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9 <title>Educational Resources in the Virtual Observatory</title>
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11 <meta name="Title" content="Educational Resources in the Virtual Observatory" />
12 <meta name="author" content="Marco Molinaro" />
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28 <p style='position: absolute; left: 0px; top: 0px;'><span style='font-weight: bold;'>I</span> nternational</p>
29 <p style='position: absolute; left: 15pt; top: 25pt;'><span style='font-weight: bold;'>V</span> irtual</p>
30 <p style='position: absolute; left: 15pt; top: 50pt;'><span style='font-weight: bold;'>O</span> bservatory</p>
31 <p style='position: absolute; left: 0px; top: 75pt;'><span style='font-weight: bold;'>A</span> lliance</p>
32 </div>
33 </div>
34 <h1>Educational Resources in the Virtual Observatory<br/>
35 Version <span class="docversion">0.1</span></h1>
36 <h2 class="subtitle">Filled in automatically</h2>
37 <dl>
38 <dt>Working Group</dt>
39 <dd><a href="http://wiki.ivoa.net/twiki/bin/view/IVOA/WebHome">Edu IG</a></dd>
40 <dt><b>This version:</b></dt>
41 <dd><a href="" class="currentlink">filled in automatically</a></dd>
42 <dt><b>Latest version:</b></dt>
43 <dd> not issued outside
44 EDU-IG</dd>
45 <dt><b>Previous version(s):</b></dt>
46 <dd> None</dd>
47 <dt><b>Author(s):</b></dt>
48 <dd>Marco Molinaro<br/>
49 Markus Demleitner<br/>
50 Massimo Ramella</dd>
51 </dl>
53 <h2>Abstract</h2>
54 <p>
55 The goal of this IVOA Note is to introduce and explain the needs
56 rising from first attempts in deploying astrophysical resources
57 dedicated to educational purposes inside standard VO resources.
58 Issues, proposed solutions and desirables are here reported to be
59 possibly taken into account in future modifications of relevant
60 standards.
61 </p>
62 <p>
63 In detail, here is discussed: the curation of educational resources
64 inside or along with standard registration; the reasons for documents,
65 tutorials and similar to be registered and searched through registries
66 alongside with the means of reaching this goal; an idea for resource
67 language internationalization.
68 </p>
69 <p>
70 VO resources as useful material for astronomy and astrophysics
71 education and dissemination has been proved by various international
72 projects and direct request for educational data publishing has arised
73 from networks of educational telescopes.
74 </p>
76 <h2> Status of This Document</h2>
77 <p id="statusdecl">(updated automatically)</p>
78 <p>This is an IVOA Note generated by discussion between Education IG and Registry WG members mainly.</p>
79 <p> <em>A list of </em><span style="background: transparent"><a href="http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/"><i>current
80 IVOA Recommendations and other technical documents</i></a></span><em > can be found at http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/.</em></p>
81 <h2 class="prologue-heading-western">Acknowledgements</h2>
82 <p>blah</p>
83 </div>
84 <h2>Contents</h2>
85 <div>
86 <?toc ?>
87 </div>
89 <div class="body">
91 <div class="section">
92 <h1><a id="Introduction"></a>Introduction</h1>
93 <p>
94 Advances in technology and communications are creating new and exciting
95 opportunities for teachers to bring observational astronomy into their
96 classrooms. In fact, there is a growing availability of remotely controlled
97 telescopes dedicated to education in many countries world-wide, from the
98 Bradford Robotic Telescope on MountTeide, Tenerife (http://www.telescope.org)
99 to the radio telescopes of the Radio Physics Lab, IUCAA, Pune
100 (http://www.ncra.tifr.res.in/rpl). In some cases, educational telescopes are
101 linked into a network with the aim of guaranteeing the best observing conditions,
102 including deep sky observations during regular daytime school hours, and
103 the best instrument for the particular program of interest. Examples
104 of these networks are iTelescope.net (http://www.itelescope.net) and EuHOU-MW
105 (http://euhou.obspm.fr/public).
106 </p>
107 <p>
108 As telescopes enter classrooms more frequently, interest is growing for a
109 public archive of observations and hence for publishing and curation tools,
110 together with the basic applications needed to retrieve, display
111 and analyze data. The VO already includes most of the technology needed
112 to satisfy the requests of educational observatories. In fact, since several
113 years, VO, and in particular the European project EuroVO, is devoting part
114 of its resources to education (http://wwwas.oats.inaf.it/aidawp5). It is
115 therefore a natural decision for VO to tackle the problem of publishing
116 educational data in VO archives.
117 </p>
118 <p>
119 Alongside with these data collections and service based resources an important
120 role is played also by tutorials and use cases adopted in astrophysics dissemination.
121 Documented step-by-step tutorials, use cases that explain basic astrophysical
122 research performed using VO tools and resources, and similar exist in various formats
123 and have been translated in different lancguages. Providing a way to preserve them
124 and make them easily searchable will be an added value to teachers and researchers
125 involved in education and dissemination, both for astrophysics and the VO.
