Summer CRA-W Distributed Mentor Project

     Tasks and Projects

There are many on-going projects in the Computer-Supported Collaboration and Learning Lab. Aside from working on a few related projects, I attend different group meetings now and then and get a lot of breadth in what goes on here. For my notes from various meetings please see the internship diary. Below I've tried to outline some of my tasks and goals, especially since on any given day I usually work on a couple of different things and am trying to keep rhythm.

By the end of the summer I narrowed my focus to writing a HCI paper on Geocollaboration, but it was good to be exposed to all the different kinds of research projects and background work, since even Bridge was developed not as a deliverable but more as a testbed for research questions.

        Collaborative Map Tool Progress

Goal: To add a collaborative map editing tool to the current tool in Bridge's synchronous, multi-user editing environment

1. Research similar tools
2. Brainstorm tools or model on existing tool
Best resource: GeoTools 2
3. Study the sourcecode for GeoTools 2
In progress . . .
4. Learn how to transform code to fit Bridge
Create a UML with Lu (UML software
is too expensive. We made a flowchart instead)
5. Pick a new single tool to implement
In progress . . .

User Interface Re-design

Goal: To improve the user interface of the map tool with Lu

1. Research similar tools
Compare to: Toucan Navigate
2. Learn more about Java swing and U-related classes
Get books/scout resources
3. Panel design mock-ups
4. Evaluate best design
5. User testing

Learning Tasks

Goal: To improve my knowledge of useful related Java libraries and other helpful tools

1. Figure out relevant Java libraries, classes for Map Tool
Java 2D Graphics & Swing Libraries
2. Learn about GIS data, GML, protocols
Online, GIS books, Penn State Map Library

  ILSD (Informal Learning Software Development group)

Synopsis: Weekly Informal Learning Software Development meetings where Mary Beth's students discuss their projects and get feedback from each other (For more details see the CSCL Projects Page)

Discussed Projects
1. Julie & Heather's Dreamweaver for Non-Programmers Survey and Research
2. Brook's Dreamweaver Debugging Tool
3. Lauren & Jayne's game for kids to teach basic programming concepts in the Alice environment
4. Lauren's Knowledge Representation project based on the Log files in TeacherBridge

Other work I'm being exposed to:

Lu wrote a paper about a local high school project that let students who were more computer-savvy than their teachers take an active role in on-line course planning. The students in this project became teachers of on-line technology, while the teacher who lacked web development skills took on the role of student, creating interesting tensions and learning outcomes.

"Students as Teachers and Teachers as Learners" by Lu Xiao et al.



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