Wednesday, November 16, 2011

EM830 Gaming Culture@Work

My Virtual Economy and Business class had a digital storytelling assignment as part of  a weekly discussion post. My project features photos taken from CTU's Symposium held in October 2010 where doctoral students were part of a game/simulation that was held face to face using a computer and table top elements. The class really got into it! Can you tell what the major benefit of using gaming at work is in this segment? And how about the a challenge?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Lessons from Steve Jobs' TED Video

The tributes from around the world are moving for Steve Jobs and I add my condolences to his family and those inspired to think differently.

The irony of how Steve Jobs did not finish college is apparent to me in how much I wish to have Steve' perspective on my dissertation as it applies to the value of informal learning using new media.

The networked seminar for new media has enabled me to engage deeply with colleagues and acquaintances through a combination of the Internet, Second Life, bold leadership, and faithful facilitation. I wonder what Steve Jobs would contribute to our voluntary discussion that is a blend of formal and informal learning.

The lesson for me is clear. The more learned, the more understood how little is known whether from informal or formal means. Do what you love, includes learn what leads you. Awe transforms my life when learning occurs on terms of personal engagement. I take Steve's advice, along with others like Randy Pausch, to relish the journey of discovery, especially with those who are also "all in." Live and learn well.

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die | Video on TED.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Digital Reveries (I'm Awake!)

Learning flows abound in which to revel and dance with scholars at work (UCF) and school (CTU). The typical social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and soon Google+ are my constant source of learning to keep up with my field of learning technologies.


In September 2011, I became a participant in the New Media Faculty Seminar held in Second Life based on a course called, Awakening the Digital Imagination offered at Virginia Tech by the prolific blogger, thinker, and renaissance man, Dr. Gardner Campbell. The immersion of the virtual world is engaging for me filling a deep cerebral yearning. Examining great scientists and inventors is made novel through perspective comparison with current technologies. The networked seminar represents an instantiation of a massive open online course (mooc).


Discussion and collaborative reflection is based on the New Media Reader published in 2003 and edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort. Small groups around the country gather on campuses to share insights applicable to teaching with new media. It feels as if history is being created as this new model of education achieves greater momentum. 


Our intrepid facilitators are Robin Heyden and Liz Dorland who have created a NetVibes site to help group members keep up with all the happenings in this international networked seminar.  


Part of the expectation in the seminar is to blog one's reflections. A grand challenge to me as I am a novice blogger. I decided to use this blog as it represents a sort of eportflio of all my learning. Cheers to all who surf learning flows online.
The New Media Seminarians meeting in Second Life Sept. 28, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strategic Use of Virtual Worlds EM825 - Virtual Juror

At my day job I get to be involved with some incredible people and initiatives that inspire me to become more of a "player" in the field of higher education. One such group for which I am involved is the American Association of State Colleges and Universities  (AASCU). Each year, my institution has hosted a conference with AASCU and EDUCAUSE that engage senior leaders about the strategic use of technology for transforming education. It is always fun to recruit students to share their perceptions of campus use of technologies for learning and student support. Enter my own perspective.

July 2011 marks my third quarter as an adult student at Colorado Technical University in the Doctorate of Computer Science Emerging Media Program. Dr. Cynthia Calongne and her trusty assistant, Lyr Lobo,  attracted me to CTU for their work with the New Media Consortium. I am pleased and honored that Dr. Calongne has agreed to be my mentor and dissertation chair.  

This quarter I am taking EM825 Strategic Use of Virtual Worlds with Dr. Andrew Stricker who along with Dr. Calongne won the $25,000 prize awarded by the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge for the Mars Expedition Challenge. A more complimentary team may not exist than these two extraordinary, talented, positive deviants.

EM825 features group projects using a studio design process. Now I am enjoying how to better collaborate with students whose majors differ and are in different states and time zones. Our project focus is on community and civic engagement. A fellow doctoral student at UPenn, Cecilia Orphan, worked for AASCU to create the American Democracy Project to raise awareness and promote the values of engagement. This initiative made a significant impression upon me as it originated from pure will without substantial resources. Celilia's reflections of the project are captured in this blog post.

My group decided to pursue "Virtual Juror" as a project. We have chosen to contrast the legal systems of the USA compared to South Africa, Iran, and India, and specifically the use of jury trials. Just think about that idea. How much do you know about what is legal and what punishments may exist in these countries? Perhaps if we do a good job, when you see the "Jury Summons" in the mail, you will appreciate the opportunity to serve.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Double Dose of IRB and Usability. Payoff? Presentations

Obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for research projects is integral for institutions and researchers to maintain ethical inquiry. For my first class at CTU in the Doctorate of Computer Science (DCS) Program in Emerging Media, October 2010, I had CS820 Usability and Interaction with Dr. Anne Marie Armstrong. A requirement for the course was to perform a usability study.

