I direct the New Media Center Program and I am a consultant at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I work for the Central IT unit, the Division of Information Technology (DoIT), and the Center for Biology Education. I help instructors integrate technology into their curricula and other educational efforts. I am a biologist by training, and work primarily in that community. I have designed educational software and worked on teams to develop educational web materials.
More recently, I have developed interests in content management and sharing. I see a need to develop a mechanism for managing and sharing content from idea to its final form and dissemination. We currently have many pieces to make this possible. We just need to make them work together in a user-friendly manner. Along with content management, I am interested in issues of intellectual property - especially in encouraging strong fair-use rights and alternative licensing strategies.
Please see my curriculum vitae for additional details (Updated November 20, 2011).
I am reasonably active on Twitter with the user id @Alan_Wolf
Projects in which I am involved:
Research Data Services - a cross unit team providing support to researcher needing assistance in managing their data, beginning with those who need to address the NSF's new data management plan mandate.
National Science Digital Library - a NSF program to create digital libraries to share materials created for science education. There are several NSDL sponsored digital libraries. I, with Flora McMartin (Broad-based Knowledge), and Glenda Morgan (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign), have a grant to study student use of digital libraries. You can see the work of our past grant on faculty use at this web site (with Cathy Manduca)
CIRTL - This NSF sponsored program attempts to reform graduate education in the STEM fields to prepare these future faculty for their roles as educators. the UW - Madison with six additional universities, are in the second phase of this grant. I am an instructor in one of the core courses - Effective Teaching with Technology.
printing at the Digital Media Center - We have an NSF funded
grant to develop 3D molecular models of recent structural biology
research. In addition to creating these models virtually, we will be
using rapid prototyping technology to create physical models of these
same structures. We will be trying to explore issues of whether some
students might be helped by having these physical models to compare
with the virtual models. If you are interested in working with us, please drop us a line. And here are pictures of some of our models.
DSpace - I am part of a library/IT team developing the infrastructure for an institutional repository. Part of UW-Madison/UW-System joint project. We are developing a repository for the storage and dissemination of UW scholarship. Our local instance is the UW System eRepository.
Academic Intersections - I have just joined the editorial board for a new online journal with the express mission of publishing accounts of research or creative works within or across academic disciplines, courses and curricula or programs that embrace multimedia as a fundamental aspect of higher education. (Note: this project is currently inactive)
Engage - This a program to engage campus instructors in new and effective uses in technology. It replaces many of our grant programs with a program that develops a project team to provide support for the development and implementation of their ideas.
e-Portfolios - I adopted this project from another consultant in LTDE. All the credit for the work to date needs to go to Carol Schramm. I became involved in e-Portfolios because our first pilot group is the CIRTL project mentioned earlier.
Conferences at which I recently presented
The New Media Consortium Annual Conference presenting on future faculty development, and inviting attendees to NMC 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin.
National Science Digital Library Annual Meeting 2009 - We presented our survey results to an interested crowd.
Joint Conference on Digital Libraries is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. JCDL encompasses the many meanings of the term digital libraries, including (but not limited to) new forms of information institutions; operational information systems with all types of digital content; new means of selecting, collecting, organizing, retrieving and distributing digital content; digital preservation and archiving; and theoretical models of information media, including document genres and electronic publishing.
Projects I like and recommend to all my friends:
Creative Commons - a project to create a community of sharing and restore something akin to the public domain by individuals offering content with explicit licenses describing what you are allowed to do with it. If you want to see me get really worked up, start a discussion of the issue of copyright and the public domain.
Internet Archives - a place to share materials that are in the public domain or have use licenses (e.g. Creative Commons). There is a wealth of material in the archive, if you haven't seen it, take a look.
NMC Virtual Worlds - A project to exploring the role of virtual worlds like Second Life in education as a new method for teaching, learning and and creating community. It is hard to explain in a paragraph, just take a look.
Photography (especially of animals), wine, and travel.
We traveled to Europe in the Fall of 2008 we spent a couple weeks in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary with a short side trip to Munich for Ocktoberfest. We were with friends from our days in Ann Arbor.
In early 2008 we visited the US Virgin Islands to escape the Wisconsin Winter. It was a pretty good trip, but I want to be certified in SCUBA before going back. But, I did get an underwater camera for the trip, so I spent some time working with it. It is much slower than a dSLR, so my photo volume was very low on this trip.
The only major trip in 2007 was to Vancouver and Vancouver Island. I was there a long time starting at a conference and staying on for vacation. The weather was not so good for photos, and I never assembled a site, but you can see my Vancouver Flickr set.
We visited Montana in June of 2006 to attend our nephew's wedding. We spent a lot of time in an around Glacier National Park, You can see the pictures at this site.
In January 2006, we visited Costa Rica. Our trip was confined to the sourthern part of the Puntarenas Province around the Golfo Dulce. You can see the pictures at this site. You can see the videos at this site (requires Quicktime).
I was in Oregon for a week, you can see what we visited via my Flickr set of Oregon photos
Australian Vacation Part One - Beth and I went to Australia for two weeks. This is the first installment of pictures that I sent back while we were there. These are from South Australia - Adelaide and Kangaroo Island.
Australian Vacation Part Two - A continuation of the photos from Kangaroo Island to Sydney and then back home.
I was in Washington for a conference on institutional repositories, but I had a free afternoon, so I ran up to the National Zoo. I watched the pandas for quite a long time, and then wandered around for a while.Take a look at the zoo pictures.
I have been playing with social networking environments, and my latest exploraion is of Flickr -- a photo sharing community. This is my Flickr stream.
Updated February 1, 2012