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um so welcome to uh some talk about slack or slack talk as the title goes social learning across across content coalition
which many of you know was announced on monday of this week with many participants across the content provider publisher library
and aggregation space so what we wanted to do in this session today is bring together some of the members from those different perspectives and talk a bit about what's
going on uh with slack why we in particular find it so interesting and why we hope that you will as well uh to kick us off uh dan whaley uh man of the week here at the conference uh was gonna
talk in a little bit more detail if you have missed it about what slack uh is is and what it's doing and then we'll go into some questions that i've prepared and hopefully
you will have questions as well that we can uh share with our speakers and and have a lively uh conversation for this uh last friday of uh i annotate and welcome back del mar we're glad
that you found your way back so um dan i'm gonna hand it over to you and i believe you're going to show some slides for us yeah so i'll show a few slides i i won't make this long i think this is more useful if it's just
a discussion but just give a little bit of a background here this coalition social learning coalition um which we um seemed to have named uh slack
um we sure had experimented with a lot of different things but um uh such as it is um so the basic premise here is that um is this is really a kind of user focused
and kind of user-centric um premise uh in that students and teachers need tools that work um the same quote unquote no matter where they are um not um
different tools that are geared to to do the same thing but are implemented differently on every single different content platform that they go to um so in this in the way that you might
build you know an extension that you can take with you around the world um how do you bring a common capability to you kind of as as you um you know travel to different content platforms even within
the course of a single day as a student or as a teacher uh and so the the idea was for them to kind of build a coalition of content platforms publishers tool
providers and so forth to work towards uh this vision where social learning can take place anywhere in the same way regardless of your vendor and we built even though some of the
applications of this might not necessarily be social learning um but then the social learning as a frame felt like a good home
and a good kind of um conceptual gonna face it a foundation to build this on and that's why we called it the social winning coalition um so more specifically
with with regard you know kind of technically in terms of how these um um the the different content platforms lms's tool providers work um
that um there is there is a standard called lti um which is you know really foundational to the experience of students on in most major kind of institutions on a daily basis um
and tools can inherit um or can be built into the lms and can inherit the services and authentication and so forth it's called the learning tools and interoperability standard um but
there's a lot of asterisks in that and that you know usually only one tool or one content platform can kind of inherit that session at a time it's more difficult to kind of swap them
back and forth uh to swap that information and that the session and authentication information back and forth it's very clumsy um lms don't implement this
in in very sensible ways a lot of the times um content platforms are very uneven in terms of uh how content is rendered and made available
um and ultimately the this from from our perspective in terms of trying to implement this it's led to um challenges a variety of different challenges which we think a
kind of a common approach um can improve on so the goal uh was to to organize a coalition of platforms work to identify these obstacles um make proposals about how they could
be addressed and then work towards implementations um and we're kind of work in the open and share best practices with each other so that the ask
in particular of participants was um old fundamentally that they agree with a vision um that they would explore what doing this would meant would mean for their own platforms
um and um and then prioritize that work over time collaborate with with the group and achieving those goals and be public about it um
so we'll work um ultimately towards a set of technical recommendations for college members across a series of different areas um and demonstrate
initial examples of the implementation of those and then see if in particular if any of those recommendations makes sense to be incorporated upstream into some of the existing
standards frameworks in particular lti we are in touch with ims they are interested in and i think excited about this we have some of our first conversations that will happen over the next couple
weeks with with their um groups it may make sense to form a in an ims working group to help implement this and
and if that's one of the primary outcomes of of this coalition and it helped in a sense pulling those groups together helped to illustrate that and that the primary work happened in in
authenticated relation related parts of this discussion happens in ims that's totally fine with us our you know from my perspective our goal is only to kind of see this happen
anybody is welcome to join that that ultimately wants to enable powerful social educational experiences across content platforms and you know shares this commitment to user experience and interoperability
if uh you're if that describes you then please reach out this email address is a good one for contacting us or reach out to any of the members um
right now we've got 16 members from kind of a range of different kinds of platforms barnes and noble uh daisy ebsco uh free e-book which is also uh eric
hellman who works at the project gutenberg institutions like gao day uh uc davis um also another and another kind of range of
um members probably an equal number of these that are in final biscuit discussions about joining that we think will will probably um be
coming over the next coming weeks and months um there's a website here with um some videos of people kind of explaining in their own words from these different um projects why
the this makes um sense and in terms of their own objectives and and and goals um check it out um and i think that's it thanks dan
that's fantastic um so i mentioned we have some of the coalition members joining us here today and i would like them to just briefly um you know introduce themselves although some of you may have met them in
earlier sessions uh and just tell us a little bit about um their organization uh and then we'll be moving through some questions um in particular about the coalition mark graham i know you've met a number of folks already through presentations
at this event but if you could just briefly um introduce yourself plus a little bit about uh your organization and um we'd love to hear that sure great thank you uh very much heather and and dan
uh my name is mark graham i managed the wayback machine at the internet archive yes i can hear you great okay good this is our 25th
anniversary year and uh so we're really happy to be uh celebrating that uh we're a non-profit uh library uh whose mission is universal access to all knowledge uh we we do our work in a
number of ways we take analog material we digitize it we preserve it and make it available and we also collect digital information we preserve it and make it uh available uh for us
it's all about what we call bits in and bits out we bring in a lot of material and we we push out a lot of material in a number of different formats specifically um books we've uh we have digitized more
than four million books uh academic papers with scholar.archive we've we've archived more than 28 million open access journal articles television news we've
been digitizing uh dozens of television news channels 24 7 for the last better part of 10 years uh the government documents uh millions and millions of
