Summary of A Half-Century of Hypertext at Brown: Session 2

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00:00:00 - 01:00:00

This video discusses the history of hypertext at Brown University, from the early days of development until present day. It includes interviews with developers and users of the system, as well as demonstrations of how the system works.

  • 00:00:00 In the 1980s, Brown University installed IBM workstations on campus and created a software development unit to create and evaluate software.
  • 00:05:00 The software, Intermedia, was designed to be a next-generation educational software, based on hypertext. The company started with a paradigm of everyone in the university using Macintosh computers, and users understood copy and paste. The software was built to be separate apps with a linking server. The company's main concepts were the web and the idea of scopes of links. The software was demoed on a real Mac IIci with the memory taken out.
  • 00:10:00 This video covers the history of hypertext at Brown, discussing how links were bidirectional and full-text search was possible on an 80-megabyte server 30 years ago.
  • 00:15:00 This video discusses how Brown University developed hypertext-based systems to help students navigate and find information. The first hypertext system at Brown was 99, which was ranked the best by users. Later, Nicole shows how the system combines history with what you can see next to make navigation more efficient.
  • 00:20:00 This video covers the history of hypertext at Brown, including how links and annotations work. It also shows how annotations can be used to add commentary to a document.
  • 00:25:00 The video demonstrates how to create templates, which are a common concept in website editors. The author template includes documents about an author's biography, literary relations, and overview. The templates are fully editable, but only if the user has permissions. The author picture and text are inserted into the template.
  • 00:30:00 This video discusses Khan's history at Brown, focusing on the years 1965-1985. Khan discusses the architecture of Intermedia, which consisted of an object-oriented application that ran over a socket to a link server, as well as a relational database. He also discusses how object-oriented programming was used at the school, and how Flatland, a book written by Edwin Abbott, was annotated using Intermedia.
  • 00:35:00 This video discusses the history of hypertext at Brown University, including the development of linking protocols and the influence of IBM and Apple sponsorships. The presenter recalls a dialogue he had with Tim Berners-Lee about the difficulties of implementing bidirectional links in the early days of the internet.
  • 00:40:00 The video discusses the history of hypertext at Brown and how the technology at the time wasn't up to the task of what was envisioned. Other influences on the development of hypertext include the Dexter group and the work of formalizing hypertext concepts released by the ECHT tutorial. The anchors concept was formalized and became part of HTML. A proposal for wide area network hypertext was rejected because no one would want it. Hypertext in education was discussed by Paul Kahn and George Landow.
  • 00:45:00 This session discussed the history of hypertext and how Brown developed hypertext tools in the early 1990s. Julie Ringa, who was not able to attend the session, helped work on document collections and explained how hypertext was seen as a good tool for education. The presentation also showed how different applications were incompatible and how students had to learn how to use multiple applications to create and share documents.
  • 00:50:00 Brown University's hypertext system was used to create overviews of literary works, multimedia presentations, and cell biology experiments. It also allowed for the creation of tables that addressed specific addresses on a video disk.
  • 00:55:00 This video discusses the various hypertext applications that were developed at Brown over the past half-century, including a video disk application, a follow another video link application, and an In Memoriam web application. The talk ends with George Landow describing his involvement in the development of hypertext at Brown.

01:00:00 - 01:35:00

This video discusses the history of hypertext research at Brown University, and how it has helped students learn in a more flexible way. It also discusses the importance of studying how students learn in order to assess the effects of hypertext.

  • 01:00:00 The video discusses how Brown University's Storyspace hypertext system has helped students learn to make connections and navigate their way around the content. It also discusses how Storyspace is similar to Intermedia, which was Brown's previous hypertext system.
  • 01:05:00 The video discusses how the Victorian web, created by George Landow, has been used to archive and share multimedia content, including music and book illustrations. The overview also mentions student-created content and the importance of teaching in a way that encourages student exploration and creativity.
  • 01:10:00 The second session of "A Half-Century of Hypertext at Brown" covers student work in hypermedia environments, including examples of Victorian-style Websites and new, more interactive forms. The session also covers the importance of student contributions on Websites, and how they help to bootstrap the development of the Web.
  • 01:15:00 This video discusses the effects of hypertext on critical theorists. One of the effects is that hypertext allows for multiple interpretations of a text. In addition, hypertext allows for a more fluid and flexible approach to literacy.
  • 01:20:00 In 1984, Brown University created the Intermedia project to study how computers were changing the way students learn. Forty years later, the project's findings have been largely validated. Hypertext allows students to learn in a more flexible way, and it enhances their critical thinking skills. Instructors are more empowered in hypertext classrooms, and students are more engaged in their learning. However, it is still a difficult process to research how hypertext affects cognitive processes.
  • 01:25:00 The second session of A Half-Century of Hypertext at Brown focused on the benefits of hypertext for student learning. The first hypertext application used in the class was found to increase student engagement and instructor involvement, while later applications had a harder time measuring long-term effects. While more research is needed to verify these findings, the hypertext model may be an accurate way to enhance student learning.
  • 01:30:00 The video discusses Vannevar Bush's model of human cognition, which is based on the idea that the structure of Intermedia, or any hypertext system, is the structure of thought. This effect is difficult to assess, but it is likely that people naturally think in ways that replicate the material they are exposed to through hypertext. Although the model has been questioned, it is still an important part of our understanding of hypertext's educational benefits. Finally, the video discusses the importance of studying how students learn in order to assess the effects of hypertext.
  • 01:35:00 This video covers the history of hypertext research at Brown, discussing the methodological challenges and legacy of the research. The talk ends with a reminder for attendees of the upcoming Ethnographic Praxis and Industry Conference.

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