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Students in today's introductory Computer Science courses are often already experienced with sophisticated collaborative technologies and social computing systems. Among these popular systems are the online community building and information sharing sites that have become an intrinsic part of a new cyber-culture that continues to emerge. The involvement of students in collaborative technologies can be responsible in some cases for why certain students are inspired to pursue careers in computing disciplines. Yet very few CS 1 and CS 2 textbooks contain content related to collaborative software systems, presumably because of the extreme complexity involved in developing software that communicates with other software over a network. While social computing activities are very popular, the fact that it is not very prevalent in CS 1 and CS 2 course material can discourage students who have particular interest in that area of computing. In this paper, I present a system that I have developed that offers a simple way to incorporate class work and projects that involve collaborative networking and social computing paradigms at the level of introductory Computer Science courses.
Date of Conference: 11-13 April 2011