The educational technology and digital learning wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Week 1

Topics Covered

  • Webtops (also called personal web start pages)
  • Web Widgets and using widget code
  • Reading and managing news feeds (RSS)
  • First contact with XML

Teaching materials

(1) Online content creation and widget tutorials
(2) XML and RSS Tutorials
(3) Links to Webtops / Dashboards
(4) Links to web widget sites (some)

Optional reading (background information): Social software, weblog, webtop

Classroom activities

  • (Re) planning course contents
  • Evaluation/grading scale
  • Short lecture on content aggregation (RSS and Atom) and news feed aggregators
  • First contact with XML (see XML and first parts of the Editing XML tutorial)
  • Main activity: We will insert "foreign" widget code and RSS Feeds in the netvibes webtop and (if time left) in on-line content creation services encountered on week one.


Homework 2 summary

Objective: Create a web site that includes widgets and RSS feeds


  1. The web site must have a clear objective of your choice. Basically, you should create some kind of dashboard that includes resources (RSS feeds and content widgets) plus some widget-based tools (if appropriate).
  2. You must use a "webtop". We strongly suggest to use Netvibes.
  3. The site must be available to the public (so that other students and myself can have a look at it).
  4. You should explicitly state the website's purpose in some place (e.g. with a little text widget, a welcome message, etc.).
  5. The website must include some minimal contents (much less than for homework 1). The reader should understand what your webtop is about.
  6. The website must include some widgets and the choice of widgets must be appropriate with respect to the main objectives.
  7. The website must include at least two RSS newsfeeds.


  • Deadline: Wednesday, week 3 before the start of class. Unjustified late submission will get you a lesser grade (see the syllabus)
  • Procedure: Use the world classroom to post the public URL. Double check if the site available to the public (e.g. open it with another browser).


  • You may use your real identity or not. That's up to you. All I need is a URL I can connect to.
  • Suggested technology:
  • Grading criteria: see the homework submission form
  • This exercise can evolve into a term project (but must not).

Teaching materials:

  • Creating websites with online services. This short tutorial covers various online web site creation services we will use.
  • Using web widgets. A short introduction on how to use web widgets.
  • Else please consult the help of the service you are interested in. These tools are made for non-technical people and you can figure out yourself how to use them ....

Term project start

See Term project. Homework 2 already can get you started.