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

The Whiteboard Report
September 2005, Issue #80



NSDL Collection Passes the One Million Records Mark
NSDL Collection Passes the One Million Records Mark Active records in the NSDL Data Repository (NDR) climbed past the one million mark in August. The NDR currently contains 1,004,384 records in a variety of STEM disciplines. From the World Wildlife Federation's "WildFinder" (, a map-driven, searchable database of more than 30,000 species worldwide to the "Lesson Plans Library" (, offering kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school lesson plans for all major school subjects. Director of Collection Development John Saylor has worked with selectors from the NSDL community to expand the collection by 20% since January of 2005.
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Sustainability Vignette: MathDL and Math Gateway
Sustainability Vignette: MathDL and Math Gateway By Lawrence Moore
The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) conducts two projects within the NSDL: MathDL and the Math Gateway. While these are quite distinct projects from the user's point of view, their sustainability is closely linked. MathDL, the Association's mathematics collection project, was funded in the first round of NSDL awards in 2000. The Math Gateway is the MAA's pathway project, awarded in 2004, with stewardship for mathematics accessible at the undergraduate level. To read the more about how MathDL and Math Gateway sustain their efforts please visit
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Registration Opens for 2005 Annual Meeting
Registration Opens for 2005 Annual Meeting Participant and poster registration forms for the 2005 Annual Meeting: Examining NSDL's Impacts will be available at the Annual Meeting website ( beginning the week of September 4th.

The meeting will be held November 15-18 at the Westin Tabor Center Hotel in Denver, CO. Registrations must be received by October 14. Please note that the deadline for hotel reservations is also October 14. Rates and availability will not be guaranteed after this date. Contact Susan Van Gundy ( with questions.
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NSDL Launches Pathways Workshops Initiative
NSDL Launches Pathways Workshops Initiative As part of NSDL's education and outreach efforts, a series of user workshops will be offered over the next year that will feature existing and soon-to-be-announced Pathways projects. Teacher leaders and other decision makers within each Pathway's audience will be targeted for participation and encouraged to continue their engagement with NSDL beyond the workshop through additional training, advocacy, and evaluation activities. The workshops will focus on using Pathways and other NSDL resources in the discipline and/or grade level contexts addressed by the Pathways projects, and will provide concrete strategies for integrating digital resources into participants' instructional practices. The workshops will be designed to address the needs of users for quality professional education experiences, as well as NSDL's need to increase its usage and expand its user base. Further information about workshop dates, locations, and content will be available in the next several months. Please contact Susan Van Gundy ( or Robert Payo ( with questions.
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Evaluation Specialist To Join NSDL Core Integration
Michael "Mick" Khoo will be joining the NSDL Core Integration team as an Evaluation Specialist in mid-September to develop an overall evaluation of NSDL. He will work closely with NSDL projects and the Educational Impact and Evaluation Standing Committee (EIESC).

Dr. Khoo has an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Colorado. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado.

His research focuses on the analysis and evaluation of organizational communication and knowledge in distributed organizations. Since 2000 he has conducted formative and summative evaluations of distributed digital library projects, including the Digital Water Education Library (DWEL) and the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE), and he has assisted in the design of knowledge and communication tools that support and facilitate these projects' distributed processes.

In carrying out these analyses Dr. Khoo draws on a range of theoretical approaches from cultural anthropology, organizational knowledge and communication, participatory design, and science, technology, and society studies. He is committed to high-quality, reproducible social science that is oriented towards the generation of practical interventions in organizational communication and knowledge practices, and to the publication of research findings across a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary arenas.
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NSDL Presented As Part of STEM Work Force Issues Solution at House STEM Caucus in Washington
NSDL Presented As Part of STEM Work Force Issues Solution at House STEM Caucus in Washington Sept. 7, 2005, Washington, D.C.--The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) House STEM Caucus luncheon was attended by about 60 congress members and staff as the New York Times reported that some of the youngest victims of Hurricane Katrina were entering schools in locations around the country. What could become, "The largest student resettlement in the nation's history," (Dillon, S., "Across Nation, Storm Victims Crowd Schools," New York Times, 9/7/05), disrupting thousands of children's educations, was on everyone's mind as Kaye Howe, Executive Director, NSDL Core Integration, began the presentation by introducing Representative Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), co-chair of the U.S. House of Representatives STEM Caucus. Read more at
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Computer Character "Lia" to School Girls in Tech
Computer Character "Lia" to School Girls in Tech Efforts are underway to counter young girls' disinterest in science and technology, which tends to take root around middle school. One such effort is Lia, a virtual Hispanic teenager designed to be a role model for girls as well as minorities. Leigh Hallisey with Boston University's Photonics Center, which developed Lia with the FableVision children's media company, says Lia is Hispanic to address a lack of positive media portrayals of Hispanic females and to appeal to the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, which is also the most underrepresented segment of the high-tech workforce. Lia will make her debut appearance on the National Academy of Science's Web site next month, where she will assume the persona of an agent for a secret organization that is trying to save the planet. Another initiative to get more girls interested in high tech is a student-directed UCLA outreach program that stresses the "coolness" of engineering to middle and high school students. Middle school age is when peer pressure and other factors cause girls to start viewing computing as a geeky boys' club, according to Marla Ozarowski of Girls in Technology. Although the number of women earning college degrees in science and engineering has risen every year for the past three decades, women currently account for only 20 percent of engineering students, 30 percent of computer science students, and 36 percent of math students in graduate programs, says Elena Silva with the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.--Riley, S., Investor's Business Daily, 08/26/05, p. A4.
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Making Playful Learning Visible
Making Playful Learning Visible Making Playful Learning Visible is a project that aims to help parents see what children learn from play. The first phase of the project was prototyped last year and phase two has proved to be a successful predecessor.

Sixty parents in London and Oxford documented their children's play using video-enabled mobile phones, video cameras and diary notebooks. The parents who took part said that the project enhanced their awareness of their children's learning.

The full project report is due out in late Autumn.
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Next Generation CiteSeer
Researchers in the Penn State School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and the University of Kansas have received funding from the National Science Foundation to improve the CiteSeer academic search engine. CiteSeer receives more than 1 million hits a day and is heavily indexed by Google and Yahoo!.

Since its launch in 1997, CiteSeer has provided the public with access to more than 700,000 documents in computer and information sciences. The Next Generation CiteSeer will archive more documents, allow new types of searching, offer CiteSeer as a Web service, include personalized recommendations and searches, and permit synchronous live-object collaboration.
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Katrina Hurricane Relief Effort
Katrina Hurricane Relief Effort Victims of Hurricane Katrina are attempting to recover from the massive storm. American Red Cross volunteers have been deployed to the hardest hit areas of Katrina's destruction, supplying hundreds of thousands victims left homeless with critical necessities.
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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