Learning with the Web 2.0: The Encyclopedia of Life

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In the 1990s, the World Wide Web has revolutionized the way in which knowledge …

In the 1990s, the World Wide Web has revolutionized the way in which knowledge
seekers satisfy their thirst for knowledge. During the recent years, a technological and
social paradigm shift called Web 2.0 attracted a lot of attention in the Internet
community and is considered a major evolution of the web. New online applications
make it easier for individuals to learn, using the vast information provided by the
Internet and the collective intelligence of its users. The Encyclopedia of Life, a global
repository for all kinds of information related to life on earth, builds upon the vision of
Wikipedia and enhances it with Web 2.0 technologies and a concept for assuring high
quality content. After a brief review of the development of the web as a learning
resource, the authors of this paper present the concept of the Encyclopedia of Life as a
knowledge pool for the domain of biology and compare it to the Wikipedia.

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  • 1. Learning with the Web 2.0 The Encyclopedia of Life Anwar Us Saeed (TU-Graz) Alexander Stocker (Know-Center) http://www.know-center.at © Know-Center - gefördert durch das Kompetenzzentrenprogramm
  • 2. Overview Web 2.0 and Learning Web 2.0 Applications Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Content Stake-holders Technologies Learning with the EOL Wikipedia vs EOL 2 Conclusion http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 3. Web 2.0 and Learning Web 2.0 describes change web is currently going through Social phenomena, users interweave their social processes with the web, new types of knowledge structures Vast growth of web, emergence of new types of collaborative technologies Users change role from mainly consuming information to actively participating in the creation of content New Rising tools and technologies including content syndication, semantic annotation, richer user interfaces are tempting social interaction Social entities act as ressource for collaborative knowledge where web in total can be seen as a collaborative learning 3 environment http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 4. Web 2.0 and Learning Entry barriers of Web as learning medium User interfaces Access to knowledge pools Collaborative Content Creation Niche communities emerge, voluntariliy conducted knowledge transfer New types of interactions possible through folksonomies and semantic annotation and social bookmarking Finding users with similar interests Self directed collaborative learning 4 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 5. Web 2.0 Applications Everybody knows... Wikis (wikipedia.com) Blogs (readwriteweb.com) Social Bookmarking (del.icio.us, mrwong.com) Social Networking (xing.com, myspace.com, facebook.com) Mash-Ups (housingmap.com) ... Technologies have come to mature stage, where we can think about the aggregation of knowledge at the higher degree 5 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 6. Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Desire to understand life forms on our planet is not new Genome project; first species page in 1990 EOL will be a comprehensive knowledge repository for the domain of life sciences (1.8 million species) Wish from E.O. Wilson at Ted Conference „I wish that we will work together to help create the key tool that we need to inspire preservation of Earth's biodiversity: the Encyclopedia of Life. ” EOL will contain a summary of everything known about the species’ genome, proteome, geographic distribution, phylogenetic position, habitat, ecological relationships, and, not least, its perceived practical importance for 6 humanity. http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 7. Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) EOL Vision can be realized now, because Necessary consortium and Cornerstone Institutions brought together(Sposors: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation , Alfred P. Sloan Foundation ) Biodiversity Heritage Library The Field Museum of Natural History Harvard University Marine Biological Laboratory Missouri Botanical Garden Smithsonian Institution ... and growing Global serious concern about rapid detoriation of ecological/ biodiversity system Maturity of necessary technologies 7 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 8. Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), a gigantic effort EOL plans to collect and gather data from diverse ressources in one platform Attemts to provide an environment/ platform for fostering future research Gathering data of future developments as feedback from the scientists Knowledge already known about species is available in pieces in different forms and ressources 8 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 9. Encyclopedia of Life (EOL), a gigantic effort To collect and present information which caters for the vast and diverse group of stackholders ranging from a school boy to hightech research institutions and laboratories. Affords flexible and end-user focused information architecture which can be viewed in three blocks Aggregation Authentication Atomization 9 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 10. Aggregation Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Whole structure of EOL linked by species name, which is the only field common in all biological databases Aggregation will bring all the pieces of information from diverse resources and will use technologies ranging from OCR to the APIs of data providers Semantic Technologies are used for disambiguation and reconsiliation of terms while conducting machine based aggregation of 10 data from diverse ressources http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 11. Authentication Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) EOL will secure involvement of scientist and scientific institutions that are established experts on each species Semantic Wiki-like environment will be provided for the scientists so that data on each topic can be validated by the specialist of the respective field Learner will have authoritative information Scientist may use EOL for their research EOL can shape the future of scientific publishing 11 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 12. Atomization Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Ontology based technologies structure represent the data in customized forms Novice and expert views on the species pages Modules for atomization are developed as open source APIs and data mining facilities will be provided to the scientists and laboratories 12 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 13. 13 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 14. 14 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 15. Learning with the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Four disrcete content representations engage learners from school to expert level Interfaces for mobile devices allow field studies Web Services 15 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 16. Wikipedia vs EOL „A comprehensive reference work containing articles on a wide range of subjects or on numerous aspects of a particular field, usually arranged alphabetically” (dict ionary.com | A merican Heritage Dictionary) Both claim to be Encyclopedias but differing in their goals Wikipedia aims to be a widespread base of knowledge EOL aims to be focused to gather all ressources in the domain of biology, creating comprehensive base of knowledge Wikipedia covers breath of knowledge, articles are numerous but often missing detailed level In EOL articles will be on a consistently detailed level, covering the depth of the topic and will be current 16 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 17. Wikipedia vs EOL Encyclopedia for everyone Encyclopedia for everyone with partial content copyright issues Grown encyclopedia, using Content aggregated from phenomenon of mass diverse established ressources authoring to the area of content creation Content will be authenticated Everybody may contribute by the scientists to every subject regardless of expertise in that field Suitable for providing an Comprehensive knowledge repository for all discovered overview knowledge on biology Usage for scientific purposes Can be future publishing 17 are limited, validity is platform for the scientific lacking community http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 18. Wikipedia vs EOL Lack of workflow for quality Well defined workflow for assurance information quality assurance Validation of content by Quality of content experts inconsistent and can be easiliy vandalized Lack of personalization Personalization features features End Users are facilitated to organize content in the form Bulk of content has to be they want (myEOL) browsed every time Multimedia content is scarce Presentation in an esthetically pleasing way with vast multimedia support 18 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 19. Wikipedia vs EOL Lacks in current Set of technologies is very technologies including broad ranging from OCR to APIs and semantic wikis tagging, content syndication, ajax and semantic technologies Dump of whole Wikipedia EOL provides sophisticated technologies for mining, reuse and mash-up No Semantic Technologies in Smart semantic search Search mechanisms (taxonomic intelligence) 19 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center
  • 20. Conclusion EOL is well planned and revolutionary using latest web technologies Services will be available on a global basis Learners will profit from a comprehensive knowledge pool To make the content freely available to learners will be a crucial milestone (copyright issues) Success of EOL (wiki-like environments) depends on critical mass of authors and articles which EOL has well planned involving necessary stake-holders 20 http://www.kno w-center.at September 2007 © Know-Center