E-Slate

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1 Definition

  • E-Slate is a toolkit to build and configure educational microworlds. It is meant to used either by teachers, authors/teachers fit for end-user programming, and Java programmers.
  • “ E-Slate is an exploratory learning environment. It provides a workbench for creating highly dynamic software with rich functionality,by non-programmers. Educational activity ideas can be turned into software with minimal authoring effort in the form of interactive Microworlds which contain specially designed educational components. E-Slate components are provided as a kit of pre-fabricated, interoperable computational objects. Software Microworlds can be very easily constructed by plugging components in various configurations. The behaviour of both components and Microworlds, can be programmed in a Logo-based scripting language. E-Slate is currently based on the Java platform and related technologies.” (E-Slate WebSite, retrieved 13:06, 5 September 2006 (MEST))

We don't know if this project is still under active development as of 16:39, 8 July 2009 (UTC) (DKS).

2 Architecture

E-Slate provides a revolutionary way for creating highly interactive educational software in a rapid prototyping manner with minimal effort and resources. Components encompass domain-specific knowledge, playing the role of high-level building blocks in the creative hands of "end users". In that way, Authors, curriculum designers and educators deal with "customizable behaviors" rather than data-models, algorithms, and low-level programming. Software construction resembles assembling a "kit" rather than "writing a program". Educational Software created with E-Slate is:

  • editable: the UI may be restructured as required with simple drag-drop operations
  • programmable: components may be re-wired or scripted to extend or alter the provided functionality
  • customisable: multimedia content may be enriched or personalized by end-users.

(E-Slate WebSite, retrieved 13:06, 5 September 2006 (MEST))


E-Slate allows for different roles:

  • Educators are provided with quality and highly customisable educational software, in which they can embed personalised content, restructure the UI, and even alter or extend its functionality as required. In that way, E-Slate largely supports the highly valued constructivistic learning approach, according to which learning occurs while doing and building artefacts, by actively exploring ideas and testing hypotheses.
  • Authors and Publishers can develop products of sound educational value with drastically reduced costs (comparing to current authoring methods). This is made possible because: a) Components provide pre-packaged domain-specific functionality which need not be re-implemented again and again. b) Reusability of constructions (and effort!) is exploited at very high degree at various levels: components, templates, Microworlds.
  • Developers can utilise a number of E-Slate core services (APIs) to create E-Slate aware components and thus get direct gain from the functionality already implemented by existing components. In that way developers can multiply their work by a factor related to the size of the E-Slate component pool. Focused, small-team and distributed way of development is encouraged.

(E-Slate WebSite, retrieved 13:06, 5 September 2006 (MEST)).


3 Links

4 References

Available for download at http://e-slate.cti.gr/Resources.htm

  • C. Kynigos, M. Koutlis 2002: "E-slate: A 'black-and-white box' approach to component computing". Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, 2002. DOC
  • C. Kynigos 2002: "Generating cultures for mathematical microworld development in a multi-organizational context". Journal of Educational Computing Research, Baywood Publishing Co. Inc. (1 and 2), 183-209. DOC
  • C. Kynigos 2001: "E-slate Logo as a basis for constructing microworlds with mathematics teachers". Proceedings of the Ninth Eurologo Conference, Lintz, Austria, 65-74. DOC
  • G. Birbilis, M. Koutlis, K. Kyrimis, G. Tsironis, G. Vasiliou, 2000: "E-Slate: A software architectural style for end-user programming", presented at the 22nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2000), Limerick, Ireland. PDF
  • J. Roschelle, M. Koutlis, A. Reppening, et al, 1999: "Developing Educational Software Components", IEEE Computer, September 1999 Special Issue on Web based

learning and collaboration pp 2-10. PDF

  • M. Koutlis etal, 1999: "E-Slate: a kit of educational components" AI-ED '99 international conference, poster session, LeMans, France, July '99. PDF
  • M. Koutlis, P. Kourouniotis, K. Kyrimis, N. Renieri, 1998: "Inter-component communication as a vehicle towards end-user modeling", ICSE'98 Workshop on Component-Based Software Engineering, Kyoto, Japan. On-line proceedings
  • Ch. Kynigos, M. Koutlis, Th. Hadzilacos, 1998: "Mathematics with Component Oriented Exploratory Software", International Journal of Computers in Mathematics Education, Kluwer Academic. PDF