MuSuCoL STELLAR Theme Team

A significant paradigm shift is underway from traditional desktop computing of mouse and keyboard to interactive surfaces. Commercial products are becoming common for handhelds (Apple iPod touch, HTC Droid), tablets (Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy), and tabletops (Microsoft Surface, SMART Table).
Already, there is a substantial literature demonstrating the advantages of interactive tabletops for supporting co-located collaborative learning: Their large interactive surface allows multiple learners to work together concurrently. Tablets are beginning to emerge as technology that can transition between the individual and the group: They are small enough to be passed around and large enough to share.
An important research challenge is utilizing multiple devices to implement a useful ecology of devices. For instance, how can students share and analyse the data they captured with their handheld devices on a field trip using an interactive tabletop?
The MuSuCoL (Multiple Surfaces for Collaborative Learning) Theme Team has two goals: (1) to better support and connect the research community around learning with interactive surfaces and (2) to advance the research on collaborative learning using multiple interactive surfaces. To address the former goal, we will build an interactive website to act as a resource for the community (http://surfacelearning.org). To address the latter goal, we will host a multi-day workshop on that research agenda, with concrete outputs including a joint publication and a joint funding bid. To further disseminate our results, we will present our findings as a symposium at a major conference.