of them i'll talk a little bit about that we do with the mueller report i think further on music including for example more than a quarter of a million 78s uh that we've digitized and have made available on the web and
via uh voice services like alexa and google et cetera magazines uh and across the web uh today we archive more than a billion urls a day uh and that's about twenty thousand a second uh
and then those are uh accessed at the rate of about five thousand uh a second i we work really hard to make our services available to as many people as possible um and uh in through especially through
integrations with platforms like wikipedia um and including integrations with browsers like brave browser for example and uh and and browser extension so i'm super excited about uh what's going on
here with slack because we're you know but the bottom line is we everything that we can do to accelerate and improve and enhance uh issues that people have around
uh content discovery access use and and then most importantly um an understanding of context which often happens within a sharing environment uh
is critically important to to learning and engaging in in our society uh i have some other comments about that but i'll stop i'll stop there there we go heather i've i finished nathaniel
all right well thank you very much for having me it's a pleasure to speak with you um i'm nathaniel lee corporate strategist at ebsco information services ebsco is the leading provider of scholarly research and educational
content to libraries and so a large focus of uh for us is helping that information be consumed in the most effective ways we think a lot about how do we identify
future sources of growth and how do we make our products work better for our customers our mission statement is to transform lives by providing reliable relevant information when how and where people need it and so
with something like slack we think a lot about what is integration with the right content tools and the right delivery mechanisms look like because it's one thing to have the resources available it's another thing
entirely to consume them in the right context and i'm standing in by the way for my counterpart from pm donna shaw if you go to the video site you'll um see a lovely video that she recorded on
behalf of ebsco she's ebsco's representative with slack really focusing on making sure that the way that we talk about interoperability and standards around
lti and things like that um that we're really aligned to internal development so happy to be here nathaniel thanks domar um so my name is delmar larson i'm a
professor at chemistry at uc davis uh i'm the founder and director of the libra techs project um and the libritex project is run as a not-for-profit organization at least one leg is and the other leg is as
a project out of uc davis and the goal of the project is meant in order to be able to disseminate oer open educational resource content to academia and outside of academia
anyone who's interested in reading and utilizing it the the stick of our project is to try to build a centralized infrastructure that can be curated and openly edited and then correspondingly
customized for individual faculty or individual campus use a key aspect obviously in consuming textbooks whether it's traditional or it's current let me phrase that modern or the future
is the ability in order to interact with it in the past that used to be by writing in your book and oftentimes their books are quite written into at least my books are uh but in the modern age that involves uh
annotation infrastructures like hypothesis so the ability in order to couple hypothesis uh infrastructure in order to allow students in order to engage in
these active activities using our content is exceedingly of interest and we've been uh working with hypothesis in several projects primarily
authentication and other mechanisms of using it to constructively uh empower the usage of the libratex project so i'm happy to be here so uh i wanted to talk a little bit
about the importance of broad scale initiatives like this when dan reached out to me initially um to to to get involved in the project he said it's kind of along the lines of the annotating all knowledge coalition it's
going to bring together folks to have those conversations uh that might not ordinarily happen so um i'd love to hear uh feedback for those of you who recently joined um on on the value that you see uh in
kind of putting these collaborative forums together mark do you want to start oh gosh i don't know so much has been said about this i just want to underscore the videos that dan painstakingly got from from various of us and i
listened to all of them last night watched all of them last night and i learned a lot so i'm going to put a plug in there uh to amplify what has been been said by so many of the other members of the coalition
uh to me i i'm i'm here because representing the internet archive and there are many other uh engineers and and people at the internet archive that uh i'll be working to liaison with and bring the conversation back to
but frankly more than anything else is to is to learn um and and be inspired um and and and understand opportunities that might exist out there that we can participate in to help
integrate the services specifically the services of the internet archive uh into the larger learning environment but you know also i think this whole question of learning um social learning i think social
learning is like social distancing i don't understand why we use the word social with distancing it's just distancing it's physical distancing actually and and social learning i can't i get that like learning together
but there's also the concept like lifelong learning or just you know uh just in time learning and and i you know i think it was a conversation about um like in in the classroom or academia and
in an other context and i was just reflecting that with regard to learning um these days for the last you know year and a half the learning for many of us has been up in the context of covid
right so the question is like you know learning about issues important to our health and and in fact our lives and in the lives of our of our countries right uh
the health lives academic uh uh and uh and business etc all of it and so where where are we doing that learning we're not doing that learning in the classroom we're not doing that learning based upon
much of what we had learned in the classroom historically we're doing that learning on on social media and uh by and large we're doing it on twitter and on facebook and on tick talk and on
news sites uh many of which aren't even actually news sites in the traditional way they're you know they're sites that have a particular point of view sponsored by an organization that you might not even be aware of so
i think context is critically important in these times and part of the context can come through the the social aspects of what we're talking about here so um i know that's kind of a long-winded
way of saying uh i'm here to try to help learn about ways the the internet archive as a resource as a library can be more useful to to people uh overall and i'll just give one
specific example for example when if someone is on a wikipedia article uh they're reading wikipedia article and they want to go further um we're working to help ensure that any time
there is a reference to some external resource via a a website or a book or an academic paper or some other resource that that resource is available
in a digital format um and it's it's accessible via a click and and it's reliably accessible um such that if something happens um on the original source then there's a backup of it
um and uh and in addition to that to go further and to say what additional resources could be made available to uh the the person who's who's on the wikipedia article uh to help them go further in their
exploration so that's just a very practical example of where we're trying to take some of the resources that are available from the internet archive and the wayback machine and extend them out
