The Jay I.Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress here is a superb example of how digital exhibits are preserving history and opening it to a world audience. This hardcopy exhibit can be seen at the Library of Congress until September 24th; the world can see it online for years to come. Thanks to the Scout Report. History
The long list of languages here (lower part of the page) gives a view of a strong content-generating force in the open internet. Language demand for information about computers is met in this Open Directory Project by a big supply of human-approved links in 71 languages. One glance at the page makes it clear that internet content is rich in other languages than English. More about the Open Directory Project here.
National Geographic has an August 2005 feature here on hurricanes. In addition to some superior photographs — a sure thing from this impeccable source — the field notes of the photographers are included. The notes both enrich the pictures and provide a narrative slant that captures some first hand adventures of photographic journalists. Earth sciences
The results of Intel’s unwired cities survey from spring 2005 are online here. The frequent locations for hotspots mentioned are: coffee shops, colleges, hotels, skate parks, pipe shops, gas stations, bowling alleys and golf courses. Conspicuously missing in that list are high schools and lower K-12 schools. Until they get to college, students who have wireless laptops are better able to study online at a skate park than at a school that is not a hot spot.
The criteria for listing the cities are:
Survey findings are based on the number of commercial and public or “free” wireless Internet access points (hotspots), airports with wireless Internet access, and broadband availability. The survey also included community wireless Internet access points, local wireless networks and wireless e-mail devices. The metro areas included in the survey were the 100 largest in the United States . . .
The University of Chicago Library has here virtually opened the cabinets holding early printed editions of musical compositions by Frederic Chopin. There are over 400 first and early printed editions handsomely interfaced online. Broadband promises soon to open an outpouring of audio archives – but even without that, music students today have incredibly bountiful access to the work of great musical artists.
Drop by here to get what you need from the Hayden Planetarium to explore the digital universe on your own computer. You are invited to Fly from the Sun out to the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, and everywhere between — a virtual experience that visually mirrors dimensions only imaginable within our minds a few years ago. Astronomy
Who, one can’t help wondering, is more of an expert on wireless laptops for kids than Nicholas Negroponte, the MIT Media Lab, Google, and the others sponsoring the $100 Laptop project analyzed here last month by WIRED? The article sets the tone by saying “experts warn” that the project may be “more challenging” than (the wording implies) the digital heavies who have undertaken it assume.
If you are interested in the subject, you will find both pros and cons by reading the full article—getting past the first several paragraphs that make the whole idea look pretty bleak.
Most of what critics say about the need for literacy and teacher guidance for internet access to help students is based on what happens in classrooms where kids have to share computers and cannot individualize them. The massive distribution of wireless laptops to individual children in underdeveloped countries is very new and cannot yet be evaluated. The connectivity issues raised in the article by the geeks are changing very fast. A good update on the hopefulness for wireless in reaching remote learners is here.
The online exhibit here from New York’s Modern Museum of Art is called a Curator’s Japan Diary. It is a linear tale of discovering art in Japan; but it is much more because of the design of the exhibit itself. Interfaced in digital medium of interactive images and text, the diary becomes a rich mix of ideas, color and inspiration. Arts
The entry page here for Tufts University’s new Open CourseWare (OCW) undertaking brings wonderful news. The significance of opening this great university’s medical knowledge globally through the internet is beautifully obvious. Medical knowledge heals now. But that is only the beginning. As Tufts and other OCW universities place their broad range of course material online, human minds across the planet are entering a new age of plenty.
The weekly e-newsletter published here by the Smithsonian is an impeccable source for new discoveries across the sciences. The Spotlights have been published since 2003 — initiating a bloglike posting before blogs became appreciated as a terrific tool for updating unfolding ideas. Thanks to Scout Report. Science
The magnificent historical exhibit here from the Metropolitan Museum of Art tells the tales of Marco Polo in text and images. A young student can find a clear introduction to the remote links between East and West that Marco Polo explored. The most sophisticated student of art and history will enjoy this digital presentation of the famous traveler. History
A bog people exhibit opened this month at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It features seven bog mummies and more than 330 unique artifacts that have never been displayed in the United States. These mysterious people can be studied online both in the museum’s web pages and in the state of the art digital presentation. The internet connects people from thousands of years past to virtually anyone online on earth. History.
UPDATE: The exhibits featured in this post is no longer online. A more recent article about the work of the sponsoring scientist Dr. Heather Gill-Robinson is here: “Bog Mummies Yield Secrets.”
Britain’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean at Oxford, has been posting here an object of the month from its collection since 2000. The object page links to related pieces and information from this distinguished collection of antiquities and Eastern and Western art. Arts
Marc Prensky’s article here in the new issue of Innovate (free registration required) explains how kids now have computers in their pockets that are more powerful than desktop PCs were ten years ago. He tells us how to use them now in the classroom and sketches the huge contributition they will make to the future of learning.
This straightforward commerical website is a terrific place to learn about cheese as well as to buy it. In a college nutrition course, chef school or the 4th grade, a student’s research here would be satisfied. There are 652 cheeses by names, by country of origin, by kind of milk that is used to produce it, or by texture — plus special slices of general cheese knowledge for every taste.