LoCloud explores the potential of cloud computing technologies for Europeana, with a focus on small and medium sized institutions.
On 19-20 March, at the National Archives of Norway in Oslo, the LoCloud Best Practice Network project was officially launched. The meeting gathered 32 partners from 28 different countries to present, plan and discuss the activities of the project over the next three years.
Content from small and medium local institutions such as museums, archives and libraries is still underrepresented in the digital European arena. Cloud-based technology could offer an affordable and user-friendly solution for making their content available on-line.
LoCloud aims to develop cloud-based technology and services to help small and medium local institutions to aggregate their digital resources and make them accessible on-line, via Europeana.eu, the European Library, Museum and Archive.
The project will explore the potential of a cloud-based technology infrastructure for aggregating local content. It will also develop a number of micro-services offering geo-location and metadata enrichment, multilingual vocabularies for local history and archaeology, a historical place name gazetteer and a Wikimedia application to handling relevant ‘crowd-sourced’ content.
As a result of the LoCloud’s activities, access to over 4 million items of digital content will be made available through Europeana.
LoCloud relies on a large group of technical partners, content providers, aggregating services and partners with specific expertise which make together a very strong consortium. Gunnar Urtegaard, from National Archives of Norway, project coordinator, underlined during the meetings close: "If we can keep it simple for content providers, keep simple for users and remove all the complexity in-between, then this project has the potential to be a great success."
National Archive Norway/Riksarkivet
Box 4013 Ullevål stadion
Europeana.eu provides access to the digitized content of Europe's galleries, libraries, museums, archives and audiovisual collections. It currently includes over 26 million books, photographs, paintings, films, sound recordings and archival resources from more than 2,200 institutions in every European member state.
More information can be found at http://www.europeana.eu/portal/.
LoCloud is one of a suite of projects, funded by the European Commission, to develop Europeana and enhance its contents. It will explore the potential of cloud computing technologies for Europeana, with a focus on small and medium sized institutions. It aims to support them in making their content and metadata available to Europeana.eu. To this purpose a set of services and tools will be developed to help to reduce technical, semantic and skills barriers and to enhance Europeana.
LoCloud aims to build on the achievements of two earlier Best Practice Network projects: CARARE, in establishing a repository-based aggregator for Archaeological and Architectural heritage; and Europeana Local, in its work with local institutions and their regional and national aggregators, which has resulted in the contribution to date of well over 5 million items to Europeana.
The LoCloud web site will go live at the end of April at: www.locloud.eu.
LoCloud is co-funded by the European Commission's ICT Policy Support Programme.
This third conference on learning analytics will be designed to bring the many voices involved in leveraging the availability of data about learning with powerful computational, representational and visualization techniques into dialogue in a “middle space” under the overarching theme of “Dialectics in Learning Analytics”.
The first two conferences have established the range of issues and approaches of concern in leveraging the availability of data about learning with powerful computational, representational and visualization techniques. This third conference will be designed to consolidate the field by bringing these many voices into dialogue in a “middle space” under the overarching theme of “Dialectics in Learning Analytics,” which has these facets:
The Middle Space: The conference will explore the “middle space” within which Learning and Analytics intersect, and seeks proposals for papers and events that explicitly connect analytic tools to theoretical and practical aspects of understanding and managing learning.
Productive Multivocality: Learning analytics is multidisciplinary, drawing on theories and methods from diverse research traditions. Our community includes educators, learning scientists, computer scientists, administrators, and policy makers, among others. The middle space serves as a topical “boundary object”, enabling productive discourse between these many voices.
The Old and the New: We are facing a centuries old problem: to improve learning, but we are trying to solve it using a new set of tools, not available before. We address these problems in the city of Leuven: centuries old, lively new.
LinkedUp aims to push forward the exploitation of the vast amounts of public, open data available on the Web, in particular by educational institutions and organizations. LinkedUp will organise the LinkedUp Challenge to realise personalised university degree-level education of global impact based on open Web data and information. Drawing on the diversity of Web information relevant to education, this aim requires overcoming substantial challenges related to Web-scale data and information management involving Big Data to offer personalised and accessible education services.
Challenge Initialisation and Development (WP1)
LinkedUp will launch an open challenge to identify and promote innovative uses of open Web data in educational contexts. WP1 is responsible for the design and timely execution of the challenge and the interaction with other LinkedUp activities (such as data curation and evaluation). To this end, WP1 will define the main challenge tracks, criteria and incentives as well as the dissemination strategy (jointly with WP4). The LinkedUp Challenge will be organised into different tracks (from an Open Data Challenge up to more specific task-oriented challenges) which will run through different stages, where access will be possible to new participants at the start of each stage.
- Web data success stories: the LinkedUp Challenge will identify and promote highly innovative applications and technologies which exploit open Web data in ways which significantly expand the current state of the art. The latter includes technical dimensions such as scalability or performance as well as non-technical aspects related to legal, privacy or usability issues.
