Digital Learning Sciences develops tools, processes, and infrastructure for: organizing, managing, and enriching online resources; visualizing and browsing digital collections; and operating digital libraries and repositories. We have developed a robust suite of tools in these areas that are distributed under open source software licenses. When installed these tools can be used through public web service protocols.
The Digital Collection System is a Java-based open source web application that enables organizations to efficiently and flexibly create, manage, and distribute high-quality metadata describing digital resources and to manage multiple thematic collections of metadata within the same tool. The resources described can include learning objects, scholarly communications, and many other knowledge products, such as user-provided comments and reviews or news and announcements about products and services. The Digital Collection System can support any metadata framework described in XML schema, enabling the tool to flexibly and dynamically adapt to changing business needs without requiring additional programming effort. The system currently supports several metadata formats including Qualified Dublin Core, ADN (which combines IEEE LOM with geospatial and temporal information), and several varieties of annotations. The system also supports associating a wide variety of educational standards with digital resources, including the National Science Education Standards. The tool includes an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting data provider that allows the collections and metadata managed within the system to be easily shared.
We are currently extending the Digital Collection System to use the NSDL Data Repository to enable NSDL libraries and the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries to manage collections in this Fedora-based repository. The Digital Collection System is written in Java and runs in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat. Technical specifications of the system are available.
Digital Discovery System (DDS)
These search and discovery functions are available to users of the Digital Library for Earth System Education through the main library interface at www.dlese.org. The Digital Discovery System is written in Java and runs in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat. You can read more on the technical specifications of the System and experiment with the protocol using the Search Web Service Explorer.
Strand Map Service
The Strand Map Service incorporates the learning goals articulated in the Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993) and the Strand Map visualizations published in the Atlas of Science Literacy (AAAS, 2001). Strand Maps provide a visual representation that emphasizes the interconnectedness of science concepts and the connections between learning goals and digital resources. Rather than creating static presentations of Strand Maps, the Service dynamically generates visualizations of maps and map components. Library and portal developers can use this web service protocol to embed interactive concept maps based on AAAS’ nationally recognized science learning goals into their interfaces. Developers can flexibly configure the Service to search over collections and content to create concept browsing interfaces. The Service supports a number of display and information formats including AJAX, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), Portable Document Format (PDF), Web Ontology Language (OWL-Lite), NSDL Qualified Dublin Core (NSDL-DC) and a variety of image formats (e.g., JPEG, PNG, and TIFF).
The Strand Map Service is deployed in the National Science Digital Library, available at http://strandmaps.nsdl.org/. This interface is designed to support curriculum developers, teacher professional development trainers, and teachers by contextualizing NSDL resources with science learning goals. You can read more on the technical specifications of the Service and experiment with the protocol using the Concept Map Service Explorer.
jOAI is a Java-based open source web application to support the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), version 2.0. jOAI includes both a data provider and harvester. The jOAI data provider allows metadata records in a repository to be made available in XML format for harvesting by others using the OAI-PMH. Remote harvesters that monitor the OAI data repository can effectively mirror the files or harvest them as needed. The harvester component of jOAI allows for obtaining metadata records from other OAI-PMH compliant repositories. jOAI is being used by many organizations around the world for their OAI-PMH providing and harvesting needs.
The system is written in Java and runs in a servlet container such as Apache Tomcat. You can read more on the technical specifications of this application.
ADN Metadata Framework
The ADN framework supports describing educational resources (e.g. classroom activities, lesson plans, modules, visualizations, datasets), including relevant geospatial and temporal information. Digital Learning Sciences developed the ADN framework in collaboration with NASA and the ADEPT Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. ADN contains information elements that are represented in Dublin Core, IEEE LOM, and FGDC metadata frameworks, and can be mapped to any of these frameworks. The framework is XML schema-based with strong data typing and well-documented best practices. The framework includes controlled vocabularies where necessary to support efficient and effective browsing, search and discovery.
ADN is the primary framework used in the Digital Library for Earth System Education. You can read more on the technical specifications of ADN.