The Internet2 K20 Initiative today announced that it has launched a brand new social networking site called Muse
which seeks to significantly enhance collaboration, information-sharing and technology opportunities for the over 50,000 K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries and museums in 38 U.S.states that are now connected to the Internet2 backbone network. The site is also expected to provide a better bridge between the U.S. K20 community and its international counterparts worldwide. Within the short time sincel aunching, the new site has already experienced significant uptake within the community.
"The Internet2 K20 community has traditionally embraced advanced technology to facilitate new opportunities for students at all levels to experience a richer environment for teaching and learning. The development of a social networking web resource is a natural progression for our community which has long sought more efficient ways to share experiences, ideas,resources, projects and collaborations across geographic boundaries," said Louis Fox, Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative and Associate Vice President, University of Washington. "We have experienced strong use since the site has gone live and expect its adoption to continue especially as functionality enabling deeper collaboration is added. In the future, we see Muse as a potentiallyhelpful resource for the greater Internet2 community to enhance project collaborations on a global scale and facilitate cross-disciplinaryengagement."
Muse was developed by University of Washington student web programmers under the leadership of James Werle, Associate Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative,University of Washington, and Jennifer Oxenford, Associate Director, MAGPI. The site expands upon the core code of Drupal, an open source content management platform, and provides many of the Web 2.0 features found in popular social networking sites. Practitioners from the broad K20 community can set up individual andinstitutional profiles, describe projects, share resources, and create direct connections with their peers both regionally, nationally and internationally. The site also allows online communities to be created and scoped to a specific geographic area. This feature is geared for groups of organizations looking to share resources just within their immediate region while still participating in the global Muse community
While the site continues to rapidly expand in use, Muse plans to introduce the ability for users to create topically-based communities, chat in real time about projects and interests, receive email "Museletters" tailored to those specific interests and provide RSS feeds to broadcast information on new users, projects and organizations as the site grows. In doing so, the site intends to provide the community the ability to develop stronger, more comprehensive collaboration groups and to promote the more rapid adoption of advanced networking applications among this unique set of Internet2 users.
Muse builds on the success of the nationwide Internet2 K20 Initiative in bringing together Internet2 member institutions and innovators from primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries and museums to extend new technologies, applications and advanced content to alleducational sectors across the country.
National Internet2 K20 Initiative Goals
- To bring innovators in K-12, community colleges, universities, libraries, and museums into appropriate regional, national, and international advanced networking efforts, via the "Sponsored Education Group Participant" (SEGP) process.
- To encourage and help sustain partnerships among these education institutions, the private sector, and government.
- To enhance teaching and learning by facilitating projects that explore the ways in which advanced network applications, services, tools, and digital content can extend access to education and educational resources.
- To develop mechanisms for timely communication across all educational sectors and regions in order to enable quick, pervasive technology diffusion.
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