Repositioning NSDL for the Next Generation of Digital Learning

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kaye's picture
Joined: 09/21/2009

October 5, 2011 - Message from NSDL Director Kaye Howe


Greetings, NSDL community –

On July 1st, at the invitation of the National Science Foundation, the NSDL Resource Center and Technical Network Services submitted a grant proposal that represents the transitional work plan of NSDL going forward (Repositioning NSDL for the Next Generation of Digital Learning). We are happy to report that the grant has been awarded to UCAR as of October 1. I think most of you know that NSF has concluded funding for the NSDL grant-making program in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) as of September 30th of this year. But, with this award, we have sufficient funds for an 18 month to 2 year transition. We will, as we’ve often discussed, be seeking new funding for the long-term NSDL mission to enhance STEM education with digital resources. Laying the base and finding the model for NSDL sustainability is the primary goal of the transition.

In recent months, NSDL has held a Planning Meeting, an initial Learning Application Readiness (LAR) workshop (May 2011) and a second LAR workshop (Stepping up to LAR, with Marcia Mardis as chair, Sep 2011). We are in the process of summarizing the outcomes of the LAR 2 workshop to produce a strong set of recommendations on policy and implementation for both metadata and content quality for NSDL resources. There will be a period for comment from the NSDL community, before we finalize LAR policies and procedures.

John Weatherley and his team are working on the transition of technical infrastructure from Cornell University to UCAR. Susan Van Gundy’s work on the STEM Exchange continues, pioneering new approaches for the open exchange and analysis of pedagogical usage data (paradata) with online collaborative educator communities. Pilot partners include the Butte County CA Office of Education, Florida iCPALMS project, and Intel Corporation, among others. The NSDL paradata concept is fundamental to the Federal Learning Registry initiative as well. NSDL is part of the core development team on that effort with the Departments of Education and Defense. There will be a formal announcement of this work on early November 7th in Washington, and NSDL will be part of that event.

The management team for the transition, by the way, is Kaye Howe, Mary Marlino, Karon Kelly, John Weatherley, Katy Ginger, Susan Van Gundy, and Eileen McIlvain.

If you have questions and/or comments, please do send them along.


Kaye Howe

RepositioningNSDL-distribute.pdf954.17 KB
PlanningMtgParticipants List.pdf35.38 KB
LAR1-Participants.pdf42.35 KB
LAR2-Participants.pdf32.07 KB
2011-NSDL-transition-and-technical-platform.pdf658.64 KB
eileen's picture
Joined: 04/23/2009
No NSDL Annual Meeting in 2011...

In response to a few questions that have come in to us after Kaye's message was sent:  We have no plans for an NSDL Annual Meeting to be held in 2011, as we do not have funding for that, nor was it part of the Repositioning NSDL proposal. We will certainly keep the possibility in mind for a future meeting, and advise the NSDL community as that might develop. 


Eileen McIlvain Communications Manager Projects Liaison Site editor:; NSDL Resource Center 303-497-8354