I've been hearing all about Web 2.0 for quite a while now, and seen it increasingly used within education to reflect a change that's happening to the web and the way that users interact with it. No sooner have I become comfortable with that idea, then along comes the concept of "Mash Ups", which were pretty meaningless to me (as a non-programmer) until this...
The Popfly service, which is in beta at the moment, allows users to create Mash Ups without needing programming skills (a mash up allows you to pick up data from one website or service, and lay it onto a service on another. For example, to pick up a collection of photos from Flickr and display them on a world map to show where they were taken). It's far more difficult to write about than it is to show, so here's some links to get an understanding of it:
- The Popfly videos - watch the whole 15 minute Popfly video...
- The Popfly website - to sign up and give it a try yourself, and then you can also watch the "Mash Ups in 30 seconds" video!
- And, my first Popfly mashup - see below. Made by linking one of myFlickr photo sets to a carousel display. Once you've seen it, you won't believe that it only took me 5 minutes to create it!
(There will be a short delay the first time the pages above load, while Silverlight downloads. All of this is using the new Silverlight technology, which is cross-platform browser plug-in to create rich, multimedia web applications)
None of the examples on the Popfly website are specifically based on education scenarios, but the potential to make really vibrant web pages using this technology is wide. How about linking some geo-specific data to Live Earth, and creating an interactive, visual map. The possibilities are there. If you want to post a link to your first Popfly mashup too, add it into the comments.