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

The Whiteboard Report
February 2005, Issue #70



Mix and Match Course Materials
Mix and Match Course Materials Conoscenza is a Web-based database of course materials constructed to serve as a repository for lectures, homework problems, and other educational resources. What differentiates it from other educational databases such as MERLOT is that it is targeted explicitly at fine-grained course materials--problems, lectures, or labs that can be "dropped into" existing courses.

Instructors in two fields--computer architecture and object technology--were solicited to submit their work for inclusion in the database. An application was developed to automatically download material from the Web or from e-mail into the database. Accounts were offered to the contributors and to others that allowed them to do a full text search of the database for materials on desired topics. A community of several dozen contributors has developed around the resources. Software design makes it easy to develop future databases. Currently there are databases for two areas of computer science: The Computer Architecture Course Database which contains 880 items, and the Object Technology Database which contains roughly 450 items. Together the databases have approximately 170 users.

This project was funded by an NSF (DUE) CCLI "Proof of Concept" grant. Development and dissemination of this work will be included as part of an NSDL proposal.

Papers describing this project are at
The database itself is at You may log into a guest account with username "whiteboard" and password "report0315". Contact the author at with questions.
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Learning Resource Type Vocabulary Work Continues
The ENC vocabulary development group led by Judy Ridgway ( requests feedback on a controlled Learning Resource Vocabulary ( This work is a collaborative effort with the Metadata Management Working Group.

The current proposed list of terms with definitions and examples is posted on the wiki. Your comments about the definitions and terms would be greatly welcomed as part of the discussion in the Metadata Management Listserv (

The team has also put together several clusters of Learning Resource Types. The purpose of this clustering is to help identify redundant, narrower, and broader terms. The idea is that once similar terms are group together, they will be more manageable than a huge, sprawling list. Community comments about the clusters are invited through March 5, 2005. Again, please send your comments to the Metadata Management Listserv (above).

Thank you in advance for your feedback about vocabulary and clusters.
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NSDL On the Road
NSDL On the Road NSDL will have a presence at several upcoming conferences and events over the next few months. Awareness building efforts are greatly aided by participation from the broad NSDL community. So, please consider contributing materials, staff, and/or communications networks to help spread the word about NSDL around these events.

Urgent Request for Project Promotional Materials

An important part of our strategy for exhibiting at major conferences is to demonstrate the depth, breadth, and high quality of NSDL collections and services. Our reserves of promotional materials from the projects are running very low. Please send 500-1000 copies of your project's brochures, fliers, give-aways (pens, notepads), and other items. Materials to be distributed at the Consortium for School Networking, National Science Teachers Association, and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conferences (see below) will need to be received by March 17.

Ship to: Susan Van Gundy, NSDL/UCAR, 3300 Mitchell Lane, Room 3220, Boulder, CO 80301.

Will you be at NSTA?

NSDL's booth at the National Science Teachers Association national convention this year will be featuring 10-15 minute "mini-presentations" from NSDL projects and partners. If you will have staff or teachers with whom you work in attendance at NSTA, please consider delivering several short demonstration presentations about your project and the resources you offer to K-12 science teachers and science education faculty. Presentations will be offered starting on the hour during the times that the exhibit hall is open. Contact Susan Van Gundy as soon as possible to schedule times ( / 303-497-2946). Please also let Susan know any relevant booth numbers and/or session titles, dates and times for your project's or organization's presence at the conference. See the announcements below for other NSTA activities.

NSTA and NCTM Registrations Available

We also still have several registrations available through our booth fees. If someone from your project would be willing to help work at the NSDL booth in the exhibit hall in exchange for conference registration, please let Susan Van Gundy know as soon as possible ( / 303-497-2946).

Submit NSDL Project News Online

Post your project news to Whiteboard Report and at Submissions are reviewed and posted at the next day. Whiteboard Report submissions will appear in the next issue.
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Please share the following information about NSDL's outreach activities with appropriate colleagues and user communities via your project's communications networks such as listservs, newsletters, and email lists.

Consortium for School Networking Annual Conference

March 22-23, 2005 in Washington, D.C.; Booth # 43

National Science Teachers Association National Convention

March 31 - April 3, 2005 in Dallas, TX; Exhibit Booth # 1325
Exhibit Hall Hours:
--Thursday, March 31, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
--Friday, April 1, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
--Saturday, April 2, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
--Sunday, April 3, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
NSDL Project Demonstration Presentations: On the hour during exhibit hall hours.

