in conjunction with ICLS 2012, July 2 Sydney, Australia

Digital Ecosystems for Collaborative Learning (DECL 2012): Embedding Personal and Collaborative Devices to Support Classrooms of the Future.

Multi-touch tables, interactive whiteboards, motion sensitive interfaces, physical and tangible computing all present enticing new functional affordances for learning. However, this constitutes a problem space for design, rather than any specific solution.  What forms of learning can now be supported by a multi-user touch screen?  How can such learning be incorporated into K-12, university, or informal learning designs?  As new commercial offerings become available, it is timely for learning scientists to explore how to best make use of these tools at the classroom.

This workshop will offer a venue to discuss how to develop novel technology into supportive tools and intelligent mediators between peers’ activity to build the classroom of the future. We will discuss the role of technology and its limitations along with the roles of teachers and students. The workshop will give participants the opportunity to experience such a classroom, share their work, discuss practical challenges and define an agenda for future work. Participants will be asked to complete a number of simple tasks that involve sharing experiences, collaborating and discussing with other participants aided by interactive surfaces.

Venue information


To register to the ICLS 2012 conference and the Workshop please use the ICLS registration system

Registration will close at midnight on June 10th.

In case you are already registered to the conference but not to the workshop you should email to let them know and get instructions.


We invite researchers, educators, designers, ethnographers and computer scientists who explore, build, or work with educational technology that provides support to students and teachers in the classroom.

The submission of a position paper of up to 4 pages (with an optional video) is recommended, as it can increase the chance of getting accepted. This may describe their current or intended work to enhance collaboration at the classroom with multi-user or augmented spatial designs. The paper should include the following elements: (1) research interests; (2) theoretical perspective about collaborative learning; (3) technology experiences or interests; (4) methodological experiences or interests; (5) any specific goals for this workshop listed below.

Please feel free to email us if you have any questions. We look forward to receiving your applications.

Topics of Interest

  • Connection between technologies and co-located collaborative learning

  • Usage of technology in the classroom
  • Ubiquitous and mobile learning environments  

  • Multi-touch tables and surfaces, interactive whiteboards

  • Motion sensitive interfaces, physical and tangible computing
  • Multi-display, single-display groupware
  • Educational uses of smart phones and tablets  
  • Classroom orchestration and monitoring
  • Improving teacher support
  • Integrating technology and pedagogical theory
  • Best practices for adaptation of technology to educational context

Guest speaker in introductory panel: Dr Chia Shen

Chia Shen is SEAS Senior Research Fellow and Director of the SDR Lab at Harvard University. Her lab conducts interdisciplinary research in human-computer interaction, interactive visualization, informal science education, and learning systems design. She is currently PI for the NSF sponsored project Life on Earth. The project is creating a set of interactive exhibits on the history of life on earth and evolutionary concepts through a multi-touch, multi-user kinesthetic learning experience. The learning activities will be designed for social-play environments, and will include an interactive visualization of Tree of Life with thousands to millions of species. Her previous research was on user interface and interaction techniques for tabletop and multiple-surface collaboration environments. DiamondSpin, developed at MERL under her direction during 2001–2003, is the first open toolkit made available to the tabletop research community and academic institutes throughout the world for  the construction of experimental multi-user tabletop concepts and applications. 

Submissions and questions

Submission and application

Contact Roberto Martinez Maldonado (roberto at for additional information. 

Consult the ICLS 2012 website ( for more information about the conference (registration, program, venue)


Roberto Martinez Maldonado, The University of Sydney, Australia

Pierre Dillenbourg, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

James Slotta, University of Toronto, Canada

Beat Schwendimann, The University of Sydney, Australia

Mike Tissenbaum, University of Toronto, Canada

Andrew Clayphan, The University of Sydney, Australia

Christopher Ackad, The University of Sydney, Australia