[p2pu-dev] idea for a microgrant proposal

zuzel.vp zuzel.vp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 27 02:42:54 UTC 2011

Hi Joe,

If understood correctly what you were discussing in this thread
(correct me if i got something wrong), I think that the next version
of P2PU (Lernanta -- which is based in the new software behind
http://drumbeat.org) will make easier to share content with PlanetMath
(using atom or rss). You can see an example of how this could happen
in the drumbeat site. I am going to use my profile as example but the
same applies for the page of a course which will be the equivalent of
what drumbeat calls projects.

If you take a look at https://www.drumbeat.org/en-US/zuzelvp/, you
will see that I added to websites related to me in my profile (at the
left-bottom of the page): my homepage (http://zuzelvp.com), and a link
to my github account (https://github.com/zuzelvp). After adding those
links, my profile automatically started to grab my activity at
http://zuzelvp.com/?feed=rss2 and https://github.com/zuzelvp.atom and
that is what you can see at the right of the page. At the same time my
profile is associated with https://www.drumbeat.org/en-US/zuzelvp/feed
which other web sites can read. PlanetMath seams to be providing rss
too: http://aux.planetmath.org/doc/rss.html (e.g.,
http://planetmath.org/rss/latestadds.xml), but I don't know if it has
something similar per user (the links listed on that page seam to be
posting the activity happening in all the planet).

Will this kind of interaction fit what you had in mind? What do you
think will have to be added above this to enrich the bi-directional
link between PlanetMath and P2PU?


