The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) offers free online access to over 5.5 million images and other records from organizations throughout America. With such a rich collection, discovering and contextualizing material on specific topics can be difficult for users. Our participation in the DPLA Digital Curation Pilot, creating a digital collection titled Religion in America Since 1900, will provide the DPLA with a high-quality addition to their topic-based access points. We developed a collection in Omeka using both materials from the DPLA and other digital resources as appropriate. We researched copyright status, shaped records into larger stories and themes, and developed accompanying text for the images. If selected by the DPLA, the final product will offer users an additional access point to locate material of interest, highlight historically important content from the DPLA’s partners, and support the DPLA’s goal of providing a portal for public discovery.
Undergraduate students need a way to understand how libraries fit in with their education and how the academic research process works. The librarians at UW help students understand the information world and develop critical inquiry skills. However, they cannot always be present at the point of need. What the UW Libraries need is a librarian in a box. Research 101 is an online platform that hosts short videos, example assignments, and assessment tools to support student information needs. Instructors and librarians can adjust content to specific disciplines and easily embed content into course sites and guides. Additionally, we have developed a plan to make the platform sustainable, flexible, and easy to update with new or revised modules. It is available to institutions beyond the UW Libraries, and our hope is that the information will be presented to more students and lead to success in academic research.
The Early Seattle Theatre History Project (ESTHP) is a digital history project launching its website later this year. The website’s mission is to help enrich the research of scholars, students, and subject enthusiasts. The ESTHP team hopes to do this by supplying the researcher with access to a plethora of primary resources. However, while the team began to familiarize themselves with the materials, the necessity of contextualizing some aspects of the theatre and theatre history arose. For my project I created a prototype digital exhibit for ESTHP focused on Seattle theatre during World War I. The digital exhibits contain essays and digital objects that focus on explaining certain themes brought up by the collection materials. The exhibits hope to illuminate subjects that might be missed by viewing the collection materials on their own. When the website launches other exhibits will be available to help guide researchers in understanding the collection.
Many patients may find it difficult to navigate the overwhelming amount of information they face following a disease diagnosis. SeeYourChart provides users one-stop, electronic access to their health information, but a lack of experience online can prevent users from benefiting from the site’s resources. The SeeYourChart Tutorial Project offers video instruction on site navigation to help address confusion, alleviate frustration, and improve users’ abilities to access important health information. Each tutorial is designed with consideration for the cognitive, physical, and learning style needs of SeeYourChart users. The resources are there, and every user should have the opportunity to learn about them.
Many colleges and academic programs undergo recurring accreditation. In this process, documents and information about the college or program must be collected from all of the units within the college, collocated, and shared with the accreditation committee in a timely manner. This presents several challenges. Many of the documents involved contain confidential material. In addition, collecting the documentation can be very time-consuming in a large college. Third, collocating documents in a place where many staff people have access can involve the risk of accidental deletions or faulty editing. My project involved building a SharePoint site to facilitate the AACSB accreditation process for the College of Business at University of Wyoming. SharePoint is an ideal tool for accreditation because it is secure, provides version control for recovery of lost or damaged items, and offers robust permissions control. For these reasons, this project has a broad application to other accredited institutions.
Most people have extra items, such as textbooks and video games, sitting on their shelves. They may only use them occasionally, but their friends and family could benefit from them. Collaborative consumption - sharing items among groups instead of buying them individually - empowers people to save money and reduce their ecological footprint. While several solutions exist for collaborative consumption, none combine an intuitive interface with a network of trusted friends and family. We are introducing Shelf, a Web application that facilitates the borrowing and lending of physical items amongst peers. Shelf integrates with social circles to leverage existing trust relationships while encouraging viral spread. We have also made security and accountability a primary concern, rewarding users who safely return items and penalizing those who do not. Our user-oriented approach incorporates extensive research and thorough planning to create a useful and relevant solution. Check us out at dontbeshelfish.com.
SmartAdventure addresses the problem that students’ test scores in the United States has remained stagnate for the past decade. This has been attributed partially to the fact the students aren’t learning subject foundations in primary school where the classrooms are too large and students don’t receive individualized attention. To address this issue we designed and built a prototype for an educational web application called SmartAdventure. SmartAdventure provides students with immediate feedback, tracks progress for individualized learning, and shows students and teachers where a student is excelling and needs improvement. SmartAdventure is a solution that allows students to learn at their own pace and allows teachers to easily identify students that require additional attention.
First Steps Preschool Infant Teachers are responsible for recording accurate and detailed information on paper charts while caring for infants in the Infant Room. One to two teachers care for five to eight infants from 7am until 6pm, Monday through Friday. Teachers dedicate over 60 minutes a day to recording and sharing with parents the activities and behaviors involving the daily health, habits, and significant developments of the infants. This all must be done while performing a variety of tasks such as feeding, changing, rocking, coddling, playing with, and/or holding one or more infants. A charting application on a mobile device in the Infant Room will allow the teachers more time to care for the infants rather than having to additionally juggle clipboards, paper, pens and other objects. Time needed for charting and verbal reports will be reduced while time available for caring for the infants will be increased.
Online free-speech is under attack: over 50% of internet users live in countries with medium to high levels of censorship. Legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty are all attempts at forcing internet blacklists on the free world. Speech.is provides interoperability between a special censorship resistant top-level-domain name, ‘.bit’, and the rest of the web. A ‘.bit’ domain name is a lot like a ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ domain name except that no government can take control of it. Speech.is makes it possible for anyone to surf websites on the censorship resistant Namecoin domain-name-system using their regular web browser, without any add-ons and without changing any system settings. Speech.is provides a safe haven for internet users on the web, where governments cannot seize domain names nor selectively censor websites. Speech.is effectively neuters the censorship provisions of the TPP and represents a major blow against censorship and big step forward for the web.
The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, with friends or with strangers. At the same time, general statistical software is usually unaffordable for non-profit youth caring organizations. Finally, lack of person-focused statistics makes it hard to provide person-focused caring. The SYM reporting system was developed to help Street Youth Ministries by providing an overall view of activities, generating impact reports to sponsors, and detecting the young people who need immediate care, thus hugely improving the efficiency of resource allocation.