Google Wave API combined with the Wookie engine and integrated in a Moodle platform

Wookie Moodle Google Wave

Everybody who is interesteded in Widget Mash-ups for Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) should take a look at this article posted on Scott Wilson’s Workblog. He demonstrates a very nice usage of the Google Wave API in combination with the Wookie engine integrated into a Moodle platform. Here is a part of his blogpost:

I’ve created a Moodle course that uses some widgets, all of which make use of the Wave Gadget API. Some of these are Google examples (converted to W3C format) and some are ones we’ve created.

To take a look, you need to head over to our Moodle sandbox and register yourself a profile (you’ll need to confirm your email address to activate the login). After that, go and enrol yourself on this course.

Feel free to play Sudoku, mess with the poetry magnets, use the chat, and vote in the polls. All these tools are Widgets, written entirely in regular HTML and JavaScript, and don’t use any PHP or any part of the Moodle platform they appear in other than using the context it supplies (the course ID in this case) and participant information (display name and avatar image); this means they can be embedded into any platform. Wave – the actual conversation engine – is the obvious one, but I think it makes sense to put live-updating collaborative applications into many different kinds of contexts – social networks, VLEs, blogs – anything with users and contexts.

In addition to the W3C Widgets API and Google Wave Gadgets API, the Wookie engine that renders the widgets also provides a moderator API, enabling admins to lock and unlock widgets. (However, test accounts are in the “student” role and so won’t see these controls)

The most interesting aspect of this demonstration is the combination of the Google Wave Gadget API with Moodle and the Wookie engine. The Wookie engine implements and even extends the W3C Widget Specification. Also the fact that all the Widgets are written entirely in regular HTML and JavaScript in order to be decoupled from the underlying Widget container (in this case Moodle) is an advantageous feature of this demonstration.

Google Wave combined with the Wookie engine implementing the W3C Widget API and integrated in a Moodle platform results in an interesting standardized Widget Mash-up system for learning environments.

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