Tony Hirst – tinkerings with OpenLearn content

October 30, 2007

Presentation slides are up at

OPML – a way of bundling up RSS feeds. Feeds available from OpenLearn:

  • All units (title & link back to unit homepage)
  • Units by topic
  • Unit content – subtle change in that these feeds remain static

OPML feeds (unofficial!) – unit content feed bundles by topic (should be official in January 08)

Can subscribe to RSS content feed and read the content your feed reader. Netvibes OpenLearn universe ( – contains all the OpenLearn content – brought in using the published RSS feeds. Similarly using Grazr feedreader in Facebook (go to to add this FB application).

What can you do with the OpenLearn XML content package?

  • Create an RSS feed out of it, strip out all the assets (eg images, video etc) so can now get a feed of all the images or mp3s in OpenLearn.
  • Extract all the links from a course unit, and use this as a bookmark file – might not want to visit these as you’re reading the actual content.
  • Create a pdf version.

OpenLearn Daily ( rather than getting all the RSS content in one hit – whereas with OL daily you can subscribe and just be provided with one item per day.

OpenLearn custom search engine (using Google) – to get around the ‘not great’ search provided by the general OpenLearn site. – with Corank you can create your own digg-like site – and users can comment/vote on the courses/topics.

Outside from OpenLearn, using the RSS feeds from MIT OCW to the create a new course out of these feeds –


One Response to “Tony Hirst – tinkerings with OpenLearn content”

  1. […] Spent the last couple of days at the OpenLearn conference, which was all quite interesting, although maybe not directly relevant to my day-to-day work – the things that were really relevant I should know about already!! – but interesting nonetheless. I won’t write about all the presentations I went to as there was some active blogging on all the sessions – so pointless for me to replicate all that here. The sessions I found most interesting were… John Seely Brown, Alan Cann, Erik Duval, Ray Corrigan and Tony Hirst. […]

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