Beta Version of MAISON Accessible StrandMap Search Now Available
K. Selcuk Candan who is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering at Arizona State University has announced that a beta version of MAISON
has been released. The goal of the "Middleware for Accessible Information Spaces on NSDL (MAISON)" is to improve participation to NSF's
National Science Digital Library (NSDL) by teachers, librarians, and learners who are blind. MAISON is enhancing the accessibility of NSDL, its internal and external resources and existing
services (such as strand maps of educational benchmarks). MAISON is implemented as a middleware service to help minimize the extraneous load on users who are blind, while they search and
access to materials from the large and diverse collection of resources available on NSDL. Relying on cutting-edge, context-aware segmentation, filtering and summarization, and concept
propagation techniques, the middleware provides information space adaptation, reduction, and preview services through open web-based service APIs to enable implementation of informative
navigation interfaces that are able to reduce the complexity of the information space and provide previews to prevent user disorientation.
The MAISON CSIP-Accessible
(CSIP-A) web interface, underlying the MAISON Accessible StrandMap Search Interface (Beta version) takes (in addition to a set of search keywords) various adaptation options that are used
for adapting the CSIP strand map results based on the user's preferences. These adaptation options include
- Grade/topic focus: This tells the MAISON middleware whether
the adaptation should be grade- (or row-) centric or topic- (or column-) centric.
- Clustering: If this option is yes, related benchmark nodes of the strand map maybe
clustered together to reduce the number of nodes to be presented and the links that has to be followed by the user who is blind.
- Link preview: This link previews are
annotations for helping the user who is blind to decide whether to follow a forward or backward link.
- Context keywords: Different from the search keywords, these
keywords do not decide which benchmarks will be included in the result. Instead, they affect benchmark clustering, concept extraction and propagation, and textual summary generation
- Grade Level: This option helps the user who is blind focus the adaptation to a particular grade level.
The ongoing extensions to the
MAISON middleware include document, web page, and web site adaptation and preview APIs for improved access to external digital resources link to the underlying information
The MAISON Accessible StrandMap Search Interface (Beta version) is currently available at http://maison.asu.edu
Clarkson University Engineers Win 2009 Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering
The NSDL Engineering Pathway and TeachEngineering have announced the winner of the inaugural Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering. Co-authors and engineers Susan Powers and Jan
DeWaters of the NSF GK-12 project at Clarkson University collected the winning prize for their original middle school curricular unit, "Energy Systems and Solutions," which is now part of the
TeachEngineering digital library collection. The unit is a suite of eighth-grade lessons and activities that provide a comprehensive, practical, and engaging investigation into energy and how it is
used - presented from a real-world, applied engineering point of view. Sponsored by Engineering Pathway
and the TeachEngineering digital library
, the competition is a biennial award recognizing the creation and implementation of outstanding K-12
engineering curriculum, a growing approach to teaching K-12 science and math fundamentals. For more information, see: http://www.engineeringpathway.com/ep/k12/award/
Engineer Powers said, "We are honored to receive this
inaugural award. It helps to validate our approach to introducing engineering concepts into science classes through relevant issues and project based learning experiences. We are especially
committed to increasing the energy literacy of our youth - who will have to tackle significant energy issues as either consumers or STEM professionals. The availability of our project based
curriculum in the TeachEngineering digital library will help teachers from across the country to help youngsters increase their energy literacy and improve their ability to think like an engineer."
The co-recipients shared a $1,000 award and receive recognition on the TeachEngineering and Engineering Pathway digital library websites. Powers also received $1,500 toward
registration, travel, and accommodations to attend the ASEE Conference in Austin. Powers is associate dean for research and graduate studies, and professor of civil and environmental engineering at
the Coulter School of Engineering, Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. She also is director of the Clarkson NSF GK-12
project. DeWaters is a PhD candidate in environmental science and engineering at the Coulter School.
The winning unit
of eight lessons and 19 hands-on, project-based activities in which students explore energy production and consumption issues from everyday life, learning about our nation's energy situation and
basic energy and physics concepts. Through engaging activities and the engineering problem-solving approach, students apply what they've learned to a culminating real-life project that reduces
fossil fuel use.
The winning curricular unit is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant nos. DUE-0428127 and DGE-0338216, from the NSF GK-12
and Distinguished Teaching Scholars programs.
