Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Interactive computing topic of Soloway lecture

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 28 - April 17, 1997

Elliot Soloway of the Highly-Interactive Computing Project at the University of Michigan will deliver a seminar on Thursday, April 24, at 4 p.m. in 300 Whittemore. The title of the talk is "John Dewey Meets The Barney Generation."

The talk will "frame the description of my research group's efforts towards exploring what teaching and learning, what reading and writing, will be like as we move into the new millennium," Soloway said.

"Changes--BIG changes--are taking place in education, technology and the various science content areas," he has written. "In education, there is a movement from didactic instruction to project-based learning; in technology, there is a movement away from merely imitating paper and telephones to truly exploiting the interactive, computational medium; and in the sciences there is a movement from science as `analysis' to science as `synthesis/design.'"

Soloway is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in the School of Education, and in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. His research interests lie in exploring the roles that computational media can play in self-expression, communication, and learning. He co-directs the Investigators' Workshop Project, a joint effort between the Ann Arbor Public Schools and the University of Michigan; the goal of this project is to develop a suite of computational and communication tools for middle- and high-school students to learn science by doing science.

"We have, over the past three years, developed a model of inquiry-based science teaching and learning that is supported by pervasive computing and communications technologies," Soloway said. "For example, the suite of computational tools in the Investigators' Workshop enables students to plan investigations, gather, visualize, and model data; moreover, the Internet is the `library' of choice for investigations. In working with more than 2,000 students and 50 teachers in Ann Arbor and Detroit, we have developed a better understanding of how to actually carry out inquiry-based science on a day-in, day-out basis. So that others may learn from our experiences, we are in the process of publishing readily accessible materials that have evolved from these efforts (See http://www.umich.edu/~aaps for on-line curriculum materials).

Soloway is editor of Interactive Learning Environments, a journal devoted to exploring next-generation computational and communications technologies for learning and teaching.

His talk at Virginia Tech is co-sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Teaching and Learning, and Media Services.

For more information, contact John M. Carroll, director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, at 1-6931, or @cs.vt.edu.