into the larger information ecosphere thanks so much mark um nathaniel i know ebsco are huge proponents of collaborations with with libraries but if you could tell us a little bit about um again the
importance of collaboration for ebsco and maybe um you know one particular idea that you think might uh potentially uh come from this collaboration yeah sure um so i think i'll start with the
kind of where ebsco is today um we see our strength um well a large part of it just being a a content provider we have partnerships with over 16 000 publishers and
we're in tens of thousands of libraries and so anytime you have that type of positioning you have to i think think critically about making that content as accessible as possible
and so when we you know interested in logistics also in software you know think about what is the quote final mile of delivery right it's it's not just you know you you if you if you really want to find it
you can go and authenticate and get to that resource in the way that um is is there but also when you're searching at your point of need or when it's being assigned in the lms our students able to actually access it at their convenience and and faculty able
to uh pass along and so historically we've integrated with standards lti is a good example of that and we've had products that support that in indirect and indirect ways but we see
this as increasingly important and i think i would just point at this post by uh a16z the venture capital firm with andreessen horowitz um the person who first popularized
software's first eating the world and there's this great guest post right now that's talking about the resurgence of social right so everyone thought social was dead after facebook linkedin twitter instagram you know afterwards
you know it it's done with but we're kind of entering a a social 2.0 wave you have platforms like clubhouse and spotify green room which were just launched this week um facebook audio rooms which are all about
essentially helping people to engage in new ways um virtually but you know different medium now instead of text or post we were talking about audio and i think that in traditional fields like classroom teaching and even research
like mark said um social is almost like an unnecessary word there because they've always been social it just so happens that now the technology is following suit
thanks so much and um and moving over to you del mar the open educational resources as a concept is fantastic and and and really the idea of collaboration and sharing uh just down into the into the the dna
there so maybe um i could ask you this the same question that mark and nathaniel um answered just what um is sort of the impetus for your participation and and perhaps one thing that you think you might work
on as a result well so the key aspect of oers many people probably know the o and oer is open which obviously uh is meant for freely distribution
of of content um you know what we're trying to do is not necessarily distribute content because there's a variety of mechanisms in order to go about doing that we're trying to centralize it and provide a mechanism to curate the content and to customize the content for
individual faculty at individual campuses and the key aspect in terms of doing that is to realize um and it's not really much of a realization that the the concept of a class is
intrinsically a social aspect so the ability in order to interact with your faculty or with your professor or instructor record is critical but also the ability to interact with your peers in studying grading and doing sort
of things and that hasn't changed significantly when we've switched to uh online activities in fact uh it's that social aspect that's in part been diminished or at least had
significant limitations by moving online uh what we've been uh by trying to capitalize on how uh we have traditionally been interacting in classrooms is how we and interacting
with textbooks is how we actually want to be able to ensure the social aspect is coupled into the textbooks that are hosted on our our project uh and that entails uh several different use cases that we try to push
you know and i mentioned the ability in order to edit the content of the uh side of the pages which is you know intrinsic to just the ability to um just the base annotation capabilities uh but the ability in order to generate
um effective learning circles or effective um either class participation or sub group participation uh is quite critical
in terms of being able to maximize the learning experience and the utilization of the textbook to catalyze that is exceedingly important and what we're trying to get off of this thing is to establish the best practices that can be implemented
into our uh our infrastructure with a shared authentication so that people can come in faculty can realize how they can actually utilize these tools effectively in order to be able to extend what is traditionally done in the
classroom or via computers nowadays or via screens in order to be able to really maximize the educational experience and there's a variety of different workflows that we have there we want to be able to
establish the best practices for doing that and then being able to utilize that scale for the uh the users that we have um there was a second part of that question which i've completely forgotten uh
so um i think you talked a little bit some of the things that you might like to do um is there more that you want to add on that front well the social aspect is particularly important one of the aspects obviously but one of the key aspects
that we've been trying to address is a central authentication infrastructure that when a student comes in irrespective of where they happen to come from that they have the ability in order
to capitalize on these tools as quickly as possible um uh and again not necessarily uh within all this hierarchical approach that i talked about um and that's a key aspect that we've
been uh working on the other aspect that we've been particularly interested in is being able to extend the concept of annotation to not just be uh the ability nor write pages down whether they happen to be for the class or for
faculty for providing information off of that or even for reviewers in order to help facilitate the curation but the ability in order to embed uh different types of concepts uh or different types of
form factors of information um for example the ability to insert questions uh into the side or let me phrase that uh interactive questions that can act as homework
uh in order to facilitate the next level of interoperability or interactivity between the students and the the content um and other sorts of materials that i think is the the next stage of annotation capabilities so we're very excited about
that great thanks so much and dan um you know you talked a little bit about why it was so important to create this this coalition in the first place but i'd love to hear you know your take on why um hypothesis is so committed uh to
collaborative organizations whether it's from the w3c standard um on through other industry groups and and maybe some of the things that you're thinking about in relation to partners who are not able to join us [Music]
um thanks um yeah i think the collaborative nature i mean there's two two big reasons to to work in groups like this um and why specifically why
you know we put a bunch of energy to try to help bring people together number one um the you know there's there's a work to be done to help bring this kind of
interoperability and and um you know kind of overall kind of ecosystem improvements that work the more that we can be informed by the needs of the different
parties in the ecosystem um the better the second reason though is there's definitely an importance in signaling um in that um
like for instance i'll give just give you an example of one one capability um that um is you know something we we're very focused on right now in order to launch for
instance hypothesis over a reading assignment in the lms you've got to go in as a teacher and create and and say that you want to add this hypothesis module to this reading so
