September 1st, 1999 - November 30th, 0999
Since our larger learning research projects such as Correlations and the Round Earth require high levels of time and effort commitment from teachers, we will not be able to run enough of those projects concurrently to engage all of the teachers (and students) in the school simultaneously. Because of this we have designed an alternative “point of entry” for teacher participation which requires a far lower level of commitment while still engaging teachers (and their students) in the use of advanced visualization technology (AVT) in support of the regular learning program.
This track is motivated by the simple observation that three-dimensional models are already an important part of the instructional program. A look around classrooms in Lincoln reveals the presence of Earth globes, solid geometric models, dioramas, and other solid models. AVTs provide a mechanism for making additional models accessible to students without the costs of physical fabrication. AVTs also make accessible to learners models which would not otherwise “fit” inside a regular classroom. The QuickWorlds program is intended to provide a fast-turnaround (on the order of days or weeks) mechanism for teachers who would like to make virtual models available to their students as part of the regular learning program. Teachers submit requests for models specifying the object(s) to be modeled and the elements of those models most important to the underlying learning goals. After discussion with the requesting teacher, UIC personnel (including especially graduate students from the college of Art at UIC) will modify predefined models or construct new models, and will assist the teacher in the presentation of those models to their students.