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RU Libraries project cited as a model in new White House initiative

High school students work on math problems, in this image taken from the Video Mosaic Collaborative website.

The cutting edge digital projects of the Rutgers University Libraries are not only changing the way research is conducted and made accessible to the students and scholars at Rutgers and beyond, they are also attracting attention at the highest level of the federal government.

Rutgers' Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems Grace Agnew was invited to participate in a White House press conference on June 14th, led by the acting Secretary of Commerce, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the head of the National Science Foundation. The press conference was held to announce a new public/private partnership of ten federal departments and agencies, nine prominent national companies, twenty- five cities and sixty national research universities, called US Ignite, that will develop and promote a new suite of services that make use of state-of-the-art programmable broadband networks that are 100 times faster than the Internet most of us use regularly.

The press conference also announced a newly signed executive order to expedite the construction of broadband networks nationwide. The executive order requires all federal agencies to develop uniform standards for broadband carriers seeking to build new networks through federally managed lands and roads.

In a fact sheet issued by the White House the Libraries' Video Mosaic Collaborative was chosen as one of the federal National Science Foundation grant-funded efforts that effectively illustrates the use of high-speed broadband to improve education, workforce development, and health outcomes. Built on a partnership with the Rutgers' Graduate School of Education, the Video Mosaic Collaborative combines the Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning Video Collection - a video collection capturing mathematics learning experiences across a range of grades, types of schools and a time span of 25 years - with a set of sophisticated computer programs designed to enhance collaboration among researchers and transform mathematics teaching and learning.

Carolyn A. Maher, Professor II of Mathematics Education in the Graduate School of Education and Director of Robert B. Davis Institute for Learning, notes: "US Ignite emphasizes the value of collaboration. Our close work with the Libraries digital development team and education researchers engaged in making new discoveries about learning and the teaching of mathematics created the synergies that resulted in this transformative new resource. We look forward to opportunities to take the Video Mosaic Collaborative to the next level, in terms of innovation and impact, through US Ignite."

After the White House press conference, Grace participated in an applications group that explored possible future collaborations that can make use of high-speed broadband networks to enhance education and research, create jobs, and improve health care.

The Rutgers University Libraries look forward to continued collaboration with federal agencies such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Science Foundation, to develop digital projects that serve as a national model and advance the frontiers of research, education, and service.

For more information on the Video Mosaic Collaborative, please see:

Posted June 26, 2012