Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bruce Caron on Skolr: Extending the lifespan of the academic poster

Bruce Caron, one of our 2009 Digital Media & Learning Competition winners (DigitalOcean: Sampling the Sea), has an interesting new project of interest to academics, particularly scientists.

In partnership with the Sloan Foundation, the Carsey-Wolf Center, and the New Media Studio, DigitalOcean is building a searchable open-source software program that archives science posters. In an interview with James Badham, Bruce explains the appeal of sharing and archiving posters:

“What if there were a hundred meetings of various disciplines that all contributed posters to a searchable collection?” Caron posits. “You could start finding the crosscutting research connections between disciplines, even though people aren’t in the same room, at the same meeting, or even in the same area of research. You can imagine an ocean-science researcher who has a project on a marine protected area in Hawaii being able to connect with a poster about the history of colonization on that island. It’s a way to provide a larger purview of the activity of doing science. Or imagine you are a person who has a DigitalOcean profile, where you’ve created a map of your research region of interest, and every time a poster is created somewhere in the world that has content relevant to that, you receive an announcement on your DigitalOcean's home page.”

DigitalOcean uses collaborative digital media to network and enable interdisplinary communities to work together, both to increase public involvement and learning in classrooms around the globe. For more information on the project, see DigitalOcean's project page on, or visit them at

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