WallCology, Brian Uphoff Master Thesis Defense

Participants: Brian Uphoff

Electronic Visualization Laboratory
842 W. Taylor Street
Room 2032
Chicago, IL

WallCology: A Learner’s Interface to a Persistent Virtual Ecosystem
Brian Uphoff
Learning Technologies Group @ EVL
Department of Computer Science

Master Thesis Defense
October 24, 2007
1:00 PM

Presentation of the motivations, inspirations, design and architecture of an ecology learning environment for middle school science classrooms.

The application, WallCology, places a virtual ecosystem within the walls of a classroom, drawing from ubiquitous computing concepts.

The system is designed to give learners easy access to affordances for the study of ecological phenomena as ecologists would in the field.

Using a set of computers as portals into the virtual ecosystem, students study creatures with different morphologies and behaviors moving about on pipes and walls.

These portals, called WallScopes, are linked together using a remote server which allows the creatures to move within the larger virtual space based on their own environmental preferences.

A two month pilot study of WallCology in an urban middle school classroom comprised of species differentiation and population estimation units demonstrated the feasibility of this approach.

Email: buphoff@gmail.com

Date: October 24, 2007
Middle School Student Engaged in WallCology Exercise - B. Uphoff, LTG@EVL

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