126 </p>
127 <p>
128 Resource registration for both data services and documents gives a nice answer to
129 the scenario here above described (while efforts for data archiving will rely upon
130 interested data centers), but, while technically this seems not a great problem,
131 from the point of view of keeping clean the resources devoted to education will
132 require some more effort.
133 </p>
134 <p>
135 Next section will discuss the idea of educational resources curation, then
136 <a href="#regext">Registering Texts</a> will work out the use cases and needs for
137 registration of tutorials and documents. Finally, the idea of introducing language
138 internationalization of resources will be discussed.
139 </p>
140 </div> <!-- section Introduction -->
142 <div class="section">
143 <h2><a id="curreg">A Curated Registry for Education</a></h2>
144 <p>
145 From a technical point of view there is no need to add new elements or extensions
146 to the existing standard for VO Resources (<cite>std:STDREGEXT</cite>) and extensions
147 to let astrophysical resources devoted to educational, outreach or amateur targets.
148 The only real need for investigating changes in what already exists is due to a
149 use case's distinction between resources to be used in teaching and dissemination
150 versus all the research driven resources that exist in the VO.
151 </p>
152 <p>
153 For the sake of simplicity here we will distinguish these two groups of resources as
154 <i>educational</i> and <i>professional</i> but without any intent of putting them
155 on different levels of importance.
156 </p>
157 <div class="section">
158 <h3><a id="eduvspro">Educational vs. Professional Resources</a></h3>
159 <p>
160 On one side, teachers and educators may find it difficult to filter out
161 from all VO resources the ones that are suitable for their tutorials and
162 examples. On the other side, researchers may find annoying having,
163 possibly non-trusted, resources in the output of their search. Again,
164 we stress it is not a matter of the quality of the data deployed, but
165 only a distinction made upon the resources' scope. Moreover, the same
166 resource may be useful for both the goals, but this leads to the same
167 point of discussion: how to properly tag resources?
168 </p>
169 <p>
170 In the next subsection a possible tagging solution, based upon the existing
171 <i>ContentLevel</i> element of VOResource, but requiring a small change
172 to it is presented. The subsequent subsection describes the idea of a
173 curated registry for educational resources and the reasons for it to exist.
174 </p>
175 </div> <!-- subsection eduvspro -->
177 <div class="section">
178 <h3><a id="contentlvl">ContentLevel granularity issue</a></h3>
179 <p>
180 In <cite>std:STDREGEXT</cite> already exists the <i>ContentLevel</i> element
181 allowing data publishers to optionally identify their resources as being
182 suitable for one or more of the following audiences:
183 <ul>
184 <li>General</li>
185 <li>Elementary Education</li>
186 <li>Middle School Education</li>
187 <li>Secondary Education</li>
188 <li>Community College</li>
189 <li>University</li>
190 <li>Research</li>
191 <li>Amateur</li>
192 <li>Informal Education</li>
193 </ul>
194 This element turns out to be misused by resource publisher probably because
195 it is not really clear what the subtle differences between the available
196 possibilities are. Probably, simplifying the view on this element, e.g.
197 restricting to only three:
198 <ul>
199 <li>General</li>
200 <li>Research</li>
201 <li>Amateur</li>
202 </ul>
203 possible values may lead to both a better description of their resources
204 by data providers and a suitable tagging solution for a first filtering on
205 differently targeted resources at client level.
206 </p>
207 <p>
208 This change in the already existing standard will require small or no
209 changes on the already registered resources (MM provide a couple of
210 figures to justify this!) and thus will not disrupt what exists or
211 trouble VO publishers.
212 </p>
213 </div> <!-- subsection contentlvl -->
215 <div class="section">
216 <h3><a id="edureg">Curating the Edu Registry</a></h3>
217 <p>
218 Even in the case of the simplified <i>ContentLevel</i> tagging system
219 a curated registry for educational VO resources will be useful for
220 educators to easily access the wanted data and services. A good example
221 for this is the educational version of the Aladin sky atlas, that has a
222 built in curated set of resources suitable for educational level
223 tutorials.
224 </p>
225 <p>
226 Curation will require some effort in managing and keeping up to date
227 such a registry but, most important, has some restrictions coming from
228 the IVOA resource registry architecture.
229 </p>
230 <p>
231 If such a registry were a standard local registry (<cite>std:RI1</cite>)
232 its resources would be harvested by the full registries: this means
233 that any educational dedicated resource will go up to the full VO
234 set of resources, which is what we don't want to happen to keep the
235 <i>professional</i> side to be robust.
236 </p>
237 <p>
238 If it were to be a full registry, it will harvest itself all the existing
239 resources, and not all of them will fit or be suitable for the educational
240 scope the registry has to be preservde for.