only in teachers that want to invite it into the classroom and only when they decide that they want annotation as part of the module are is that is that fundamental capability going to be there on that
reading um really what needs to happen is that administrators at universities need to be able to flick it on for every student to be able to use in any class on any reading
as just a basic default um capability that's present everywhere um ins and and when all the students when students realize you know maybe an instructor can go and
turn it off specifically if they don't want you know the the you know for this particular assignment or generally for their class to have that capability and you know that's in an antique pattern for them great
but and you know for the teacher who's hasn't heard of it yet or doesn't care or whatever with the students can still go into the document together and work together to help each other um that's that's amazing and the more
present that it is and the more places um um you know the more beneficial in order to get you know these lms organizations that
would need to be implementing this kind of capability in this much broader way in order to get attention in their product backlogs and prioritize things it's super
important to have um you know a a group of people that they recognize as their peers um they're saying that this is important to them and so for us the biggest value
one of the biggest values and bringing this together is to um let people know that it's a priority for you know some of the biggest content platforms and so forth in the space
thanks that's very helpful um it was interesting to me to go through the discussion process with a lot of the the partners um you know who are now in place and um we all know
from covid the importance of being able to access a variety of digital learning materials um and and that's something that was was evident you know much earlier
uh for for those who are instructors and and students in the space but perhaps you could um and back to you dan just talk about some of the challenges um when uh hypothesis started to uh integrate
more closely you know with the lms uh some of these walled gardens or proprietary uh challenges that that raised their head that ultimately led to where we are here today um well just i'll mention two
um simple things um and i'd i for me it's not i don't think of these as wall gardens i mean we all know that there are world gardens out there but this is not a walled garden problem this is this is really just a a problem
with the web being a very uneven place with lots of different technologies that's implemented in some in some places one way and then another place another another way like for instance some
screen reader or page readers book readers um the you know you can't select text um and uh you know that's a fundamental you know kind of a capability super
important for annotation uh and so if um we're gonna have broad annotation or capabilities that can lay across content platforms that rely on some of these fundamentals
then i think it's important to highlight those what are the things that are important about the way content is represented um you know that are necessary for um for
you know these kinds of third-party you know or interoperable experiences so the second thing is um in terms of passing authentication around
uh and sharing authentication there's a lot that's built into lti but there's a lot that's not quite specified yet and which needs uh which isn't even
related to necessarily to the lti standard that has to do with how these things can get passed or inherited back you know between kind of tools and platforms and so forth um and in in a way this is kind
of taking some of the work like for instance api 1.3 and really digging into the use cases for it and more fully expressing those and doing
that together with a broad selection of different platform providers thanks nathaniel i know that ebsco
is um very much focused on uh student outcomes and and making sure that those those outcomes are successful um from the from the your perspective um in uh talking with the different
ebsco partners and incorporating uh different things either into the discovery service or into ebscohost um could you talk about the value around you know interoperability and standards in that regard i know you
mentioned why but maybe did we go a little bit deeper for well i i i guess i would say there's three large outcomes that i can maybe for um to break the consulting rule
um help faculty more easily assign materials help students um actually get more of the supplemental content delivered at the point of need and i think part of that speaks to the
affordability issue when you think about um how do you students use our content today a lot of it's for outside of the scholarly research context um you you have the um
it's really about writing papers it's really about you know finding the quality of authority authoritative research um and a lot of that is supplemental in the educational context and so our resources might be used alongside
oer type resources like like libra text and so in that type of context what we want to do is make that um information be more easily pulled when faculty members are thinking about how can they you know affordably um round out their
curriculum content so that's that's one of those use cases another use case um it's just the library themselves that's a large focus for us as a company we spend a lot of our time
really supporting the needs of librarians whether they be academic or in this case as well k through 12 and a lot of our library customers are focused on curriculum development and helping support
the faculty um and student needs around that and so those are kind of like the high level outcomes um in terms of the actual kind of day one um you know what is that going to entail i
think we're very much uh watching to see how this is going to evolve and um kind of be different than something like um at um what a lot of the
lti standards work and what ims global has done i think one of the reasons we were really excited about um joining this this early on was because of the leadership with dan and heather and their work around w3c standards
we think that even if it's even if there are early stage opportunities in the market and there's a couple different directions it can go if you have strong leadership then there's a lot that you can do
thanks so much and um so delmar just uh as an an oer company i would imagine there's a lot of um startups in the tools space that that
are kind of reaching out to you guys um about you know potential integrations uh and the like um one of the i think potential benefits for a coalition like this um would be
having more interoperability would make it easier for outside tool creators uh to to participate in the space could you talk a little bit about um you know how how libra text has has found that
uh process to be in the past maybe what you look forward to perhaps shifting in that regard um let me answer that and maybe answer my version of that question uh in order to get that across
the the and this probably applies to all of academia or all of uh but certainly in the oer community i think it's somewhat of a wild wild west although things are getting a little bit better in terms of
standards because there's really no standards out there in terms of how we store things how we transfer things and even the or at least some standards that do exist are oftentimes very
not 100 reliable in order to be able to do stuff for example we have oer content stored in a variety of different formats we have stuff as latex we have stuff as a text files we have websites we have
various packages that you can store content and distribute and it's a very hodgepodge of different things and currently there is no single uh standard across
the whole pla whole oer infrastructure for content to be distributed in one con one region of the other that's one of the reasons why a significant part of our effort is what i refer to as harvesting which is involving uh someone on the order of 100
undergraduate students at uc davis they're largely plowing through and manually integrating content into our platform now it's not that we're necessarily establishing a standard per se although we are by bringing everything
