Semantic Web in HE meeting in Nice

Just announced: “SemHE ’09: semantic technologies for teaching and learning support in higher education” a meeting co-located with the 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning in Nice 29 or 30 September (tbc). This isn’t a CETIS meeting, but it is part-organized by the JISC SemTech project at Southampton University, a project which is supported by a CETIS working group, and which had its origins in the Semantic Structures for Teaching and Learning session in the 2007 CETIS conference.

Full details an call for papers for the Nice meeting at

Sharing vocabularies on the web via SKOS

I’m a little late with this, which came through from Aida Slavic while I was on holiday and then got put into a pile of things needing more time, … but hopefully the information is not stale yet. On 21 July the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) held a meeting in London about Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS), vocabularies and the web; the slides and recording for this meeting are now available. And they look like treasure to me.
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I’ve been known to make a fair amount of use of computer based concept and mind mapping tools to help me organize information or get my head around a tricky problem (I find linear thinking difficult). So I was pleased to be reminded of VUE, the Visual Understanding Environment from Tufts University, by an email announcing the official release of VUE 2. I remember VUE from a few years back as a way of creating a sort of concept map user interface for repositories. VUE 2 has that, with interfaces to fedora, Flickr, JSTOR, Wikipedia, but the real emphasis is rightly on its potential as an Understanding Environment: “VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.” New in version 2 is support for predefined ontologies, the website says “VUE also provide tools to apply semantic meaning to the maps, by way of ontologies and metadata schemas.” So I guess VUE is also very relevant to the discussions we have been having at CETIS since the semantic technologies for teaching and learning session at last November’s conference.

Update: one of the outcomes of some the discussions I mention above has just been released, a JISC ITT for a study on the potential of semantic technologies for learning and teaching.