Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is Second Life disruptive? EDUC 8848 Module 4

The virtual world of Second Life certainly had the potential to be educationally disruptive to both the K12 world and the higher education world.  However, Second Life did not deliver on those disruptive possibilities.  The Lindens made land purchases, where educators could control their own land, too expensive for educational ventures.  By discontinuing the Teen Grid, Second Life drove educators and their students out of the virtual world in search of more hospitable worlds.  Virtual worlds such as Jokayadia Grid, Quest Atlantis, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and the battery of Opensim grids have taken over the scene.
Nagel (2009) wrote that over two million K12 students studied online in 2009 and that over 10 million would study online by 2014.  That is only next year; I wonder how close his prediction comes to the truth.  In another post, Meyer (2010) wondered which technologies were truly disruptive and suggested that those technologies, which force new ways of thinking and personalizing education, were indeed disruptive.  I suggest Second Life will not be replaced within the next ten years for business and social applications.  For education, it has already been replaced.
 Christensen, Horn, and Johnson (2008) categorize a disrupting innovation as one that emerges where there is nothing.  In education, this is what happened for those who could not access it otherwise.  Second Life replaces an activity one would be doing outside Second Life but at greater cost.  For example, there are many musicians who perform in Second Life who live in other time zones and out of world their concerts would be too expensive for me.  The social benefits to me are great, as I can attend performances with friends, meet with educators at presentations, and volunteer at conferences all within Second Life.

Christensen, C. M., Horn, M. B., & Johnson, C. W. (2008). Disrupting class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Meyer, K. (2010, March 3). The role of disruptive technology in the future of higher education [Blog Post]. Retrieved from
Nagel, D. (2009, October 28). 10.5 million prek-12 students will attend classes online by 2014 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rhymes throughout history - EDUC 8848 Module 3

Music was composed by Scott P. Schreer, Taras Mashtalir, and Ernie Lake; published by FreePlay.  Entitled Antenna If - Found on Electronic Grooves Vol 1

The idea of rhymes in history comes to me from David Thornburg's video, "Rhymes of History".  The rhyme that echoes through history pictured here is communicating through print.  This human need spans through the centuries from 600 AD in China to the current Google Nexus 7 (whose picture refused to go into the timeline in order and is omitted).  I created here an incomplete history of the printing rhymes:

 593 China printing press
1452 Gutenberg printing press
1875 Typewriter Sholes & Glidden
1895 Underwood Typewriter
1971 IBM Word Processor
1977 early Commodore / Apple II / Tandy desktop computers
1982 Commodore 64
1984 Macintosh / IBM PC Jr.
1991/1992 Powerbooks / Thinkpads
1996 Palm Pilots 1000
2007 Asus Eee PC
2010 Apple iPad
2012 iPad 3 / Nexus 7

The editors of the NMC Horizon Report 2012 Higher Education predict mobile apps and tablet computing will be mainstream in one year or less.  For that to happen, and the devices to be truly useful in education, they will need to support Java.
The report predicts learning analytics and game-based learning will come into the mainstream in two to three years.  The internet of things and gesture-based computing will be mainstream in four to five years.  I would modify those predictions to game-based learning and the internet of things within the next five years.  Wafer thin tablets are on the horizon as well, some in development in Japan.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Rhymes of History  [Video]. In Emerging and future technology [DVD] Baltimore, MD: Author.