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

The National Science Digital Library Whiteboard Report

September 2008 Issue #139






Get Ready for Washington: NSDL Annual Meeting Updates

By Sarah Holsted The 2008 NSDL Annual Meeting is almost upon us. Below are some brief reflections on the planning process and an overview of the program. We could not have reached this point (program finalized, tasty things ordered for breakfast, handouts ready) without the tireless efforts of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, and most especially Donna Cummings. I said it last year, and since the same people volunteered to help this year, I can still say that this is truly the best committee I have served on. Throughout this process, they have been optimistic, realistic, and fun. Thank you!


In 2009, the meeting planning responsibilities will pass to Susan Jesuroga. I have accepted a position with Columbia University, which begins October 6(!), and will not be able to participate in daily NSDL activities. I have enjoyed working (and skiing, flying, ice skating, art museum-ing, hiking, shooting pool, shopping, drinking and dining), with you. In spite of, or because of, these collective activities, there is NSDL. It's a small world, so I expect we will persist in all these pursuits, including making a difference in the research and practice of STEM education at all levels.


This year, the program for the 2008 NSDL Annual Meeting highlights the complementary efforts of mature NSDL projects. While 39 individual proposals were submitted, several of them covered such similar topics that the Planning Committee took great pains to suggest that presenters collaborate to create cohesive sessions. We realize this required from presenters a certain amount of sacrifice (me, me, me!) and extra effort (phone calls, emails, shared slides). However, we believe that this format will highlight the collective work from NSDL projects.

Significant results have been achieved in professional development and outreach with K12 and higher education audiences; and, in web-based services that allow educators and learners to use, and re-use, the burgeoning collections in NSDL and NSDL Pathways. The program also highlights NSDL projects' efforts to employ high-speed networks that enable the delivery and use of rich media content, identify the usage data that supports webmetric analysis of networks, and facilitate connections between personal and organizational networks to further the use of online content in support of STEM education. Two poster sessions and a Lightning Talk session provide opportunities for new and returning projects to mingle, and a plenary session of the meeting completes the transition to a new leadership structure for NSDL with the advent of a Resource Center and a Technical Network Services Provider. There are plenty of breaks, coffee and spaces for the conversations that are always the highlight of NSDL Annual Meetings.


Annual Meeting handouts are available for download at the AM website.

Annual Meeting 2008 Blog

Tune into NSDL Road Reports for up-to-the-minute blog posts about the NSDL Annual Meeting like this one: "Wondering how to design an evaluation with limited or no funding? Have questions about what to do with the data you've been collecting but don't know what to do with? Bring your questions to the 1:15 session on Wednesday (Sharing Evaluation Expertise and Results). We'll discuss evaluation and take a stab at answering your questions."

Rolling Out NSF's NSDL Awards for 2008-2009

Eighteen National Science Digital Library (NSDL) awards have been announced by the National Science Foundation. Current NSDL awards include new work in Pathways, services and research projects.

Pathways and Projects Updates

Download NSDL Pathways Highlights and NSDL Projects Updates from the Annual Meeting web site.

NSDL Pathways portals are...

--Educational level and discipline-specific views of NSDL
--Built by leading organizations trusted by their target audiences
--Provide resources, tools, services, and professional development
--A method for professional organizations to engage and serve their membership communities
--Serve as stewards of content and services for their specific audiences
--Demonstrate the value of NSDL in a variety of educational settings

New Web Site for Engineering Pathway

The Engineering Pathway (EP) recently redesigned its website to better engage the younger generation by incorporating findings and recommendations from the recent National Academy of Engineering study, Changing the Conversation. The new Engineering Pathway logo connotes movement and adventure--paths that provide opportunities to learn, connect, create, dream, design and do. The tagline messages encourage the use of EP resources to "shape the future" and "turn ideas into reality." And new images, representing our digital resources, picture all kinds of people engaged in a myriad of engineering activities. Engineering Pathway is proud to introduce its redesign in support of a more public-friendly computing and engineering education message. Visit today at!

NSDL Science Literacy Map Tool Adds 41 New Maps and "Student Misconceptions" Feature

Teachers work to connect broad learning concepts, standards and educational resources in K12 classrooms to ensure that their students' progress is both developmentally sound and measurable. The new version of the National Science Digital Library's Science Literacy Map (SLM) tool is an easy-to-use service that finds and presents students with the right resource at just the right moment. SLM provides visualizations for how learning concepts, standards, and educational resources are interrelated. In addition teachers can access the right classroom resources in time to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts linked to associated education standards for students at different stages of learning. This release of the Science Literacy Map tool adds 41 new maps and two new chapters from Volume II of the AAAS Atlas for Science Literacy and makes available for the first time student misconceptions sections from the Atlas.

The NSDL Science Literacy Map Tool:
-- Zeros in on content aligned to to AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy-Atlas for Science Literacy;
--Provides just-in-time quality resources about a specific topic and;
--Presents quick, user-friendly views of of related benchmarks and teaching points.


Educause 2008

IT in Higher Education will once again be in the spotlight at Educause 2008 to be held in Orlando, FL October 28 - 31. Among familiar offerings focused around the theme of "Interaction, Ideas, Inspiration," this popular conference is also "going green" for 2008. Efforts that focus on offsetting Educause's carbon footprint are part of a long list of Green Initiatives. Organizers have promised to "Use 100% recycled, reusable tote bags and name badge wallets."


"Pat the Librarian" Featured in APS Forum on Education

Pat Viele, NSDL blogger and the physics and astronomy librarian at Cornell University has an article about information fluency for physics featured in the Summer 2008 newsletter of the APS Forum on Education.

Timelines and review process for the Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) solicitation

The timelines and review process for the Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) solicitation, are changing in 2009. A revised solicitation containing these changes will be posted shortly. These planned revisions reflect NSF's experience with the first round of proposals received in response the previous CDI solicitation. For information about CDI, see

Highlights of the revisions to the forthcoming CDI solicitation include the following:

* No Letters of Intent: The "Letter of Intent" stage has been eliminated. The review process is a two-stage process, as before, with a preliminary proposal submission and a subsequent full proposal submission by invitation only.
* Deadlines:
- The anticipated revised deadline for submission of preliminary proposals is in the late Fall of 2008.
- The precise deadline for submission of preliminary proposals will be scheduled on or later than 90 days after the date of solicitation posting, and will be announced in the solicitation document.
- The deadline for submission of full proposals will be announced in the solicitation document.
* Keywords Required: Preliminary proposal submission instructions will be modified to include refined keyword choices.
* No Type IIIs: In Fiscal Year 2009, only Type I and Type II CDI proposals will be considered.


Large Hadron Rap

Educators often look for ways to engage students with media. A creative team from the CERN Large Hadron Collider found a unique way to tell the world why physicists are so interested in the results of the collision of sub atomic particles at high speeds in a new music video seen by millions of Internet viewers. To listen to the CERN scientists 'splain it in their own special way visit the "Large Hadron Rap" now playing on You Tube.

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