Performing research in one's workplace is a risk that requires careful consideration. I had been working with staff several years to build a software application called Kogneato that we were trying to launch in tricky budget times. The project was not funded as part of a grant and we were building the application on a shoestring budget. We did not have assistance with technical writing nor documentation.

Since I work at a major university, I had to obtain IRB approval from both CTU and the University of Central Florida in order to involve faculty to test our system. My boss was supportive so I applied for approvals hoping to obtain approvals in time to complete the study by the end of the quarter.


 UCF's Kogneato Casual Gaming System, built with faculty involvement. Designed and developed by UCF's Ian Turgeon, Zach Berry and with the support of Dr. Francisca Yonekura (pictured below).  

My study was approved, the timing worked out, and best of all faculty involved in my test were very responsive to Kogneato. UCF's Psychology Department decided to adopt Kogneato for one of its funded research projects for course redesign addressing online labs, large classes, and the shortage of lab facilities. Their project is described in this article about online labs. Currently, we are seeking support to license Kogneato under an open source license to be able to attract more development in the tool.

Kogneato is not only being used for Psychology at UCF, it is also being used in several online courses and being developed for use in faculty development by my department, the Center for Distributed Learning. My colleague, Dr. Francisca Yonekura and I put in for call for proposals and were accepted to make  a presentation in June at the New Media Consortium's annual conference in Madison, WI.  Fortunately for us, the NMC event is taking place along with the 2011 Games, Learning, and Society Conference for which we were accepted to present as well.

It is not yet clear to me whether I can do my dissertation on the use the Kogneato, but it is possible. My direction seems oriented to the use of serious games in virtual worlds, but it may involve authentic assessment  and adaptive learning.

Last year, Dr, Yonekura and I presented at the annual New Media Conference on the topic of another software application we made at UCF and how it is being used for an accreditation initiative that involved information fluency. We are also seeking to open source that system called, Obojobo.

During the presentation, we did a live demo of the software and shared the slides we made on Prezi.  

We were honored to have in our presentation Christina Engelbart, the daughter of Douglas Engelbart, who is known for inventing the mouse and giving the mother of all demos. Christina now runs the Douglas Engelbart Institute.

I hope to align my doctoral research with my work activities so that inquiry stays real. In CS802 Qualitative Data Analysis, I did a paper on the topics of authentic leadership and competency management systems. Each activity sheds light on possible topics and research designs. Few things are as rewarding as working/studying with dedicated scholars and it is exciting to be able to share findings at national conferences.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Aikido for a Sustainable Environment: Our Gift to Planet Earth?


Dr.William Halal in his book, Technology's Promise writes of a forecast describing challenges in transitioning a consumption-oriented, global society to one that manages sustainability for survival (p. 17-30).

Halal references Russell Ackoff (1919-2009), a pioneer of management science, as defining a constellation of interrelated problems like this a mess... (p. 18). It was an honor for me to meet Dr. Ackoff in 2004 at a systems thinking conference held in Philadelphia. His life's work was evident in his peers. The environment was not the primary focus of the venue, rather the focus was on interrelationships whether illustrated in game theory or funding government innovation and research.

The environmental forecasts summarized in Technology's Promise include many that now dominate our news channels thanks to the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. The forecasts came from input given from experts contributing to TechCast LLC, a virtual think tank for which Dr. Halal is the CEO.
  • Alternative Energy
  • Desalination
  • Distributed Power
  • Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Global Warming
  • Green Business
  • Organic Farming
  • Precision Farming
Among the contenders within alternative energy are wind, solar, fission (not fusion), biomass (such as ethanol), conservation, and innovation such as using solar satellites. Halal suggests that the potential for the emerging green industry calls for a Green Manhattan Project.

Considering the advances in nanotechnology and a globally networked society, I wonder if geothermal energy should be the focus of a Green Manhattan Project. Materials are improving and costs are decreasing for production. From an astronomical perspective, I suspect the probability that other galactic societies have mastered geothermal energy is likely.

Dr. Michio Kaku writes about the work of Russian astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev who created a scale of civilizations based on energy management using physics and thermodynamics. For Earth to achieve an upgrade from a class 0 to a class I civilization, we must harness the sustainable energy of the planet including geothermal energy. As Halal suggests, managing the transition to a sustainable environment for our global environment is necessary for survival. In my view, mastering geothermal energy, is necessary for Earth to achieve interplanetary and galactic travel. What is our fortune?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ubiquitous Learning Lifestyle

For my innovation assignment, I decided to choose the advancements in broadband access for transforming education. Not only learning, but also work and society itself will be transformed as more and more citizens of our world get access. 

