Group Scribbles

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Group scribbles is an educational software for tablet PCs and similar devices.

We intend Group Scribbles to be a platform that supports teachers in inventing and enacting new forms of collaboration and coordination in their classroom without resorting to additional programming. To support improvisation, Group Scribbles offers a powerful metaphor based on familiar physical artifacts from the classroom or office: adhesive notes, bulletin boards, whiteboards, stickers, pens, and markers.9 The fundamental unit of expression in Group Scribbles, the Scribble Sheet, is a small square of virtual paper just large enough to express a single thought or concept, whether via a quick sketch or a few words. Scribble Sheets can be posted to public boards, visible to all participants. Multiple sheets can be arranged to express ensemble ideas, such as groupings, chronologies, or hierarchies. A smaller sheet, termed a label, can be attached to the larger Scribble Sheets as an annotation. In addition, each participant has a private board on

which to create and arrange Scribble Sheets. (Roschelle et al., 2007)

The software

Group scribbles is a free server-client application.

  • The server needs Java and MySQL. There exist two versions, one for Jetty and one for JBOSS (both are Java application servers). To install the Jetty version, you will have to create manually the MySQL tables. To install the more robust JBOSS version, you need some additional installation skills. Instructions and downloads can be found in the Community Wiki
  • The client runs in a Flash-enabled Web Browser.

Below is a screen capture that we found in the The default screen layout page of the community wiki (retrieved 16:38, 30 June 2009 (UTC))

Screen capture of Group Scribles - version 2

“The lower pane is the user's personal work area, or "private board", with a virtual pad of fresh "scribble sheets" or "scribbles" for short. A scribble has properties similar to 3M's familiar Post-It¿ note: the user can draw or type on the scribble, and drag and drop them into different screen arrangements. The "tool bar" at the top of the screen allows users to choose between drawing or typing on a scribble, and provides other options. [...] Scribbles can be published to other users simply by dragging them to the public board in the upper pane. Other participants' screens are updated to reflect changes in the public space. Users can interact with public scribbles in a variety of ways, such as browsing their content, repositioning them, attaching mini-scribble "labels", or taking scribbles from the public board into their private space.”, retrieved 16:38, 30 June 2009 (UTC).



See also the full publication list

  • Dimitriadis, Y., Asensio, J.I., Hernandez, D., Roschelle, J., Brecht, J., Tatar, D., Chaudhury, S., DiGiano, C., & Patton, C. (2007). From socially-mediated to technology-mediated coordination: A study of design tensions using Group Scribbles. Proceedings of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning 2007 Conference, CSCL 2007. PDF
  • Roschelle, J.; Tatar, D.; Chaudbury, S.R.; Dimitriadis, Y.; Patton, C.; DiGiano, C.; (2007). Ink, Improvisation, and Interactive Engagement: Learning with Tablets, Computer, Volume 40, Issue 9, Sept. 2007, 42 - 48, DOI 10.1109/MC.2007.321 (Access restricted) - Also PDF reprint from SRI.