Skip to main content

Robert Stephenson

Rob Stephenson is an educator, eLearning architect and consultant living in San Francisco. He is Community Manager of the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) on In his spare time Rob is Assoc. Prof. of Biological Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, where he has taught an online physiology class for the last seven years. Rob is a pioneer of the "open course" movement: applying the principles of openness and collaborative development to create interactive learning materials. He founded the first open course project, the Harvey Project, an international collaboration to build free learning objects for physiology (about half of them Java applet simulations). He is the organizer of OpenCourse.Org, an NSF-funded platform to support open course projects (think CollabNet or SourceForge for learning object developers). Rob holds an A.B. in physics from Princeton, a Ph.D. in neurophysiology from MIT and Java programming certification from Sun Microsystems.


rstephe's blog

GELC => Curriki

Posted by rstephe on October 17, 2006 at 5:35 PM PDT

A few months ago we ran a contest to suggest a new name for the GELC's new Website. Today the GELC Advisory Board's decision is officially out: the new name is Curriki. The new Website, still under development, is and will support the GELC's new mission of providing "open source curricula" to teachers and students around the world.

Scott McNealy discusses the GELC

Posted by rstephe on August 9, 2006 at 11:38 AM PDT

Forbes Magazine recently interviewed Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystem's Chairman, about the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC). From the interview: "'Math hasn't changed since Isaac Newton,' declares Scott McNealy.

GELC Renaming Contest

Posted by rstephe on June 13, 2006 at 2:25 PM PDT

contest.png To paraphrase William Gibson, the knowledge you seek is already here - it's just not evenly distributed.

Graduation Day, part II

Posted by rstephe on June 1, 2006 at 11:25 AM PDT

Four more projects are graduating from the GELC Community incubator today that fall under the general rubric of academic research, but are about as diverse an they could be. Netbeanslaboratorysupport turns the NetBeans platform into as electronic lab notebook, with tools for data analysis and plotting, including some specialized graphs such as Bode plots.

Graduation Day, part I

Posted by rstephe on May 30, 2006 at 4:45 PM PDT

Today four projects are graduating from the GELC Community incubator. They include an Eclipse plug-in, a dictionary prompter, a simple Swing user interface and a Java study group. Two of the projects are in Portuguese and one is in Turkish, reflecting the "G" (for "Global") in GELC and the international nature of itself.

Meet GELC's New Executive Director

Posted by rstephe on March 7, 2006 at 12:36 PM PST

This (Tuesday) morning, the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC) and Sun Microsystems announced that Dr. Barbara Kurshan had accepted the position of Executive Director of the GELC. What follows is a brief interview I did with Bobbi Kurshan.

RS: Bobbi, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

CAS (Java Computer Algebra System)

Posted by rstephe on February 27, 2006 at 11:36 PM PST

The CAS (Java Computer Algebra System) project is a polished and valuable tool for high school or college math classes. The applet is right on the CAS project page, so it's hard to miss. It is an algebraic function plotter that is well documented (scroll down the page) and seems both robust and well designed.

New Learning Content from Down Under

Posted by rstephe on January 27, 2006 at 12:12 PM PST

The Learning Federation, a non-profit governmental initiative of Australia and New Zealand, has created remarkable Web-based materials for grades P-10. About 120 learning objects cover math, science, basic literacy and creativity, and are mostly in the form of Flash games.

Java and Education: persistent digital identity

Posted by rstephe on June 13, 2003 at 7:44 PM PDT

Several talks I attended this week touched on the important issue of online identity. A talk by Bill Yeager in the JXTA BOF Wednesday night described Virsona, a Sun research project to build a JXTA-based system of presence with ironclad security and privacy.

Java and Education: BlueJ

Posted by rstephe on June 13, 2003 at 1:09 AM PDT

In a session Thursday afternoon, Michael Kölling and John Rosenberg demonstrated
BlueJ, a Java IDE they had developed over the last seven years for teaching O-O