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

The Whiteboard Report
August 2005, Issue #79



Interdisciplinary Technology Publication Launched on the NSDL Middle School Portal
Interdisciplinary Technology Publication Launched on the NSDL Middle School Portal ENC has added Technology and the Environment: A Middle School Mix ( to the NSDL Middle School Portal. The publication supports teachers in building interdisciplinary learning experiences that incorporate technology, science, and mathematics. Throughout the publication, technology is shown to be both a menace and a help to the environment. Like the eight other topical publications on, Technology and the Environment contextualizes exemplary resources from NSDL collections and offers teachers tips for using the featured resources in the classroom. Please share the publication link with the middle school teachers you know.
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Connecting People and Resources With Shibboleth Middleware for User Access
The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) Announces That Over 40 UK Institutions Are Implementing and Testing Shibboleth Middleware.

The JISC Core Middleware: Technology Development Programme, April 2004 - March 2007, encompasses a wide range of activities; from the development and evaluation of tools leading to improved national middleware services, to institutional deployment and use of tools and policies. Core Middleware development will draw on a range of experience gained from a wide range of JISC development.

A view of Shibboleth within the context of the JISC programme is presented in a briefing paper called 'Shibboleth: Connecting People and Resources' available at

NSDL Core Integration has been working with a small number of projects to develop standards for exchanging information for authenticated user information (i.e. user attribute and profile data) utilizing Shibboleth Middleware. The resulting identity management and authentication services can be used to enable identity-based collaborations or restrict access to content.
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NEEDS Digital Library Focuses on the Future with Phase II of the NAE Engineer 2020 Project
NEEDS Digital Library Focuses on the Future with Phase II of the NAE Engineer 2020 Project Alice Agogino, of the NEEDS.ORG engineering education digital library, is pleased to announce new Engineer 2020 monthly themes based on the second phase of the National Academy of Engineering's report titled "The Engineer of 2020: Adapting Engineering Education to the New Century." Professor Agogino is one of the co-authors.

The August theme is an overview of the second phase of the report with an opportunity to catalog futuristic educational strategies and comment on both phases of the report. Upcoming themes include "Hispanic Engineers", "Mobile Learning" and "Women and Information Technology".

Professor Agogino would like to encourage the continuation of this dialogue and invites you to share comments about the Engineer 2020 report and other resources at
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Community Services Committee "Inreach" and "Outreach"
New Community Services Committee Chair David Yaron has suggested organizing committee activities into "Inreach" that would include "Tool Times" phone conferences in which teams would demonstrate technology and services to interested community members.

"Outreach" activities might include organizing an effort to collect better information about projects' outreach and community building activities.

Please let David Yaron [] know if you would like to participate in a Community Services conference call on either Thursday, August 18 or Monday, August 21 at:
--4:00 - 5:00 eastern time
--1:00 - 2:00 eastern time



Latest Version of ASN Offers Enhanced Science Standards
Latest Version of ASN Offers Enhanced Science Standards Non-profit organisation JES & Co. has announced the release of enhanced K-12 science standards for science publishers, educational software creators and assessment specialists. The standards have been developed as part of the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), which is funded by the National Science Foundation, and monitored by JES. ASN 1.2 allows affordable access to the authenticated digital collection of local and national academic standards. It supports learning management models and assessment engines, made possible through an improved database with additional data, a vendor-neutral interactive platform and documentation. It also offers documented structures with which states can publish their academic standards even as they are being developed. ASN Version 1.2, which is compatible with earlier versions, has the capacity for new subjects and varieties of standards and benchmarks.
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15 Leading Business Groups Launch Action Plan To Improve Science and Math Education
15 major business groups representing business of every size and from every sector of the economy-led by the CEO members of the Business Roundtable-last week called for doubling the number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates by the year 2015 and issued an action plan to do this by:
--Launching an awareness campaign to make improvements in STEM fields a national priority;
--Motivating students and adults to study and enter careers in these disciplines;
--Upgrading elementary and secondary teaching in math and science;
--Reforming visa and immigration policies to enable the U.S. to attract and retain top STEM students; and
--Boosting and sustaining funding for basic research.--NSTA Express, Aug. 1, 2005
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American Geophysicists Union (AGU) Meeting
American Geophysicists Union (AGU) Meeting If you are planning to attend the AGU meeting December 5-9 in San Francisco, please consider submitting an abstract to the Education Session ED17: Deciphering Data: Communicating Research Activities and Findings to Diverse Audiences. If you are already submitting a science abstract, you are also allowed to submit another abstract for an ED session. Educators who use data in the classroom, and others who have developed strategies for making data accessible to non-research audiences are strongly encouraged to participate in this session. A particular emphasis will be on how data can be communicated and contextualized to diverse audiences during the International Polar Year and other international research efforts.
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Red Light For Google Library Effort
Red Light For Google Library Effort Stung by a publishing industry backlash, Google Inc. has halted its efforts to scan copyrighted books from some of the nation's largest university libraries so the material can be indexed in its leading Internet search engine.--Chris Gaither, "Google Puts Book Copying On Hold," Los Angeles Times, Aug. 13, 2005.
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"Lifelong Kindergarten"
"Lifelong Kindergarten" This MIT Media Lab project is designed to help young elementary school children explore the fundamentals of mechanical motion, combining LEGO-based motion modules with a java-based search tool. Each motion module isolates and highlights a specific type of mechanical motion (i.e. eccentric motion, up-and-down movement) which can then be built upon or integrated into a child's existing creations.
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Teens Are Increasingly Wired and Tech-Savvy
Teens Are Increasingly Wired and Tech-Savvy A new study reveals that approximately 21 million U.S. teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 use the internet, an increase of approximately four million, or 24 percent, since the study was last done in 2000. The study indicates that for most teens, seventh grade is the "tipping point" when they first begin to use the Internet, and that girls between the ages of 15 and 17 are the most engaged users of online communication, using various combinations of email, text messaging, instant messaging, and online searching on a regular basis.--Brief Case, Vol. 3, Issue 8, Aug. 2005
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Edutopia George Lucas of Star Wars fame invites you to, "Stay current with the latest intellectual and technological innovation in education" by interacting with his new magazine entitled Edutopia. Among several interesting homepage propositions the editors suggest that in 5 days you can begin new habits or launch a new project by: hitting the library; rearranging the desks; playing with food; reading your television; or blogging on.
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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