Glimpses at the Possibilities of a Decentralized LMS

I checked out the #helloweb website:

It is a vision of the decentralized LMS I want. The website is part of the #Helloweb campaign,  a Mozilla project to teach web literacy across rural India.

I like the site. It is actually  super easy to do, but looks good. Just the grid view of embedded Twitter timeline. A stream that is pleasing to the eye. Pretty is important.

When I see it and think about other recent efforts I feel like I am getting close to the decentralized LMS I want.

I want to display Twitter cards, and Featured Images plus blog headlines through RSS. Maybe even annotations. Most importantly I want to empower learners to publish on their own site and control their privacy by deciding how to share. I want my students to own their data and learn on the open web.

The twitter timeline on #HelloWeb isn’t my only snapshot into possibilities.

Alan Levine is working on WordPress plug ins that will use Feedburner to suck up participants work:

I like what he did with connectedcourses.net:

Alan built a site with imple navigation to activities. Plus an active stream of blogs, videos, and Twitter. I would want a link to the blog stream and the comment stream.

I can’t wait to see what Alan is working on.

 

I also need a good teacher dashboard. What hypothes.is (I am beta testing their new Stream) built is pretty to close to all I need. I blacked out my student names but I can click through and see all that they are doing.

I now have access to a dashboard of my students. The navigation in the group features make teaching easier. I am finding hanging out in texts is sometime better than talking about texts in comments.

The new hypothes.is Stream is almost everything I need to teach in a decentralized classroom. In fact if you built your decentralized LMS around LMS you would have everything you need.

A few more thing I would like to have would  be RSS driven. This would include include participants posts and comments.

The Future

I feel like what I envision as my perfect decentralized learning environment is here. I want the hub of any course to be dynamic but not a place that collects (beyond RSS) user data. People shouldn’t have to sign in.

I want them to own their own learning, or if they do not have a blog or website, be able to choose their own network to connect through.

However I do believe the chat stream to be an essential elemt to the modern LMS. Yet I do not want to dictate to people which river to choose. If your community is active on Twitter use that. If its Telegram or Facebook messenger that is fine too. Try Slack, Rocketchat, or gitter. Doesn’t matter.

I am intrigued about how AI and machine learning will interact with facilitators in course design. I do not fear these robots as my other educational technologists do. They will be able to surface cool patterns. Patterns that can be made into pretty graphs. people like pretty pictures.

What I still need:

I need to make the syndication of particiaptns blogs, websites and hashtags to be a one button push. For Twitter I use Martin Hawksey’s Twitter Archive for Google Sheets. Be cool to embed that.

For participant blogs I want a field to just enter in their url, (for the blog,  category, or tag for advanced bloggers) and have them added to the stream and the faciltator profile that tracks number of posts, comments.

I want to add their hypothe.is ID. Really I may just get away with using the new hypothes.is profile as the only teacher dashboard I need for now.


Also published on Medium.

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  • Corey Engstrom

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