The Impact of IT on Instruction

  • New relatively inexpensive IT form the past five years is changing the face of instruction:
    • Low cost PCs and ubiquitous web service
    • Web course management systems (WebCT, Blackboard, etc.)
    • Wireless computing
    • "Inexpensive" LCD projectors
    • Java: relatively homogeneous multiplatform computing

An Instructional Experiment

  • Teach class on concurrent programming using a "new IT" style room.
  • Emphasis of group activities in the class in lieu of lectures

The Drexel Environment

  • Student access (ownership) of a personal computer required since mid-80's.
  • 802.11 wireless campus-wide network since 2000.
  • Campus site-licenses for basic software (e.g., Microsoft Office)
  • Drexel institutional support and grant from Ramsey McCluskey Foundation led to design and construction of a "collaborative work lab".

Experimental Goals

  • My Goal in Fall 2001 was to explore what's feasible to do in this classroom, given:
    • No extra release time available for new curricular development or software administration
    • The level of skill and experience by the students
    • The limitations imposed by the commodity, non-customized nature of the equipment and computing environment.