Session #1216, Digital Libraries: Tools for Authentic Science Learning

Saturday, April 2, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Hyatt Regency Reunion Ballroom

Friday, April 1, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Adams Mark Hotel, San Antonio Ballroom B

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics National Convention
April 6-9, 2005, Anaheim, CA; Booth # 645

Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Week
April 11-16, 2005; Featuring AskNSDL as a recommended resource with special "Ask an Expert" events

American Association of Museums Annual Conference
May 1-5, 2005, Indianapolis, IN; Booth #215
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AskNSDL Experts Needed for ESTEME Week 2005
AskNSDL Experts Needed for ESTEME Week 2005 NSDL is currently engaged in a recruiting campaign to expand the base of experts who answer questions in preparation for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education (ESTEME) Week. ESTME Week is co-sponsored this year by the Department of Education and NASA as a celebration of science and technology during the week of April 11 - 15, 2005. AskNSDL will be featured as a recommended resource on the ESTEME Week website (

"Experts" can sign up to answer questions related to specified areas of science, mathematics, or technology; educational materials and instructional practices in these disciplines; or about NSDL and other online resources. Scientists, educators, librarians, museum professionals, graduate students, and others are encouraged to share their knowledge with the students and teachers who will be sending their inquiries during ESTEME Week and beyond. It is easy to register as an expert and requires only as much time as you prefer to commit in responding to the questions that you choose to answer.

To register, go to and click on the "experts" tab. Select "register as an expert" and follow the instructions.

Please assist our recruiting efforts by sharing this call for experts with appropriate colleagues and forwarding to other relevant listservs.

Please contact Susan Van Gundy ( / 303-497-2946) with any questions.
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The Second International Conference on Knowledge Management: Nurturing Culture, Innovation and Techn
The second International Conference on Knowledge Management (ICKM2005) will be held at the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in the Westin Charlotte, North Carolina on October 27-28, 2005. The conference will bring together academics, researchers, developers, practitioners, and users in the areas of knowledge management and information processing. It will serve as a platform for networking, exchange of research ideas, practical applications and best practices. Authors are invited to submit original and unpublished work on all aspects of information and knowledge management. Deadline for full paper and poster submissions is May 30, 2005.
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Submit NSDL Project News Online
Post your project news to Whiteboard Report and at Submissions are reviewed and posted at the next day. Whiteboard Report submissions will appear in the next issue.
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National Science Digital Library Request for Proposals
Building on work supported under the multi-agency Digital Libraries Initiative, this program aims to establish a national digital library that will constitute an online network of learning environments and resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at all levels. Proposals due on April 11, 2005.
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Call For Entries: Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge
Call For Entries: Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge
When the left brain collaborates with the right brain, science merges with art to enhance communication and understanding of research results- illustrating concepts, depicting phenomena, drawing conclusions.

The National Science Foundation and Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, invite you to participate in the annual Science and Engineering Visualization challenge. The competition recognizes scientists, engineers, visualization specialists and artists for producing or commissioning innovative work in visual communications. The entry Deadline is May 31, 2005.

Awards Categories: Photos/Still Images, Illustration, Explanatory Graphics, Interactive Media, Non-interactive media. First place awards in each category will be published in the September 23, 2005 issue of Science and Science Online and displayed on the NSF web site.
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eSchool News Free Content
eSchool News Free Content
Access eSchool News content for your web site by pasting the URL above into your RSS reader. ESchool News is a monthly print newspaper and companion web site providing the news and information necessary to help K-20 decision-makers successfully use technology and the Internet to transform North America's schools and colleges and achieve educational goals.
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Blogosphere The idea of a systematic analysis of the blogosphere sounds like an exercise in futility - OK, we've got that manifestation isolated, wait, there are new eruptions over here and here and here - but this special issue of Communications of the ACM has several articles which do pin down aspects of blogging by measurement, experiment and anecdotal evidence. Patterns in interpersonal relationships and activity emerge over time. What is expressed in blogs, and what bloggers get out of it, is revealed by survey. An author who began blogging way back in 1999 describes the phases of change in online communities wrought by the development of easy to use blogging software. How semantic metadata could add a knowledge management layer to blogs is explored through the creation of a prototype semantic blogging demonstrator. And old concerns about the effect of filtering one's information intake are reawakened in the light of new functions used in blogspace - could it be that RSS abuse could make you really simple? The issue is an essential addition to the literature about this revolutionary phenomenon.--Current Cites, February 2005
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Two Dozen Darwins
Two Dozen Darwins These stickers and bookmarks are being introduced to increase awareness and appreciation of Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection solidified scientific support for the theory of evolution. Natural selection continues to be central to an understanding of how life on earth changes over time, and is rightly hailed as one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. Honor Charles Darwin and the scientific method by stickering something with his image, or by distributing Darwin-themed bookmarks to your friends.
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2005 International School Student Science Poetry Competition
2005 International School Student Science Poetry Competition
You use your whole brain when you write poetry; both the left side of your brain (e.g., language and logic) and the right side (e.g., visualization and creativity). Many employers look for people who can be creative using their whole brain. Poems often emerge when a poet looks at the same things everyone else but see something different. Exceptional future scientists see their world as it is and go about proving that it is something different. That same alchemy allows poets to see common things that everyone else sees and change dust to diamonds.
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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