SBIR Phase I: Creating New Learning Opportunities: Platform-Independent, Wireless, Task-Oriented Communities
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will design and develop a challenging and critically important layer of software to facilitate the development of educational applications for the diverse types of handheld computers that will soon be used in K-12 classrooms. The Elmer middleware layer, along with the Elmer Software Developer's Kit, will enable third-party developers to easily add communications capabilities to their educational applications, such that their applications are independent of the platform (e.g., PalmOS, PocketPC, Cell Phone) on which their applications are running. Thus, in a classroom, each student can be working in the same application, e.g., concept mapping, sharing information on their handheld and collaborating synchronously, all the while working on different handheld (or even desktop/laptop) computers. The intellectual merit of Elmer stems from its design framework. Elmer provides educational software developers concrete guidance in and support for designing the communications infrastructure of educational applications. While there is growing recognition that the benefits of computing on student achievement and attitude growth will come when each student has his or her own computer-1:1 computing-educators are reluctant to adopt the low-cost, available handheld computers in classrooms; since there is a dearth of curricular, communications-based applications for handheld computers that support state and national curricular standards. Since Elmer makes the production of such applications more cost effective, K-12 should see a significant rise in available applications. When that happens, K-12 can truly come to understand how best to utilize 1:1 computing in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the U.S., e.g., by carrying out scientific studies of the impact of 1:1 handheld use, providing new opportunities to learn science, math, etc. GoKnow is a recognized leader in developing and marketing standards-based, curriculum-supported handheld-based applications for K-12. GoKnow is well positioned to design and develop Elmer, as well as to address the challenges that arise in marketing into K-12. There is also potential for broader impacts as a result of third party developers using Elmer.
Small Business Information at Submission:
912 North Main Street, #100 Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Number of Employees: