Waiting now for the start of Garry Putland’s talk on the Australian LO portal- I had a chance to chat with him early, and heard about what sounds like an incredible integration of information connected with RSS- he mentioned availablity of more than 2000 feeds, not only for objects, but information piped to different web portals.

Well, maybe I am getting ahead of the presentation… It is ready to roll. In a snippet, the Ozzies are way ahead of the pack in terms of “getting it” with open source, standards, syndicated content, and communities of practice. Makes us look like roadside wombats..

MERLOT and EdNA now have a relationship to be revealed here. (EdNA= Education Network Australia) Rightfully so, Garry is based in Adelaide, home of many great vinyards.

He mentioned (and others have alluded to) published RSS feeds from MERLOT, but have yet to see anything for real. Is it to be revealed at Thursday’s 4:00 PM session on “MERLOT Federated Searches”?? The abstract mentions implementations of “web services”.

Garry’s talk is about re-engineering of EdNA portal. This is a “wholesale” model, as opposed to a “retail” model where you must go to to buy- by a wholesale model, he means that they provide content to feed other organzations. (e.g. a pull instead of a push model).

EdNA Online launched 1997, nationawide, “K to grey”. It is a browsable and searchable directory of online resources, e.g. a meta data repository -started with 4000-5000 items, all evaluated by educators. Moving from entered data to harvesting from “trusted” sources.

EdNA Metadata Standard v1.1 (1999) based on Dublin Core, 15 elements (9 are mandatory).

Services “curriculum resources, research, professional development, innovtive use of ICTs, communities of practice, about Australian education” = learning materials (broader than objects).

350,000 items, 17,500 quality evaluated, 330,000 linked item, and 50,000 from external repositories including MERLOT and GEM.

Re-engineering EdNA Online. Why? Stakeholders said so.

Move from retail website to aggregator, broker, and provider of web services.
– Retail (personalization and portal)
– Broker (harvesting and federated searches)
– Wholesale (web services)

Use of open source (but not free? Jahia— collaborative source license model), latest tech standards RSS, XML, SOAP- “They need to be open standards”.

– RSS Feeds for news headlines, newsletters, recent items added to database (2000 categories)
– Model of syndicating all content via RSS for display and delivery to third parties (e.g. Gov Education Portal)
– XML APIs for search and browse
– XML API for notices/calendars
– SOAP for single signon
– Publish to handheld devices (“most people will not want web content on a PDA but web services”)

HTML versions of most services available- aim to make all services available via HTML/Javascript.

Built on opensource tools: Linux, apache, Tomcat, JSP, Jahia, PostGres, LDAP

Functional Advantage of MYEdNA:
customization, personalization, distributed search, content management by users not developers.

EdNA demo- (went live last week). Features RSS News feed. Users can customize browse navigation from among 2000 categories.

Once logged in, from the selected “browse” structure, toggles a list of resources in say, higher education, (looks like RSS feed). He calls them a “portlet”, or a “bucket” to pour in content.

The right side includes a user customized collection of RSS feeds, in essence a news aggregator

User defined layout (2 column, 3 column) and content control for MyEDNA.

Federated searches GEM, VOCED, MERLOT (a bit of an overhead to wait for results). Need metadata on repositories to better structure. Search also includes option for Thesaurus which provides list of narrower and broader term searches (“online learning” yields choices for “cooperative learning”, “experiential learning” as narrower options).

training.com.au- uses RSS feeds from EdNA online- “Embedding” strategy to get content in as many portals as possible.

RSS feeds are public (Stephen gave a big thumbs up).

The post "MERLOT: EdNA Online" was originally thawed from a previous ice age and melted at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2003/08/merlot-edna/) on August 6, 2003.

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