Ah… the semantic web. The saviour of the internet, and the evil empire enforcing its evil standardization upon my freedom. I’ve always been a little suspicious of this particular topic. Not that I’m opposed to any kind of stardardization, railroads and the lack of standardizations with bank cards at grocery stores come to mind (grrr…) But the semantic web and how data is ‘linked’ is pretty important to analytics. time to dive in.
Skim of the week
This might seem like an odd choice for a week three skim, but I don’t think we can really pass by the classic http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html Tim Berners Lee World Wide Web proposal. In it he suggested that ‘links’ and ‘hypertext’ could be a really awesome way to collect information. If you watch closely, you’ll notice that he doesn’t like things like ‘keywords’ because you can’t trust keywords to be put in the same way by two different people. As a possible replacement, he suggests that keywords are provided and have an existence of their own ‘nodes’ that could reflect what people mean by those words. When people say ‘they meant to have the semantic web in the beginning’ this is the kind of thing they were talking about. Skim it. Claim to have read it.
- The web 3.0 video… to which i will use ‘hypertext‘ to send you to another place on my blog where i talked about it. Thanks Tim!
- Semantic Web: An Introduction: http://infomesh.net/2001/swintro a ‘real’ introduction to the Semantic Web. I simply CANNOT force myself to read this page. You might like it 🙂
- Hilary Mason: Machine Learning. A really cool presentation… if you ‘play with computers’ ’cause that’s who she claimed was her audience. I really enjoyed this.
Dragan’s presentation – Semantic Technologies in learning environments
I would call this a medium level presentation. If you don’t really understand how the web works and you’ve never considered how messy it currently is… you might find this challenging. If you are that person and you’re willing to put the time in searching out what people mean by things like RDF and ontologies this could be a nice introduction to why some people are so excited about the semantic web. Short version? Our systems don’t talk to each other. Facebook and moodle… no talkee. Semantic web is not opposite to social web. rules and structures vs. ecological approach.
Kimberly Arnold – Purdue Signals Project
How does learning analytics work in an institutional context? The first part of this session talks about who is doing analytics and why exactly educational institutions might want to do this in the first place. This is a lighter talk than Dragan’s… more of a narrative of what has been happening at purdue. Much more about how the inside of a university works and less about how the internet works. A nice balance really compared to the other presentation.
Sorry this came up a bit late… and is a bit short. see you in a couple of days.