How many hours have you spent on the web poring over online journals, research submissions and other educational resources thinking “why on earth can’t all of this information be found in one place?” If so, you’re not alone in your frustration. That’s why in 2011, European web research scientists Stefan Dietze and Mathieu d’Aquin proposed LinkedUp: Linking Web Data for Education, a project dedicated to making educational open web data and resources more accessible and available to everyone.
Launched in November, led by Leibniz University Hannover, and consisting of partners from Europe and a network of associated organizations stretching out as far as Canada and Brazil, LinkedUp is directed toward:
- Gathering open web data success stories
- Collecting and cataloging educational web data
- Providing an evaluation framework for open web data applications; and
- Demonstrating and promoting the benefits of open web data technologies in education
“There’s a wealth of resources, research and data on the web; however, many people don’t know where to find information or how to use it properly,” explains Stefan Dietze. “My vision for LinkedUp allows educational data to be explored and exploited to its fullest potential – not just by researchers and academics, but also educational institutions and learners from around the world.”
One of the key components of the project is the LinkedUp Challenge. The Challenge aims to identify and promote innovative success stories which have flowed from large-scale web data in educational scenarios. The Challenge is divided into three stages, with the final stage focused on Challenge submissions that can be applied and tested in real world cases. LinkedUp partners have provided several use cases to inspire Challenge participants and offer examples of the types of issues that submissions can address.
“It’s not unrealistic to expect LinkedUp to provide feasible options for helping large numbers of people access educational opportunities,” says Dietze. “For instance, one of the LinkedUp Challenge use cases targets the creation of a platform for learners in developing countries to have free and open access to education.”
The deadline for the first round of LinkedUp Challenge submissions is June 27, 2013. It is possible to enter the competition during the second or even third round, depending on the quality of the submission.