Research news and notes from the National Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Education
Digital Library (NSDL) Program [Back Issues]

The Whiteboard Report
March 2008, Issue #133



NSDL Continues Rollout On iTunes U
A complete description of NSDL's new venture on iTunes U has been posted on the NSDL site. iTunes U is a free service that gives users of Apple's iTunes access to audio and video from leading educational institutions. The Beyond Campus section of iTunes U includes museums, public radio and television stations, and other non-profit educational providers. The launch of NSDL on iTunes U Beyond Campus includes content from Pathways partners like AMSER, ChemEd DL, and the Exploratorium, plus material from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Popular materials include ChemEd DL's popular Chemistry Comes Alive! Videos, and interviews with NCAR scientists on the causes and evidence for global climate change. The iTunes U page on includes instructions on how to download a free copy of the software and get started.
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NMC Virtual Campus Turns Two
The New Media Consortium's virtual campus on turns two years old this month. Boot up your avatar and drop by to attend events at an online amphitheatre or share ideas in a virtual teacher's lounge. On March 24 at 11 am Pacific time, the NMC is invited to hear Byron Reeves, a professor at Stanford, co-founder of Media X, and research leader at the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments (LIFE) Center. LIFE is an NSF-funded interdisciplinary collaboration between learning scientists at the University of Washington, Stanford University, SRI International, and other institutions across the country.
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ChemEd DL Prepares For Workshop
The Chemical Education Digital Library (ChemEd DL) and several partners are planning a workshop for the 20th annual Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, to be held July 27-31 at Indiana University in Bloomington. Participants will get a tour of ChemEdDL's resources and learn how to use them in their classrooms. The Interactive Online Network of Inorganic Chemists (IONiC) will demonstrate their new social networking and learning site called Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr). The workshop will also demonstrate the extremely popular Lather Printing and Apple Fool activities. Each participant will receive a complimentary month long subscription to the JCE online.
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High School For The Next 15 Years
Projections released today by The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education show that the number of high school graduates in the US will peak at 3,340,000 in 2007-08, decline modestly to 3,189,000 in 2013-14, and then rebound to near its 2007 level (3,362,000) in 2021-22. But underneath those placid national averages will be rapid changes in the geography and ethnicity of graduates. The number is projected to increase at least 20 percent over the next decade in six states (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Texas, and Utah), and to decline at least 10 percent in eight states (Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North and South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming). The number of non-Hispanic white graduates is projected to decline from 1,903,000 in 2007-08 to 1,588,000 in 2021-22. But the number of Hispanic graduates is expected to increase from 465,000 to 780,000, and the number of Asian graduates from 159,000 to 244,000.
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NSDL Wiki's Short Lists For Teachers
During his life, Thomas Midgley, Jr. was honored for the benefits his work brought to humanity. He never imagined that he would also be identified as the person who caused more damage to the global environment than anyone else in history ever did. Midgley was the chemist responsible for the widespread use of tetraethyl lead and chloroflurocarbons (CFCs) in the 20th century. Teaching his life story is a great way to frame discussions about the benefits and drawbacks of using these chemicals, and also what happens when lab discoveries become big business. Resources on Midgley, lead, and CFCs are the subjects of the latest Short List in the new NSDL Wiki. Short Lists are a collaborative online environment where registered users can organize, create, and annotate resources. Online community members can also use the wiki's extensions in their own MediaWiki projects.



Museum Computer Network 08 Seeks Ideas
The Museum Computer Network is accepting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and good ideas, but act fast: the deadline for submission is March 21. MCN 08 will take place in Washington, DC on November 12-15. Proposals are solicited in any of the following areas, as well as on other topics: Social Networking, Web 2.0 & Web 3.0; Superior Content, Superior Delivery; Digital Readiness; Museum Information Standards; Issues of National Concern for Museums; Opportunities for Emerging Professionals; and Leadership, Sustainability, Accountability. Any and all ideas are welcome. For more information, contact Program Chair Holly Witchey, hwitchey AT
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Steve Hargadon's Ode To Web 2.0
Steve Hargadon, host of the EdTech Live podcasts and director of the Open Technologies project at The Consortium for School Networking, raised a lot of dust with a long blog post on March 4 called "Web 2.0 Is The Future of Education." "I believe that the read/write web, or what we are calling web 2.0, will culturally, socially, intellectually, and politically have a greater impact than the advent of the printing press," he wrote. "I believe that we cannot even begin to imagine the changes that are going to take place as the two-way nature of the Internet begins to flower." Comments are welcome.

National Math Panel Issues Report
A report issued on March 13 by The National Mathematics Advisory Panel contains 45 findings and recommendations on instructional practices, materials, professional development, and assessments. The report says that debates over the relative importance of conceptual understanding, computational and procedural fluency, and problem solving skills are misguided, because the skills are equally important. It also says that knowledge of fractions is the most important foundational skill not developed among American students, and that more students must be offered an authentic algebra course in eighth grade.
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Classic Clips From Sesame Street
The website for Sesame Street now offers a beta version of a service showing hundreds of video clips from the show's early years. Grownups all over the world are getting back in touch with their inner six-year-olds by watching Bert rave about his bottle cap collection or Cookie Monster go on a rampage. But the main goal of the project is to improve the way Sesame Street's educational messages are delivered to actual six-year-olds and their teachers. Sesame Workshop is a not-for-profit group that encourages teachers to use its characters freely, but quality control issues have arisen in the last few years. "We wanted to make a free service so people can use Sesame Street the way it should be used," says Miles Ludwig, a VP and digital producer at Sesame Workshop.
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Published from 2000 to September 2009, NSDL Whiteboard Report Archives provide access to prior issues of the bi-weekly newsletter published by NSDL. To subscribe to current news and information about NSDL, go to the NSDL Community Network site, register as a user, subscribe to and participate in selected features found there. For more information contact Eileen McIlvain