- Open challenge framework: a reusable competition framework which will be established as periodic series of competitions (defined in terms of timelines, categories, requirements, stages, tracks and incentive structure)
- Best practices & lessons learned: throughout the project, WP1 will refine its approach and capture a set of best practices which will emerge throughout the competition
Evaluation Framework (WP2)
One of the main outcomes of the LinkedUp project will be an Evaluation Framework (EF) that can be reused and instantiated to evaluate Open Web Data applications in particular in the educational domain. WP2 will develop the EF that consists of predefined evaluation criteria, metrics, methods and benchmarks for the assessment of open data-based technologies and data itself. Evaluation dimensions include technical ones (such as performance, scalability, precision) as well as non-technical ones (qualitative criteria, legal and licensing issues, usability criteria). The EF will be developed with the help of the Group Concept Mapping (GCM) method and the support of an inter-disciplinary panel of experts. Within the GCM method, experts have to agree on a collection of specific evaluation criteria and their indicators.
- Evaluation framework (EF): a set of evaluation criteria, metrics, methods and benchmarks for the evaluation of data-driven applications and data. The EF will be public and available for any party to use and expand.
- Specific EF instantiations for the LinkedUp challenge tracks: specific subsets of the EF will be developed for the particular assessment in each track (open track vs focused task track). Hence, guidelines for qualitative assessment by experts (open track) will be provided as well as a set of automated assessment metrics and methods (focused task track).
- Evaluation results: in addition, the outcomes of LinkedUp evaluation activities will be published and made available. This will result in a set of publicly available data and technology quality assessments and resulting benchmarks.
Deployment Support: Data, Guidance, Infrastructure (WP3)
LinkedUp relies on a base infrastructure, both technical and organisational, to support the development of educational applications exploiting Web data. While a wide variety of educationally relevant data exists on the Web, most prominently,LinkedUp data curation activities will produce a data catalogue and repository which will offer access mechanisms to a wide range of datasets of relevance to educational scenarios. WP3 will also provide development support for external developers and will collaborate with them on tackling non-technological issues associated with deploying web data applications in an educational environment (for instance, legal and organisational aspects).
- LinkedUp data catalogue & registry: a public catalogue of categorised and described educationally relevant datasets
- LinkedUp data infrastructure: public access mechanisms to educationally relevant datasets (endpoints & APIs)
- LinkedUp support environment: supporting developers in exploiting educational datasets
Community building and dissemination (WP4)
LinkedUp will catalyse an active, diverse and well-connected community in the area of open linked data for education, including open Web data and resource evangelists. We will bridge the research and business communities, ensuring that innovative results and knowledge from academia are transferred to practical applications, eg. in a business context. We will enable and encourage content and data providers to contribute new material to LinkedUp through events, tools, and documentation. In order to facilitate learning about linked data for education, we will create a Handbook on Open Data in Education, a resource for educators, web data providers, and adopters.
- A network of practitioners and experts on open data in education
- Events and workshops to encourage understanding and uptake of open data in education
- Handbook on Open Data in Education: We will collaboratively develop a handbook, gathering best practices on how to use open data to meet educational needs. This will include use cases, tips and tricks for finding data and tools, and guidelines on using data and tools.
Exploitation, Exit and Sustainability (WP5)
The goal of this work package is to develop large-scale scenarios and use cases for the deployment, evaluation and exploitation of the Web data-based application. Use cases serve two main purposes: providing scenarios for the actual deployment of LinkedUp Challenge submissions and to prepare and implement an exit & sustainability strategy for the long-term exploitation of the project results. The latter in particular ensures the persistence and long-term availability of the competition and evaluation framework produced in LinkedUp.
- LinkedUp Large-scale use case scenarios: real-world scenarios for the deployment of the applications developed during the LinkedUp challenge, covering public as well as educational sector
- LinkedUp Exit and sustainability plan: to ensure the persistence and long-term availability of the competition and evaluation framework produced in LinkedUp
- LinkedUp Show cases: will show the application of LinkedUp technologies to use case scenarios, featururing a meaningful subset (software, data, etc.) of the functionality characterising the project demonstrator(s)
Como instrumento educativo, el portal contiene cuestionarios conceptuales cuidadosamente diseñados para verificar la comprensión conceptual del alumno en diversos subtemas de geología. La plataforma LON-CAPA personalizada del portal facilita la inclusión de imágenes digitales creadas mediante TIC para evaluar el aprendizaje del alumno. El acceso en línea facilita la participación de la comunidad en el desarrollo de la evaluación, al permitir a los profesores repasar las preguntas existentes y presentar sus propuestas. Además, la función de prueba del portal ofrece una auténtica evaluación en línea conforme con la práctica de las TIC y aprovecha sus posibilidades tecnológicas para proporcionar una respuesta inmediata y detectar datos precisos como el tiempo invertido en la tarea.
Actualmente la actividad del usuario del portal está limitada a la visualización y evaluación del alumno a escala reducida, y solo una pequeña parte participa en el desarrollo de nuevas preguntas conceptuales. Por lo tanto, probablemente se necesiten talleres de formación para el profesorado in situ para ayudar a iniciar colaboraciones y el uso de la tecnología. No obstante, el portal ya ha tenido cierto impacto con su naturaleza de código abierto en línea, alentando la participación en todo el mundo, como demuestra el número de usuarios (unos 130) y la variedad de instituciones que usan el GCI. Las estadísticas recogidas a través de las pruebas en línea con diversas poblaciones de alumnos permitirán realizar importantes análisis comparativos del aprendizaje de los alumnos en distintas instituciones.