From Digital Libraries to Educational Cyberinfrastructure
Or What content and services will be 'under the hood' of your next generation learning environment?
Tamara Sumner, Michael Wright

This event took place on 13th October 2005 at 1:00pm (12:00 GMT)
Knowledge Media Institute, Berrill Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK7 6AA

Over the past decade, there have been a series of reports documenting problems and challenges facing science education across the United States, ranging from lack of student interest in science and science careers, teachers' lack of scientific content knowledge, to lack of engaging, inquiry-oriented materials. Recent news articles on science curriculum changes suggest that the UK faces similar challenges. One response to these problems in the US is the emergence of a national digital library agenda concerned with designing distributed library networks to support science, engineering, technology, and mathematics education, in formal and informal settings, at all educational levels. As these efforts have matured, their emphasis has shifted from simply providing teachers and learners with access to materials, to providing computational infrastructure, content, and services (i.e., educational cyberinfrastructure) that support the cost-effective development of learning environments. In this talk, depending upon time and the interests of the audience, we will:
  • Provide a brief overview of US national digital library efforts
  • Present the Contextualization Services Architecture, which is the conceptual framework we are using to guide the development of content-rich, adaptive learning environments powered by digital libraries; that is, our approach to educational cyberinfrastructure
  • Describe a concrete example of educational cyberinfrastructure, the Strand Map Service, which offers a programmatic web service protocol that can be used within learning environments and library interfaces to dynamically generate concept-browsing interfaces
  • Discuss our efforts to embed educational concerns and educational cyberinfrastructure within emerging eScience projects and networks, and some of the challenges we have faced
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