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Distributed November 4, 2003
Contact Tracie Sweeney

The Educational Software Seminar
Brown computer science course seeks city teachers’ ideas for software

“The Educational Software Seminar,” a unique undergraduate course taught at Brown University for the last decade, produces software for use in elementary, secondary and post-secondary classrooms. Providence teachers are invited to submit proposals for software that would be developed by undergraduates during spring semester 2004 for use in the teachers' classrooms.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In 2004, Brown University's Department of Computer Science will again offer “The Educational Software Seminar,” a course in which groups of Brown undergraduates with interests and experience in education and computer science design, build and implement software based on teachers’ specifications.

The course instructor, Roger Blumberg, visiting assistant professor of computer science and senior fellow for teaching with technology, is now accepting software proposals from Providence teachers. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 31, 2003.

For more than a decade, the seminar has produced software for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education. Ideas for the software come directly from classroom teachers. Blumberg says the course is unique, both as an approach to the creation of educational technology and as a form of University-school and University-community collaboration using computers.

When the course was last offered in spring 2003, Brown students created programs for teachers at four schools:

  • “Function Machines,” which teaches basic math concepts to kindergarten students, was developed at the request of Ellen Lynch, a teacher at the Vartan Gregorian Fox Point Elementary School;
  • a project about Providence firefighters and their history was developed for Marcella Weinberg’s bilingual second-grade class at the Charles N. Fortes Magnet Academy Museum School;
  • an interactive multimedia Web site on vaccines and basic immunology was developed for Club DNA, an after-school science program for students in the French-American School in Providence, and taught by Ann DeGroot, assistant professor of medicine at Brown;
  • a teaching aid on cardiovascular physiology was developed for a biology course taught at Brown University by John Stein, assistant professor of neuroscience (research).

The RFP, as well as downloadable software from past years and more information about the course, is available at the course Web site:


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