ACTIVE CAMPUS
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14-01-2011, 10:08 AM





Abstract

The continuing proliferation of handheld computing devices offers a new platform for mobile computing applications. Yet questions about this vision persist with regard to the specific applications, interfaces, design features, and infrastructure that will best support the development and delivery of application services.The authors have been investigating these questions through the Active-Campus Project. Their project and implimentation explores technologies that can enrich the learning community in the midst of todayýs ongoing social changes. For example, virtual spaces have proved effective in sustaining communities amonggeographically dispersed members, while context-aware applications let users leave electronic notes in physical community spaces.

mobile computing applications, by mediating the institutional mediation of learning, can accelerate one’s on-going acclimation process, thereby mit- igating time and attention deficit. In such a role, ActiveCampus is not a replacement or proxy for extant institutions, but rather a facilitator. Such a role fits mobile devices well, given (on the negative side) their limited form factor, interface, and computing power, as well as (on the positive side) their mobility and relative unobtrusiveness.

Building on the concept that a campus is an organization of institutions for mediat- ing learning, it is natural to consider reifying (displaying) contextual information about (a) you (the learner), (b) mediating institutions, and © the sources of learning enabled by those institutions such as a professor, friend, book, event, or another institution like a lab. Since a campus institution is typically a physically aggregated entity, displaying an institution in a transparent form and showing its mediated sources of learning “inside” it (or even next to it) is a natural way to convey mediating relationships. Depending on the possible relationships between the learner and the learning source (including role reversal), participants may need the ability to talk through walls as well as see through them. Gradually, then, through experience, a participant learns to parametrically asso- ciate the institution with learning sources, imbuing the institution with its full power.


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