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

The Whiteboard Report
July 2005, Issue #77



New Publications Added to the NSDL Middle School Portal
ENC recently added two new publications to the NSDL Middle School Portal ( Like all the topical publications on the site, Middle School Meets Evolution ( and Data Analysis: As Real World As It Gets ( contextualize exemplary resources from NSDL collections and offer teachers tips for using the resources in the classroom. If you cross paths with middle school teachers or with teacher educators, please encourage them to check out the site and these new publications. The publications focus on topics that middle school mathematics, science, and technology teachers identified as challenging to teach.
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NSDL Summer Outreach: Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition in DC
NSDL Summer Outreach: Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition in DC Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Exhibition - Robert Payo met with a steady stream of visitors including congressional staffers, interns, senators and representatives who attended the 11th Annual Exhibition and Reception of the Coalition for National Science Funding that featured both the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) and the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) on June 11, 2005 at the Rayburn House on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Congressman Vern Ehlers (R-MI) who serves on the House Science Committee; Chair of the Environment, Technology and Standards Subcommittee as well as co-chair of the House STEM Education Caucus was there to support the efforts of NSDL, DLESE and other NSF-funded projects. Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI) serving on the Education and Workforce Committee also stopped by to learn more about digital libraries along with many congressional staffers from the House Science Committee and from House Members' personal offices. Lee Zia, NSF Director for the National Science Digital Library was also in attendance.

American Library Association (ALA) - Sarah Giersch, Blythe Bennett, and Rachael Bower met ALA attendees at the NSDL booth at the recent ALA meeting. Bennett reports that, "Approximately 27,800 attendees and exhibitors attended the 2005 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago June 23 to 29. This compares with 19,575 total attendees at the 2004 ALA Conference in Orlando."-- PLA blog:

The NSDL booth was well-located in the exhibit hall. Geirsch notes that a quick glance at cards people left behind indicated interest from:
- Collection development personnel in university or community college libraries, either liaisons to science faculty (large universities) or general collection development
- Reference librarians in science libraries at large universities
- Collection development or reference personnel from public libraries
- School media specialists
- International: Kuwait, South Africa and Russia (via the U.S. State Department)

For librarians used to paying for content, the idea of 99.9% free NSDL resources was attractive. One visitor suggested that NSDL announce "free content" in neon-colored starbursts.

National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) - The 2005 NECC held in Philadelphia June 27-30 struck Mike Luby, NSDL Publisher Relations, as another successful instance of NSDL staff making direct connections with teachers; engaging with potential partners; learning about other initiatives and; finding out more about trends in education and technology.

NECC covers all academic subjects and student levels (as they apply to technology). Science, and in particular mathematics, were better represented than humanities topics in social studies, literature, arts, and music. Reading, however, was widely covered in exhibitors' offerings. Also there was a far greater emphasis on K-12 than on higher education. In parallel sessions 4/6-12 received more attention than K-4/6.

Exhibits were a mix of publishers with e-products (McGraw-Hill, Riverdeep, Scholastic, Houghton); computing and software companies(Apple, Adobe, Dell, MicroSoft); technology platforms (Blackboard); high-tech, classroom presentation developers (with computerized whiteboard displays, concept mapping software, etc), some universities and hardware manufacturers, and educational technology product retailers representing many companies.

Most booth visitors had not heard of NSDL but were impressed by the fact that the Library is almost entirely free. Many seemed to ask specifically if NSDL had videos.

Ultra-fast Internet 2 demonstrations were ongoing in the hallways surrounding the exhibit halls on Tuesday and Wednesday. In connection with these, NSDL was prominently and very-favorably featured in the ultra-fast Internet 2 hour-long session in one of the theater-sized breakout ballrooms--standing room only!
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Lawrence Lessig and Siva Vaidhyanathan To Speak at "Free Culture & the Digital Library"
Lawrence Lessig and Siva Vaidhyanathan To Speak at "Free Culture & the Digital Library" The MetaScholar Initiative of Emory University Libraries will host a symposium on Friday, October 14 entitled "Free Culture and the Digital Library" at Emory University Law School in Atlanta, Georgia. The symposium web site is online at:

Free Culture is the label for the grassroots movement that is resisting the ways that "big media uses technology and the law to lock down culture and control creativity" (Lessig, *Free Culture,* 2004).

This symposium seeks to promote a better understanding of the impacts of restrictions on the dissemination of public cultural information. Featuring Lawrence Lessig and Siva Vaidhyanathan, as well as leading figures from the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the arXiv e-Print archive, Wikipedia, the Free Expression Policy Project (FEPP), the Digital Library Federation (DLF), and the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD), this interdisciplinary symposium will explore the following issues:

* The relationship between digital innovation and legal constraints
* Regulation of public cultural information and artifacts
* Digital library research and systems development
* Freedom of ideas in the Internet age * Copyright law and intellectual property concerns
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Call for Papers: Advancing the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Open Education
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will sponsor the 17th Annual Instructional Technology Institute at Utah State University, Logan, Utah on September 28 - 30, 2005. The conference web site is online at:

Advances in information technology have spread communications capabilities to every clime. There is a great potential and responsibility for educators, instructional technologists, and learning scientists to leverage these advances in order to extend educational opportunity to literally everyone who desires it. As Epictetus said, "Only the educated are free."

