The Meeting

September 30, 2007 at 3:21 pm (IMLS Fellowship)

Cliff and I sat down and talked through his expectations for the project.  These aligned well with the research I had been doing.  I presented a PowerPoint that summarized my work and we discussed what the next steps should be.  I will now be working on collecting information on who would best benefit from this type of eGranary.  What kinds of portals will be necessary?  What will be the delivery method(s)?  Also, who will we partner with to create the materials and then provide funding and distribution?  I worked in the office for the rest of the week but plan to go to the Main Library next week to continue collecting patron group and partner data.

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Next Steps

September 24, 2007 at 3:27 am (IMLS Fellowship)

After creating a framework for understanding how information could be retrieved by an end user, I started fishing through the eGranary collection to see what resources were already available for domestic distribution.  Here I ran  into problems.  Fundamentally there are tons of resource points to look at but, from a K-12 user or teacher perspective, there are not many relevant    one`s.  So after realizing that my previous thought process (I would set up a framework and then drag and drop  appropriate sources into said framework) was flawed, I began researching the companies that already have a intranet system like this for sale and other websites that could provde the content I would need.

Here’s the skinny on what is out there that is up for grabs-religiously based homeschooling materials.  There is often times excellent information on these sites.  One in particular had great biographies of famous Americans including presidents, artists, and other historically dynamic people.  However, when pages include tutorials on “how to have a great marriage” and quote religious texts, I do not feel these would make the cut for a public school.

This week Cliff is back from Africa and I plan to sit down with him and discuss collection policy and the scope of the project.

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Creating Protocols

September 18, 2007 at 1:37 am (IMLS Fellowship)

It did not take me long after beginning to look at the enormity of the eGranary collection of over ten million documents to realize that creating a K-12 domestic version was going to take more organizational planning than I had originally thought.  First I had to look at the end users-what were their needs regarding relevant, quality information?  Secondly, how would this eGranary version benefit these students and teachers?  Lastly, how would this tie into the work that has already been done with standards for curricular areas and grades?

I started by researching school standards.  Iowa is the odd duck insomuch as it does not have state standards for K-12 education.  Each decision is on a local level.  This made me curious as to how different states that do have state standards compare.  I finally found that looking at national standards set out by the curricular areas was the best place for consistency.  So I spent my week compiling standards from organizations like the NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) and others in the following areas: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.

Then I created documents relating to how the information should be organized based on end user criteria, template information for the search interfaces, cataloging structure and permission points, and lastly, goals for expansion.

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First week

September 10, 2007 at 5:14 pm (IMLS Fellowship)

I spent the first week learning as much as I could about WiderNet and, specifically, eGranary. Most of my time was dedicated to reading marketing materials and familiarizing myself with Sharepoint and Confluence. I did have the opportunity to meet with Cliff and was assigned to create a database of Creative Commons and Open Source materials already in the eGranary collection that would relate to the K-12 domestic portal I will be creating. I also worked on cataloging documents (mostly young adult literature) that had been scraped, but not tagged.

Right now my challenge is that Cliff has left for Africa for the next few weeks, so I am a little on my own as to how best to organize the information and aid in creating an effective, searchable database appropriate for school children and helpful for teachers. The African eGranary project has a successful history behind it, but the domestic options are currently limited and I want to make sure I am pulling together a collection that has enough depth and yet is broad enough to connect to many interests and disciplines.

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Ditigal Projects

September 3, 2007 at 7:56 pm (IMLS Fellowship)

I will be using this space to describe my experiences working on the eGranary project through WiderNet.

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