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About: Managing Director of Xtensis. Interested in social bookmarking-based approaches to gathering and sharing educational resources.
Practitioners are faced with a huge variety of content sources with different search/ browse techniques, different formats, compatibility issues with learning platforms; rights issues to resolve, and differences in the techniques/terminology involved in using that content in local operating environments. These overheads - particularly significant for those without advanced IT skills - represent an additional burden to the work of evaluating the content itself. Content suppliers, meanwhile, face a complementary set of problems.
These issues create constant pressure towards central, homogenised services for content, dominated by large organisations, with supply often tied to learning platform or determined by funding agency. But such sites are themselves numerous and can be perplexing. Adding a layer between source and practitioner can reduce channels for informed support, feedback, and other options/services. Crucially, valuable communities of practice which build up around specific content sources can be lost during the process of aggregation into monolithic repositories.
In this demonstration, participants will be introduced to a new approach. Modelled on social bookmarking, but incorporating features of significant and specific use to educational practitioners - the service enables users to gather resources from any useful source (including their own) into customisable collections which can be shared with colleagues and learners.
By differentiating between the URLs of resource information pages and the end resources themselves, the system provides different presentation options for peers and learners. Compatibility with educational interoperability standards, including Scorm, and with VLEs, such as Moodle, is built-in. Clear licensing information provides reassurance that all resources, free or subscription, can be used appropriately. Other features include detailed usage reporting and Shibboleth authentication.
Gathering/collecting of resources is achieved via a browser button (enabling any web page to be added to a user’s collection), or via a "collect" button within the resource information pages of selected content sites. Users can also view and copy other users’ collections and resources.
Participants will learn, in an environment where funding is limited and much competed for, how this flexible approach can preserve diversity, widen choice, lower the resource management burden and provide an efficient, secure way to use free and paid-for content.

Conference role Delegate who is presenting

Professional role Managing Director

Organisation, if you have one Xtensis

Will ALT-C 2011 be your first ALT conference? Yes

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Shri Footring
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