Like it or hate it, social networking is one of the new EdTech buzz terms. Yeah – I know – there are more buzzwords now than anyone can seem to keep track of. But social networking is gaining the attention of many universities and institutions. And we’re not talking about your friendly neighborhood super teenie-bopper MySpace either. Projects like ELGG and Drupal have been offering full featured Social Networking tools for a while now. Tools that anyone can use to create their own social network for free.
Now, from the good folks that brought us OpenAcademic (reported here earlier – which reminds me that I forgot to reply to the nice email I got from the person in charge of OpenAcadmic. Doh!), we now have DrupalEd. The point of DrupalEd seems to be to combine the social networking tools of Drupal with a set of education tools to create an attractive (and free) alternative for educational institutions. Or, so, I think it is. It’s still new and needs documentation – but it looks promising. See more information here: http://www.funnymonkey.com/come-and-get-it. Think of it as Drupal meets Moodle.
Now, I like where this is heading. And I love innovation. I think there is plenty room out there for all of the Moodles, Sakais, DrupalEds, OpenAcademics, etc of the world. But, I also want to point out that all features of DrupalEd either exist in Moodle, or are being developed this summer with Moodle’s partnership with the Google Summer of Code program. That being said, I still want to download Drupal Ed and give it a whirl.
I’m still waiting for a Moodle/Drupal/Gmail/Google Docs/Odeo Studio/Flixn/anything Web2.0 mashup. That would be the thermonuclear bomb in my book….
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.