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 #74



ENC Online and Math Forum Included in 101 Best Web Sites for Elementary and Secondary Teachers
ENC Online and Math Forum Included in 101 Best Web Sites for Elementary and Secondary Teachers ENC Online and Math Forum were recently selected by author James Lerman as two of the best Web sites for teachers on the Internet today. Mr. Lerman went through a rigorous process to select sites for both books published by the International Society for Technology in Education. The guides include a host of Internet resources that support independent learning, research, and technology-infused instructional practices in all disciplines. ISTE is dedicated to providing leadership and service to improve teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in K-12 education and teacher education. The books may be purchased online at the ISTE store.
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ENCdl Subject Lists for K-12 Math, Science, and Education Issues Available
ENCdl Subject Lists for K-12 Math, Science, and Education Issues Available ENCdl Mathematics Subject List:
In 1998, content specialists at the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse began a review of the existing ENC mathematics subject list with a task force that has evolved into the present Mathematical Sciences Conference Group on Digital Educational Resources. The goal was to establish a vocabulary that reflected the needs of both K-12 educators and university mathematics and statistics educators. Based on the existing ENC mathematics subject list and with input from the Mathematical Sciences Conference Group, ENC content specialists created a vocabulary list suitable for the K-12 audience that also can be mapped to the Core Subject Taxonomy created by the Mathematical Sciences Conference Group (

ENCdl Science Subject List:
In 2002 ENC began the development of a K-12 science education subject thesaurus based on the concepts and terms used in the National Science Education Standards (NSES) (National Research Council, 1996). The goal of the NSF-funded project was to create a standard metadata classification system for digital library collections that would apply to K-12 science education learning objects. The NSES and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy (Rutherford, 1994) were chosen as foundational documents because the language within them would have meaning and relevance for teachers across the country.

Education Issues Subject List:
In 2004, the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse began the development of a K-12 education issues subject list. The goal of the project was to create a standard digital library metadata classification system for K-12 learning objects that support educators' development and refinement of their practices. This subject list evolved from a list of terms that had been culled from the ENC mathematics and science vocabularies.

All three subject lists are being implemented with the NSDL Middle School Portal at ENC (
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Report on Three-year NSDL Research Initiative Now Available
Report on Three-year NSDL Research Initiative Now Available In support of K-12 educators nationwide The Gender, Diversity, and Technology Institute (GDI) has issued a final research report of the NSDL-funded Effective Access Project: Teachers' use of digital resources in STEM teaching. The Effective Access team explored i) how STEM educators currently use, and would like to use, digital resources; ii) the barriers and supports for educators' use of these resources; and iii) the role diversity plays in the development and use of effective digital resources. This report is posted on the GDI website and will be distributed widely--to NSDL Standing Committees, the NSDL Assembly and beyond. Additional publication opportunities are sought. You may download the report at: Contact Sarita Nair, GDI Project Director at
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NSDL Repository Grows by More Than 100,000 Items Since January
NSDL Repository Grows by More Than 100,000 Items Since January During the first half of 2005 NSDL added a diverse set of educational resources selected by experts in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education. Records jumped from 730,812 in January to 831,837 in April. Numbers of NSDL resource selectors also increased by 75% during the same time period. A growing number of collections' now feature improved metadata due to initiation of automated harvest and cataloging.

A growing number of collections now feature metadata created by the automated INFOMINE/iVia Expert Guided Crawl Service. For a sample of an automated record, see: The service is described by Project Director Steve Mitchell, University of California, Riverside, in D-Lib Magazine: Please contact John Saylor with questions .
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NSF/NSDL Workshop Report on Scientific Markup Languages Available
NSF/NSDL Workshop Report on Scientific Markup Languages Available The Workshop Report summarizes a workshop on scientific markup language, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, June 14-15, 2004. The workshop brought together forty-three higher education, publishing and software, and government representatives from the disciplines of biology, chemistry, earth sciences, mathematics, materials sciences and physics. The workshop goals were to assess and document scientific disciplines' work on markup languages and to begin to articulate a vision for the future evolution and implementation of markup languages in support of a cyberinfrastructure for research and education, with a particular focus on using markup languages in the context of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). The Final Report and all documents association the workshop can be found on the workshop website:
A second workshop sponsored by NSF/NSDL & CODATA "International Scientific Data, Standards, & Digital Libraries" will be held at JCDL on June 10-11. Further workshop details and registration information is available at:
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Core Integration Outreach Update
New Materials
A revised and expanded suite of materials including an NSDL style guide, iconographic image downloads, and poster/flier template downloads will be available at ( in the next couple of weeks. The new style guide will also include logo placement information and cascading style sheets (CSS).

