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Pen-Based Learning Technologies, 2007. PLT 2007. First International Workshop on

Date 4-5 May 2007

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  • First International Workshop on Pen-Based Learning Technologies - Cover

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  • First International Workshop on Pen-Based Learning Technologies - Title page

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  • First International Workshop on Pen-Based Learning Technologies - Table of contents

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  • Program Committee

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  • Message from Program Chair(s)

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  • Conference Organization

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  • Practice into Theory: from Serious Work about Learning in Classroom Environments to Serious Questions about the Playful Nature of Control and Coordination in Computing

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    Summary form only given. The current talk reports on work that starts with a pressing social problem - the problem of maximizing equity and excellence in K-12 education - and one strategy for addressing this problem - the development of mobile, wirelessly connected tools to support classroom learning. It mentions the development and use in real classrooms of two suites of such tools (one for middle school math and one for 5-11 th grade science). The practice of using these wirelessly connected, mobile devices raised important theoretical issues about the nature of coordination and the computational support for coordination. We have been using tuple spaces (a framework for allocating work between parallel distributed actors) to build systems that explore the opportunistic control of the individual over their own actions, socially emergent negotiation of system goals and coordinative practices, and the relationship between content and coordination. These control structures and the contribution of the machine as compared to human participants are better described by analogy to playground games than to work situations. This analogy (along with the values it presupposes) is at variance with the object world of software engineers, which foregrounds the capabilities of the machine rather than the situation of use. View full abstract»

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  • Expressive Interactions

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    Summary form only given. Pen-based input is more than just 'natural' - it has the potential to support 'expressive' input. In this talk I will describe some ongoing work at Culture Lab on expressive input, the use of sketches and drawings to interact with continuous multimodal data sets (dance data), and how this is best facilitated in a pen-based tabletop setting. View full abstract»

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  • Supporting Pen-Based Classroom Interaction: New Findings and Functionality for Classroom Learning Partner

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (834 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper reports the latest developments for a wireless pen-based classroom interaction system, classroom learning partner (CLP), and two new variations - group learning partner (GLP) and elementary learning partner (ELP). CLP consists of a network of Tablet PCs and software for posing questions to students, interpreting their handwritten answers, and aggregating the answers into equivalence classes. Through controlled classroom experiments, we have demonstrated that use of CLP improves student learning, especially among students who might otherwise be left behind. GLP extends CLP to support student group work in the classroom by supporting the transmission of ink between students. ELP is a version of CLP developed for use in elementary school classrooms. View full abstract»

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  • Seeing Clearly Through Ink in Computer Science Courses

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    We conducted four typical undergraduate computer science classroom exercises in a laptop course (each student has a personal laptop computer). Students worked on problems they were given and submitted their solutions interactively using a Web-based tool called MessageGrid. Students worked on the exercises in pairs but submitted individually. Each pair of students shared a WACOM tablet which each student could use to submit Ink solutions to the problems. The result was an interesting blend of a classroom format of reduced lecture and increased student interactivity, software-supported interaction between instructor and students, team-dynamics, and keyed versus Ink solutions to the exercises. A survey was given to the students asking them to assess the learning experience. This paper describes the exercises, the classroom environment, shows examples of student submissions, and presents and discusses the survey results. We end with conclusions and plans for future work. View full abstract»

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  • Enhancing Pen-based Experiences with the Use of Concept Maps

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (290 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The paper presents two pedagogical scenarios that use pen-based technology, aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the instructional process in higher education, in the framework of a computer science course. The pedagogical strategy exploits the use of concept maps to increase meaningful learning and conceptual reasoning, and tries to show how the novel technology of digital ink can support several learning styles. The preliminary results of an associated survey are also reported here. View full abstract»

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  • The Conversational Organisation of Drawing

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (119 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a detailed empirical study of drawing activities in a face-to-face design discussion between three architects. We show that, in addition to their usefulness for representing spatial relationships, drawing activities also display important interactional functions. A short 12 minute interaction is described in which a rich variety of shared drawing spaces are created. We make three claims: i) unlike gesture or speech, drawing activities do not automatically claim rights to the floor', ii) drawing sub-spaces are used to help people monitor if they are talking about the same thing iii) people collaborate to create 3D 'virtual' maquettes through temporary combinations of sketch spaces and gestures. We argue that drawing is defined more by its interactional than its inscriptional character. View full abstract»

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  • Properties of Real-World Digital Logic Diagrams