into our platform and it's centrally standardized and stan in the uh underlying code and how we store it um so there's the point of that is that there's quite a lot of need for interoperability
in establishing the source standards that slack is is implementing in the oer uh infrastructure okay and then obviously multiple platforms have started to in the oer
landscape has started grow up especially many of them that are for profit that have identified a niche of somehow still being oer but still trying to make a uh we profit off
of the the whole situation which is quite an interesting balancing act that they're able to do but as these new projects are formed and start to grow the need for interoperability uh is
certainly very critical in order to be able to implement that and that's what i'm hoping that slack is able to uh to pursue and uh establish at least within the annotation sphere thanks i remember one of the very
first workshops um i participated in when i joined hypothesis was an oer workshop and just the the multiple layers that annotation could bring
to a completely reusable and remixable resource like oers you can have the students learning collaboratively from each other you can have the instructors uh working together with the students because you can also have the network of
instructors who are using the resource use it as a back channel to share tips and best practices and even have the um the authors and the creators of the project uh making their own
internal annotations you know for future editions so it was kind of mind-blowing to hear um you know kind of all of those those you know facets uh for for annotation across across oer um mark you sort of um
uh kind of touch a lot of different parts of the the industry you know given your role there at the internet archive and and with the wayback machine um and and i'm just wondering you know we've talked about the the
folks who are participating in slack you know thus far if if you have thoughts on you know how the initiative might even ultimately you know be broadened what other voices might be beneficial to have in the conversation moving forward
yeah most certainly and i'm you know i i have ideas about specific organizations and individuals initiative et cetera i won't go into them right right right now but but i do want to make some other comments i mean i actually do want to call out
um some challenges here that the world is not moving in in in the right direction in a lot of ways um around i think some of the values that the dad and others have been promoting and that certainly brewster kale at the internet archive
and others in this world of open um you know so let's be specific uh a lot of amazon uh owns the bulk of the market in e-books and the kindle platform either on their
hardware or the the way i read my all of my books or the kindle software on an ipad is a closed environment by and large uh the news more and more uh is
is people are consuming through apps on their android and ios devices and and those apps the apple news app which i think uh president biden said he gets moses news from the apple news platform
um it's a closed environment um if i want to annotate uh i can't necessarily even annotate for a variety of technical reasons the the uh for forget access to the information it may be even
encrypted um on the the device so being able to annotate a book for example and then share that i can do it to some degree within that closed environment right so you know apple and amazon and
others have done a pretty decent job of of serving uh their constituencies within their environments but not across environments so i think we need to like just call that for what it is and it is not a healthy um uh
i mean a movement for an open uh uh a learning and social and collaborative ecosystem uh the flip side of it is that there are uh examples and opportunities where
uh things are open and connected and accessible i i just uh just this morning and we get uh comments from donors at the internet archive and this one just came in this morning they said
after i read the new york times obituary for leonard uh for chief leonard crowdog spiritual leader at wounded knee and learned he released an album of ceremonial songs in 1972
i began a frustrating and futile search online um well the flip the the rest of the story is that we had archived we had digitized um and and made available that recording um
from 1972 and it's available from the internet archive but you know the person had to come to us and search in our system for some reason it wasn't uh well indexed
on google but wouldn't have been wouldn't it be nice if someone had taken and annotated the new york times article um with it with a you know further reading additional links so in a collaborative way we could have
built on each other's works so stitching together in an overlay of the web and other related resources uh to um to to connect together the
you know different platforms and services and information resources over time i think that's the division opportunity that that dan and others here and the coalition are pursuing i just also add the bit i
you know i i spoke a fair amount um about um wikipedia and and work that we're doing to connect i think wikipedia and wikipedians uh are you know
natural ally uh in this effort uh government documents you know the i've i've spoken about this um at length but very briefly when the mueller report was released there were more than 2
000 footnotes in it only seven of them were clickable uh and and so you know we work with digital public library of america and others and we did primary research and we found more than 700
of the reference documents uh and we added links to them both with as a within the epub we published an epub we also used a modified version of the hypothesis client
with a modified version of pdf.js to make an open accessible annotated version of the mueller report now you might think okay that's interesting and useful and it's there
but it's actually a lot harder than that because there's one particular document referenced in the mueller report that i think has gone through five different revisions or uh you know declassification review processes since it was first
published so this is a living process of of knowledge discovery uh and an opportunity to make that more accessible to people who want a
more context for what it is they're paying attention to uh i could go on but i think suffice to say that there's um this is a you know a big open field and i'm happy to be uh in it with the
people here and and many other people around the world you know and not just english and not just you know uh north america but this is really a global opportunity and need especially
in the context of the splinternet that we that we experience whether it be a splinter net divided up through technology uh and limited access and there's been reports this last week
for example especially uh with regard to china and some of the early research about kovid that has uh already been disappeared off of of platforms at scale there's a major article about that of
the la times yesterday uh but also um language and and culture and other kind of barriers that that separate us from each other and and conversations of share shared interests
oh and by the way splinternet is the name of a book if you want to read more about the split internet that there's a book by that that title thanks so much uh i love splinternet i remember when i first started annotating and i was a little bit
hesitant to do public annotations one of the things i do is i'd pick an interesting article about spiders or about a museum and i would go through and add links to related resources so it can be
a really worthwhile activity and it would be great um let's get together like an annotate-a-thon and like let's all do let's all do that i want to talk about accessibility because dan you had that in
your initial slides on the coalition and that was something that came up in a lot of conversations um with potential partners if um folks have watched the videos um you know you'll see uh george kirscher
