Semantic Structures for Teaching and Learning

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It is ten years since the W3C released its first working draft on RDF and its Introduction to RDF Metadata. RDF and related standards such as RDFs and OWL are the building blocks which promised to make the vision of the semantic web a reality. A decade on and semantic technologies have been embraced by a wide range of sectors including government, financial services, manufacturing, logistics, transport and communications, energy, health and life sciences, media, and business services Semantic technologies are widely used to facilitate identity management, language processing, ontology development, knowledge representation, data integration and clustering, information management and “meaning extraction”

Given that semantic technologies have the unique ability to dynamically describe complex and evolving concepts, resources and relationship one would expect these technologies to be highly applicable to the domain of teaching and learning. And yet, to date, the majority of standards, tools and applications which we recognise as “educational technologies” have been heavily based on grammatical approaches such as XML, HTML, etc. Accessible applications, such as those designed to support the development and analysis of conceptual relationships (e.g. mind mapping tools), are not always based on open standards and have not been particularly widely or effectively exploited by the teaching and learning community. To many teaching practitioners semantic technologies have largely remained a peripheral academic interest.

The aim of this session is to explore the whys and wherefores of this apparent paradox and to ask questions such as:

Position Papers

In addition to providing all participants with an opportunity to discuss the potential role of semantic technologies in the domain of teaching and learning, the session will include short position statements from researchers and developers in field of semantic technologies, those who have applied semantic technologies to teaching and learning along with educational technologists and teaching practitioners. These short presentations are accompanied by the following position papers to provide additonal background:


The session runs from 9.00 to 13.00 on Weds 21st Nov.

09.00 - 09.15 Lorna M. Campbell, JISC CETIS, UK

09.15 - 09.30 Tore Hoel, Oslo University College, Norway

09.30 - 09.45 David Davies, University of Warwick, UK

09.45 - 10.00 David Millard, University of Southampton, UK

10.00 - 10.15 Mikael Nilsson, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden

10.15 - 10.30 Alistair Miles, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK

10.30 - 10.45 Michael Gardner, University of Essex, UK

10.45 - 11.00 Simon Buckingham Shum, Open University, UK

11.00 - 11.30 Coffee

11.30 - 12.45 Panel session and open discussion

12.45 - 13.00 Summing up and feedback to Plenary

This session will be led by Lorna M. Campbell and Phil Barker; please contact Lorna or Phil if you have any queries relating to it.

See also

External links

Please feel free to share relevant bookmarks.

Simon Buckingham Shum adds:

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