In addition, two finalists were recognized: Terry Carter of the Vanderbilt University Research Experiences for Teachers
) in Nashville, Tenn., for his seventh-grade Laser Light Properties: Protecting the Mummified Troll!
unit, and Travis M. Doll of
the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department
, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., for his eighth-grade Sound Booth Construction
The winning and finalists' curricula will be made freely available to teachers and educators through Engineering Pathway and the TeachEngineering digital library-online
resource collections supported by the NSF National Science Digital Library (NSDL)
. The high-quality, classroom-tested TeachEngineering lessons engage
students in science and math study with connections relevant to their lives and their futures. TeachEngineering
searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with 750+ free, teacher-tested standards-based K-12 lessons and activities that engage students and enhance science and math learning
through the use of hands-on engineering. TeachEngineering was primarily created through support from the National Science Foundation's GK-12 Program and NSDL. The Engineering Pathway
is a portal to high-quality teaching and learning resources in applied science and math, engineering, computer
science/information technology and engineering technology, for use by K-12 and university educators and students. Engineering Pathway is the engineering education "wing" of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL)
NSDL at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer Meeting
The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer Meeting
was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, July 25 - 29, 2009 where
, NSDL's Physics and Astromomy Pathway and CSERD
, NSDL's Computational Science
Pathway were featured in presentations and workshops throughout the meeting. Highlights included the "Taste of Technology" workshop, and two sessions of invited talks: "High Performance Computing
on the Desktop" and "Computational Modeling in the Introductory Physics Course." Wolfgang Christian and Bruce Mason presented for ComPADRE and Dave Joiner and Bob Panoff presented the Computational
Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD).
Resources to help you utilize the Periodic Table Live! (PTL!)
The Chemical Education Digital Library has another new resource. If you head over to the "ChemEd Courses" you'll notice a new, open enrollment course titled "Using the Periodic
Table Live! in your classroom." This course currently provides 6 worksheets to use with your students in the PTL! covering a variety of topics, focusing on Periodic Trends like atomic
radius and electronegativity. But you can also find a worksheet that teaches students about carbon and one that guides an exploration of any element in detail using the PTL!. Check back to
see updates and new worksheets.
Optical or Invisibility Cloak Resource from the Engineering Pathway
Ever wish you had an "invisibility cloak"? A team of researchers at UC Berkeley is bringing us closer to the possibility by creating an "optical cloak"
from nanostructured silicon that conceals the
presence of objects placed under it from optical detection. This is just one of many exciting resources from our newest collection - Educational Digital Library for the Center for Scalable and
Integrated Nanomanufacturing (SINAM
) - that is in the spotlight
at Engineering Pathway this month. SINAM is an environment dedicated to multi-disciplinary and collaborative science that creates opportunities for industrial quantum-leaps in nanotechnology. One
of their most recent advancements is an optical invisibility cloak. The Engineering Pathway-SINAM partnership provides the NSDL with educational resources associated with a high profile Engineering
Research Center. Visit the SINAM collection today!
NSDL Interactivate at Notre Dame
Dr. Bob Panoff of the Shodor Education Foundation presented two workshops on NSDL resources in support of computational thinking at the University of Notre Dame last month to a total of
over 50 K-12 teachers and half a dozen students. The first of these, a 2-day Interactivate workshop, brought together mathematics teachers from grades 4 - 12 to explore dynamic modeling in
mathematics and to begin the process of aligning
with Indiana state standards. Many participants
, particularly elementary school teachers, requested follow-up sessions devoted to
their grade levels.
Respondents to a survey about the Interactivate workshop said that they felt much more comfortable using computational science tools in their classrooms (95%
strongly or somewhat agreed with that statement). Also, 100% of the respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that the workshop's attempt "to invite participants into collaborative relationships with
one another and with university partners to foster vibrant STEM community and a rich STEM culture in Michiana" was clear to them and accomplished by the workshop as a whole.
