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Cyberlearning Platforms Improve Design Collaboration

Two new "cyberlearning" platforms allow non-artists to create illustrations rivaling the work of expert designers. The platforms sidestep a key creative barrier by eliminating the need for drawing skills in developing new designs.

"Non-experts are becoming more empowered and interested in means of creative self-expression," said Karthik Ramani, Purdue University's Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "More importantly, I think this is the beginning of a new field of computer-supported creativity where you are extending the human mind."

The new platforms — called skWiki (pronounced squeaky) and Juxtapoze — may usher in a new era of digital-scribbling and creative collaboration.

The platforms operate on servers and do not require users to install any software. The skWiki platform allows collaboration with multimedia, including text, sketches, photos and "vector images" important for computer-aided design and other applications.

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