For students

Cyco is built on Drupal. Drupal has themes that specify the look of a site. Change the theme, and you change the way a site looks. Use a responsive theme, and Cyco works on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Try it. Look at the demo site. Change the size of the browser window. See how things change? Notice how the menu at the top of the page changes from a row of buttons to a dropdown, as the window shrinks.

There’s also a sidebar toggle:


It hides the sidebar. It lets students shrink the window, giving them space for other things, like spreadsheets (for working on exercises).

For authors

There’s another question that doesn’t get the attention it should: how do authors write content for mobile devices?

Mostly, they don’t worry about it. Cyco uses a SWIM (show-what-I-mean) editor. Say you’re writing a chemistry course, and want to add warnings. Here’s what you type:


There are no buttons for bold, font size, color, etc. There’s just text (except for special cases, like drawings and formulas). You don’t tell Cyco how to show the warning. Maybe it’s big red text. Maybe it flashes. You tell Cyco you want a warning, and let it figure out the details.

That includes the details of what devices students are using. If you want it to, Cyco can change how the warning is shown, depending on the device.


But wait, there’s more! There’s this button:

Peek button

It lets authors see how content shows on different devices, while they’re editing it.

Here’s the beginning of this page, in the SWIM editor:


Here’s what the peek button shows, with the smartphone button pushed:

Smartphone peek

Here’s what it looks like on a tablet:

Tablet peek

There’s a button for desktops/laptops, too.

Neat, huh? The preview isn’t perfect, but it’s good. The dimensions are for devices that set screen-size standards.

This will be enough for most authors. The few who need more can use specialized software. There are nice plugins for Chrome that emulate many devices.

Like what you see? Take a look at what you can do.