What is gbcc?

Group-Based Cloud Computing (GbCC) stems from a lineage of agent-based modeling technologies described below.



NetLogo is a multi-agent programmable modeling environment. It is used by tens of thousands of students, teachers and researchers worldwide. NetLogo can be downloaded as a desktop application for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux free of charge. It includes an extensive library of documentation and tutorials that are able to be authored.

NetLogo Web.jpg

netlogo web

NetLogo Web is a browser based version of Netlogo that can operate without installing additional software. Both versions of NetLogo come equipped with a models library, however some features have yet to be fully implemented in the browser-based version. Like the desktop version, the code in NetLogo web is also able to be authored.

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NetLogo and NetLogo Web interface with individual students. Group-Based Cloud Computing (GbCC) is an online platform powered by NetLogo Web that allows students to work with models individually or collaboratively. This allows students to author and share changes to models.


why should we introduce learners to computer modeling?

At the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling (CCL) at Northwestern University, we have done extensive research with children and adults, asking them to explain complex patterns in the world such as traffic jams, changes in the fauna and flora in a habitat, the flocking of birds or the housing segregation patterns of cities. The overwhelming majority did not understand the causes of these phenomena.

In the CCL’s work developing computer-modeling-based curriculum, we have found that computationally literate students can use their computational thinking to make sense of complex patterns and understand the role of randomness in generating complexity.

Excerpt from Why schools need to introduce computing in all subjects by Uri Wilensky

why have students work on models in groups?

The Group-Based Cloud Computing (GbCC) for STEM Education project integrates three prior and continuing research, development, and design frameworks to address directly the potential for group-situated learning and teaching in STEM classrooms. The three frameworks to be integrated in this ITEST (Strategies) proposal are:

  1. The NetLogo (Wilensky, 1999) agent-based and aggregate modeling and participatory simulation (HubNet, Wilensky & Stroup, 2007) capabilities.
  2. The completely open-standards based, group-situated, device independent, and database mediated cloud-in-a-bottle (CiB) network architecture (Remmler & Stroup, 2012).
  3. The use of socially-mediated generative design activity design for supporting STEM focused learning and teaching in classrooms (c.f. Stroup, 2007).

The goal of the project is to use the browser-based GbCC capabilities to advance participatory and more fully socially mediated approaches to learning and teaching in STEM classrooms as a vehicle to broaden and deepen the involvement and engagement of all students with in-depth understanding of STEM domains and their possible STEM-related careers.