SBIR Phase II: Creating New Learning Opportunities: Platform-Independent, Wireless, Task-Oriented Communities
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
2084 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to design and develop a challenging and critically important layer of communications' software that enables K-12 educational software developers to incorporate explicit support for collaborative learning activities into their existing applications quickly and at low-cost. The Elmer Software Development Kit (SDK) will enable students to collaborate using a broad range of handheld (or even desktop/laptop) computer platforms (Windows CE & XP, Linux, Mac OS X) since classrooms, as they are already beginning to experience, will be using non-homogenous computers side-by-side. The Intellectual Merit of this proposed effort stems from the need to construct new algorithms to automatically detect other devices, to reformat communications' messages to enable cross-platform (and cross-operating system) communication on a range of platforms. The outcome of this effort should be a software development kit that engenders the incorporation of collaborative learning strategies. K-12 education is the cornerstone of America's democracy. As No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act acknowledges, America has some serious work to do in reinventing how we educate our children in order for America to continue to provide its people with the standard of living that is the American Promise. Technology is today's generation's tool of choice outside of school; we need to make technology an integral tool inside of school, too. Advocating for technology is the easy part - making the technology accessible, useful, and enjoyable remains the challenge. Our SBIR project goes directly to the core of helping K-12 realize the vision of technology positively impacting teaching and learning. In particular, the proposed research will enable educational software developers to create, quickly and at low cost, collaboration-enabled applications that teachers demand and that students find enjoyable and productive.
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