high school teacher at the Interactivate workshop wrote: "I really like the Shodor
stuff and the fact that they are linked to other
great resources that I can rely on to be usable without so much time and investigation on my own. I especially like the NSDL
stuff. I also noticed on the
NSDL page that they have some iTunes
stuff . When I explored the iTunes stuff last night I noticed on the side bar (if you are familiar with
iTunes) iTunes U. It is really useful stuff! It has movie clips, podcasts, and other media stuff for both my own studies and for classroom use. I also found some stuff for high school chemistry
that looks to be a collaborative system developed by Shodor and UNC. It has stuff for most chapters of intro chem and I think it could be useful in my chem class, Chem
Images from the July 22-23 Interactivate Workshop can be found here
Dynamic Simulation and Agent Modeling Physics Workshop
On July 30, Bob Panoff led an additional 25 physics teachers (about half local, and half members of the national Virtual QuarkNet Center) in a one-day introduction to dynamic
simulation and agent modeling, featuring NSDL, Interactivate tools, Excel and Agent Sheets. While no formal evaluation was conducted, teachers were excited about the workshop.
One seasoned QuarkNet teacher blogged: "Wow!! the possibilities for helping students understand that graphs have real meaning. The fact that they represent what is
happening is often not obvious to students. The fact that equations represent what is really happening in the world around them does not cross most of their minds. With the tools from
shodor, it should become obvious to students. Maybe we can help them understand that we did not come up with equations to make their lives miserable, to make science hard to learn or to
simplify the science. Equations are a model for reality!!!!!!!"
Report from the ChemEd DL Workshops
The ChemEd DL has had a busy summer. On Tuesday July 14th ChemEd DL participated in the new, online, NSDL Brown Bag series of webinars inviting participants to learn more about
some of the free resources at the ChemEd DL. We focused on the Periodic Table Live!, Molecules 360, ChemEd courses, ChemPRIME and ChemPaths. With nearly 90 participants and lots of great
feedback at the webseminar it was a success.
On Tuesday July 21st ChemEd DL hosted a workshop for people living in Wisconsin. In this hands on workshop participants
explored the ChemEd DL with guidance. All the bases were covered and participants saw how to find and use everything from Molecules 360 to the ChemCollective's Murder Mystery: Mixed
Reception. Some participants drove a 100 miles to attend!
CALL: Participate in the NSDL 2009 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is soliciting proposals for presentations at the 2009 NSDL Annual Meeting "From Digital Libraries to Cyberlearing", November 17-19 in Washington,
D.C. Proposals are welcomed from both the NSDL community and from individuals and groups not directly affiliated with an NSDL-funded project. The Committee encourages all projects to share their
experiences and successes, and to raise issues in six specific areas of interest across NSDL.
In 2008, the NSDL Annual Meeting highlighted activities that are pushing the
boundaries of digital libraries by finding ways to weave together learning and technology in our highly connected world. Presentations also underscored the challenges of working within the evolving
national infrastructure while producing real results in the classroom. For 2009, proposals should explore issues and report on activities building on this transition from library to
This year the Committee is looking for submissions in one of six topical areas. The six categories for presentations include:
- Evaluation and Impact: Focus on efforts and results to measure the effects of NSDL in real educational settings, and to document impacts
as observed from the STEM teacher and learner audiences of NSDL projects;
- Outreach and Professional Development: Outline models,
research or designs of activities implemented that promote the use of NSDL in alignment with instructional practice;
- Research Findings:
Present cumulative experiences and compelling narratives about ongoing, or concluded, research (e.g., technology, education, policy) within the context of the NSDL goals to support effective usage
of library materials;
- Sustainability: Describe strategies for sustaining your work within a broader vision for NSDL while keeping pace
the evolving national STEM research and education infrastructure;
- Services, Discoverability and Technology: Demonstrate tools and
technology developed to enable the creation, discovery and adoption of digital materials tailored for use with today's learners;
Development: Advance the craft of digital library building by presenting strategies and software for library building, working with standards, archiving and other library tools
needed to ensure the utility and integrity of library collections.
The Committee continues to encourage presentations that incorporate various media (e.g., video
clips, podcasts, blogs), which further underscore the movement from Libraries to Learning. Session Lengths & Formats
The Planning Committee
solicits proposals in these six topical areas that also speak to the broader meeting theme. Sessions will range from 30 to 60 minutes, as appropriate. When organizing sessions, projects are
encouraged to collaborate with one another or with individuals or organizations not directly affiliated with an NSDL project.
The following session types will be available for the 2009
meeting: Panels, Presentations, Computer Labs, and Lightning Talks. Please read the suggestions about session formats below; refer to the Proposal Submission Process FAQ; and as always, contact the
Planning Committee with questions.
