Semantic technologies and learning — from Steve Wheeler


The January special issue of Interactive Learning Environments is out right now. Our guest editors have done a great job drawing together 5 excellent papers under the banner of ‘Semantic Technologies for Multimedia Enhanced Learning Environments’ and for Learning with ‘e’s readers, here is the editorial in full, with excellent summaries of all the papers by our special issue editors Marco Bertini, Vladan Devedzic, Dragan Gasevic and Carlo Torniai…

This special issue solicited papers focused on the use of semantic technologies in multimedia-enhanced learning environments. In this call, we were especially interested in publishing research reports and lessons learned in the following research tasks:

  • Ontologies and semantic annotations for multimedia learning objects.
  • Collaborative tagging and folksonomies for multimedia learning objects.
  • Semantic social networking in multimedia-based learning environments.
  • Semantic technologies for enabling pedagogical theories in multimedia-enhanced learning environments.
  • Semantic-enhanced learning designs in multimedia-enhanced learning.
  • Semantic technologies for personalization and adaptation of multimedia-enhanced learning.
  • Semantic-rich service-oriented architectures for multimedia learning environments.
  • Semantic multimedia content for (collaborative) mobile learning.

Yesterday it was announced that Apture is teaming up with Scribd to radically change the way people read books, documents and print media online.

Starting today, Apture Highlights will be integrated across, the largest online social reading and publishing site in the world. This will empower readers to explore multimedia about what they are reading by simply highlighting text – creating a new kind of enhanced multi-media reading experience in documents, made possible by Scribd’s unique  HTML5 technology.

Symposium on Progress in Information and Communication Technology (SPICT’10)

Conference date: 12-13 Dec,2010
Conference venue:
The Royale Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Conference country:

SPICT’10 aims to bring together scientists, industry practitioners and students to exchange the latest fundamental advances and trends, and identify emerging research topics in the field of information and communication technology.


* Agent & Multi-agent Systems
* Antennas & Propagation
* Artificial Intelligence
* Bioinformatics & Scientific Computing
* Business Intelligence
* Communication Systems and Networks
* Complex Systems: Modeling and Simulation
* Computer Vision
* Database and Application
* Geographical Information Systems
* Grid and Utility Computing
* Image Processing
* Information indexing & retrieval
* Information Systems
* Intelligent Systems
* Internet Technology
* Knowledge Management
* Mobile Communication Services
* Multimedia Technology and Systems
* Natural Language Processing
* Network Management and services
* Ontology and Web Semantic
* Optical Communications and Networks
* Parallel and Distributed Computing
* Pattern Recognition
* Pervasive Computing
* Real-Time and Embedded Systems
* Remote Sensing
* Robotic Technologies
* Security and Cryptography
* Sensor Networks
* Service Computing
* Signal Processing
* Software Engineering
* Strategic Information Systems

From DSC:
Though I can’t re-publish this article (it costs $19), I do hope it’s ok that I share the abstract and the references of the article (if not Birol or Mustafa, please advise). They are definitely onto something here, and we all need to continue to keep our eyes on such keywords as:

  • learning agents
  • multi agent systems
  • 1:1
  • personalized/customized learning
  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • the semantic web
  • …as these items represent where technology can be powerfully leveraged in the future.

Developing Adaptive and Personalized Distributed Learning Systems with Semantic Web Supported Multi Agent Technology

Birol Ciloglugil
Dept. of Comp. Engineering
Ege UniversityIzmir, Turkey

Mustafa Murat Inceoglu
Dept. of Comp. Education and Instructional Technology
Ege University
Izmir, Turkey

Abstract—The early e-learning systems were developed with the one-size-fits-all approach where the differences among the learners were disregarded and the same learning materials were supplied to each user. Nowadays, with the technological advances and the new trends in system design, the newly-developed systems take into consideration the needs, the preferences and the learning styles of the learners. As a result of this, more personalized e-learning systems have been developed. This thesis will investigate how possible technologies such as multi-agent systems and semantic web can be used to achieve more adaptive and more personalized distributed e-learning environments.

