Surface Learning

surfacelearning.org postcardA significant paradigm shift is underway from traditional desktop computing of mouse and keyboard to interactive surfaces. Commercial products are becoming common for handhelds, tablets, and tabletops. Already, there is a substantial literature demonstrating the advantages of interactive tabletops for supporting co-located collaborative learning: Their large interactive surface allows multiple learners to work together concurrently. Tablets are beginning to emerge as technology that can transition between the individual and the group: They are small enough to be passed around and large enough to share. Handhelds can be easily taken into the field to gather measurements or report on the natural environments. Interactive surfaces afford vast new possibilities to support learning. This website was set up to create a research community around this subject.

Getting Involved

Here researchers at the intersection of learning and interactive surfaces can come together to share resources (e.g., Publications), find other researchers in the field (e.g., People), find out about events of interest, and share their thoughts. This site is built using wiki technology, which allows site members to easily contribute content. Anyone with an interest in using interactive surfaces to support learning is welcome to join; just follow the instructions for Getting Started.

Origin of the Site

This site was created by Jochen "Jeff" Rick as part of the MuSuCoL (Multiple Surfaces for Collaborative Learning) STELLAR Theme Team. With the arrival of increasingly more capable and affordable hardware, the potential of interactive tabletops to change how people learn is tremendous. Early research can often be fundamental to shaping the ways new technologies are used. Now is the time for academic researchers to shape the future of these technologies. One challenge is that we come from different research communities—human computer interaction (HCI), education, developmental psychology, design, etc. If we can share and combine our insights, this can be a real strengths. Unfortunately, we tend to attend different conferences and read different journals. Thus, it is difficult to keep up with the current work being done. This site was created as a central place for researchers interested in using interactive surfaces to promote learning. Here, they can share their research, publications, and opinions. Thanks to STELLAR, the web hosting has been paid for a few years in advance.