Fig 1. Groupware components of a learning community. Note the 3 stages of growth that group members endure.
·A MOO has potential as a teaching tool, providing the students with the opportunity for authentic conversations with people from outside of the classroom.
·MOOs offer a 'safe' zone in which the any one can practice the target language without any risk. Because of the 'text-based' nature of the MOO database - the descriptions of areas and people
·MOOs also provide an opportunity for reading and writing tasks. Once the students are 'inside' the MOO, there is a sense in which they are no longer in the classroom - they have room to maneuver autonomously.
·It's fun and useful and gives the person the opportunity to be creative. In a situation where access to the Internet is easily available, introducing the students to synchronous talk zones and other 'Net facilities is an opportunity to bring a 'real world' tool into the class curriculum.
·Due to its text base nature can be successfully use in business because you can keep the records of the meetings
·Lot of members of organizations can have a meeting from all over the world with very less cost as compared to the other medium of telecommunications.
While all four CSCW components may be a value, a MOO environment like the Learning Communities MOO(LC_MOO) can exhibit most of the features of the other components. LC_MOO was created to serve primarily the joint teaching and research ventures of the Farrer Centre and the Centre for Studies in Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University in conjunction with the information technology program within the School of Information Studies. Supported by the research and development systems at K2 and K9 MOOs, LC_MOO serves as both a learning environment for our students and as a broader community for use by professional workgroups, teachers and researchers wishing to hold meetings, lectures, seminars etc and to collaborate on projects. LC_MOO is situated on CSUnet and is linked with ourcollaborating partners at University of Texas (Dallas), Texas Woman’s University (Denton), Texas A&M University (College Station) and the University of Hawaii.
LC_ MOO is also home to an international network of professional workgroups in the areas of information technology, agriculture (extension programming), education, and business. LC_MOO supports links with other organisations. Membership applications from students, faculty and professional organisations are considered on the basis of mutual interest in our mission or enrollment in one of the CSU subjects using LC_MOO. Reasons for application should be explicit regarding the use ofLC_MOO in any combination of youreducation, workplace, research or professional development interests.
LC_MOO is the central platform for CSCW in ETL529/ITC213.
Here is a glimpse of things to come…
Figure 2 below shows part of an online lecture on MOO programming in action. This slide shows how Internet Exporer 5 handles a Powerpoint presentation via the enCore Web/MOO interface. All text and images can be stored in the MOO after each “live” performance and students can “replay” the lecture in their own time, using groupware tools found or programmed in the MOO database.
Figure 2. A snapshot of a lecture about MOO Object design showing the dialogue window on the left and the Microsoft Powerpoint frame on the right (Using Internet Explorer 5.0 with feature to run Microsoft Powerpoint .ppt files).
I'm really pleased to see this kind of dedicated effort being put into using LambdaMOO for education in the right way. I have long been a supporter and a believer in the constructivist philosophy of learning, and it's wonderful to me that there now exists such a toolkit so that groups all over the world can try it out for themselves. This is the kind of progress that really justifies all of my work on LambdaMOO over the years. My heartfelt thanks to the many people responsible for putting it all together in the High Wired enCore.
Cofounder and Principal Architect of PlaceWare, Inc.
Creator of LambdaMOO
[Have a look at Pavel's latest work at http://www.placeware.com ]
MOO Server: LambdaMOO version 1.8.0p5
Core: enCore, version 2.0.4
Database: 6233 objects, 20387444 bytes on disk
MOO Client Protocol : version MCP/2.1
Web server: enCoreXpress/2.0.4 (HTTP/1.0 )
Authentication: Persistent Client State HTTP Cookies
The technical environment involves the integration of various Internet technologies dealing with client/server architecture, database design, object-oriented programming (MOO objects and Java applets), human-computer interaction, synchronous/asynchronous networking applications, data communications protocols and multimedia design. Three main MOO’s are:
LC_MOO – the production site for professional workgroups
K9MOO – the prototype environment for object-oriented programmers.
For enhanced telnet connections, logging files of meetings etc in text mode, we recommend Pueblo 2.0 for Windows9x/NT from http://www.chaco.com/pueblo or tkMOO lite (requires tk/tcl installed as well) for Windows/Mac/UNIX users from http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/tkMOO-light/
MacMOOSE for MacOS users from http://www.cc.gatech.edu/fac/Amy.Bruckman/MacMOOSE or MUDDweller for older System 7.x Mac users from http://tucows.bold.net.au/mac/files/mud-dweller-12.hqx
Fig.1 The Welcome screen at K9 MOO using version 2.0.4 of the enCore database. The Xpress Web interface is built using Java applets for frames and the MOOtcan client.
Visit the enCore “mothership” at http://lingua.utdallas.edu:7000 (Fig 2) for the latest release of the enCore database.
Fig 2 The Lingua MOO: where all the enCore action first surfaces.
Fig 3 the MOOtcan client as a standalone Java tool.
5.2 public class MOOtcanextends Applet
A simple MOO-client, it is currently only usable for MOO-connections as it sends and read lines, not characters, through and from the socket. It may be modified to support character-oriented connections. this class glues together a GUI (currently only a panel inside a frame) and a network-connection. It supports processing of the stream from the MOO, so that things like Surf'nTurf's browser interaction and MacMOOse's Object Browser can be implemented. Two pipes are set up (marked with ->): (the users input) -> (the parser) - (the network socket) (the MOO output) -> (the moo parser) - (the users terminal) maybe it will be possible to send objects through the MOO-server, maybe storing them in MOO-objects, and rebuilding them at another client !? This could be usable for exchanging objects like texts / pictures / sounds, you name it. For security, the applet and its threads are killed if the browser leaves * the applet-page for more than 10 seconds. The way we do this, is to start a thread that is waiting for the user to get back. there is a link to a description of this method in @see KillAllThread.java.
License: enCore is Copyright © 1997-1999 of Jan Rune Holmevik and Cynthia Haynes. All rights reserved. The core of this program is Copyright © 1991-1997 of LambdaMOO. The enCore layer is Copyright © 1997-1999 of its respective authors. Built-in support for the MCP/2.1 protocol is copyright © 1998 of Ken Fox. The MOOtcan telnet applet is Copyright © 1998-1999 of Sindre Sørensen. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License Seehttp://lingua.utdallas.edu/encore/gpl.html for details. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY.
Credits: Jan Rune Holmevik, Cynthia Haynes, Sindre Sørensen, Ken Schweller, Mark Blanchard, Jorge Barrios, Amy Bruckman, Matthew Campbell, John Towell, Gustavo Glusman, Craig Leikis, Juli Burk, Michael Thompson, Nils McCarthy, Rui Miguel Barbosa Pinto, Andrew Wilson, Ken Fox, and Matthew Beerman.
The enCore Xpress web interface is listening for incoming connections on port 7000, so the URL for your MOO's homepage is http://ispg.csu.edu.au:7000. The URL of any object in the MOO is determined by the object's number. For example, the URL to the LC_MOO enCore Starting Point is: http://ispg.csu.edu.au:8800/62where 62(#62) is the MOO object number.
The enCore database includes support for the MCP/2.1 MOO Client Protocol. This is an out of band protocol used for sending messages between servers and clients. Several useful applications are available that are built on MCP/2.1. Programmers can use MCP/2.1 to create new applications for MOO. For more information about MCP/2.1 see http://www.moo.mud.org/mcp2/ and enCore is open to commercial use under the terms specified in the GNU GPL license.
Enough technical stuff… let’s get down to creating and manipulating various objects as tools in our CSCW environment.