sch-webapps: aggregator for web-based educational material
This is an idea for a new
sch-webapps application that should replace sch-webapp-launcher and which may be implemented within a GSoC project.
Photodentro is the official repository of K12 educational material for Greece. It contains more than 15,000 learning objects or applications which are implemented in HTML, Adobe Flash, Java or other technologies, and it's used by thousands of students and teachers. Unfortunately, it has the following limitations:
- Flash based applications (2,760) are no longer viewable since Adobe deprecated Flash at the end of 2020.
- Applications can't be operated offline, for example when Internet connectivity is an issue.
- There's no way for users to create their own collections, which would ease navigation.
- Finally, teachers should be able to expose their offline collections on the school LAN so that students would use them via any browser.
sch-webapps application should be developed that would address these four limitations, hugely benefiting K12 education and possibly many others.
- Documentation for installing
sch-webappsin Windows and Debian or Ubuntu Linux along with its dependencies: the nodejs environment and the Palemoon browser for viewing Flash applications.
- sch-webapps should be able to start a web server at http://localhost:7100 on demand.
- LAN users would connect there and be able to browse the local collection of web applications, similar to https://ts.sch.gr/software.
- The local user (e.g. the teachers) would in addition see an administration page, from where they'd be able to add or remove applications.
- Creating a local collection should be as easy as pasting a list of URLs like "http://photodentro.edu.gr/lor/r/8521/10760". The aggregator should then automatically locate and download application.zip and metadata.xml, decompress and parse them, and generate a main index page with all the locally installed applications.
- The main index.html should be viewable even via the file:/// protocol, without a web service.
- Download a few web applications from http://photodentro.edu.gr/lor and decompress them in the same folder to manually create a "collection".
- Then design an example main index web page for that collection, similar to https://ts.sch.gr/software.
- Finally, upload the result to a github/gitlab pages repository.