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The Grid Shared Desktop: a bootstrapping environment for collaboration

Abstract : The paradigm shift from an information-sharing infrastructure (i.e., the Web) to a resource-sharing infrastructure (i.e., the Grid) has open new perspectives for CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning). With Grid, it is now possible to envisage a scalable infrastructure that offers live collaborative environments in a secure manner. The Grid Shared Desktop (GSD) is one such collaborative environment that inherits from the desktop as a natural human- machine interface to become a multidimensional humans-to-humans interface via several dedicated desktops. The success of such environments depends upon several considerations that we will develop here. We have not so far identified any equivalent solution that can fully suit CSCL requirements. In fact, all solutions are either ad-hoc system-oriented or they are not scalable as they cannot manage resources efficiently. In order to satisfy the CSCL needs, we propose a platform-independent solution that benefits from the intrinsic advantages of the Grid technologies. This goal is greatly enhanced thanks to the ability of Grid to support stateful, dynamic services. In this paper, we also tackle the problem of bootstrapping and supporting a collaborative environment. As we target communities of non-computer-literate people, we investigate easy-to-use and flexible solutions. Finally, we present our latest experimental case study with the GSD in the context of collaborative construction of a shared ontology.
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Pascal Dugénie, Philippe Lemoisson, Clement Jonquet, Monica Crubézy, Claude Lorenço. The Grid Shared Desktop: a bootstrapping environment for collaboration. Advanced Technology for Learning, ACTA Press, 2006, Special issue on Collaborative Learning, 3 (4), pp.241-249. ⟨10.2316/Journal.208.2006.4.208-0895⟩. ⟨lirmm-00128326v2⟩

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