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Mark Frydenberg: Mashups and Web 2.0 in the Information Technology Classroom

Web 2.0 at a Business University:


Advances in tech enable new software tools for collaboration and sharing

Teaching IT Concepts Through the Lens of Web 2.0


Appreciate, Participate, Investigate, Communicate, Collaborate, Create.

Students have already been on Facebook – so they have been using Web 2.0 tech and haven’t necessarily known it.

They will look at RSS, Twitter, Skype, Ning, Google Docs and Spreadsheets at the same time.

Really wants students to create own web tool. Then introduces mahsups.

Mashups are a web 2.0 construct. Take data from one application and use it in another.

Use a mashup engine, then can run it in your web browser.

Teaching Programming Concepts Visually:




Wanted students to create Web 2.0 apps that use data that they already have access to.

Microsoft Popfly:

-developed for non-professional products division

-visually build real-world applications without code

-went into Beta Oct. 17th, 2007

-Share on web site, blog, or Facebook.

Intel Mashup maker

Google has one as well

Yahoo Pipes – more complex programming skills needed.

Mark decided to go with Popfly b/c no specialized skills needed.

Had to talk about XML, RSS – where data resides. How can Facebook display your friends, flickr, etc.

Web services

Service oriented architecture

Could learn about objects, app development

“Living in an Object Oriented World”

Flickr Blocks

For Popfly – you need a windows live ID or a hotmail account. Also need Silverlight.

In popfly – left-hand tool bar provides a selection of block you can use.

Open a block, type in a search term: skyscraper – then search gives data from wikipedia. Can separate out form and content. Can view raw data.

then can go to display block – find carousel display option, then link it to wikipedia. Can isolate where you want image to come from – select “thumbnail.” Then it creates a spinning carousel image set of skyscrapers. [It looks rather nice, quite impressive.]

[Can extrude data from sites and recombine in your own visual display.]

Can take “Virtual Earth” – mapping. Wikipedia gave lat-long for skyscrapers. In Virtual Earth can create a map with actual accurate locations and visuals of the skyscrapers.

There is a lot more you can do, with all of the various types of blocks. This is a very shiny {Firefly} technology and easy to use.

Can have very complicated block arrangements utilizing many functionalities.

Can take data from different sources and combine it, seemingly infinitely.

Took 4 class hours on Popfly capabilities –

1) Images

2)RSS feeds, Text processing

3)Facebook, Maps, Geo-Tracking

4)Extending popfly – create a border for your popfly block; create a mashup with the largest number possible of unique blocks.

Created a guide for students and faculty about creating Popfly mashups.

Mark created 9 tutorials for microsoft’s popfly web site:

Students got to see what it was like to build software apps without knowing any code.

Important to have proof of concept. That your idea is technically feasible.

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