A new visionary era
We are on the verge of a new Web era – the Semantic Web. Whereas in the current Web versions as manifested in the last decade (Web 1.0 and Web 2.0) the emphasis was on information suitable for human consumption, the Semantic Web will provide also for information that is machine processable. This will be enabled by creation of meaningful links, wide use of schemes and ontologies, all including rich metadata. This dramatic change will open a new world of possibilities for developers, users, and providers in areas of intelligent services based on Artificial Intelligence, such as Information Brokers, Search Agents, Information Filters, etc. That way, instead of just searching – we surf straight to the information or receive it through push mode, since the computer has learned and understood who we are and what we are looking for. Consequently, we will derive more benefits in a shorter time by receiving up-to-date correct information in every domain and context. Tim Berners-Lee, the Web inventor, has called this "bringing the Web to its full potential".
A new kind of start-up
Eitan.edu is an extraordinary academic initiative that combines applied high-tech research with aspirations to be at the front of Semantic Web development. Its aim is to change the way we store, consume and display information by presenting a new infrastructure for the next Web generation. This way we will advance the utilization of the Web and its contents in the best manner for educational systems, end-users, content providers, organizations and varied companies, so as to enhance the wise use of human knowledge.
Eitan was founded in 2000 and has since been led by Udi Heller, under the guidance of Dr. Ariel Frank. Major partners on the long way passed and still to be taken are Gil Westrich as Technology advisor, Eli Hen as Chief programmer, and Dr. Alexander Klimov as Scientific advisor, System manager, and Security expert. Nowadays, Eitan is on the verge of recruiting the support and resources required for continued development and the many challenges still facing it.
A new level of infrastructure
We are combining interdisciplinary academic research with high creativeness and groundbreaking technology in development and realization of an innovative model for integration of infrastructure, servers, databases, and existent modules and applications. These all are based on the power of the intelligent Semantic Web, accompanied with adequate strong security for the next Web generation, including unique development tools and utmost flexibility with use of open standards for development, integration and information access. We believe that only a wide and thorough development that provides for an overall solution, while attending to the small details, of innovative user interfaces with personalization and richness of options for developers and end-users, can provide for successful applicability of the Semantic Web vision. All that, with considerable reduction in the time needed for development and deployment, with higher use and utilization of the new Web for the benefit and advancement of the information society, that is – of us. This new approach is named Etrog that stands in Judaism for a Citron that symbolizes learning and wisdom (for taste) with good deeds (for smell).
A new innovative education
On the basis of the new infrastructure, we are toiling on development of innovative techno-pedagogical applications that place the learner-user at their center. These will change, in a conceptual semi revolution, the face of educational systems and the ways of passing content, sharing, interaction, personalization, and the involvement of teacher and learner in the process of thought and education. All that, through the utilization of the Semantic Web capabilities and the rich tools developed, and those to be developed, in Eitan, so as to best support the users in a friendly manner to gain the utmost results in taming the Internet for educational needs. As an outcome, we will provide for wise and easy knowledge structuring by the learner that is based on the personal knowledge world of each and every one according to the natural environment and social organization existent in his/her particular school and in the Internet in general.
A new gate to information
The eitan.ac.il academic portal is the only fully dedicated website to Information Technologies (IT) in Hebrew. It serves as the Israeli site of the Eitan academic information system and as a "playing ground" for Computer Science students coming from the different universities and colleges. These students construct, in the framework of Eitan, educational systems for both the education system in particular and for the general public, as exemplified in hundreds of interactive Hebrew educational sites in the areas of Computer Science, Hardware, Software, Internet, Mathematics, and Physics. It also serves as a hosting and services site for learning and educational support sites of the Israeli education system, starting from elementary schools through intermediate and high schools and up to higher education.
A new Television experience
The eitan.tv video on-demand portal, with the support of Adobe (and its Israeli QuickSoft representative), Dell Israel, Omnitech, and Internet Zahav, brings the revolution of video broadcast on the internet to the Israeli education system. Based on the new Etrog server, we are busy hosting and constructing video sites based on the Flash streaming broadcast technology. The fact that Flash is installed on about 98% of computers in the world, vastly contributes to the user experience when working with any operating system and browser, while caring for the digital rights management of content providers. All that, through considerable reduction in costs while enabling academic and educational institutions to reach their target audience any time and place with full conformance to their and their users needs. The video systems constructed by Eitan are rich in interaction with varied activities, so as to support the learning process based on the recorded class.
A new curiosity
Have you become curious? If you would like to learn more, join Eitan, work with us, get from us services and consulting, comment or annotate, or just say hello, we are always at your service and would be delighted with any application.
Udi Heller, (udi AT eitan.edu)
Dr. Ariel Frank, (ariel AT cs.biu.ac.il)
For general applications and help requests, please approach our support center,
help AT eitan.ac.il