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28 September 2004 / erikduval

GLOBE

Not sure if the press release (bottom of this message) is the best way to disseminate this news, but I do want to get the word out about GLOBE, a new collaboration between ARIADNE, Education.au, eduSource Canada, MERLOT and NIME. GLOBE in this context stands for "Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange". The basic idea is to interconnect the Learning Object Repositories that these organisations maintain in Europe, Australia, Canada, the USA and Japan, enabling federated search across the boundaries of the different repositories. For end users, this means access to more relevant material: in most cases, the repository that the learning objects originate from is not particularly relevant, and, in any case, having to search separately in different repositories makes little sense.

Most of the founding members of GLOBE already have bilateral agreements for federated search with other partners: when you search in ARIADNE, you may eventually, through federated search with MERLOT, find stuff from DLESE, as MERLOT already offers federated search with them. I believe that GLOBE will help to bootstrap world-wide federated search capabilities over all learning object repositories. In this sense, GLOBE could become the first global search engine for all learning object repositories! If you’re interested to join, feel free to contact me personally or the askglobe@edna.edu.au alias, so that all of the GLOBE folks see your message…

In keeping with this spirit, we have developed in ARIADNE federated search facilities with MERLOT. You can search from our site or directly from Mozilla/Firefow with the attached search plugin: put the src file and gif file in {mozilla-installation-dir}\searchplugins\, and restart Firefox/Mozilla, then your upper-right hand google search box will also support federated search across ARIADNE and MERLOT. Feedback most welcome at ariadne@cs.kuleuven.ac.be… Enjoy!

—–press release—
Media Release
For immediate release
27 September 2004

GLOBE: Connecting the world and unlocking the ‘deep’ web

Organizations from Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States today announce a global alliance to make shared online learning resources available to educators and students around the world.

The Global Learning Objects Brokered Exchange (GLOBE) alliance has been established among the following founding members: the ARIADNE Foundation in Europe, Education Network Australia (EdNA Online) in Australia, eduSourceCanada in Canada, Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) in the U.S., and National Institute of Multimedia Education (NIME) in Japan. These organizations have committed to work collaboratively on a shared vision of ubiquitous access to quality educational content.

“We found that we were all trying to solve similar problems at the same time and in different parts of the world. It made great sense to form the alliance to collaborate on shared thinking, development and brokering access to educational content,” said Erik Duval, president of the ARIADNE Foundation. Educational institutions, professional societies, and industry are rapidly developing searchable and specialized learning object collections. Simultaneously, users are faced with overwhelming challenges of learning abou the collections, interacting with the different user interfaces, and finally finding the relevant resources. Enabling users to find relevant and attributed resources easily, independent of the collection of origin and enabling learning object collections to improve their outreach to users will be a key to GLOBE’s success.

The first steps in the alliance are to develop use cases, specifications, business rules and technologies which will enable searches across the repositories that the partners involved have developed over the last 5 years. In this way, more resources will become more easily available to the communities involved. Moreover, other organizations in the world will be able to join and contribute to the global network. The GLOBE website will provide updates on GLOBE’s progress. The alliance aims to create a critical mass of learning resources readily discoverable by leveraging the investment that governments around the world have made in publicly accessible content.

Within twelve months, users will be able to access learning resources across countries and regions. The network will use federated search technologies to search across multiple databases and libraries and will adopt a user centred approach to resource discovery.

The alliance recognizes that fundamental to the success of the project are technical standards which enable the distributed systems around the world to interact and interoperate. The alliance will work closely with international standards bodies to ensure a common standards approach where appropriate.

"The GLOBE alliance continues the trend among organizations to consolidate their efforts in order to deliver the benefits of interoperable learning technology to learners, teachers and researchers," said Gerry Hanley, executive director of MERLOT. "The key characteristics of GLOBE are its focus on users, its international basis, and its commitment to applying standards and technology to serve educational needs. We look forward with the rest of the learning community to the success of GLOBE."

“GLOBE aims to connect the world and unlock the ‘deep web’ of quality online educational resources through brokering relationships with content providers. In the same way that Google© and other search engines enable users to zoom in on relevant content, GLOBE will enable users to find the high quality learning material that has been locked in the “deep web’ said Garry Putland, general manager, education.au of Australia.

There is a convincing business case for such international collaboration as it will bring significant benefits into local communities of practice that each organization serves through shared experiences, development and cost avoidance. One of GLOBE’s goals is to ensure that the burden of managing relationships among institutions, organizations, and corporations in the digital library world does not overwhelm the benefits of collaboration.

The alliance will meet twice yearly and establish a stewardship council to ensure the outcomes are achieved within an agreed timeframe. The next meeting will be in Japan in February 2005.

For more information contact askglobe@edna.edu.au

Prof. Erik Duval
President
ARIADNE Foundation
http://www.ariadne-eu.org/
Europe

Mr Garry Putland
General Manager (Business Development)
education.au limited
www.educationau.edu.au
www.edna.edu.au
Australia

Mr Douglas MacLeod
Executive Director
eduSourceCanada
www.edusource.ca
Canada

Gerard L. Hanley, Ph.D.
Executive Director
MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)
www.merlot.org
United States

Yasutaka Shimizu, Dr. Eng
President
NIME
www.nime.ac.jp
Japan

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