his post on the Open University’s attempt to create an open API-based social networking system for learning.

“Exploring new ways of being open,” the 24th installment of the Impact of Open Source Software Series, was posted on October 14, 2008, by Martin Weller. Martin Weller serves as Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. He chaired the OU’s first major online course with 15,000 students, was the VLE Project Director and is now Director of the SocialLearn project. His interests are in elearning, web 2.0 and the implications of new technologies for higher education. He blogs at edtechie.net . Thanks, Martin, for a great posting!

Martin starts by framing the term “Open” as it is being applied in education and how the Open University UK is addressing the openness agenda. He points to three projects, at the OU including their adoption of Moodle, the OpenLearn project, and Social Learn, which Martin is directing. Martin first indicates that SocialLearn will serve not only as a way to loosely couple applications thorough an open API to form a Personal Learning Environment (PLE), but also as a platform with the potential for supporting learner derived open curriculum. SocialLearn has the potential to sit significantly enough outside of traditional educational infrastructure and pedagogy, to serve as one of the ways that the OU can influence and accommodate the changing needs and economic models of higher education.

Finally, Martin points to the phenomena of disaggregation in higher education, leaving out there the question of its prudence.


The dominant theme of the comments had to do with the potential of open learning and the impact of projects like SocialLearn. Responsive Online Learning Environments (ROLE) was introduced, which support not only personal learning, but provide for inter-institutional flexibility, enhancing access. Our fixation with technology was also raised along with questions about what we have done (and not done) with what we already have available and the organizational challenges of openness that we have not yet embraced.

Thanks again to Martin for his interesting and insightful post and responses. I also want to extend a big thank you to plefrere, Andreas Meiszner, and David Mcquillan for adding to the post, and other folks who have been reading along. On November 5th, Cole Camplese will be making a post to the Series. Cole serves as the Director of Education Technology Services at the Pennsylvania State University, and in his post he will investigate the changing role of the web as a platform and he will ask some critical questions about our own future. I have had the opportunity now to work in the same organization with Cole for over two years and always find his conversation, line of questions, and various shenanigans, stimulating. I am looking forward to what will surly be a thought provoking and entertaining post!

The schedule for the series can be found on WikiEducator .

Comments on summary

1. gmc - november 25th, 2008 at 2:38 am

I really am looking forward to seeing where the Open Learning concept and technology take us in years to come.

2. myclass - february 5th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I like the Open Source World. Would you consider Google Apps open source?

I have also used OpenOffice.

Richmond Virginia

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'The impact of open source software on education' conversation and receive update notifications?