On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 7:52 PM, Stian Håklev <shaklev at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Joe,
> thanks for clarifying. You are right in that they are a bit different, but
> overlapping, and specifically I think that the kind of design of Lernanta
> that I am proposing would make the kind of special integration that you
> propose much easier...
> Anyway, I think it's definitively important to get these ideas into the
> discussion on the site architecture (I'll ping you when I figure out how
> that discussion will be structured).
> Great ideas
> Stian
> On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 17:03, Joe Corneli <holtzermann17 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Stian:
>> On the technical side there are quite a lot of ideas here, some easier
>> and some harder to implement.
>> A rich bi-directional link between PlanetMath and P2PU has some vital
>> differences from lighter-weight content sharing.  I think with
>> appropriate design for this link, we would pave the way for in-depth
>> collaboration between these and other online communities.  I'd really
>> like to get some use cases figured out: on both the social and
>> technical level, what does PlanetMath need to provide, and what does
>> P2PU need to provide?
>> The way I'm envisioning it now, PlanetMath would provide a place to
>> work on problems (similar in some ways to the current problem solving
>> space at Kahn Academy, but more open, more integrated with the
>> existing encyclopedic knowledge base).  Someone studying math in this
>> space will kick off an activity stream which could be pulled into
>> P2PU.  I'm interested in what happens after that: comments from a
>> course instructor, or from peers in the course?  An overlayed
>> certification layer through P2PU's "badge" system?
>> Starting from the P2PU side, I can imagine a course organizer wanting
>> to use PlanetMath as a place to run the course: they could pick a
>> number of tasks that learners would be advised to work on, and
>> PlanetMath would help provide the needed structure ("tasks" from
>> PlanetMath could potentially be imported into a "syllabus" on P2PU?).
>> Activity associated with the P2PU course would show up transparently
>> in PlanetMath (because it would *be* PlanetMath activity) but it would
>> also appear in the P2PU course in a transparent way as well.  This is
>> similar to what you said about "post by email" for Google Groups.  We
>> want to have "post by email" in Planetary as well -- maybe forum-level
>> mirroring is as simple as adding a CC to some email...
>> Anyway, I'm hoping to have ONE summer intern working on this.  Whether
>> they are funded through a Schools microgrant or through some other
>> source isn't a major concern for me!  I was thinking that the Schools
>> microgrant would subject the idea to the right sort of critique and
>> vetting.  I'm not sure if it would pose too much of a challenge for
>> one intern to be responsible for getting code into these two software
>> packages (Planetary and Lernata), but as you indicate, there are
>> others who can help with this.  I think the (broad) project of "P2PU
>> integrations" overlaps but is not equal to the (deep) project of "P2PU
>> and PlanetMath integration".  The latter is the one I'd like to make a
>> bid for -- but if *everything* is funded, maybe we'll have a couple of
>> interns working on these different tasks who we could conceivably get
>> to talk to one another :).
>> Joe
>> On Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 8:17 PM, Stian Håklev <shaklev at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Hi Joe,
>> >
>> > great idea. I've been thinking a lot about this myself -I've been
>> > meaning to
>> > write up a bunch of my architectural ideas for the new P2PU platform,
>> > but
>> > never got around to it. That work will probably intensify now that a new
>> > tech lead has been hired, so this is very timely.
>> >
>> > I think this is very important - for the entire P2PU, not just SOMF.
>> > Basically, there are two main concerns
>> >
>> > - accessing user statistics (postings, interactions, contributions etc)
>> > for
>> > statistics - we've talked lot's about having "dashboards" that show user
>> > activity across courses to enable "early warning systems", and in the
>> > future
>> > possibly data mining to see what kind of variables are predictive of
>> > user
>> > involvement etc. When a bunch of courses have most of their activity
>> > happening outside of P2PU, the numbers become quite useless. (One
>> > improvement is that hopefully the new site will have a flexible enough
>> > forum
>> > system with full email integration that people won't need to use Google
>> > groups) - but there will still be lot's of other sites which we want
>> > people
>> > to use - from Twitter, to Flickr, to Github. And even internally in
>> > P2PU,
>> > we'll have OSQA, Big Blue Button (how many people participated in a
>> > meeting), the wiki, etherpad, etc.
>> >
>> > - pulling user contributions back into the P2PU platform, or linking to
>> > it -
>> > this both enables P2PU to act as a hub and give an easy overview of all
>> > the
>> > activity that happens - sometimes it might even be valuable to pull
>> > certain
>> > contributions into the platform for archiving (a blog might go down, a
>> > ning
>> > site might become unavailable). this is also important for building
>> > portfolios, peer-grading, badges etc.
>> >
>> > My idea was to create a kind of plugin architecture where people could
>> > write
>> > "connectors", for example I could write a Google Groups connector, which
>> > would enable a course to link up a Google group, someone else could
>> > write a
>> > Flickr connector etc. These could be very simple, using an existing API
>> > (RSS
>> > or activitystrea.ms), but could even be using screenscraping or some
>> > other
>> > mechanism. The important thing is that we wouldn't have to build all
>> > this
>> > into the core code, but just make it available for people who wanted to
>> > create them for different services.
>> >
>> > This is also something that would make our platform much more
>> > interesting
>> > for others to run their courses on.
>> >
>> > I think we should definitively integrate this discussion into the larger
>> > p2pu-dev discussion - maybe we'll need a "reward" for people to
>> > implement
>> > it, maybe we can get a google SoC to write it (feeel free to help John
>> > Britton on his proposal!), or maybe it can be done in other ways.
>> >
>> > Also have a look at at edufeedr from Hans Poldoja, I think he is trying
>> > to
>> > achieve something  abit similar.
>> >
>> > Stian
>> >
>> > On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 07:46, Joe Corneli <holtzermann17 at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Maria and I were talking about this idea.
>> >>
>> >> We would like to make it possible for P2PU users to interact on other
>> >> sites and associate activities that take place on these external sites
>> >> with the user's P2PU account.  Two examples of relevant external sites
>> >> are planetmath.org and github.com.  The idea is that activity in
>> >> "compliant" sites could be slurped into P2PU and, where relevant,
>> >> comments or interaction about this slurped-up content could be sent
>> >> back to the external site.  There are two relevant protocols to work
>> >> with: see http://activitystrea.ms/ and
>> >> http://www.salmon-protocol.org/.
>> >>
>> >> The concrete proposal would be to hire a summer intern for around
>> >> $5000 USD to implement support for this communication link in P2PU and
>> >> PlanetMath.org.  Since ActivityStreams are used very widely on the
>> >> internet, a significant degree of activity *importing* can take place
>> >> from sites like Github that provide ActivityStreams (the Salmon
>> >> Protocol would be useful for bidirectional communication, but it isn't
>> >> yet implemented as widely as ActivityStreams).  The plan would be to
>> >> implement both sides of this connection in a way that would be readily
>> >> portable to other sites that might join the network in the future.
>> >>
>> >> This would address a specific and strongly-felt need at SoMF, namely
>> >> to get learners into environments with strong content-specific support
>> >> for learning mathematics.  But at the same time, there is a much
>> >> broader need across P2PU for effective integration with external
>> >> communities and services.
>> >>
>> >> Please consider this note to be discussed further, then shared further
>> >> to other relevant P2PU lists before fully formalized as a "proposal".
>> >> Another thing to note is that I am, in parallel, applying for funding
>> >> for the Planetary project with Google Summer of Code, which would help
>> >> us deliver the "strong content-specific support for learning
>> >> mathematics".  Comments on the GSoC proposal are also welcome:
>> >> http://piratenpad.de/kwarc-soc -- the main point of relevance for the
>> >> current draft proposal is that we're not expecting this to be an
>> >> entirely off-the-cuff project, but rather something integrated into an
>> >> existing workflow and with additional support from other parties.
>> >>
>> >> There are a number of further questions to consider in further
>> >> developing "use cases" (P2PU courses!) that exploit such a
>> >> bi-directional communication link, and I will forward to those
>> >> discussions.
>> >>
>> >> Regards,
>> >> Joe
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters
>> >
>> >
> --
> http://reganmian.net/blog -- Random Stuff that Matters

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