Archive for September, 2011

TeamUp: a soft launch

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

team up guide large TeamUp: a soft launch

For a couple of months now we have been designing and developing a tool called TeamUp.

It is still in an alpha stage. However, we decided to do a public “soft launch” because it is a working prototype that can be already tested in schools and other contexts where people are aiming to work together in several teams, so that the work takes place in a sequential sessions.

That was the “high level” explanation. The short description:

With TeamUp you may form teams based on skills and interests and record teams’ progress.

Ward Cunningham, the developer of the first wiki platform described a wiki as “the simplest online database that could possibly work“. I think that in a way, TeamUp is the simplest collaborative software that could possible work.

Then the most important thing, the links:

Public test site
In here you may create new classroom, add people, play with it or take it in use (please, read the warning below).
Warning: TeamUp is an experimental prototype and we may remove the service from the public internet without any advance warning. We also do not provide any guarantee on your data (e.g. the teams’ recording): all it may disappear at any point.

Public test classroom
This is a classroom with some people pre-added in it. This is a fast way to get an idea how TeamUp works. As it is a “public” service it can me a bit messy, as anonymous people are fooling around in there.

Download the software / source code
if you want to study TeamUp technology, you may want to have a look of the source code. Most content is licensed under some OSI approved license. If you want to write some code, let us know.

I must document this, too. We were having the circles before the Google+ was released.

TeamUp is designed in an European iTEC project. It is an early result of probably one of the most profound design process ever carried out in the field of educational technology (let me know, if I am wrong).

Behind the design of TeamUp there are: creation and analyses of 19 scenarios of the future of learning, created with various stakeholder and experts working in the field of education and 11 Participatory Design workshops with teachers in 10 European countries, naturally carried out in the local languages in authentic environment. On top of this we also have organized three Focus Group sessions with teachers to confirm some of our interpretations and design decisions.

With this size of investment to design one could expect more than a web widget for creating teams and recording audio clips. I agree.

There are other results from the process, too. We have recognized 28 design challenges (16 design opportunities), 13 learning activities and 6 learning stories that echo scenarios of future classroom. We also have two other tools in a stage of early prototype. More information is available in a the Report on Design Prototypes and Design Challenged for Education.

To see functional tool prototypes you still must wait.

PS. You may also contribute to the open source software development. If interested in, please, contact.

Back to school: new technologies, more advantage communities ?

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

A week ago I gave a “demonstration lecture” as part of a nomination and selection process in my university. The assignment was to prepare a “teaching / learning event” for MA students on a topic “new technologies, more advantage communities ?”.

I prepared the lecture as an introduction to the theme. In a real course the lecture could have been something done in a beginning of the course. The aim would be to familiarize student with some basic concepts, ideas and interpretation that could then guide student to do more inquiry on the topics. Here are the slides:

View more presentation slides from Teemu Leinonen