Remember that commercial: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?”
Learn how the Semantic Web is changing the way we treat data at the LinkedData Planet Conference. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the W3C, is among the event’s keynote speakers.
These days, chances are that they’re as likely to be surfing the web as anywhere else — or, more specifically, whiling away the late night hours on Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was an alternative social networking space where they could interact with each other as well as learn in a creative environment, too?
“A parallel vision is to get kids sticky on education, instead of pure socialization in the network,” says Rebecca Dias, VP of Software Development, at SynapticMash, a vendor of adaptive learning systems based on semantic web technologies.
Dias will be speaking about the social internet and its potential promise at the upcoming LinkedData Planet conference in New York City on June 17 and 18. “We want to create a creative space for learning where kids can cross-educate themselves.”
In the summer, SynapticMash plans to release its MashQube environment, an eco-system for educators, parents, and students to collaborate on curriculum development, content, and learning.
Its infrastructure platform services, hosted off-site, utilize semantic web technologies to enable the integration of data from various educational technologies that will be required to support such a collaborative environment. That underpins the company’s LearningQube tools, as well, which provide secure, real-time access to student data; proactively informs teachers about student trends based on the analysis of information such as assessment scores, grades, and attendance; and collaborates with district student information systems to publish data to parents, students, teachers, and administrators. As it turns out, there are a lot of similarities between enterprise and educational environments — and not always positive ones.
“Education has nightmarish integration problems, silos of data, not well-described or easily accessed, possibly bound to legacy systems, and there may be licensing restrictions that don’t allow access to certain data,” says Dias.
If you thought business deadlines were tough to meet, consider the plight of the teacher with 120 kids and just a 15-minute window to prepare for the next day’s classes.