Existing Applications

D'Arcy Norman writes,
The solution to every problem doesn't have to involve "Hey! Let's design and build some cool new software!" - more often than not, especially in the last year or two, it should be more of "Hey! Let's use these existing apps in new ways!"
Of course, all 'existing tools' were once tools that didn't exist, and were built. Quite recently in fact.

But if the point is (and I think it is) that we don't need special *edu* tools, then of course you're right. An ordinary application will do the job just as well - better, because it won't segregate all the educational stuff.

It makes me think, though, that i should rename Edu_RSS.

My thinking is that people should could use a powerful application to do all this stuff. All along I have been designing Edu_RSS as a *personal* tool. I'll set up a hosting service at some point in the future to show people what I mean by that (just waiting for NRC approval to open source it).

Because, if you can filter feeds, or subscribe to someone else's filtered feed, that greatly increases the number of feeds you can be exposed to.

RSS readers have always been, right from the very beginning, based on subscribing to individual 'channels' - but doing it this way leads straight to a star system, a world of A-listers and also-rans. It is then no improvement over print journalism or broadcasting.

People should be able to accumulate what amounts to a personalized database of references and resources, that they can access and export in various ways. This base should consist not only of blog posts but all manner of resources, such as people, organizations, events and publications.

And it should connect and enable access to the full range of external services, such as Blogger, del.icio.us, Flickr, etc. So people can, from their personal location, easily move themselves and their materials from one collaborative space to another.

That application doesn't exist yet - it needs to be built. But it should not be simply an 'educational' application. It should be a personal online presence application.


  1. I agree with this. We definitely could use a personal online presence application because, anyway, what's the point of having on educational application when we are talking about lifelong and informal learning?

    I would add something to such application, however. I'm thinking about the very limited connectivity in most of the third world countries (including Colombia, of course). I would like this application to be able to run in "offline mode", from an USB memory, downloading and offering offline access to the information I'm interested in. And synchronizing itself whenever it "senses" an Internet connection.

    I have been using lately BlogBridge. I kind of like it, but it lacks a lot of things I'd like to have. I'm not sure if it can be installed in an USB memory (for sure, it would need a local JRE to run), but it's one of the nicest applications I have found so far to manage my online presence (in read-mode only, nevertheless). I also tried Plex, but it was really confusing...

    Like you said, this application doesn't seem to exist yet. But I bet there are lots of people thinking about it, so maybe is just a question of time. Anyway, I really hope it will be open source when it finally comes out. :-D


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