Semantic Web

Four years ago TechWatch published a report on Semantic Web technologies written by Brian Matthews, from the UK office of the W3C. He argued that semantic technologies have great potential in education, and new work published by JISC fleshes out some of the bones of this earlier report.

Semantic Technologies for Teaching and Learning is essentially a ‘state of play’ report that looks at semantic technologies and tools and outlines how they could be of use to education. It also includes a very useful survey of different tools and details 36 of relevance to HE.

The report argues that activities to encourage exposure of data by HE/FE in semantic formats, such as RDF, will pave the way for new applications that will help with teaching and learning. Finally, it outlines a roadmap for adopting semantic technologies, involving a transition from what it terms ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ semantics and envisages pedagogically aware applications within four to five years. Readers interested in further discussion of semantics in education might also be interested in The Semantic Web in Education, an article recently published in the EduCause Quarterly.