Whether or not I get to make my MMORPG as described in my socio-technical plan to transform education, the evolution of the Internet itself is an inevitable innovation.





Sunday, February 13, 2011

Informal and formal learning - Time is Relative

For our futurist prediction, I chose to analyze #5 from the World Future Society's list of top 2011 predictions: the notion that class time as separate from non-class time will vanish. Acquiring the ability to self direct one's learning is of paramount importance. Self-empowerment for many people may be more important. I believe the prediction of boundaries notion to be true and happening rapidly already. Teacher and faculty roles will change to provide mentoring, guidance, validation, and most of all, inspiration.

In as little as 20 years in the US, all formal education will be online available anywhere, anytime, everywhere, all the time. Faculty or teachers who do not use learning technologies will be guilty of educational malpractice. There will still be face to face learning and the need for institutions, but they will serve more as community centers specializing in assessment. Research will also be available in blended formats of virtual and face to face activities. Universities will be cultural, community hubs.

The article asserts that one of the forces upon this prediction is the net generation's use of technology. While true, the variation and ubiquity of learning appliances combined with how those same devices are used for everything we do culturally accelerates the claim.

International accrediting agencies is an intriguing notion. Our country has quite a lot of accreditation agencies and it gets in the way of institutions that serve multiple states. UNESCO's recent open educational resources initiative may be a step in that direction. Global climate change is one force that also will encourage serious gaming to solve real-world problems requiring informal non-class time to participate. I will be one of those CTU grads producing such gaming courseware that spans formal and informal learning to save the planet. Who wants to play?

Questioning Socio-Technical Innovation

The Web 2.0 program I submit for consideration to use in promoting socio-technical innovation is Quora. It is described as an online knowledge market. Quora was publicly released in June 2010 and created by the former CTO of Facebook.

Essentially, it is a platform for subscribing to questions you or others ask. Quora also allows users to vote up and down answers enabling greater veracity of content. It appears to be similar to Wikipedia to submit and edit content in the context of answers rather than information.

When I created an account on Quora the software pulled in my associations from Twitter and Facebook. From that information, topics were suggested allowing me to subscribe to question areas that are of most interest to me.



I like how Quora uses the power of social networking to amplify questions and prognostications about the future using Affinity Theory of whom I trust.

As in all social networking programs, the benefit of use resides in the quality of engagement with others you are willing to open yourself up to in the free exchange of ideas.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Forecasting with Delphi for Emerging Nanotechnology

My preferred innovation is Nanoscience for emerging nanotechnologies. This area of research impacts nearly everything from creating new sustainable energy sources to bio-imaging, to computational optical data storage. Have you heard of the proposed space elevator from NASA? Carbon nanofibers are now being studied in the laboratory that may make this more science than fiction.

The area of particular interest for my Nanoscience innovation is for the emerging field of nanomedicine: medical monitoring, intervention, and wellness. Currently, we can have our DNA analyzed to see what propensity exists for acquiring genetic illnesses. Interventions can sometimes be made as proactive prevention. Diseased cells have particular characteristics often unique to individuals. High resolution scanning can enable nanomedicine to prevent, halt, and repair cells on the DNA level. Conventional treatments for disease may become obsolete.

Dieters beware! This video introduced by Dr. Andrew Maynard called, The Twinkie Guide to Nanotechnology, gives an introduction produced by The Project for Emerging Technologies.



One of the ethical questions posed in the video concerns a barrier to adoption as nanoparticles are introduced into our bodies. When is too much of a good thing bad? How and when will we know? More questions arise as possible uses of nanoscience emerge.

Global promise for Nanoscience will both support and complicate applications. Concerns for regulation created an impetus for a handbook on regulation of nanotechnologies internationally. Innovation is spurred by the creation of common standards. Economically, third world and developed nations stand to improve the quality of life for not only humankind, but the planet itself through advancements in Nanoscience.

Since a peer reviewed, international handbook already exists ($299) a Delphi method approach is suggested to identify opportunities to prioritize and commercialize for applied nanomedicine research via collective intelligence. A homogenous group of experts can be used for nanoscience specializations while heterogeneous experts from across nanoscience fields can participate in the broadest, initial Delphi round. While the pure research methods are mostly quantitative, applied designs are more qualitative suggesting a mixed mode approach. Several research universities are beginning to collaborate using federated identity management, Shibboleth and an open source learning management system called SAKAI. International funding organizations such as UNESCO can facilitate the Delphi Method among participants.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Empowering Possibility through Media, Classically

The TED Talk assignment led me to seek serious play. Dr. Stuart Brown shared his work at TED, although the talk delivery does not inspire the topic. I did find someone with comments within Dr. Brown's talk whom I will now follow on this TEDster's blog.

