Rice University Electronic Studio Project
Project Number 14 – 1993
Vice President for Research
Graduate Study & Information Systems
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251
Fax: (713) 285-5163e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Individuals And Organizations Associated With The Project
Beth Shapiro (University Librarian)
Kevin Long (Director of Information Technology)
Leslie Miller, Kay Flowers, Martin Halbert
In addition, Rice has received grants from the Texas Environmental Center
and the Council on Library Resources in support of various aspects of this project.
The Virtual Notebook System (VNS), a system for collaborative work originally created for biomedical applications, is being used to create electronic studios that will enhance teaching and learning at all grade levels. Electronic studios are under development for university courses in the humanities, history of science, architecture, political science, and art history. Also as part of this project, VNS will be used to create an electronic reserve room for the library. An electronic studio also is being developed to communicate science and engineering information within elementary schools and to develop an electronic environmental library. Using advanced technology, electronic notebooks are created that transcend important limitations of pencil and paper, enabling members of a team or class to share and integrate information in their collaborative efforts. The concept of the electronic studio was prompted by the usefulness of an architect’s studio as a place in which work is organized and collected. Within an architect’s studio, the drafting table and storage cabinet serve as both a work place and a repository for tools, design projects, and personal possessions. Within the electronic studio, teachers and students are able to transcend the limitations of a physical studio and are able to accumulate and share notes, assignments, documents, images, video and sound. Several electronic studio applications will be tested in courses during the 1993-94 academic year.
The electronic studio enables teachers and students to accumulate and share notes, assignments, images, video, sound and documents. The dynamics of multimedia computing are challenging paper as the preferred medium for the development and dissemination of educational materials. Within the electronic studio, teachers can use workstations and networks to transform written theories into demonstrations; and models into simulations. Audio annotations can be heard, and musical scores played. The expansive nature of the electronic studio distinguishes it from other educational computing systems. An electronic studio can enfold information from geographically dispersed sites — for example, from libraries and other archives across the nation. And unlike many computing applications in education that are intended for individual learners at stand- alone workstations, several users across a network can collaborate on educational projects within a single studio. Also, using the electronic studio, educational institutions in the state can collaborate on the development and deployment of new curricula. All of the five points of interest described in the call for proposal are addressed. Electronic studio development is based on utilization of the Internet; makes significant use of library resources in a networked environment; involves collaboration of librarians, teaching faculty, and computer professionals within the University, and is reaching out to the broader community through projects with the Texas Environmental Center and several schools districts in south Texas and in the Houston area. Additionally, the VNS software, while requiring a graphical user interface, is being ported to a variety widely available platforms.
A connection to the Internet and a Silicon Graphics workstation will be required.