The November issue of Seattle Business Magazine highlighted the region's Top 25 Innovators and Entrepreneurs. A project advised by Dr. Joyojeet Pal, a researcher in the iSchool's Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA), was one of the teams named to this list. Pal's students, UW computer science undergraduates Clint Tseng, Heather Underwood and Sunil Garg, developed MultiLearn. MultiLearn addresses the shortage of classroom technology in developing countries by allowing students to share computers using multiple input devices, including mice and keypads.
In countries where classroom resources are scarce, the ability to allow multiple students to use the same computer allows teachers to increase participation and access. While the team began by developing a new model for using input devices, they are now writing learning games and applications on top of the technology.
The project was also the subject of an article in Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. In the article, Pal mentions that despite the fact that almost all computers outside the developed world are shared, very few learning technologies accommodate sharing. The work of the MultiLearn team is helping identify means of addressing the challenges of education in the developing world that don't involve huge investments in expensive, quickly obsolete technology.
For information about the MultiLearn project, visit the project website.