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

The Whiteboard Report
May 2006, Issue #96



NSTA/NSDL Seminar Series Premieres
About 200 participants registered for the National Science Teachers Association's first web seminar produced in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library. The 90-minute presentation about Hurricanes featured the Digital Library for Earth System Education ( as a partner library. A summary of the highlights can be viewed at:

Presenters were Susan Van Gundy, Director of NSDL Education and Outreach and Robert Payo, Education and Outreach Specialist also from NSDL. Van Gundy and Payo focused on resources available from the Library about hurricanes, how they form, how scientists study them, and how they predict their occurrence.

One participant commented, "I enjoyed the discussion of temperature and global wind patterns. It helps to show how we can somewhat predict the coming season."

This is the first NSDL Online Science seminar given in partnership with NSTA. Monthly workshops are scheduled beginning in September. Typically 15-20% of registered attendees take the seminar. For more information about NSDL Online Science contact Susan Van Gundy or Robert Payo .
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Observing Impact Through Web Metrics: NSDL at NSF Luncheon Lecture Series
Bob Donahue and Peter Pinch from NSDL WGBH Teachers' Domain ( Pathway joined Mick Khoo, NSDL Core Integration to talk about Web Metrics at a recent NSDL at NSF Luncheon Lecture in Washington.

Donahue noted that "Sometimes, the problem isn't having too little data, but being overwhelmed with it," and that it takes commitment to sift through such data for discoveries about usage--facts such as one in four US public schools has already used Teachers' Domain; K-2 teachers are actively seeking online resources, and; lesson plans are disproportionately in demand.

Teachers' Domain requires registration for use and has been able to use that information to boost efforts compiling usage data. Mick Khoo of NSDL Core Integration will collaborate with Bob Donahue to refine current research on site use to identify specific tasks that NSDL users may be engaged in and to define how data sets might be combined with third-party datasets (e.g. US census data), to generate demographic profiles of NSDL users.
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NSDL Insights: Now Playing at NSDL
The current issue of NSDL Insights is targeted for teachers, students and families interested in finding out what the Library has to offer that is both entertaining and educational for the classroom and home. Visitors are invited to push buttons, explore, and let themselves be fascinated by this rich sample of NSDL multimedia resources for education. Examples range from simple interactions requiring users to solve visual and cognitive problems to online film and audio programming.

Please contact Eileen McIlvain , James Burger , or Carol Minton Morris with comments or questions. Read the current issue of NSDL Insights here:
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NSDL EDUCAUSE Live! Presentation Available
Dean Krafft's, (PI NSDL Core Integration at Cornell) presentation for EDUCAUSE Live! on May 8 included a historical overview of NSDL and description of the current NSDL community and participants. He reviewed the technical underpinnings of NSDL 1.0, a library built on metadata harvesting, and described some of the challenges encountered. For the past year, the project has been working on NSDL 2.0, a new version of the library built on the Fedora repository architecture. You may download the presentation from the EDUCAUSE Live! archives:
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NSDL Evaluation Practices Survey Extension
The joint Educational Impact and Evaluation Standing Committee and NSDL Core Integration survey to discover and highlight NSDL projects' evaluation practices has been extended until June 1. The survey URL will remain open after that, so please contribute after June 1 as well. However, in order to work on the preliminary report, responses will be gathered for analysis on June 1 so please contribute your information by then if possible. The survey link is:

Please contact Mick Khoo with questions.
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Send NSDL Accomplishments for NSDL Annual Report--Deadline Tomorrow!
The deadline for submission of NSDL collaborative accomplishments for possible inclusion in the NSDL Annual Report entitled Leveraging Accomplishments Into New Opportunities is May 19 (tomorrow). Thanks to all who have already contributed summaries.

Descriptions of accomplishments should explain how NSDL partners are working collaboratively to address issues by leveraging individual successes and strengths. Each example should mention several NSDL projects, and/or may also include references to initiatives or groups external to NSDL. These summaries will form a pool of descriptions from which a final outline of Annual Report content will be developed. Based on the final outline selected profiles will be created for the Annual Report about accomplishments as well as the people, projects, committees, and organizations who contributed to them.

Please send accomplishment summaries to Carol Minton Morris .
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Whiteboard Report 2006 Summer Schedule and Deadlines
Whiteboard Report will be published monthly rather than bi-weekly during the summer months beginning with the June 1 issue. Deadlines for summer issues are: Tuesday May 30 for the June 1 issue [97]; Wednesday June 28 for the July 1 issue [98], and; Monday Aug. 8 for the August 10 issue [99]. Bi-weekly publishing will resume with the special 100th anniversary edition of Whiteboard Report on Sept. 6, 2006. Please contact Carol Minton Morris with news and project information for Whiteboard Report (
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Current NetDay Survey Results
Since 2003 562,000 students and 26,000 teachers have participated in NetDay Speak Up events. On May 5, 2006 NetDay, (, the national education technology nonprofit group, released the 2005 Speak Up report, Our Voices, Our Future: Student and Teacher Views on Science, Technology and Education, summarizing national data collected on line from 185,000 student surveys and 15,000 teacher surveys with major themes emerging for state and national education officials.
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Mellon Foundation Announces Awards for Open Source Software
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is pleased to announce today a Call for Nominations for the 2006 Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC). These awards, to be bestowed for the first time at an international technology conference in the Fall of 2006, will recognize not-for-profit organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the collaborative development of open-source software through the contribution of substantial, self-funded organizational resources to the open-source project for which they are nominated. The nomination period ends August 15, 2006.
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Cyberinfrastructure for Science
The summer issue of Cyberinfrastructure Technology Watch Quarterly (Vol. 2, No. 2) is now available. In Designing and Supporting Science Driven Infrastructure, guest editors Fran Berman and Thom Dunning (Directors of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) respectively) have brought together an outstanding collection of articles covering the major challenges, benefits and costs of creating and operating major cyberinfrastructure facilities. These articles detail the kind of planning and investment that cyberinfrastructure builders have to make in order to realize the immense potential that major digital facilities offer.
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Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) Launches New Web Site
The new HASTAC website was launched on May 12. Users are encouraged to explore, register, post to their own blogospheres, and contribute content, and help develop HASTAC's 2006-2007 In|Formation Year, devoted to public programming that promotes the human and humane dimensions of technology.
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Virtual Science Library for Iraq
University of Maryland scientist D.J. Patil and a small group of colleagues have built a digital scientific library for strife-torn Iraq that is making some 17,422 journal titles available to Iraqi scientists and engineers who are decades behind in non-military science and technology.
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Women Engineers: Will Doonesbury Daughter Study Engineering at Cornell?
She is also considering CalTech. "They want me, they crave me," Alex Doonesbury, cartoon daughter of Michael Doonesbury created by syndicated cartoonist Gary Trudeau, noted as she read her acceptance letter from Cornell. A recent Cornell Chronicle article by Franklin Crawford suggested that other interests could influence her choice. "Perhaps Alex happens to like hockey. Or Mars. Or searching for ivory-billed woodpeckers."
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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