After the widgets working group meeting last week, I started to look at how widgets have been or might be used by educators and learners to support teaching and learning practices. Unsurprisingly, initial searching via Google brought me a number of articles and web links about using widgets in education. What was most interesting to me was Mark Marino’s work; a lecturer in the writing program at the University of Southern California, he and his colleagues have developed the Topoi Pageflake, a webpage containing a series of modular “widgets” that allows visitors to “rip, share or repurpose any of its content”. According to Marino, the idea is
to create pages around particular learning tasks built of widgets that target different learning styles (text, video, interactivity). Then, users can copy, cut, or change whatever doesn’t work for them. Each student and faculty member can create his or her own lesson plan based on the tools they find most useful.
In his presentation entitled “Widgets: The Slicing and Dicing (and Splicing) of Sharable Learning Content” at , Marino shared how the production of portable course content in widgets has opened up his writing course. I think this is definitely worth looking at and further exploring by educators who are interested in making their course content open for free access and sharing teaching and learning resources with others.