is very active with benetech and daisy um you know talk about some of the things that can be done for the visually impaired um we have a video that will be coming shortly with professor raja kushnagar at
gallaudet university um talking about um how they might be able to utilize uh social learning uh on on campus and beyond there but but but dan um you know it's not always
uh the easiest thing for people to wrap their brains around so could you talk a little bit about accessibility and what comes into play yeah um accessibility is
super important but you know i won't go too much into that except to say um it's not only in a lot of places um mandated and regulated um you know as part of you know the learning experience
increasingly but it's just good practice um to make things as accessible to as many people as possible and you know i think the field first
kind of got started around um needs of the disabled but really the larger paradigm is just about making things easier to use um in more more ways for more people more of the
time um and there's some already when you bring a hypothesis to a document for instance just from our perspective you introduce more complexity
and more navigational considerations and you know things like screen readers having to interact with both the content and then the interaction that's going on
and how for instance highlight how highlights are inserted into the text of the page and kind of how to use that in a in a in a way that
fits with within um screen original software is is is a particular challenge and it needs to be addressed as part of um you know an overall effort to try to solve this problem
at a larger scale quincy um you know del mar the open educational resources are are frequently created um directly by faculty in the field um sometimes on
short-term grants from their institution or their library or or or beyond um but they require a lot of uh effort uh to initially create and to maintain are there
unique accessibility challenges um around uh that type of content have are there best practices that you can point people to around accessibility um well there are certainly significant
issues associated with this uh massive parallelized effort in generating oer across a variety of sources and the issues behind it from an accessibility perspective is that accessibility
uh while almost everyone and i would like to believe everyone wants to make their resources fully accessible to the greatest possibility possible the
the rules and the mechanisms in order to do that are oftentimes quite difficult for the average faculty member to be able to master so you have a faculty member that is a subject matter expert in a specific field and they spend their effort focusing on
writing that content uh and the only best way i can see this thing operating at scale is to have a specific team dedicated in order to be able to then take what was constructed in oer and then move it forward
in the accessibility perspective in our case we have a several accessibility people uh external experts we have a gaggle of students that just go through and digest and update things and right
now they're actually going through a variety of different of our technologies in order to help update the vpat that we have but that team also
uses uh hypothesis as a mechanism or identify various components that they want to be able to update and that's part of the general curation uh workflow that we have in order to facilitate reading because it's the most effective way in order to
be able to identify issues and and to update them um and such so that perspective is exceedingly important from uh the importance of curating the content
so you're not just providing an overlay of content or an overlay of comments to be able to take those comments and make them actionable in order to be able to go back to the original content and update them so they're actually then
addressed and that's a key component of of making curatable living libraries and not a repository of what i refer to as dead libraries um or zombie-like libraries is somewhere in the in the middle
uh where things are sometimes editable and sometimes not for example a pile of pdfs is probably one of the worst uh repositories in order to be able to do that irrespective of the ability in order to provide important annotations on top of
it you're unable to uh to update that so it's a key aspect that um that we have to deal with in the oer uh but also that hypothesis and social annotation helps to facilitate us
addressing it thank you um nathaniel i know of course um given the variety of institutions that that ebsco is is working with globally that that accessibility um you know must be
key but i wonder in addition to accessibility which is already a big topic um more and more we speak about you know inclusivity and and equity um you know if you could talk just a little bit about how that
uh comes into play at ebsco as well sure yeah i mean i i was actually going to build off what del mar said first just about the accessibility piece um because it um just in terms of getting access to
the article itself and the whole comment about pdf um we were definitely seeing that pain point in that issue um when you just kind of extract the pdf and then you and you go dump it and you try to do all this interaction around it
yes you can you can have a certain layer level of functionality but it's different than actually being able to um um interact with like content and and pull it and and actually have it be able to um be modified
when there are changes down the line and so that's one of the reasons why we we did the effort around the lti and and the um sorry i'm blanking the name of the product uh faculty um select and curriculum builder
a couple of our products in this space because um we were finding that faculty members were just kind of downloading pdfs and trying to re-upload them elsewhere to do functionality um you know on the equity piece that
that's obviously a harder challenge and and as a content company one that we have to face in a lot of ways i saw a comment in the chat about um publishing in general and
um i i think one of the unique challenges that ebsco faces as an aggregator is that we have to think about um are we curating from the right places are we indexing the right literature are we
you know western focused or are we um able to get a global enough perspective um it is something that um we work through a lot um i think i will say you know that um
at a high level um the way that um our our products are are set up we we have um we have different teams that are constantly looking at how to improve
just not just the um the content but also the software pieces um i just i just realized i uh i've been talking for a long time um i i i guess from an accessibility
standpoint i would say that um i'm less close to a lot of the technical work that we're doing but one of the things that i do know is that um our product managers try to
ground in in the practice of um of how other institutions are actually implementing it well and so one of the things that we did is we partnered with the carroll center for the blind um in massachusetts to try to better understand um at least
from a ui standpoint how do users actually interact with the products um there's actually some really helpful resources out there that just speak to when you approach the
product development life cycle and and and all of that um there's a lot of assumptions that you bring into it just looking at the software but you wouldn't realize that it's completely different if you're interacting with it in a different way you have to like actually
you know hold down the software and you have to build these different features in to be able to let um visually impaired users um hear the prompts are getting back change where items are displayed and all
of that and so i think for us as a software company we focus a lot on kind of the um the ui elements from a content perspective we also have teams that are looking at the uh um at the uh uh the kind of equity
around um content and and curation for sure there's just something i'd like to throw in here there's some conversation about cost and money and all the rest of that