How to Submit a Proposal Proposals will be due by midnight of August 28. NOTE: There will not be
an extension of this deadline.
- Panel or Presentation, up to 30 minutes: This time would support an update on several facets of one project's activities, or several
projects could report on related activities.
- Panel or Presentation, up to 60 minutes: This time would support a panel presentation comprising several perspectives on an issue
or an in-depth examination of one significant issue.
- Computer Lab: These sessions do not have to follow a specific format, though we ask that proposals describe an engaging and
interactive session, resulting in tangible outcomes for participants. Possible session formats could include workshops or training on tools and technology, or hands-on demonstrations of site
features or activities. Some examples include: train-the-trainer sessions on delivering a specific workshop curriculum, learning to use an NSDL service such as Content Clips or CWIS, or learning
how to de-bug a particular piece of software. We do not plan to provide computers this year unless specifically requested by the presenter, since most attendees bring their personal laptops to the
- Lightning Talk: Lightning talks are 5-minute presentations on any topic and are a great way to quickly share detailed information. The style is informal, focused,
informative, and can be as prepared or as spontaneous as the presenter chooses. You do not need to organize a whole session of lighting talks. The Planning Committee will organize the talks into
Because the meeting space is limited this year, the Committee may not be able to accommodate all presentations as in past years and you may be
asked to change the length or format of your proposed activity. Please check the proposal FAQ
for general information.
Although the complete Annual Meeting site is not yet available, you may fill out a template for submitting your proposal at http://annualmeeting.nsdl.org/proposal_registration.php
. We will notify presenters by September 4.
will accept poster submissions starting in early September. If you have any questions, please contact Susan Jesuroga
, the meeting
MSP2 Summer Tech Talk
Join an MSP2 Summer Tech Talk to get the answers
about digital tools for teaching and learning that other people already seem to have!
- What's the difference between Moodle and Risotto?
- Why you would use a wiki? And just
what is a wiki, anyway?
- If digital stories were only for art and creative writing class?
- Moodle: August 5, 2:00 pm (eastern)
- Digital Storytelling: August 12, 2:00 pm (eastern)
- Wikis for the classroom: August 19, 7:00 pm (eastern)
Announcing the 4th NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar Series
Starting this fall, our series of free online teacher professional development continues! Watch for these seminars featuring experts from the NSDL community for the 2009-2010
school year: Chemistry Comes Alive IV: Oxidation and Reduction, Timely Teachings: Seasons and the Cycles of Night and Day,
along with seminars from PBS favorites WGBH Teachers' Domain
and Dragonfly TV
Energy Systems and Solutions curricula unit
View the 2009 Winner Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering eighth-grade Energy Systems and Solutions curricula unit: http://teachengineering.org/view_curricularunit.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/cla_/curricular_units/cla_energyunit/cla_energyunit.xml
More information about the Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering available at http://www.engineeringpathway.com/ep/k12/award/
Engineering Pathway Events in History Blog
Did you know that the Engineering Pathway posts "Events in History" for every day of the year? Many of these engineering-related historic events have accompanying blogs we have posted
that can be used to enhance your curriculum by connecting new technologies with their historical roots. In August, many of our blogs will relate to transportation and exploration - topics of
interest for many disciplines of engineering education: the San Francisco cable cars; diesel engines and environmental strategies; the first ship through the Panama Canal; Fulton's first steamboat
voyage; the first Soap Box Derby; the Gossamer Condor and human-powered flight; the first controlled glider flight; the first teacher in space; and the first African-American in space. In addition,
the new Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, Wayne Clough, has agreed to write a special blog this month on the founding of the Smithsonian, the world's largest museum complex and research
organization. Check out the Engineering Pathway "Today in History" Blog
Keep Up With NSDL on Twitter
Find out the latest news about NSDL web seminars, events and technology developments by following NSDL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NSDL http://twitter.com/NSDLTech http://twitter.com/NSDLEduPak
is a hybrid virtual and face-to-face network where teachers, students, parents and physicists
interact with one another to "explore the hidden nature of matter, energy, space and time." The program is part of the Purdue Department of Physics outreach program, PEARLS, that brings the
excitement of physical science to many students who would not otherwise be exposed to physics. QuarkNet involves about 100,000 students from 500+ US schools.