"The fifth 'Learn About' fair is taking place on 29th February 2012 in the Jennie Lee Building from 11:30 am - 2:30 pm with some of the fair also available online for remote participation."
These events are fairly informal, but some topics we may like to cover:
* What is OU player?
* What is OU embed?
* What is oEmbed?
* What are the benefits, for developers, end users etc.?
* What is the status of the project? Future plans?
I will argue that the OU player project provides an ideal case study for why The Open University, including the central IT providing departments should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to the choice of information technologies. At present, I think they are in danger of doing this. You may also be interested in Juliette Culver's post, Why we moved from Drupal to CodeIgniter, and Will Wood's post, Agile Ballooning.
First, some background. CodeIgniter is a minimal model-view-controller PHP framework. It is open source, makes full use of the object-oriented programming paradigm, offers database abstraction, an ORM (object-relational-model) layer, and various extension mechanisms including libraries, hooks and helper functions. By default, templating/ views are implemented in PHP, though an alternative templating system such as Smarty could be plugged in. There are many third-party plugins available, and it is a simple matter to plugin other libraries, for example parts of the Zend framework. As a low level framework, its benefits are a shallow learning curve, the promotion of maintainable, well-structured code, small footprint, performance and flexibility (http://codeigniter.com).
In spare moments in the past few weeks I've been revisiting browser search plugins. I've created plugins for CloudEngine/ Cloudworks, iSpot, the Journal of Interactive Media in Education, and The Open University. I thought I'd jot down what they are, why they're useful and how I'm integrating them into my projects.
I've proposed a mini-project here, for IET to host an experimental embedding service on behalf of The Open University. This will serve a similar purpose to Embed.ly (api.embed.ly) and Oohembed (oohembed.com), and act as a proxy on behalf of other embed or service providers, for example, YouTube, LAMS, Prezi and Google Docs forms.
Angela Caesar · soprano
David Kirby-Ashmore · baritone
John Byron and Anna Le Har · piano duet
Bill Strang · conductor
Thursday 7 April 2011 · 12:45pm - 2pm
Please note the earlier starting time
So, I've started this list on Delicious, using the tags
ou opensource project. Note, I have also added tags for license where I can find one (eg.
gpl for GNU General Public License), OU department (
lts), technologies (
java) and wider projects (
Note that the tag
ou does not necessarily imply that The Open University is the founding, sole, or main contributor to a project!
Feel free to add anything that I've missed. It's interesting to see what licenses we're using, what projects we're contributing a lot to (Moodle fairly obviously!) and so on. Enjoy...!
Tony Hirst has just blogged about the Office for Disability Issues new accessible media player AKA the "Most Accessible Media Player on the Web". Both he and Will Woods have alluded to work that The Open University is undertaking. I thought I'd fill in the gaps.
The OU is at the start of a 6 month development to create a multimedia player that (we hope):
- Will be an "attractive" player that the average designer/ blogger would be happy to use on their site.
- Can be used in a variety of contexts - our Moodle-based virtual learning environment, OpenLearn, OU-Drupal sites, blogs, Cloudworks...
- Will deliver content mostly from the OU podcast site in the contexts mentioned above.
- Will be accessible to users with disabilities - both in terms of control, and display of alternatives like transcripts and captions.
- Usable on a variety of devices, including mobiles and tablets.
- Will be delivered in a maintainable way.
I've just been to Martin Weller's talk on the Podstars project at the Open University. This is a pilot project to encourage academics from faculties across the OU to try their hand at producing short videos, slidecasts (slide presentations + audio) or other multimedia. Despite the name Podstars, the aim was not to create celebrities, but instead to lower the bar to multimedia production.