um you know i think to the degree that we can open up options and um and work against lock-in then um then that's gonna be good for for for for people to be able to make choices
where maybe they they can't today so i'm gonna give you just an example there's a platform um by uh follett called destiny and it's it's it's a popular platform in schools across
america on their website they say that they support uh they integrate with open standards like oer i don't know what that means because oer is not a standard and if you click on the link it's actually a dead link
the um but but more if you try to like if you're a teacher and you want to uh use a book let's say the diary of anne frank in your classroom the diary of anne frank through the fall destiny system costs 27
per student per year to license okay and um and there are other options within that platform for the teacher or if there are the teacher probably doesn't have time to figure out what what they are etc so i just think that
in general terms you know opening up uh opportunities for people to be able to be more uh have more choice more choice is is is good and there's one other comment about
the environment that that we're talking about i spoke a little earlier about these closed gardens uh you know the apples and the the the amazons et cetera there's another dynamic going on
which is uh feeds in general the the the fact that most of the most people are getting most of their information these days not by going to some place and seeing something within a semi-static context
like say a wikipedia article they're getting it from a stream of information that's flowing by from one of a number of of services like tick tock or twitter etc and there's
some certain fundamental dynamics about that that i think are not really healthy from a information diet perspective i mean the one is that you just get a snapshot of whatever the stream is that's going by
right and you it's almost random that you're going to get what it is or there's a a hyper focus on the idea of new the newest stuff is is is somehow more interesting or enticing than the stuff that maybe
happened and the other was it is uh persistence uh how do you address this that's that's passing by it's it's inherently ephemeral in in a variety of ways even from going
back and say oh i saw that on facebook where the heck was that i can't even find where where it was um and so i just think that uh that annotation um an ability to uh quote something
uh to compare and contrast these are fundamental qualities of of critical thinking and so the degree that we can help make tools that can support critical thinking process
by enabling the ability to persistently and reliably quote something and to be able to compare and contrast it uh is is is useful and uh and yet another reason why this uh coalition
is so critically important dan i want to give you an opportunity to come in on the accessibility and uh equity questions um well i mean on on accessibility i think
um you know i kind of spoke to that i think before um uh i will provide one additional example which is um um in trying to
um you know we we went through the this there's a process called wick ag which stands for web content addressability guidelines which is kind of a standard for excessive meeting accessibility and you
know and it's come pretty complicated we actually brought in an outside consultant to go through the whole thing and you know make sure that we were you know meeting you know bees
um guidelines in important ways and and they provided a whole mess of um recommendations that we took them through engineering and the whole thing took like six months to go through and
make sure that we were addressing every single thing required you know necessary to meet these guidelines and then we had um george kercher from benetech
call us a little bit later after that and go you know some of our folks are really having an issue it turns out that um that actually this screen readers
were having a fundamental issue with using hypothesis and the big surprise to me was that the screen reader um interoperability wasn't necessarily one of the check boxes that we needed you know to
meet for wiki 2.1 and actually the problem turns out to be bigger than like a hypothesis thing that um that when
in um on in microsoft windows in when you select text inside of a screen reader like jaws or nvda that the selection
is capped it's held secret in a private buffer inside that application and isn't even available to the browser itself and so from hypothesis perspective you couldn't when you want to go to annotate that text isn't
even you know kind of there to work with so that's a really fundamental problem um that we reached out to nvda they're willing to actually modify
the way nvda works and extend it to be able to support this use case which is great and scheduled that work for august so that's just an example and now we're trying to reach out to the right people at jaws
to do the same same kind of work this is just an example of of how i think working together um we can help solve some of these um problems that are kind of larger problems than any one single
um you know vendor or participant or whatever great it's wonderful dan that through the process with hypothesis um those kinds of challenges were were able
to come to light um i think you know all of us benefit from affordances that may have been initially put into a place for for one particular reason but then there's all sorts of other scenarios where they
can be uh tremendously helpful um i do want to just um loot back a bit uh to talk uh you know mark said he had a bunch of ideals and some other folks that
you know we might want to consider inviting you know to the coalition and i'm sure that uh that del mar and nathaniel do as well um so uh maybe uh mark you could kick us off with a couple folks uh that you think
would really bring a lot to this coalition oh i mean yeah there's just the usual suspects that i would start with but i mean creative commons uh wikipedia is that but there's something
about wikipedia a lot of people don't realize is this the wikimedia foundations uh principally the us and the german but there's 321 wikipedia sites uh different language editions and those
are really separate uh communities uh of and make their own decisions set their own priorities so yeah i just think the open culture uh world in in general
is is certainly why i would put uh focus not not to say that the for-profit world um you know doesn't have a role and an impact and certainly to the degree that we could in reach out and and involve
the organizations that i was commenting on earlier i mean the apples and the the amazons of the world i think that that would be useful um i was especially encouraged by by david's presentation uh at the the earlier session today
about the work that google is doing uh and so i didn't see their name on the list either but uh but you know this isn't about getting names on a list right this is about actually coming up with some proposals
and uh making some reference implementations and inspiring and supporting uh each other in the process and so far for me at least uh with regard to the internet
archive this has already been a fruitful endeavor wonderful del mar i don't think i can say anything that mark didn't already say there quite beautifully um the the opportunity of various people
jumping on board is certainly meaningful in order to move the thing forward um uh but they're always the the usual suspects um uh in order to ask for i i would need to think a little bit more
in terms of how to try to uh perhaps make the the infrastructure set up in order to get the smaller uh enterprises that collectively can scale up quite significantly but
at an individual level is not quite uh easy in order to target um i'm not able to actually provide any clear examples off the top of my head in terms of what fits into that category but i'm
sure there are many of them out there that's uh that's okay that's what the ongoing conversations for the coalition are are going to be for um nathaniel well mark put it so well but if i had to say without naming names