Advancing the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Open Education, the 17th Annual Instructional Technology Institute at Utah State University, is a multidisciplinary event designed to promote discussion of research and development activities that advance the effectiveness and sustainability of the open education movement.

Prospective authors are invited to submit proposals for presentation relating to one or more of four conference themes. More information is available online at Submissions are due to by July 31, 2005. Preference will be given to presentations that synthesize multiple themes. Acceptance announcements will be made by August 15, 2005.
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REMINDER: 2005 NSDL Annual Meeting Proposal Submission Deadline for Panels, Workshops, Crit Labs
Deadline for Proposal Submissions (Panels, Workshops, Crit Labs, and SIGs): July 17, 2005
Presenter Notification: Late August 2005
Poster Registration Deadline: October 14, 2005

The NSDL Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) is soliciting proposals from the NSDL community for presentations to be delivered during the 2005 Annual NSDL Annual Meeting entitled "Examining NSDL's Impacts" will be held November 15-18, 2005 in Denver. The success of this annual event depends heavily on the participation of the community and the quality and relevancy of the sessions. We encourage all projects to share their experiences and successes, and to raise issues that are of interest across NSDL.
The 2005 meeting theme, Examining NSDL's Impacts, is intended to inspire discussion around the educational, technical, societal, and other impacts of individual projects and NSDL as a whole. The Planning Committee encourages proposals that reflect the diverse possibilities of the Impacts theme.

2005 Proposals will be accepted in five session categories. Distinctions between session types are outlined in the Session Format Overview and specific requirements for each type are detailed on the Session Format Descriptions page. Those submitting sessions are strongly encouraged to read these documents before completing the proposal form. Please note that Posters will follow a separate submission process that will be concurrent with meeting registration and will be available in late June. Look for further information about posters and general meeting registration on the Annual Meeting website:

1. Tutorial Workshops - Interactive workshops that allow participants to build specific skills.
2. Crit Labs - Sessions that facilitate critique of and discussion around a specific sample of work submitted by a project.
3. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) - Opportunities for open discussion around a common interest or concern.
4. Interactive Discussion Panels - Sessions that offer a variety of perspectives on a topic and engage the audience in active discussion.
5. Presentation Panels - Lecture-style presentations of project results. Please note only four Presentation Panels will be selected for inclusion in the final meeting schedule.

More information is available at . Please contact the Annual Meeting Planning Committee at with any questions.
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Math Forum at NECC Workshop Report - "Math Tools: Using Technology in the Mathematics Classroom"
Math Forum at NECC Workshop Report - "Math Tools: Using Technology in the Mathematics Classroom" On June 26, 2005, Math Forum staff and leading users of NSDL's Math Tools Project collaborated to present a full-day, hands-on workshop entitled Math Tools: Using Technology in the Mathematics Classroom at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) to a full house of thirty teachers, school administrators, and teacher educators (NECC limited attendance to 30 participants).

The workshop explored mathematical concepts using various tools such as Web-based applets, spreadsheets, and The Geometer's Sketchpad and reflect and collaborate on how they can support student learning."

Favorite quote from evaluations: "Great ideas that I can use today! I am refreshed and inspired to get going in September! Thank you so much!" Learn more at
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First International Conference on e-Social Science Proceedings Now Available
First International Conference on e-Social Science Proceedings Now Available On June 22-24 the First International Conference on e-Social Science was held in Manchester, England. Proceedings of the conference are now available on our website.
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NSDL Featured in eSchool News
NSDL Featured in eSchool News eSchool News selected NSDL as the site of the week for June 22nd, 2005 more than doubling unique hits at during that week (Click "site of the week" under the resource tab to find the link).
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Education Commission of the States (ECS) Report
Education Commission of the States (ECS) Report Although the recommendations from a new ECS report outlining five strategies for improving math and science education in America are hardly surprising, some of the data in it are.
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Supreme Court Rules That File-Sharing Services May be Sued for Copyright Infringement
Supreme Court Rules That File-Sharing Services May be Sued for Copyright Infringement On June 27 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that commercial producers of file-sharing software may be sued for copyright infringement. The services are used to download music and media, usually in violation of copyright law.
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Road Trip USA
Ready for a taste of the open road? Choose route numbers or names to access driving tours across more than 35,000 miles of classic blacktop. Then sit back and experience part of America--the small towns, funky attractions, roadside curiosities, and more--that the interstates have left behind.
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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