Casual communication is crucial for idea creation. But how can people who are not in the same room casually communicate visual ideas with each other at the moment that they create those ideas? Pen-based PDAs and tablet-PCs have the potential to effect such a capability, but only if their mobility, ubiquity and stylus-based input are properly used.
One key to making this happen may be in enabling the use of networked mobile stylus-based devices to allow people who are far apart to directly describe "process over time." The result could lead to an expansion in the definition of, as well as the teaching of, literacy itself.
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This work was funded in part by the Microsoft Corporation.