Multi-touch Collaborative Diagramming

This term I took Computer Science 444 – “Advanced Methods for Human-Computer Interaction”. The main outcome of the course was to go through the process of designing a user interface and evaluating it using formal experiments, producing a paper at the end.

I had the pleasure of working with 4 absolutely fantastic team-mates, Piam Kiarostami, Gabe Silk, alexandru Totolici, and Jre Sarenac. Each of us intuitively picked a role and we worked like a well-oiled machine.

The project we worked on was a collaborative, tabletop, ┬ámulti-touch diagramming tool that we dubbed “collabee”. We compared our interface to the more traditional ways of diagramming collaboratively (whiteboard and computer) then analysed our results. Below are the reports that we wrote, as well as a video on the project that we produced (it’s only 4 minutes and be sure to stick around for the surprise ending).

Continue reading “Multi-touch Collaborative Diagramming”

Explaining myself! (and a sneak peak at the end)

Why do I care about Educational Technology? I don’t know any other students who truly do. Here is a part of the why:

A year ago I didn’t care about education and technology at all. I really didn’t. One day I realized that UBC was missing some kind of events calendar. so many great things happen on campus that are under-attended because people simply don’t know about them. I contacted Tlell Elviss (one of the most awesome people I know) and she told me that she had just been contacted by a student who was also interested in the same thing. We got together and talked about it (along the way she taught me about this obscure piece of technology called RSS). Things evolved and now the University is in the midst of creating a usable tool.

In the second term of my first year I became immensely annoyed with the fact that WebCT locked away all the examples from CPSC 111 that I had used in the first term. Those examples could have helped me immensely in CPSC 211. I felt so utterly cheated, nobody told me when I came here that all the resources that I am given at University are equivalent to trial software… you can use them for a few months and then suddenly it gets taken away from you. I was angry.

Shortly after that I decided that UBC was missing something else. A simple way to plan your degree. Thousands of students do it every year using sheets and sheets of paper, crossing things out becoming really confused ending up spending an extra semester or year in university. I decided to build something in Java (the only programming language I knew back then) and after obtaining a quasi-working model I realized that the job was too big for just me. Instead, I created a simple template in excel that provided a clear way for students to map out their future.

That was what got the ball rolling. Over the Summer I work at UBC Student Development on LEAP and there learned the I am truly interested in educational technology. I can see so much potential for them to make student’s lives better. I started Get Teched Up as a result.

I spent my last term at school using as many learning technologies as I could get my hands on and following the exploits of many of the edubloggers. That is why I am really not deserving at all of Jim’s praise… I’m not new to this, I don’t understand eduglue because of some innate ability, I understand it because I’ve been thinking about it for almost half a year now.

On a more fun note, if anybody wants to play with my latest plugin, go here and add your feed into the box. Give BDP a few seconds to poll your feed(don’t worry about any error messages… it’s still in production) refresh and then look for your posts in the featured blogs list.