The World Universities Network and Sun are talking about a collaboration
to unlock the potential of grid computing in areas relevant to the everyday experiences of people around the world. (http://www.wun.ac.uk/)
The initiative would promote new forms of access to many different types
of digital material held in libraries, museums, science centers and
universities relating to diverse world cultures to create a "global
virtual observatory" that allows people to seamlessly search for and
explore materials as though they were in a single location.
In principle, this model of allowing students to "Fly" through
information in a 3-D space is exactly what we demonstrated at
JavaOne last year with the Knowledge Web and our Looking Glass
3-D technology. With broadband, processor and storage rates
continuing to accelerate, there is no question this type of
self-paced, exploratory and experience-based knowledge environment will
offer teachers new ways to deliver educational content which is
compelling to the digital generation and at the far edge of
reality compel people to give up watching Fear Factor or some
other crap show on television and actually learn something.
Grid seems to be the next generation on from the web - not only providing the easy access to information we have come to expect from the internet, but from trusted sources, quickly, easily and within a relevant context that explains the nature and context of material. So, this initiative could
foster a better understanding the origins and diversity of our own societies and where, why and how they have converged, diverged and changed with time and over geography as well as the fundamental values we share and the differences that make us unique.
It looks like the meeting will be in April in England on my way to
Italy and Germany so I'll post some results and hopeful project
collaborations in the Education Commons Community then...