Keywords-adaptive systems; e-learning, multi agent systems; personalized e-learning systems; semantic web


[1] H. Wang, P. Holt, “The design of an integrated course delivery system for Web-based distance education”, Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education (CATE 2002), 2002, pp. 122-126.

[2] F. O. Lin, Designing Distributed Learning Environments with Intelligent Software Agents, Information Science Publishing, 2004.

[3] B. Ciloglugil, M. M. Inceoglu, “Exploring the state of the art in adaptive distributed learning environments”, LNCS, vol. 6017, 2010, pp. 556-569.

[4] I. S. B. Gago, V. M. B. Werneck, R. M. Costa, “Modeling an Educational Multi-Agent System in MaSE”, LNCS, vol. 5820, 2009, pp. 335-346.

[5] S. Garruzzo, D. Rosaci, G. M. L. Sarne, “ISABEL: A multi agent elearning system that supports multiple devices”, IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology, 2007, pp.85-88.

[6] T. Berners-Lee, J. Hendler, O. Lassila, The semantic web, Scientific American, 2001, pp. 34-43.

[7] A. Gladun, J. Rogushina, F. Garc?a-Sanchez, R. Martínez-Béjar, J. T. Fernández-Breis, “An application of intelligent techniques and semantic web technologies in e-learning environments”, Expert Syst. Appl., vol. 36, 2, 2009, pp. 1922-1931.

[8] M. Gaeta, F. Orciuoli, P. Ritrovato, “Advanced ontology management system for personalised e-learning”, Know.-Based Syst., vol. 22, 4, 2009, pp. 292-301.

[9] B. G. Aslan, M. M. Inceoglu, “Machine learning based learner modeling for adaptive Web-based learning”, LNCS, vol. 4705, 2007, pp. 1133-1145.

[10] W. S. Lo, I. C. Chung, H. J. Hsu, “Using ontological engineering for computer education on online e-Learning community system”, International Conference on Education Technology and Computer, Singapore, 2009, pp. 167-170.

[11] L. Romero, H. P. Leone, “An ontology on learning assessment domain”, New Perspectives on Systems and Information Technology, vol. 2, 2007, pp. 137-148.

[12] A. Canales-Cruz, V. G. Sanchez-Arias, F. Cervantes-Perez, R. Peredo-Valderrama, “Multi-agent system for the making of intelligence and interactive decisions within the learner’s learning process in a web-based education environment”, Journal of Applied Research and Technology, vol. 7, 3, 2009, pp. 310-322.

The Semantic Web — Pew Research Center

The Semantic Web — by Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Janna Quitney Anderson, Elon University


Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has worked along with many others in the internet community for more than a decade to achieve his next big dream: the semantic web. His vision is a web that allows software agents to carry out sophisticated tasks for users, making meaningful connections between bits of information so that “computers can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, combining, and acting upon information on the web.”

Some 895 experts responded to the invitation of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center to predict the likely progress toward achieving the goals of the semantic web by the year 2020. Asked to think about the likelihood that Berners-Lee and his allies will realize their vision, often called Web 3.0, these technology experts and stakeholders were divided and often contentious.

Some 47% agreed with the statement:

“By 2020, the semantic web envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee will not be as fully effective as its creators hoped and average users will not have noticed much of a difference.”

Some 41% agreed with the opposite statement, which posited:

“By 2020, the semantic web envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee and his allies will have been achieved to a significant degree and have clearly made a difference to average internet users.”

From DSC:
Given the pace of technological change these days, there’s no doubt in my mind that the use of software-based learning agents, learning bots, and/or whatever they may be called in 2020 will be a regularly/commonly-used set of web-based set of tools and experiences by 2020. Such bots will help us locate, connect and synthesize information. No doubt in my mind that will (continue to) happen — the technologies to make this occur will only get better, more accurate, more powerful. Will computers/computing mechanisms be able to get it right every time? No, probably not…but that doesn’t mean they can’t help us a great deal.

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