Scott beat me to the punch here, but I think this is interesting, so I want to share more…
The Lead Project, a 3-year European Union funded research project, has created an interesting bit of software that they’re calling CoFFEE (Cooperative Face2Face Educational Environment). The focus of the project is to support problem solving activities in the classroom.
Vittoria Scarano, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Salerno described CoFFEE as “a synchronous collaboration framework, with several tools already designed, based on Eclipse RCP, expandable and open source. It allows teachers to design, run and evaluate a session, made of steps, each step resulting a number of previously configured tools that facilitate the collaboration with threaded chat, graphical workspace, and other tools.” He further states that “It has been used successfully in several schools, and we plan to keep on the development, and are willing to collaborate with other developers/researchers.”
It’s definitely an interesting project that’s worth keeping an eye on. I have suggested to Vittorio might be a good fit with some of the university outreach work that we’ve started at the Foundation and suggested that the project might find a good home as an Eclipse project. I think that some of the work that we’ve been doing the Eclipse IDE for Education is complementary and am excited by the prospect of bringing these two communities together.