241 </p>
242 <p>
243 What is needed is a resource (the curated registry) capable of :
244 <ul>
245 <li><i>manually</i> harvesting the existing VO resources
246 (e.g. from a full registry);</li>
247 <li>register its own educational resources without being directly
248 harvested by full registries (e.g. this could be done using a
249 sibling publishing registry dedicated to host those educational
250 resources that are to be harvested by the standard full registries.</li>
251 </ul>
252 </p>
253 <p>
254 The drawing in Fig. 1 exemplifies the above descripted
255 scenario. This solution will, again, not touch the existing architecture
256 while giving flexibility for the emerging educational resources to
257 be curated.
258 <img src="curation.png"></img>
259 </p>
260 </div> <!-- subsection edureg -->
262 </div> <!-- section curreg -->
264 <div class="section">
265 <h2><a id="regext">Registering Texts</a></h2>
266 <p>Educational material is not only about services -- text-like material
267 like tutorials, worked-out use cases, or textbook-like material is at
268 least as important. Within the VO community, there is a large body of
269 such material for a wide variety of audiences ranging from pre-school to
270 researchers (TODO: cite AIDA, EuroVO, VAO works).</p>
272 <p>To date, such material has been collected informally by the various
273 projects on plain web pages. It was, in consequence, hard to find it.
274 Also, locating editable forms of such texts -- which has been found to
275 be necessary fairly regularly -- has been at least difficult; while
276 representing source-product relationships is in principle in the domain
277 of provenance and thus not in scope for the registry, in the case of
278 texts the relation is so simple and its representation so useful that we
279 propose to include it in a simple registry extension covering text-like
280 material, dubbed DocRegExt in the following.</p>
282 <p>The VO already has a registry extension for standards, which of
283 course are also text-like (<cite>std:STDREGEXT</cite>). This extension,
284 however, focuses on metadata important for standards -- e.g.,
285 vocabularies and status -- that is not pertinent for educational
286 material. Conversely, it is not concerned with document language (which
287 can safely be assumed to be English for standards), and it disregards
288 the issue of document formats, which for educational material is
289 important.</p>
291 <div class="section">
292 <h3><a id="regext-usecases">Use Cases</a></h3>
294 <p>The design of DocRegExt has been guided by the desire to fulfill the
295 following use cases:</p>
297 <ul>
298 <li>Is there a tutorial covering discovering intermediate mass black
299 holes? (Standard VOResource is sufficient)</li>
300 <li>Is there a tutorial covering working with X-Ray data? (Standard
301 VOResource is sufficient)</li>
302 <li>Is there a tutorial dealing with Planets suitable for school use?
303 (Standard VOResource is sufficient)</li>
304 <li>Is there a tutorial dealing with Planets suitable for school use in
305 Italian? (That requires the declaration of the document language)</li>
306 <li>What are the subjects of maintained (in the sense of: probably
307 working in the VO as found by the students) tutorials?
308 (The active flag of standard VOResource is
309 unsuitable here since even outdated resources will still be accessible;
310 therefore, we introduce the maintained flag)</li>
311 <li>Are there tutorials using redshifts? (This is solved by allowing
312 table metadata in DocRegExt)</li>
313 <li>Where can I find an editable version of tutorial ivo://auth/tut1?
314 (This is solved by allowing multiple access URLs with different content
315 types, which should be sufficient to allow answering the question)</li>
316 <li>Are there translations of tutorial ivo://auth/tut2? (This is covered
317 by the recommendations on declaring relationships between text-like
318 resources)</li>
319 <li>Is there material using service ivo://auth/svc1? (Again, declaring
320 relationships covers this use case)</li>
321 <li>Is there material about something visible tonight? (In principle,
322 allowing the coverage element withing DocRegExt resources would allow
323 answering the question; in reality, few registries expose this
324 information in useable form)</li>
325 <li>I've found this VO tutorial somewhere on the net ("on a mirror"). Is it
326 the latest version? If not, where can I find an update?</li>
327 </ul>
328 </div> <!-- section regext-usecases -->
330 </div> <!-- section regext -->
332 <div class="section">
333 <h2><a id="lang">Internationalization of VO Resources</a></h2>
334 <p>
335 The EURO-VO AIDA project WP5 put some effort also in translating tutorials
336 in different languages, meeting the needs for high schools and lower level
337 educational degrees when starting dissemination in astrophysics to an
338 audience not skilled enough with the english language. It would be an added
339 value in this case to be able to register an educational or
340 documental resource not only in english (as it is done currently with
341 standard VO resources) but also in other national languages.
342 </p>
343 <p>
344 Here what it would be nice to discuss is whether this means:
345 <ul>
346 <li>changing VOResource to allow different languages in resource
347 descriptions;</li>
348 <li>enable internazionalization in VO resources within existing
349 resources: one resource described in multiple languages</li>
350 <li>other...</li>
351 </ul>
352 </p>
353 </div> <!-- section lang -->
355 </div> <!-- body -->
357 <div class="appendices">
358 <div class="section">
359 <h1>An appendix</h1>
360 </div>
361 </div>
363 <div class="section-nonum">
364 <h2><a id="references"/><span class="secnum"/>References</h2>
366 <?bibliography ivoadoc/refs?>
368 </div> <!-- section references -->
370 <hr/>
371 </body>
372 </html>

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