General awareness and use of NSDL as an education resource in classrooms is increasing as a result of ongoing promotion of NSDL to educators and librarians at conferences. ( Online and printed publications that include the NSDL Annual Report, NSDL Whiteboard Report, fliers, and brochures and other premiums (full list of available outreach materials here: are distributed at events. In a little over a year's time NSDL has distributed: more than 20,000 pens; 8,000 rack cards; and 10-12,000 project example sheets.

Visit to request materials to distribute at your project's next event or contact Susan Van Gundy at for more information. Education and Outreach Staff Addition
In April, Robert Payo joined the NSDL team as Education and Outreach Specialist, a new position based at the Central Office in Colorado. Robert has a rich background in science education and excellent experience in museum-based outreach. He brings with him strong skills in teaching science at all different age levels, designing and delivering teacher workshops, helping teachers integrate technology-based materials into classrooms, grant writing, and building community partnerships. Robert has a B.A. in Biology and Science Education with secondary teaching certification from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver. His previous leadership positions have included Education Manager for the Colorado Energy Science Center, Outreach Manager at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and Outreach Education Specialist at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Robert has already begun orchestrating logistics for NSDL's conference presence, and will be working with Education and Outreach Director, Susan Van Gundy, to support many other outreach efforts.

2005 Annual Report The Educational Impact and Evaluation Standing Committee and Core Integration are currently developing the 2005 NSDL Annual Report entitled "Examining NSDL's Impact." An expanded version will be featured online at and a focused version will be available in print.

This year's annual report takes a fresh look at the ways NSDL is having an impact in the following areas: Evaluation; Using Digital Resources in the Classroom; Information Science and Digital Library Technology; Community Building; Libraries and Museums, and; by Audience, Discipline, and Geographic Area. If you would like to contribute highlights from your project that illustrate impact in any of these areas please call Carol Minton Morris at 607 255-2702, or email 100-200 word summaries to
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Core Integration Leadership
NSDL production and development at Cornell has expanded as the Library has grown. To address an increasingly complex NSDL core integration environment Dr. Kaye Howe, Director Core Integration announced that Dr. Dean Krafft accepted the Principal Investigator position for the Cornell University Core Integration group on May 5th, 2005 with the full support of Lee Zia, NSF NSDL Program Director. Dean has been a Co-principal investigator for the the Cornell University Core Integration group since the project was funded in 2000. His vision and day-to-day contributions have shaped much of what has been achieved over the course of the project.

Dr. Bill Arms, whose ground breaking digital library research and advocacy contributed to establishing the NSDL program, will continue to work closely as a Co-Principal Investigator at Cornell on long-term strategies for NSDL development and support. The Core Integration teams at Columbia, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and Cornell University are extraordinarily fortunate that Dean Krafft is willing to give up responsibilities so that he can direct Cornell's efforts, and to Bill Arms for his leadership, and for facilitating this reorganization. Thanks also to Dean Robert Constable, Cornell University Computing and Information Science, for his continued support and encouragement.

Core Integration leadership and staff is well-positioned to do the engaging and significant work ahead in the next months.
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Distributed News Function: Blogging at The Kinematic Models for Design Digital Library (K-MODDL)
Distributed News Function: Blogging at The Kinematic Models for Design Digital Library (K-MODDL) Recent postings at the KMODDL news blog ( link to interesting NPR stories about self-replicating robots and crocheted geometry, as well as teacher workshops, and a recent article about "Fabbers" and KMODDL appearing in the May 5 issue of IEEE Spectrum Online. PI John Saylor established the news blog to, "Stimulate news, comment and discussion, and as a way to distribute the news function among K-MODDL team members." Saylor points out that users who register may have access to the KMODDL news blog. Contact John Saylor at .
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NSDL Meetings at JCDL 2005
The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries to be held June 7-11, 2005 at the Denver Mariott City Center is fast-approaching. Presentations, tutorials, and posters from the NSDL community will be featured at the conference ( The following NSDL working meetings are scheduled around conference activities:

