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Collaborative learning at interactive tables

Nel contesto della comunità CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) i tavoli interattivi stanno gradualmente prendendo visibilità come mezzo a sostegno di sperimentazioni di apprendimento collaborativo. Practix, oltre a conoscere bene il mondo del software Educational per lavagne interattive multimediali (LIM) e tablet, sa cogliere le peculiarità di questa tecnologia per creare interfacce che favoriscano e facilitino i processi sociali e cognitivi che stanno alla base di questo tipo di approccio. Tramite le soluzioni software per l’apprendimento e l’Edutainment ideate da Practix, i discenti sono raccolti in piccoli gruppi per affrontare problematiche professionali o di apprendimento, accrescendo la propria preparazione con un approccio rivolto al sostegno delle comunità di pratica. I settori applicativi sono variegati: applicazioni in contesti scolastici fino alle sessioni di approfondimento dei Congressi di professione e nell’Educazione Continua in Medicina (ECM). Within the scope of the CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) community, interactive tables are gradually getting more and more visibility as a device to support innovative collaborative learning experiments. In addition to its extensive knowledge of the world of Educational software for multimedia interactive whiteboards (IWB) and tablets, Practix is also able to grasp the particular characteristics of this technology to create interfaces that encourage and support the social and cognitive processes found at the basis of this type of approach. Through learning and Edutainment solutions designed by Practix, students are placed in small groups to tackle professional or learning challenges, enhancing their level of preparation thanks to an approach aimed at supporting communities of practice. The fields of application vary from school settings to in-depth study sessions for professional conferences and Continuing Medical Education (CME).

The TToole research project

Ttoole is an interactive table software that facilitates the management of training activities and group work. Using the cloud computing technology, TToole makes it possible to simultaneously connect and synchronise up to 10 interactive tables, located in the same place or in remote offices. Each individual interactive table constitutes an interaction and group learning environment, providing tools and space for a maximum of 6 students. This platform allows for the surface of the table to be split into individual workstations or to be used in its entirety while the group carries out activities in sync. The project was conceived to alternate lectures with independent study time, aimed at providing each student with the basics for learning how to work in groups. Everything is appropriately directed by the tutor, present in the room or remotely connected, who, using the directing console, is provided with constant feedback on the progress of activities. Moreover, the cloud system makes it possible to track the students’ actions in order to make subsequent assessments of the training event.

Collaborative table concept maps

The conceptual mapping technique is used to represent knowledge concerning a specific topic. The development of maps in a group setting is a great tool for approaching brainstorming sessions in various application, learning and professional contexts. Practix has developed an experimental table software for the study and the collaborative creation of mind maps. Every person placed around the multi-touch table has a personal virtual keyboard at their disposal, with which they can create nodes that represent their ideas and add them to the map shared with other users, all thanks to an engaging and easy to use interface.

Multi-user table map

This exploratory project led to the development of a multi-user software prototype for the display of terrain, where more than one operator can simultaneously analyse the content. Through an advanced interface designed for use with a latest-generation multi-touch surface, operators can observe the land inclination model and the estimated energy efficiency mapping of house roofs in an area. The data for this prototype was provided by the Solar Potential of Building Roofs project.