2nd International Workshop on Learning and Education with the Web of Data
– 17 April 2012, at the World Wide Web Conference 2012 (WWW2012), Lyon, France –
– in collaboration with Emerging Web Technologies, Facing the Future of Education –
This workshop will provide a forum to discuss approaches making use of Web Data resources and technologies, especially Linked Data, for teaching, learning and education. Distance teaching and openly available educational resources on the Web are becoming common practices with public higher education institutions as well as private training organisations realising the benefits of online resources. However, most of the research in E-learning has been focusing on creating a variety of metadata formats and environments for the exchange of educational resources. This has led to a fragmented landscape of Web standards and approaches used in the educational domain to expose resources, ranging from domain-specific educational standards such as IEEE LOM or ADL SCORM, to general-purpose approaches such as Dublin Core or Web interface mechanisms such as OAI-PMH or SQI. Consequently, it is not only the case that interoperability between repositories of educational resources remains a challenge, but also that educational Web resources remain underexploited, as their connection, reuse and repurposing are barely supported by such technologies.
In the meantime, the Semantic Web has redefined itself throughout the last years as a Web of “Linked Data”. That was achieved by establishing principles that support sharing of large datasets on the Web together with a technology stack – fundamentally based on the use of URIs, RDF, and SPARQL – aimed at facilitating these principles. The huge success and widespread adoption of the Linked Data approach has led to the availability of vast amounts of public data such as DBPedia , WordNet RDF or the data.gov.uk initiative. To this end, the Linked Data movement is also supporting the exposure of large amounts of reusable data and resources, ranging from domain-specific expert vocabularies to, for instance, data about cultural heritage (e.g., the Europeana dataset ), which has the potential to fundamentally aid and transform the production, delivery and consumption of educational services and content. More recently, these approaches started to get adopted by education institutions, with Linked Data technologies being used to expose public information regarding course offering, open educational resources and educational facilities in a readily accessible and reusable way. This has lead to the creation of an embryonic “Web of Educational Data” including institutions such as the Open University (UK) or the National Research Council (Italy), as well as Linked Data about publicly available educational resources, such as the mEducator – Linked Educational Resources. While the very nature of the Linked Data approach thus clearly offers promising solutions that can potentially transform education, it is not yet adopted widely within the educational field. Building on the overwhelming success of Linked Learning 2011, the Linked Learning 2012 workshop aims at providing a forum for researchers and practitioners making innovative use of Linked Data technologies for educational purposes on the Web to discuss, exchange and disseminate their work.