Sophie: Rich-Media Books could be eportfolios

The Institute for the Future of the Book has released a new open-source system called Sophie for authoring and reading rich media documents in a networked environment.  Sophie documents are not websites;  they are more like media-enabled PDF’s with embedded resources.

Sophie books can be based on templates.  Along with page-layout and text formatting, Sophie provides for embedded and linked resources (including time-based media), and audio annotations.  A “timeline” feature permits time-based media and other events (such as turning a page) to be arranged in time, creating a presentation.  Sophie supports reader comments via a Sophie server which can distribute the comments to all copies of the Sophie book.

I imagine a disaggregated ePortfolio system, in which collection can happen in any store (file, email, db, whatever);  a Sophie template is chosen for a particular ePortfolio purpose and audience;  a reflection is developed as a Sophie book, with evidence selected and embedded (or linked if appropriate);  the Sophie book can be “turned in”;  reviewer comments are distributed automatically to the author and other interested parties who downloaded the book.


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