What mean ye SPLOT?
Smallest/Simplest * Possible/Portable * Open/Online * Learning/Living * Tool/Technology
Where did it come from? Wander down the rabbit hole of the origin story.
SPLOT comes from the conviction that there is great value in learners and educators sharing their work on the open web. All too often, doing so gets derailed by two problems. First, open web tools are perceived by users as difficult to use, and by organizations as complicated to support. This is why most organizations direct or even restrict activity into a consolidated Learning Management System (LMS). Second, online identity and privacy concerns (and laws) scare people off. Not every learner is ready to share their work with the world on a medium that “never forgets”. We know that most free online communication tools capture and exploit the data of their users.
So the tools on this site are designed with two core principles in mind:
- make it as easy as possible to post activity to the open web in an appealing and accessible way
- allow users to do so without creating accounts, or providing any required personal information
We are mindful of Norman’s Law of eLearning Tool Convergence, that tools will tend to become more complex and LMS-like as they are more widely used. SPLOT tools are deliberately limited in scope. They try to meet a single need, and to do so as simply as possible.
The tools here are built utilizing the WordPress platform, and should be readily sharable to other WP installations. If you would like to use a SPLOT tool in your environment, please let us know.
But there is no reason that the problems that SPLOT tools try to address cannot be addressed in other frameworks. If this approach appeals, we hope others will find better ways to support more accessible, sustainable, and user-friendly ways to get publicly-engaged learning happening on the open web.