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (146 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Despite the growing number of sketch recognition systems for education, little attention has been paid to how students actually draw in practice. We examine freely-drawn digital logic diagrams created by students in an electrical engineering class in order to inform the design of a sketch recognition digital circuit simulation tool. Our analysis reveals considerable drawing style variation between students and that standard drawing style restrictions made by sketch recognition systems to aid recognition generally do not match the way students draw. We identify drawing behaviors that can aid recognition while placing fewer unnatural constraints on students' drawing styles, and we describe specific recognition tasks whose solutions will lead to more robust free-sketch recognition systems. View full abstract»

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  • A Recognizer for Free-Hand Graph Drawings

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    Interactive multimedia such as computer simulations and animations received increased attention over the years as supplementary teaching tools and have now become integral components of most engineering and science curriculums. We believe one way to boost the utility of such simulations and animations is to make them easier to use. In this paper, we describe a pen-based interface for constructing weighted and unweighted graphs which functions as a front-end to shortest path and minimum spanning tree (MST) algorithm simulators that we have developed. We compare the usability of this pen-based interface to that of a WIMP-based interface and a hybrid interface that uses a mixture of pen-based and WIMP-based input methods. We report evaluation results on the usability of the three types of interfaces that we have developed. Our results show that a purely pen-based approach to graph creation may actually suffer from the relatively higher misrecognition rates of the harder-to-recognize symbols and inhibit usability. We conclude that a hybrid approach which combines a soft-keyboard with graph recognition outperforms interfaces that are purely pen-based or WIMP-based. View full abstract»

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  • Pen-Centric Shorthand Handwriting Recognition Interfaces

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    The development of pen-centric chatroom shorthand handwriting recognition interfaces can provide the critical infrastructure for natural pen-centric interactions and enhance many pen-centric learning applications. View full abstract»

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  • A prototype body orientation based drawing system

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    In this paper we describe a prototype system which is capable of calculating the head, torso, and fore-arm orientation of multiple participants in real time. These orientations are derived from data provided by a motion capture system. Having this data available in real time opens the possibility for a number of new experimental and practical applications. We describe one initial application of this technology which allows pairs of participants to simultaneously draw on a digital whiteboard using forearm orientation. View full abstract»

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  • A simple, usable and robust solution for pen-based interaction on projection displays

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    In this paper we describe a pen-based user interface for easy and natural user interaction with a wall projection display. VisualPen is a vision-based system for real-time detection and tracking of a pen that completely replaces mouse and keyboard. The low computational complexity of its algorithms renders it easy to implement with low-cost, low-power embedded hardware, thus allowing portability and integrability. The architecture of the system is described, and experimental results are presented and commented. View full abstract»

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  • Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom: A Primary Teacher's Perspective

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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (68 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper distils some field observations on the impact of interactive whiteboards and other pen-based learning technologies on pedagogical practice in primary (3-11 yrs) classrooms in the UK. It draws on my experience as a primary teacher and as an advisor to 154 schools in the Yorkshire local authority area of Kirklees. These technologies have enhanced the learning experience of the pupils by increasing interactivity, catering to a wider range of learning styles. They have also enriched the curriculum with access to the Internet, and the inclusion of video, sound and interactive models and simulations. View full abstract»

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  • Overview of an Industry/Academia Partnership for Furthering the Advancement of Pen-based Technology in Research and Education

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    Microsoft Research understands the vital role academia plays in the future of computing. We continually seek to collaborate with leading schools to enhance the teaching and learning experience. In support of this vision, we have identified and supported research in pen based technologies since the early 2000's. During this time we developed 4 primary programs: 1) academic summits, workshops and symposiums, including the "tablet PCs in higher education & research workshop" being offered at this event; 2) Request for Proposals to explore new idea; 3) Direct support for individual projects such as for development of classroom presenter at the University of Washington, and 4) center & institutes to accelerate research in a specific domain, [e.g.,] the Microsoft center for research on pen-centric computing at Brown University and the Microsoft/MIT alliance on information technology in higher education;. This paper provides a brief overview of all of the Tablet/pen enabled activities and examples of the results of the collaborations. View full abstract»

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  • Tablet PC-Enabled Active Learning in Mathematics: A First Study