Ultimately, my TED choice was influenced by a book the speaker wrote primarily with his wife, called The Art of Possibility, published in 2000 by Penguin Books.

Quote from the book spoken by Ben: "Waiter, I have a perfect life, but I don't have a knife."

In the TED talk below, Benjamin Zander, embodies passion for his topic. He exudes leadership and moral authority exhorting listeners to attend and relate to his interpretation of a classical piece of music. His manner is funny and he playfully engages attendees wherever they are in relation to classical music. The media demonstration of sound creates emotion while Zander translates meaning of the activity for our brains.


Instrumental music including classical is often universally and temporally embraced across cultures. In Orlando, I am now seeing local movie theaters advertise for the Metropolitan Opera and concert performances that are shown in high definition with surround sound. Technologically, I wonder how emotional reactions will compare when someone nearby munches popcorn. Personally, I prefer the idea of getting dressed up to experience the concert hall, but the price of admission limits access. The masses have the potential to experience such media that can be played on iPods and phones besides computers and tablets. Virtual worlds have shown potential to engage users emotionally through 3D immersion.

Zander mentions his role in this TED talk as a conductor to awaken the possibilities in others. In this case, the others are his orchestra. The pressure for perfection among professional musicians must be daunting. Robots will be able to imitate orchestral achievement someday like Data on Star Trek, but I wonder whether they will play to "play," improvise, and most of all awaken possibility in others.

When I complete my CTU doctorate degree, my next educational endeavor will be a certificate in Appreciative Inquiry. There are of course a few unfinished tasks in my current pursuit such as completing a compelling dissertation and coursework, challenging inquiry, making life-long friends, and transforming my life etc. I do indeed have a perfect life!


The photo above was taken in 1998 in Paris at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. It is Chopin's grave and I was struck by how he died at age 39. Likewise Mozart died at age 36. I do love classical music and wish I could play any instrument, but most of all I have a passion for learning and being a part of a community of scholars.

TED Talk Honorable mentions:
#1 Sir Ken Robinson - Changing Education Paradigms (beautifully illustrated ~12 mins)l

#2 Jill Bolte Taylor - Stroke of Insight (first person account of stroke as a brain scientist ~ 18 mins)

#3 Carolyn Polco - Saturn Expedition (planetary scientist showing awe for the meaning of the landing ~17 mins)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010 Horizon Report

The New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project is much more than a report that is reprinted into several languages, distributed internationally and created for higher education, K-12, and museums.

The Project is a true collaboration in its creation of reports. I had the privilege of serving on the Advisory Board in 2007, but while the Board makes final determinations of the contents, anyone can scout, tag, and comment on recommended technologies. Fittingly, EDUCAUSE adopted the NMC’s project and process. The 2011 Horizon Report is scheduled to be released at the annual EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) conference next month in Washington, DC.

For the 2010 report, one key technology predicted for adoption within two-three years is simple augmented reality (AR). Today, I purchased 20 virtual shares of augmented reality stock to boost my virtual net worth on the predictions game presented by the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education http://markets.nitle.org I also referenced augmented reality in the Delphi Method Activity.

Augmented reality is expected to proliferate to produce $350 million in revenues by 2014 according to ABI Research (p.22). The use of tablet computers that use front and back facing cameras will fuel more rapid growth of AR. Markers read by cameras and mobile GPS positioning allow AR-enabled gaming and data visualization. Just as there has been an explosion of apps both for devices and the Web, AR content will be available for every aspect of daily life. The preservation of digital evidence that contains AR intrigues me for how the Law field will be transformed.

The trend reported in the 2010 Horizon Report that fits well with AR is the abundance of meaning making through available resources, relationships and the ability to author, create, and eventually annotate everything you see and experience. Expertise will become both clearer and murkier to detect, changing the role of educational institutions fundamentally. AR will dovetail with mobile computing and data visualization. Gesture-based computing will eventually enable the ability to annotate reality to enabling us to author our own personal AR.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Greetings fellow journey-men and -women scholars

This is my blog for CS855 Futuring and Innovations via Colorado Technical University's Institute for Advanced Studies program within the Doctorate of Computer Science in Emerging Media. Winter 2010.

My fellow classmates are researching interests in cloud computing, enterprise architecture, security, and other innovative technological topics.

My background is mostly in education. I am more Bandura than Vygotsky, Bruner than Piaget, especially on Tuesdays. Definitely Bransford and Dewey for enjoying afternoon tea.

I am seriously studying the importance of play in innovation, along with freedom of thought and authenticity. Tune in from time to time. I am a work in progress.