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

The Whiteboard Report
June 2006, Issue #97



Reusing Graphics to Increase Usage
Bruce Caron from The New Media Studio/New Media Research Institute attended the NSDL Reusable Learning workshop at the NSDL Annual Meeting last fall. The team from the NSDL Data Discovery Toolkit and Foundry project realized it had an inventory of potentially reusable graphics from a prior NASA-funded effort. After discussions with the NSDL-funded Using Data in the Classroom project, a test website was set up on their server. The Reusable NASA Imagespage, with 54 files in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop formats, went live in 2005. It now attracts 100,000 users a month-the most active page on the site, and is a model for educational graphics reuse. URL:

Related Link:

Measuring at the Middle Level
Teaching Measurement at the Middle School Level is an Expert Voices conversation being led by Terry Herrera, a math teacher of grades 6-10 who now creates online units for the NSDL Middle School Portal, developed by Digital Library Projects at The Ohio State University. She will be joined by colleagues Kim Lightl, Janet Keppler, and Carolyn Hamilton to discuss important practical skills and understanding that students need "at the Middle Level" before they engage in the abstractions of algebra. These skills are found in the blurry area where measurement, basic geometry, and the arithmetic of decimals and fractions come together in the real world. If you are a middle school teacher, or know someone who is please ask them to consider:

What topics in measurement are your students struggling with?

Have you found measurement difficult to teach?

What lessons would you like to find? Someone out there may have a tip to share!

And add comments at contact Terry Herrera with questions.

Related Link:

Facilitating Paths to NSDL Projects' Sustainability
Building on six years of activities documented at, NSDL Sustainability Standing Committee members led by Paul Berkman, Martin Halbert, Liz Liddy, Lois McLean, Robby Robson, and Sarah Giersch are using the experiences of NSDL projects to create a tool that will assist PIs in: identifying project-level goals for sustainability (e.g., open source, not-for-profit, for-profit); plotting a feasible path to becoming sustainable by using resources from many disciplines (e.g., business, technology transfer, digital preservation); and identifying how project-level activities can contribute to the sustainability of The tool, dubbed Decision Tree of Sustainability Options for NSDL, will be pilot-tested with a small group of NSDL projects, who will review the sustainability paths and supporting resources. The tool will be introduced for community feedback at the NSDL Annual Meeting in 2006. and will be available for wide use in paper and an online interactive version. The tool and related resources will directly benefit NSDL projects by clarifying the many options available along a continuum of sustainability and by providing a context for projects to identify points of collaboration with one another and with The Decision Tree will have a broader impact beyond NSDL since the framework for incorporating questions and resources is extensible and can be modified as needed by other projects within NSF and beyond.

Related Link:

NSDL Annual Meeting 2006: Call for Proposals
The call for proposals for the 2006 NSDL Annual Meeting will be released Monday June 12 on the Annual Meeting website at The 2006 meeting, Leveraging Accomplishments Into New Opportunities, will be held October 18-20 in Washington, D.C. Session proposals will be accepted from June 12 through July 17, with notification of accepted proposals in early August. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is also seeking volunteers from throughout the NSDL community to assist with proposal review and selection. For more information, please contact Susan Van Gundy

Related Link:



TeraGrid 06 Conference Preview - June 12 - 15, 2006, Indianapolis, Indiana
Highlighting 21st Century Cyberinfrastructure is the theme for TeraGrid 06, a forum for individuals and institutions who are interested in building and using cyberinfrastructure. NSF (National Science Foundation) Director Dr. Arden Bement will be the conference keynote speaker. OCI (Office of Cyberinfrastructure) Director (Designate) Dr. Daniel Atkins, Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, and Professor Donna Cox, Director of Visualization and Experimental Technologies at NCSA, are invited keynote speakers for the first annual TeraGrid Conference - TeraGrid 06, Advancing Scientific Discovery to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, June 12 thru 15.
Related Link:

New Collections in NSDL
This exhibit highlights the 15 most recently accepted NSDL collections. Each resource was submitted by an NSDL selector, or by the general public via Recommend a Resource at Please contact John Saylor with questions.
Related Link:


Exploring Visual Literacy
Visual literacy is the ability, through knowledge of the basic visual elements, to understand the meaning and components of an image. This short tutorial explains basic visual elements and gives examples of their use in de-coding the visual landscape of daily life.
Related Link:

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