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    Too often freshmen fail and fall behind early in our large-enrollment math courses, calculus for engineers or liberal arts math, because they do not engage in the classroom and their questions remain unanswered. Bringing tablet PCs and a projector, obtained through a 2006 Hewlett-Packard teaching-for-technology grant, into multiple sections of these courses, allows each student or small group of students to use the pen/digital-ink feature to submit problem solutions anonymously to the instructor via Web-based classroom-interaction software, such as MessageGrid or ubiquitous presenter. The instructor projects, discusses, annotates, and saves individual submissions. Communication now occurs with a subset of students who would rarely participate in class, and active learning is achieved across the classroom because all students are primed for instructor feedback. We compare performance on common exams in the sections using tablet PCs, web-based software, and projectors with our traditional sections. We query students (and instructors) on their impressions of this technology. View full abstract»

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  • PC-TABLETS : The Next Dimension

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    For hundreds of years, mathematics has traditionally been taught either on a piece of slate, a blackboard or more recently on an overhead transparency. Unfortunately, once the lesson is over, there is no permanent record of the event. Moreover, it is very difficult to make a Black and White medium exciting to a generation who grew up with animation, Internet, BlackBerry and Bluetooth. Math instructors have tried to adapt lessons to the computer, but have had limited success simply because math cannot be taught effectively in a static environment. For every example that is carefully designed and put onto a computer screen there exists the possibility that one may be asked for further clarification hence the permanent need for a blackboard. So, the challenge becomes how to incorporate all of the benefits that come with digital presentations, such as animation, audio, video and file transfer, with the capacity for spontaneous handwritten annotation. View full abstract»

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  • On the Use of Tablet-PC for Personal Learning in a Wireless Campus Environment

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    The paper presents the activities carried out by the Telecommunication Networks Research Group at the University of Pisa on the use of Tablet PCs in University level courses belonging to the "Laurea" Degree and "Specialist Laurea" Degree in Telecommunication Engineering. The paper describes the software and hardware setup that was tested during these experiences; feedbacks from students and instructors are also presented. These experiences confirm that Tablet PCs offer a new opportunity for personalized proactive learning and act as a stimulus for the improvement of traditional teaching schemes. View full abstract»

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  • OrganicPad: A Tablet PC Based Interactivity Tool for Organic Chemistry

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    This paper describes a software tool that utilizes the tablet PC's natural user interface to provide interactivity between an instructor and her students in an organic chemistry course. The instructor and the students are equipped with electronic tablets and wireless access to the Internet. The software tool, called OrganicPad, enables an instructor to engage her students in class by sending them problems to solve. The students develop answers to the problems guided by tips and hints provided by the software. All communication is through the web, using the HTTP communication protocol. At any time, the instructor can evaluate student submissions and can quickly understand where students are having difficulty. The instructor can hide students' identities and anonymously use the submissions pedagogically. Finally, the instructor can develop tutorial exercises that students can work on outside of class. We present how we have used OrganicPad and how we plan to extend its functionality in the future. View full abstract»

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  • Pen-based Computing in Distance Education - the Pharmaceutical Science Programme in Sweden

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    In a small-scale trial on the pharmaceutical science programme (Umea University, Sweden) we prepared three different lecture types, using streaming media enhanced with digital ink. The setup for the trials was a Tablet PC with Microsoft PowerPoint, Camtasia screen capture software, microphone, and, in one case, a video camera. The first lecture type was recorded live in front of a class using digital ink and PowerPoint slides and a video camera. The second lecture type used digital ink on blank PowerPoint's to teach calculus and the third used digital ink to highlight and emphasis how to interpret pre-scanned drug prescriptions. We concluded that: 1. Digital ink in combination with a screen-capturing program is very easy to use. 2. Teachers and students are positive towards streaming lectures enhanced with digital ink. 3. Digital ink facilitates a more flexible "learning style", which may attract lecturers in the field of distance education. View full abstract»

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  • Positive Impact of a Tablet PC-Based Learning Environment on Student-Perceived Learning Outcomes

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    A tablet PC-based-learning environment was implemented in a large class of second-semester anatomy and physiology undergraduates. Real-time annotation of Powerpoint lectures using a tablet PC was supplemented with audio recording of the lectures. The resulting video files were electronically distributed to the students via the internet. The effect of the tablet PC on higher order thinking skills, basic academic success skills, discipline-specific knowledge and skills and work/career preparation was assessed using an anonymous survey. Midterm grades from two successive semesters were also compared. Results of the Likert scale survey indicate that a tablet PC-based learning environment positively impacted higher order thinking skills, basic academic skills, discipline- specific skills and work and career preparation skills. Significantly lower responses were indicated for work and career preparation skills. Midterm grades in the second semester class were also impacted positively by using the tablet PC. View full abstract»

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