Sunday, August 1st, 2010
At Tunxis Community College we’re always looking for ways to provide students opportunity for challenge. In a course titled New Media Perspectives, the introductory course in Tunxis’s New Media Communication program, we employ Tinderbox, software developed by Eastgate Systems. This powerful software provides students flexible methods of visually illustrating relationships, physically linking ideas, and developing system and game prototypes. However, our only method of sharing and submitting Tinderbox files was via local network dropbox.
Emberlight, a system developed by J. Nathan Matias and Frederick Cheung,
immediately solved our distribution and document sharing limitation. Emberlight is software that makes Tinderbox files available for reading and distribution on the internet. It took students little more than seconds to upload their Tinderbox files into Emberlight and make URLs available for readers and assessors. Students may now cut and paste URLs to their work for assessment, distribution in digital portfolios, and for analysis by their peers. In addition to this solution for distribution and sharing, Emberlight also provides for version control of Tinderbox files, making revising and redistribution a simple matter of re-upload into the online system.
Emberlight was highly responsive, open to development input, and understanding of the needs of faculty and students. They worked with us on software features critical to the teaching and learning process, and we had input into the development process every step of the way. Their understanding of assessment frameworks, semester work schedules, and student learning issues was insightful, creative, and refreshing. Emberlight will become a standard feature of our curriculum.