because i could get in trouble here the other content providers you know you have textbook providers and publishers you have um other content aggregators um that in our industry ebsco is not the
only one we may be one of the largest but there are others out there um and then you have just traditional scholarly publishers as well many of whom already partnered with um hypothesis and ebsco works with many
of them as well so i i see that there is an opportunity um ebsco and oftentimes um we we participate in these types of initiatives and we really don't intend for it to be like you know we're doing it in lieu of our
publisher partners but rather in conjunction with hopefully would be the goal great and i'm seeing some suggestions in the chat and and dan um we as dan mentioned there's a number of conversations that are uh
you know in process and ongoing what you see in the sort of first round uh participants are the folks you know with with vision so we couldn't be more excited um to have you guys participating
um and and there will be uh some additional participants added um you know in the coming weeks so watch for uh some videos and the like there um dan do you want to talk just a little bit more maybe about some of the
the segments folks that we're going after yeah i mean i won't yeah there's tons of folks out there but i will target one group in particular um to with with special attention and that is the
lms um platforms themselves um you know they really are in a you know not surprisingly central role with respect to the kind of switching mechanism of how
student you know the the classroom paradigm and pattern kind of works from clicking on a you know a lesson going through and and
you know kind of learning um and there's a lot um that they can do to really open up and enable a lot of the different kind of paradigm different paradigms and so
forth that we're talking about so we're super interested in in you know kind of advancing those conversations and and beginning to get them to the table which they're interested
um and i think that's them seeing that there's real interest from their peers will help also we've begun some conversations with folks at like zoom
and youtube and so forth but i would say non-traditional education providers but ones that can be extremely powerful in terms of uh you know how if you know there's a larger set of you
know kind of standards and patterns and practices here um could participate um you know very um very much and um you know in these kind of this kind of work so
really excited for that um um for those conversations too great so i think we um we have we have a few more minutes um so if you can squeak your question in uh if you get it in now but
um if uh i'd like to ask a question that was part of the video so for folks who like mark and i who've watched all the videos um in my case uh numerous times we we did close those interviews by
uh asking if there is advice you'd give to folks who are considering whether or not they should join um so maybe we can do just a quick uh rapid fire around nathaniel um you didn't get to make that video yourself
um you know donna made that and she did an amazing job but um what suggestion would you have for folks who who may be on the fence or wondering if this initiative is right for them well i um i think my advice is going to be more for the the
larger kind of corporate or even just larger organizational um because i'll speak to how donna and i were able to kind of um help others see the vision as well
um i i guess like anything it's it's about understanding is is this going to happen and how fast is this going to happen and does the world need to move in this way and if so um are you um kind of a central agent are you just um
part of it and just trying to help understand um where does your organization sit right so if you're a provider of content um in which case um and your primary use case is around teaching and learning
then it's really important that it gets accessed in the right ways if you're a technology company then it's really more about are we going to get the right types of engagement with our users um or if you are you know you have a very strong
non-profit mission and you're trying to figure out how do we better engage with our community i mean this is a very good way to um demonstrate that you're interested in and making the move um and so internally
it was just kind of showing the the momentum that that's been made on this initiative outlining at a high level on what other standards like lti um for if that's i know we talked about that a lot this talk but that's that's just the one that keeps coming up
over and over again and just understanding lti exists we integrate with lti many others integrate with lti have a lengthy q a with dan and heather um that went for a couple weeks just about how is this going to be different than
that and um you know sharing the results of that back with um you know whoever your stakeholders are and just helping them understand that you know this is they're not trying to recreate the wheel here they're trying to help build um a
documentation and workflows that um ideally would take lti to another level thanks and um uh del mar i want to give you an opportunity
um i think i may have mentioned uh or quoted nike when i actually did it was just do it i'm not entirely sure what the downside is in terms of um being in part of this the slack other
than being able to dedicate the time in order to be able to see the um or to participate actively into it um other than that uh nathaniel did a pretty beautiful job in terms of taking
the different scopes of of individuals and why they want to be able to get involved into it so more i have nothing more to add to this that i've heard
that thank you i'll quote what you said in the video that you wanted to turn the question around and say why not participate so fantastic yeah that that's a good way of looking at it but you know this conversation in the
chat right now about who pays for this stuff i i don't i don't know this is i'm not coming at this from a position of scarcity there's a there's a lot of resources of money out there this is about about alignment of our priorities as a
society with regard to the technology that that we're building and the services that we're providing that we already spend literally trillions of dollars on worldwide in education and specifically around
want to put a plug in for the the oer community my wife happens to run oer commons uh which is a leading oer uh aggregation uh distribution library service and it's
like it's not i don't think it's a matter of a lack of of dollars we're spending dollars um at like never before on entertainment um and um on on education but it's a
matter of how we're prioritizing that that spend and and helping to ensure that we're we're maximizing the the the human benefit uh for this and uh and and that we we shift us
even a small amount of the dollars that are already being spent uh spent in into a thoughtful application of tech technology and services that um that can universally benefit humanity
you know there was a comment earlier about how maybe i had a u.s centric view i'm sure i do at a bias and i try to work against that but you know unesco for example has as a program around oer
it is very active and uh certain countries do as well where countries have mandated that educational resources have to be um have to be open and accessible uh in many cases the money is already
being spent by by university uh either paid for through tuition or through uh through taxes etc so i don't know i don't i think it's a matter of of choice about how we prioritize for outcomes
and less about a scarcity model of not enough money to get uh to get these things done thanks mark it's it's been a pleasure to hear from all of you and i'll turn over to dan for the for the last word to close us up
um i think mark's of finale was a great one to end on and i just thanks for everybody for coming and now we're ready to get started and get to work
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