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Open Technologies: One set of technologies, multiple manifestations: semantic technologies for education -- 141 -- Demonstration

14:45 - 15:45 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 1.219

This demonstration session brings together recent developments in open-source semantic web technologies and ‘open data’. Participants will be introduced to the Exhibit toolkit; see three very different applications built from this set of tools, and have the resources available to them to construct their own simple application afterwards (links to these will be made available via the conference Crowdvine site).

Online resources are perceived as important for student engagement (Wood et al 2011), but teachers have also identified a requirement to be able to customize open content rather than simply appropriating it (Lane, 2007). Taking a ‘linked data’ (Bizer et al. 2009) approach to use of open content in education offers one way of allowing teachers to tailor resources to the demands of their discipline. Combining this with semantic web technologies which allow users to aggregate, convert and visualise these data allows for the development of creative and relevant technologies for learning, without needing to fully subscribe to the more demanding programme of the ‘Semantic Web’ as a whole (i.e. interoperability, exchange and ‘machine-readable’ data). The resulting combinations of new infrastructures and interfaces for sharing data has changed the ‘terrain’ of some disciplines significantly, which is in turn redefining the teaching and learning environments that prepare students for professional roles.

Work on the applications of semantic web technologies in three such disciplines (in the physical sciences, social sciences and performing arts) has highlighted the need to direct students towards high-quality resources whilst keeping tasks oriented towards specific learning outcomes (Martinez-Garcia et al, 2012; Edwards, Tracy, and Jordan, 2011). The particular types of technology enhanced learning needed to support these have been explored with teachers and students to produce very different applications, deployed and adopted in different ways, but all built on the same principles with the same open-source toolkit.

The session begins with a short introduction to the open-source toolkit used to build the applications demonstrated (5 minutes). There will then be short demonstrations of the applications designed for Geosciences and Education Studies (10-15 minutes altogether), which will show how the common framework can be used to build subject-specific applications. The remaining time (10-15 minutes) will be used for discussion and to allow participants to try the applications for themselves.


Monday, 10 September 2012, 15:48

Monday, 10 September 2012, 15:48