Mark Weiser coined the term Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) describing a future in which everyday life-objects would have embedded computers providing services anytime and anywhere. This paradigm is theme recurrent in many graduate courses of Computer Science around the world. To better understand the challenge of teaching Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp), we surveyed 15 professors and 60 graduate and undergraduate students from 16 universities. According to this survey, the two most challenging Ubicomp concepts to explain in a lecture are context-awareness and middleware platforms. Results also showed professors’ difficulty in finding tools to assist the practical teaching of UbiComp’s concepts. Current UbiComp tools require high programming skills or they are not designed for educational purposes. Therefore, this work presents the design, development, and evaluation of LUCy (Learning Ubiquitous Computing Easily), a Virtual Learning Environment which aids UbiComp practical classes. LUCy has two main elements: a Web tool and an Android mobile app. The former provides UbiComp theory materials, videos, practices, and simulations. The latter uses smartphones features and sensors to run simulations of UbiComp concepts. We evaluated LUCy during Context-Awareness classes in UbiComp courses, at the same university, along with three distinct semesters. In different three sessions, we gathered information about LUCy’s pedagogical and usability issues. Then, we performed a quasi-experiment using a pretest and posttest design methodology with twenty-seven students. Results showed LUCy practices significantly improves students reasoning about Context-Aware concepts.
The paper analyses the problems in selecting and integrating tools for delivering basic programming knowledge at the university level. Discussion and analysis of teaching the programming disciplines, the main principles of study programme design, requirements for teaching tools, methods and corresponding languages is presented, based on literature overview and author`s experience. A pressure from labor market, students and other sources to emphasize practical skills over deeper, long-term programming concepts is described. A model of teaching introductory programming disciplines at a higher logical level, using C#, is presented as a summary of the accomplished analysis, and also taking into account the recommendations of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) association for typical teaching programs. Also, design principles for building introductory programming courses, aligned with such teaching approach, are presented. This model has already been trialed at Vytautas Magnus University.
Conventional wisdom attributes the lack of effective technology use in classrooms to a shortage of professional development or poorly run professional development. At the same time, logo-like learning environments require teachers to develop more expertise not only in technology but also in pedagogy.
This paper proposes that the perceived lack of technology professional development is a myth and that traditional professional development is ill-suited to teaching teachers how to create logo-like learning environments. Furthermore, it proposes models of student-centered, student-led support for teachers that support classroom practice aligned with the attributes of logo-like learning environments. These models situate teacher learning about technology in their own classroom, reinforce constructivist teaching practices, provide support for technology use in the classroom, and enrich learning environments for students.