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In the LinkedUp Veni Competition, we asked for tools and demos that analyse or integrate open web data for educational purposes. We received twenty-two submissions with innovative ideas in areas as different as mobile education, knowledge sharing, museum visits, politics and sustainable development.

Apart from innovative aspects, attractiveness, usefulness and other forms of ‘awesomeness’, our evaluation panel also looked at the relevance for education, the usability and performance of the tools, the data it uses or provides, and the way privacy and other legal aspects were dealt with.

It was not an easy task to select the eight submissions for the shortlist, and not all of the panelists’ personal favorite submissions are included. What we do all agree upon is that the following demos and tools are really outstanding examples on how to use open data for education.

Three of the shortlisted demos and tools show how linked data from various resources allows learners to explore resources, concepts, ideas and objects in various areas.

  • Knownodes is a collaborative websites that enables relating, defining and exploring connections between web resources and ideas, making use of graph visualizations. Knownodes scored high on educational innovation.
  • Mismuseos connects museum data with sources including Europeana, Dbpedia and Geonames. With Mismuseos, learners can browse and explore the backgrounds and relations between objects from multiple Spanish museums.
  • ReCredible is a browsable topic map with wikipedia-like content next to it. The topic library showcases interesting topics varying from dog breeds and alternative medicine to nanotechnology and information systems.

Another focus, which can be seen in the next three shortlisted candidates, is how open and linked data can be used for enriching resources, making it easier to share and find them, and how to personalize the way they are presented.

  • DataConf is a mobile mashup that enriches conference publications. The reviewers applauded its nice and effective design. DataConf is especially useful at the graduate education level.
  • We-Share is a social annotation application for educational ICT tools. We-Share can help educators to find tools to support teaching at all educational levels, and received high scores on educational innovation.
  • YourHistory is a Facebook app that makes history tangible by showing historic and global events that are related to your own life events and your interests.

Last but not least, the next two applications are less generic than the previous ones, but both of them are great examples on how effective use of linked data can help to learn about and make sense of the world we live in.

  • Globe-Town is a ‘fun to use’ tool that lets users find out the most important trade partners, migrant populations and airline routes of their own countries. It also provides infographics on issues regarding society, environment and economy.
  • Polimedia connects transcripts of the Dutch parliament with media coverage in newspapers and radio bulletins. Polimedia employs innovative information techniques and provides an attractive front-end that invites exploration and browsing.

These are the eight tools that will be presented during the LinkedUp session at the OKCon on 17 September in Geneva, Switzerland. After the presentations, the winners of the first, second and third prize will be announced. In addition to that, the audience will vote which demo or tool will win the People’s Choice Award – and this might just as well be a submission that has not been selected by the evaluation panel.

Did you miss the deadline for the Veni competition? Or do you plan to enhance the tool or demo that you submitted to Veni? On 4 November we will launch the Vidi competition – stay tuned for more details.

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