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

The Whiteboard Report
October 2005, Issue #83



NSDL and DLESE Program Center Offer Free Professional Development for Teachers Impacted by Katrina
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL), in partnership with the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) will offer free online professional development workshops for K-12 science and math teachers in hurricane-impacted schools and those teaching hurricane-displaced students.

Online resources, such as those offered by NSDL and DLESE, present one solution to the scarcity of textbooks and other basic teaching materials in affected communities. These workshops will provide practical ideas for finding and using digital library resources, with a particular emphasis on strategies that are easy to implement in storm-stressed classrooms and in distance learning courses being offered to displaced students. These interactive sessions will include insights from teachers already using NSDL and DLESE resources who will share advice and answer questions.

The first 90-minute online workshop will be offered on December 6th from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central Time and repeated on December 8th from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central Time. There is no charge for the workshops, but space is limited. To register or for more information, contact Susan Van Gundy, NSDL Education and Outreach Director at or 303-497-2946.

NSDL and DLESE are National Science Foundation funded programs that provide free coordinated access online to educational resources from contributors that represent the best of both public and private institutions including universities, museums, commercial publishers, government agencies, and professional societies. NSDL supports teaching and learning at all levels, from preschool through adult, with materials ranging from journal articles and lesson plans to interactive animations, and from real-time data sets and technology-based tools to ask-an-expert services.
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15 Most Recent NSDL Acquisitions Now Available in RSS
Use any RSS reader like Bloglines to find out what the 15 most recently accepted NSDL resources are at The term "accepted" means that each resource was submitted by an NSDL selector, or by the "general public" via Recommend a Resource at Please contact John Saylor ( with questions.
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NSF-NSDL Grant Will Allow Dramatic Expansion of Digital Bioscience Libraries
NSF-NSDL Grant Will Allow Dramatic Expansion of Digital Bioscience Libraries With new money from the National Science Foundation, a collaborative project spearheaded by AAAS will be able to greatly expand the production of high-quality digital libraries for use by high school and college biology educators.

The BiosciEdNet (BEN) Collaborative, which includes AAAS and a dozen professional organizations, was founded in 1999. It already has produced six digital libraries consisting of some 3,700 carefully selected scientific papers, illustrations, images, lab exercises and other teaching materials deemed particularly helpful for teachers in the biological sciences. Read more--By Earl Lane, AAAS News Archive, Oct. 14, 2005.
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Visit Ready-To-Use STEM Education Resources
Visit Ready-To-Use STEM Education Resources There's a faster new route to STEM learning resources at Later this month users will access the over 500 NSDL collections with over a million resources from a new web site at

Unique daily visitors to increased by 25% from May until September this year, and the pages they visited while at the web site were up by 20%. To grow those percentages rapidly NSDL developers and community members listened in particular to teachers who need to find materials to use in their classrooms fast. Quick connections to tailored information by audience group are available through the new user interface. Improved access will be leveraged in upcoming "Using NSDL" teacher workshops and will be coordinated with additional outreach and communications efforts featuring the new web site.

The new
-- Allows users to self identify by audience on the homepage in the following categories: K12 Teachers; Librarians; NSDL Library Builders; University Faculty, and; First Time Users.
-- Highlights "Top Picks," "Resources of Interest," "Using NSDL," "Research Articles," Newsfeeds," and an "Events Calendar"--exhibits crafted by editors for each audience group.
-- Provides a one-click connection to browse by science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics from the homepage.

Please contact Karen Henry ( for more information.
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CyberInfo Beat Newsletter Launched
CyberInfo Beat Newsletter Launched The first issue of CyberInfo Beat, the free newsletter for the Cyberinfrastructure community, has been launched. NSDL Pathway Project the Shodor Education Foundation is part of the Engaging People in Cyberinfrastructure (EPIC) partnership that includes iinstitutions and projects nationwide who publish CyberInfo Beat. Other NSDL partners include Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Resources for K12 and The Math Forum at Drexel.

EPIC is building human capacity by creating awareness of the opportunities afforded through cyberinfrastruture(CI), and by educating and training a diverse group of people in all stages of life from K-12 to professional practice, to fully participate in the CI community as developers, users, and leaders.

