GlewTiles UI – an OpenSource alternative

The aim of Glew was always to develop a system to bring together the best of the web and OpenSource and free software tools for learning. The core Glew portal is built with Drupal (version 7 of the OpenSource CMS which other sites such as whitehouse.org, MTV UK and many others) and brings together Google Apps for Education and hosted applications such as WordPress (both ePortfolios and blogs), Mahara (dedicated ePortfolio software), Moodle and Limesurvey.  But the aim has always been to add the best of the web for learning to the mix. But how?

Every learner is different, every teacher is different, all need to be able to customise their experience to meet their needs. Glew needed a simple way to allow users to customise their Glew launchpad with the best tools and services on the web.  But we also expect more from our online tools now – simply serving up a set of static shortcuts for users (see my post on the current state of RM Unify) is not acceptable. We want to be notified about the headlines in our RSS feeds, the number of new messages in our mail and much more.  Our interface has to feed us the information we expect, streamlining how we learn and work by providing “at a glance” information and notifications.

GlewTiles UI live in Glew
GlewTiles UI live in Glew

GlewTiles, a port of the OpenSource DropTiles project written in .NET C by Omar Al Zabir, is my attempt to provide this new simple interface. Over the two weeks of the Christmas holidays 2012,  I converted DropTiles to a Drupal 7 Theme, debugging and re-writing both JavaScript and .Net code (to PHP) to provide a simple framework on which to build interactive and static apps for Glew. I have made the Drupal theme code opensource at Drupal.org and will also soon be committing updated code and the rest of the core Glew code to Google code as well.

Glew App Library
Glew App Library

With this new interface you can drag/drop your AppTiles and LiveTiles to the positions you want, you can remove tiles by dragging them to the trashcan and you can add new ones (or the old ones) by selecting Apps from the toolbar and adding them from the AppLibrary.

Now that the framework and the initial AppTiles(static) and a few LiveTiles are available, I will be adding more LiveTiles to the service. Have a look at Glew now and please suggest live tiles that you would like to see.

Share
%d bloggers like this: