June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Two Year College Division
14.377.1 - 14.377.17
CR4 and GlobalspecTM: Invaluable Tools for Engineering Education
1. Abstract This paper introduces two websites that can be invaluable to engineering and technical educators. Globalspec (http://www.globalspec.com) is a web-based engineering tool and engineering search engine regularly used by over 3 million registered engineers, educators and technical people. The second site is CR4 (http://cr4.globalspec.com), a community-based site – associated with Globalspec - where engineering news, industry based engineering forums, and more than 80 engineering blogs reside. Both sites can be used extensively in academic environments. The author has incorporated both sites in regular teaching of courses such as Analog Electronics, Digital Electronics, and Microcontroller Applications. A description of the sites follows.
2. CR4 CR4 is an important web community for engineers, engineering educators, students and technical professionals. Nowadays the Internet (especially with the introduction of Web 2.0) is closer to the original idea of its inventor. The web has become a place where anybody can communicate easily and frequently using tools such as blogs, wikis, forums, ePortfolio, podcasts, newsletters, folksonomies (social tagging), general social networking activities, and the like. This development is interesting for the educational community. For the engineering education community, in particular, the many tools and resources available are already having an impact on the future of technical teaching. CR4 has been acquiring importance in this arena because it contains a plethora of knowledge spread in many sections and engineering categories. It is, in essence, a search engine of its user’s knowledge and experience.
At this writing the statistics associated with CR4 are impressive: more than 500 posts a day from engineers and other technical users; it has more than 300,000 visitors per month; it hosts 14 specialized forums (such as Education, Electrical Engineering, biotechnology, etc.); it hosts 109 high technical blogs (unmatched in the Internet); more than 100,000 subscribers receive the CR4 Daily Digest, a newsletter-type e-mail communication, and over 25,000 registered users. All these numbers make CR4 one of the most active technical communities on the web, where engineering educators, students, the technically savvy, and the curious general public meet every day to share knowledge, to discuss, and to learn. With CR4, engineering groups with diverse interests at physically separate locations can become a close community using online collaboration tools. The author uses CR4, as well as Globalspec, in the classroom for assignments, exploration, research and projects. My students visit these sites regularly as part of their real world education. Some of the CR4 sections which are of interest to the academic community are listed here.
Michelen, A. (2009, June), Cr4 And Globalspec®: Invaluable Tools For Engineering Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4636
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