The EPIC community of practice seeks to identify, create and use effective applications of cyberinfrastructure to address teaching and learning needs at all levels. By subscribing and contributing to CyberInfo Beat the NSDL community can help ensure that an evolving cyberinfrastructure addresses the needs and requirements for training and education to help ensure competitiveness and leadership in an increasingly technologically-oriented and global society.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with others, and send articles for publication to

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The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Debuts its New Weblog, ACRLog
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Debuts its New Weblog, ACRLog The ACRLog aims to discuss the issues of the day in the field of academic and research librarianship. It will strive to get you thinking about what you do, why you do it, and how it fits into this enterprise we call higher education. The team of bloggers will stimulate thinking about the professional issues that impact you, your library, your user community, and academic librarianship. The blog also will offer conference reports and news items.

ACRLog bloggers are no strangers to voicing their opinions, tackling controversial issues, and writing about the value academic and research librarians bring to their communities. In short, they are people passionate about the profession. The team approach ensures coverage of the issues from a diversified set of perspectives.

The new blog can be found at Unlike many blogs, ACRLog invites contributions from those interested in academic and research librarianship. Guest commentaries, contributed conference reports, perspectives from ACRL chapters, and opinions about the latest trends and issues can all be shared within this blogspace.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.
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Speak Up!
Registration for NET DAY's Speak Up Event. The online survey will be available October 21 - November 18, 2005. As of October 15, 1,185 schools registered to participate in Speak Up Events involving 125,015 students and teachers. The states with the highest registrations are California, Maryland and Texas. However, there are still some states with no registration - if you have contacts in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming - please let them know that registration is still open and encourage their participation in Speak Up Event 2005. Remember the goal is to reach students and teachers in every state!!
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Teaching With Tech
Colleges and universities around the country are scrambling to keep pace with innovations in technology, both to flaunt their abilities as cutting-edge research institutions and to engage a generation of students armed with camera phones, Wi-Fi laptops, and Google. Some classroom technologies, like course websites, are already widespread while others--such as podcast lectures--are still experimental. But each new technique aims to revolutionize the learning process. Many faculty and students worry, though, that these advances are just distractions from the material and from time-tested methods of teaching. No one yet knows how effective these new teaching tools are. For now, students and instructors are engaged in what amounts to a national beta test to determine which of these technologies will go to the head of the class.--By Vicky Hallett, US, Oct. 17, 2005
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Google Goes to Washington
Despite its massive growth on the Internet, and more recently in stock portfolios, Google has until now lacked a presence in Washington, DC. No longer, however, as Google officials announced that they have set up a Washington-based team to lobby lawmakers. Although that news may be somewhat disconcerting to publishers, still wary of Google's efforts to scan library books, it could mean some help for librarians, as much of Google's legislative agenda appears to dovetail with that of librarians. "Our mission in Washington boils down to this:" reads a Google release. "Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication and innovation." If that sounds a little broad, company officials offered a little more detail on the issues it is currently looking at--chief among them copyright and fair use. "Google believes in protecting copyrights while maintaining strong, viable fair use rights in this new digital age," reads a statement Google's Washington Office. "We support efforts by the U.S. Copyright Office to facilitate the use of orphan works (works whose rights-holders can't be found), while fully respecting the interests of creators."--LJ Academic Newswire Thursday, October 13, 2005
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Yahoo Give News and "Citizen Journalist" Blogs Equal Visibility On Web
Yahoo Inc. said on Monday it will begin featuring the work of self-published Web bloggers side by side with the work of professional journalists, leveling distinctions between the two.

Yahoo News, the world's most popular Internet media destination, is set to begin testing on Tuesday an expanded news search system that includes not only news stories and blogs but also user-contributed photos and related Web links.

The move will further stoke the debate between media traditionalists who want to maintain strict walls between news and commentary and those who argue such boundaries are elitist and undervalue the work of "citizen journalists."--By Eric Auchard, Reuters, Oct. 11, 2005.
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History of Science Images
Science and Society Picture Library (SSPL) represents the collections of the British Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, as well as a variety of related collections.

SSPL now has over 150 image collections from both within and outside the museums' core collections. These contain over 70,000 online records, including over 40,000 digital images.
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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