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

The Whiteboard Report
August 2004, Issue #58



Whiteboard Report Evolution
August 2004-- Since NSDL Whiteboard Report began publishing in December of 2000 it has undergone several content and format upgrades. This issue represents another step forward.

You will notice that the logo is missing from the top of this email. Responding to user comments the editors decided to send a version of Whiteboard Report via email without attachments from now on. This will make it easier for users on many different platforms and operating systems to read it hot off the wires. It will also bypass attachment filters that list administrators, particularly in school districts, are adding to their systems to protect users from unwanted junk email.

Readers who miss the logo may want to read Whiteboard Report by navigating to the online version from the link provided at the top of this email.

This issue also introduces a new "classified" section. Please send classified ads including job notices to Carol Minton Morris at , or Susan Van Gundy at .
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NSDL New York State Middle School Pilot Study: Using Technology to Motivate the Reluctant Learner
August 2004-- The May 20, 2004 NSDL Senate staff briefing in D.C. yielded interest from the New York delegation in finding out what a phenomenon like NSDL could do to help economically challenged schools address known issues such as isolation, lack of time, lack of resources including professional development, and lack of domain knowledge. Discussions around what would it take to engage NYS middle schools as partners for in an NSDL New York State Middle School Pilot Study took place in Boulder on August 5-6, 2004. Ideas for engaging educators were presented by Holly Devaul, DLESE--Teaching Boxes; Len Simutis, ENC--Overview of ENC Services; and Tamara Sumner, DLESE--Strand Maps. Project manager for the NSDL New York State Middle School Pilot Study: Using Technology to Motivate the Reluctant Learner is Sarah Giersch, a consultant based in Chapel Hill NC. who has provided leadership in developing sustainability workshops for the NSDL. Project co-directors are education leaders and digital library specialists Ed Caffarella, Dean, School of Education, State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland, Stephen Danna, Washington, Saratoga, Warren, Hamilton, Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Len Simutis, Director, ENC, and James Burger, CI/Columbia.
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List Spam
August 2004-- Recently some NSDL email lists were hit with a mass-mailing worm in the form of an email attachment. This worm was not stopped by anti-viral software packages if users opened the attachment. In the wake of this attack the NSDL Cornell systems groups have reviewed the mail gateway configuration and settings to plug any holes. Everything is being done to stop as much spam as possible.

Two situations are out of email list gatekeepers' control: when spammers forge "FROM" addresses and mimic a member of a list, and when a user's computer is infected and hijacked to spam any list the user has access to. Last month's worm spoofed valid NSDL list member email addresses by stealing them from another infected system. The infected messages looked like they had come from an NSDL colleague.

When teachers or students inadvertently open the infected email attachment their systems were temporarily disabled. Typically schools do not have a large technical support staff so this type of attack can seriously harm schools' ability to work with their computers. NSDL is committed to creating more, not less, access to digital resources. Discussions are underway to decide how far to tighten down NSDL-administered email lists. Disallowing email attachments sent to NSDL lists, and requiring all lists to be moderated are two ideas for how to keep the invaders at the gate.

For now all email list owners are encouraged (typically the workspace owner) to limit their lists to member posts only, and to set lists up so that all messages are moderated. If you need help configuring your mail list contact
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NSDL Annual Meeting, November 14-17, 2004, Chicago, IL
August 2004-- Visit to register, submit proposals for workshops, panels, and posters for the NSDL Annual Meeting: Designing Strategies for Success. You will be notified by August 20 if you submitted panel, workshop, crit lab or SIG proposals.
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Upcoming Conference Dates
August 2004-- ACST 2004: The IASTED International Conference on ADVANCES IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Special Session on Experimental Digital Library Systems
Digital Libraries are playing a key role in building an effective and growing information infrastructure. A number of researchers are working in the area of Digital Libraries and are building systems to see their feasibility in terms of scalability, performance, usability, ease of discovery and publications, handling of copyright issues, etc. The focus of this session would be to discuss issues and lessons learned in building Digital Libraries systems. The objective of this session is to bring researchers in the area of Digital Libraries who are building systems so as to share their experiences, problems they are facing, and approaches they are taking to address them.

European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL) 2004
September 12-17 2004, University of Bath, UK

MathFest 2004: MAA's Annual Summer Meeting
August 12-14, Providence, RI
Registration deadlines: June 30, early bird; After June 30, regular

228th ACS National Meeting
August 22-26, 2004, Philadelphia, PA
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NEW from The Math Forum
August 2004-- The Math Forum has just released a new version of its NSDL Math Tools site, The prototype site was operational for a year and a half while builders gathered ideas from users and colleagues on site design. New features include ratings and reviews, a menu-driven browse structure for both catalog items and discussions organized by K-12 math courses, "My MathTools" for tracking favorite community members, items, or course areas; and many other enhancements.

This August The Math Forum at Drexel University will hold a workshop as a first step to further develop user participation in building the library using ideas from the PIDL workshop,
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NetDay "Speak Up Day for Teachers" Report
August 2004-- NetDay surveyed 11,132 teachers representing all 50 states, District of Columbia and DOD Overseas Schools to learn about how they are using technology in the classroom during "Speak Up Day for Teachers." Tune in to the results at a special "partners-only" presentation of the national findings during a conference call scheduled for Thursday, August 19 at 4: 00 PM/ET and 1:00 PM/PT. Call in Information: 1-800-351-4891. Call Leader: Julie Evans; Code: "teachers".
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The Manifesto for the Reputation Society
August 2004-- Http:// Information overload, challenges of evaluating quality, and the opportunity to benefit from experiences of others have spurred the development of reputation systems. Most Internet sites which mediate between large numbers of people use some form of reputation mechanism: Slashdot, eBay, ePinions, Amazon, and Google all make use of collaborative filtering, recommender systems, or shared judgements of quality. Authors Hassan Masum and Yi-Cheng Zhang suggest the potential utility of reputation services is far greater, touching nearly every aspect of society.
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August 2004-- The San Diego Supercomputer Center is looking for an Education Director. Tremendous potential in the area of science education and cyberinfrastructure. Contact Dogan Seber at .
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August 2004-- This is a call for proposals/abstracts of articles for a special issue of Library Hi Tech to be published in January 2006 on Content Management Systems (CMS). Editor is interested in seeing articles discussing philosophy, technical standards and developments, case studies, prototypes, and future uses of CMS's in information organizations and digital libraries. Any inquiries or abstracts for consideration should be sent to Dr. Brad Eden, Associate Editor, Library Hi Tech,
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Monkey Time
August 2004-- Participate in testing the theory that "if you have enough monkeys banging randomly on typewriters, they will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare," at the "Monkey Shakespeare Simulator." This notion grew from the "Infinite Monkey theorem" ( which is a popular misnomer for an idea from Emile Borel's book on probability (1909).
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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