Thu, 24 May 2007
Short introduction: Today we’re here with Kim Grady. Kim is the
Founding Director and PI for the NetWorks, an NSF online digital
resource center. MATEC NETWORKS is one of 3 ATE manufacturing and engineering technology centers that offer a collection of resources
online. NETEC, MERC Online, are the other centers. MATEC NETWORKS is part of MATEC and located in Tempe, Arizona.
Gordon: Kim, what exactly is a digital library?
Well, our digital library is a convenient and easy way to locate
valuable resources for teaching and learning. It's also a way to
share self-created and favorite classroom ready resources.
Mike: Why another digital library, what is the need and mission and
Believe me, being an advocate of not reinventing the wheel, I asked
myself that question many times. What I have come to realize is that
NetWorks and the other online resource centers that are part of the
NSF ATE program are working together to "Beat Google." We are
aggregators of resources in our technology areas. Not only that we
have criteria for the resources that make it into our collections.
How many times have you been disappointed in search results on the
WWW? Either there is just too many to sift through or they are not
the quality or type that you need. With NetWorks you get the
resources you need for instruction. That's why we think we can be a
Gordon: What types of material do you collect?
Well, we focus on material in the Semiconductors, Automated
Manufacturing, and Electronics technology area so you will see
resources that relate to the science of semiconductor processing,
instrumentation and controllers used in automation environments, and
tons of electronics and electricity resources. You heard me use the
term, classroom ready earlier. Classroom ready means it is easily
implementable into a class or training room. You won't find a lot of
research papers for example on our site. We search for and create
material that can be used in an engaging presentation, a lab write
up, or a student activity. We also believe that material that help
faculty learn fits our definition of classroom ready so you will also
see things like reports on emerging technology and tutorials on hot
topics such as rapid prototyping.
Mike: How do you build your collection, what programs do you have in
place and what results have you seen so far?
Our NetWork and relationships, NetWorks staff of industry and
marketing professionals seek out resources using tools of their trade.
Our National Externship Program allows faculty to gain knowledge and
skills in emerging technology areas that can be brought back in to
the classroom and disseminated through NetWorks. To learn more about
the National Externship Program, log on to matecnetworks.org