NSDL Pathways Meeting, Thursday, June 9; 12:00 - 2:00 p.m., Marriott City Center

NSDL Content Standing Committee Meeting, Thursday, June 9; 3:00-4:30 p.m., Marriott City Center

NSDL Educational Impact and Evaluation Standing Committee, Meeting, Wednesday, June 8, 2005; 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. (please bring your lunch to the meeting), Marriott City Center--Salon G.

NSDL Technology Standing Committee Meeting, Friday June 10; 7:30 a.m., Marriott City Center--Silverton.
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Register for "Evaluating Digital Libraries" at JCDL
Dr. Thomas C. Reeves, Professor of Instructional Technology, The University of Georgia; Dr. Susan Buhr, Director of Outreach for the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado; and Dr. Lecia Barker, Director of the Evaluation and Research Group of the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS), University of Colorado will offer a tutorial designed to establish systematic evaluation based on the "triangulation" approach whereby multiple models, procedures, and tools are applied. Anyone involved in the development, implementation, or use of digital libraries will benefit from this tutorial

Conducting valid evaluations of digital libraries using a decision-oriented model in a timely and efficient manner is the focus of this tutorial. Within this model, methods used include: service evaluation, usability evaluation, information retrieval, biometrics evaluation, transaction log analysis survey methods, interviews and focus groups, observations, and experimental methods. Participants will be provided with a range of resources including an online evaluation toolkit.

To register for this tutorial and the conference, go to
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Register for "Copyright Transfer Agreements & Self-Archiving"
Anita Coleman, University of Arizona, and Cheryl Malone, University of Arizona will offer an introductory, half-day tutorial at the JCDL 2005 Conference in Denver on the morning of Tues. June 7, This tutorial will demystify copyright concerns and introduce participants to the deposit and metadata creation processes that underlie self-archiving practies in an Open Access Archive (OAA) such as DLIST, Digital Library for Information Science and Technology .

To register for this tutorial and the conference, go to
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Fedora Updates: This Hat Holds Everything
Fedora Updates: This Hat Holds Everything
Fedora has launched a new web site. Fedora 2.0 is now available for download on the site. System documentation and release notes are also available from the download page.

The Fedora Users' Conference was held May 13-14 at Rutgers University where an overview of projects utilizing Fedora was presented. More information here:
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Influencing User Behavior through Digital Library Design
Authors Cathy A. Manduca, Ellen R. Iverson, and Sean Fox from the Science Education Resource Center at Carlton College explore how the portal of a digital library can be designed to influence the behavior of its users using the example of the Starting Point Digital Library (DL), an education digital library designed primarily for faculty who are teaching introductory level geoscience.
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NSTA SciGuides for Learning
NSTA SciGuides for Learning
SciGuides serve an audience of primary and secondary school teachers with a reasonably- priced model.
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Blogwatch: Lorcan Demsey's Weblog
Blogwatch: Lorcan Demsey
Lorcan Dempsey is Vice President for Research for The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). His weblog on libraries, services and networks presents an overview of library research and innovation since 2003. His thoughts on browsing and searching:
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Mathematical Art
Mathematical Art
(click on the word "apartment"; type words at cursor blink; hit return) "Apartment" by Martin Wattenberg is inspired by the idea of the memory palace. In a mnemonic technique from a pre-Post-It era, Cicero imagined inscribing the themes of a speech on a suite of rooms in a villa, and then reciting that speech by mentally walking from space to space. Establishing an equivalence between language and space, Apartment connects the written word with different forms of spatial configurations.

Wattenberg is a mathematician whose research interests include information visualization and its application to collaborative computing, journalism, bioinformatics, and art. Before joining IBM, Martin was the Director of Research and Development at, where he designed internet-based financial software. His work at SmartMoney included the groundbreaking Map of the Market, which visualizes live data on hundreds of publicly traded companies. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum, and Ars Electronica.
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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