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Wednesday, October 26 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Educode: Developing educational software on the HTML5/JavaScript platform

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Demo of a free and open source development environment that runs in the browser, for creating your own interactive educational software.


Motivation: One common finding of several educational reform efforts (such as NCAT and OLI) is the value of using interactive software to make K-12 and college courses more effective, engaging, and efficient.  Examples of such software include simulations, games, and animations.  The space of education, however, with its thousands of topics and standards to cover, is too large for the reform models used by NCAT and OLI to scale.  OLI requires many thousands of dollars to develop each course, and NCAT depends on existing commercial and proprietary software for its courses and thus primarily focuses on freshman large-enrollment courses.  The ability to create and customize one's own interactive educational software is beyond the reach of most teachers, who primarily stick to text-based notes, powerpoint presentations, and videorecordings as seen in most opencourseware repositories.  Creating interactive educational software is growing even more complex in the meantime, and computing platforms are rapidly evolving to include new mobile and tablet devices which are rendering much existing educational software obsolete or inaccessible to their users (such as Java applets or Flash animations or Windows or Mac OS desktop applications).

HTML5: Fortunately, a software development platform is emerging that is free and open and works on virtually all computing devices, desktop, mobile, and tablet: HTML5 and JavaScript.  In essence, the web browser is the platform. However, developing interactive software on this platform is still too difficult or time-consuming for the ordinary end-user, teacher, student, or hobbyist developer, due to various factors such as the lack of supporting developer tools, the inherent complexities of HTML5 and Javascript syntax and libraries, the requirement to purchase space to host applications on the web.

Educode: Several alternative and more user-friendly programming languages and developer tools are starting to be built on top of JavaScript and HTML5, including tools that allow all development to happen completely within a web browser.  Educode, being demoed in this open science fair, is one such example.   Educode is a free and open source programming and development environment designed with teachers and other non-professional programmers in mind.  It is built on top of the HTML5 platform, and all development occurs in the web browser.  The development, design, and initial pilot tests of this tool will be discussed during the session.


Wednesday October 26, 2011 1:45pm - 3:15pm MDT
White Pine, Painted Horse, Arrowhead

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