2.2 Social search widget: Binocs
The ROLE project has developed the Binocs widget and customised it to allow you to search for a variety of content formats as well as enabling you to search across a series of selected databases or content repositories, some of which contain OER materials. Google powers the Binocs widget and this is why it is sometimes called a gadget.
We are presenting Binocs as a Social search widget because it allows you to not only rate the resulting materials that you request it to search for but also permits you to share them via email, social networks or through a learning management system (LMS).
The Binocs Widget:
Additionally the Binocs widget also lets you search for particular and different types of media materials. Here are some examples of the media types Binocs can look for:
In its current configuration (summer 2011) the Binocs widget searches through either individually selected or all of the following content repositories for your enquiry:
- YouTube: an extensive collection of uploaded and shared video content
- OpenScout: a collection point for OER materials related to business & management
- SlideShare: comprises of various PowerPoint, Keynote, PDF or OpenOffice presentations
- Wikipedia: presents peer definitions of almost everything
- Globe: offers access to a variety of open repositories
- NYTimes: archive of the US based newspaper
- Scribd: access to different documents such as PDF, .doc, etc
- The Guardian: archive of the UK based newspaper
- 5min: a collection of instructional videos
- ICOPER: a repository that harvests materials from worldwide OER repositories
After you have used the Binocs widget you can rate the search results, or share them with others via email, social networks or a learning management system. These social features allow you to gather information in an engaging and collaborative way whilst deepening your knowledge of a particular subject.