Fall 2012 Hours

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Beginning this Monday, the Krause Innovation Studio Learning Space and Learn Lab hours are as follows: 
  • Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
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If you would like to book a space, please contact us at 814.863.3975 or email us at innovation@psu.edu with the location, date, start time, duration (3 hour maximum), and reason for booking.
The Krause Innovation Studio learning space and learn lab opened for student and faculty use on March 12, 2012! Since March 12th, the space has seen a steady increase of traffic (e.g. an average of approx. 9 people/hour in March; 12 people/hour in April; and 19 people/hour during finals week). If you would like to schedule a visit to see the space over the summer, please send an email to Mike (mrook@psu.edu) to set up an appointment.

The learning space includes four private group spaces, eight semi-private group spaces, a staff meeting space, and multiple individual work areas. In the following statement, Krause Innovation Studio staff member Mollie Safran provides a great explanation of the spaces: "all spaces designed with groupwork and learning theories in mind!" The learning space is a BYOD (i.e. Bring Your Own Device) area. Students and faculty can connect their devices to larger monitors via built-in VGA hook-ups. The following image from staff member Faye Watson provides a panoramic view of the Krause Innovation Studio.

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In the image above, the door on the right (lights out) provides entry to the learn lab. The learn lab has seen considerable traffic as well. Since opening on March 12th, ten professors/instructors have requested to use the classroom on one or more occasions, bringing approx. 135 students into the learn lab. Responses to using the space have been positive, with one anonymous professor proclaiming "I love it!" 

The learn lab provides seating for 6 students at four tables for a total of 24 students. The design of the classroom allows for seamless transitions from large group discussions to smaller group work and back. The learn lab is a BYOD area also. Students can connect their devices to the center of the tables, where VGA hook-ups can connect students' screens to any or all of the five projectors/screens in the room. The image below provides a glimpse of the learn lab.

Learn Lab

We currently are taking requests from faculty/instructors to use the learn lab for the Fall 2012 semester. We are asking faculty/instructors to submit a written proposal describing how they might use the learn lab including what the space provides/allows that they don't have access to currently, and how they will contribute to a growing intellectual database of research on learning spaces. More details and information can be found in the following document: http://tinyurl.com/KrauseInnovationStudioProposal
In 2010, Krause Innovation Studio Graduate Assistant Mike M. Rook summarized Nelson et al.'s work on design-based research strategies in a blog post titled Following a Design-based Research Cycle. This summary recently was cited in the January/February 2012 edition of Educational Researcher in a paper that details the progress of design-based research (DBR) over the past decade (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012). To explain DBR studies involving three or more iterations, Anderson and Shattuck (2012) point to Rook's work: "The interested reader might enjoy the blog post by Mike Rook (2010) in which he chronicles four iterations of the River City DBR program" (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012, p. 21). 

The practice of using another's intellectual work (published on their personal blog) as a resource to support teaching and learning is not uncommon in education. The same may not be true for the practice of using the same work as a source in a leading educational research journal such as Educational Researcher. However, this example proves that it is possible and it is happening. It is an encouraging sign for those engaged in intellectual work on innovative educational blogs. 

As we explore digital scholarship in Krause Innovation Studio projects, it will be interesting to find out if the Krause Innovation Studio blog postings become more than a resource for supporting teaching and learning. Will the intellectual work of the Krause Innovation Studio blog become a source in educational research too? 

Here's where you come in (educational researchers). Contribute to this blog and help us make an impact in the field.

Resources
The Krause Innovation Studio learning space, located at 201 Chambers Building on the University Park campus of Penn State University, will open in the next two months. The actual date is TBA. Supported by a generous gift from Gay and Bill Krause, the Krause Innovation Studio is a research focused initiative and the learning space will provide faculty with opportunities for researching innovative pedagogy. The learning space will feature collaborative spaces, private meeting rooms, and a state of the art Learn Lab for teaching and learning purposes. 

Within the Learn Lab, teachers and students will find media:scape furniture from Steelcase which is intended to allow any person in the room to display information from their computer to all or some subset of the projectors in the room. Teachers will be able to take advantage of the many affordances of the Learn Lab to research innovative pedagogy. In the slideshow below, you will find images from the construction of the Krause Innovation Studio learning space.



I mention above that the space provides opportunities for researching innovative pedagogy. How? What about this space is innovative? What about this space is different than traditional learning spaces? I could spend the next few paragraphs explaining exactly how the space was designed (from my perspective) and what sets it apart from other learning spaces. 

Better yet, I could provide a glimpse into the design process by talking to the stakeholders invested in the design of the learning space. This group of individuals includes the Dean of the College of Education, the Director of the Krause Innovation Studio, the Architects, the Building Coordinators, and the IT Lab/Classroom Specialists among others. 

This is exactly what I am planning to do in the next few months. I will begin a study in which I will investigate the Krause Innovation Studio learning space's built pedagogy (Monahan, 2002). Monahan explains built pedagogy as the "architectural embodiment of educational philosophies". In this investigation, I will interview the stakeholders and ask them the following set of questions:
  • What was the rationale for decisions made during the design process? 
  • How did learning theories influence decisions made during the design process? 
  • How is this space different than other (learning) spaces that you've designed? 
Do you have additional questions for the stakeholders? Are you interested in anything else regarding the built pedagogy? If yes, let me know what your questions are and I will add them to my investigation.

Just this week, I came across a powerful data visualization tool that is gaining momentum on the web. The visualization tool Weave is an open-source project created out of a partnership between the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research at UMass Lowell and the Open Indicators Consortium. Weave has a lot of potential uses in education based on its affordance of multiple data interactions. Multiple data can be combined on data points and viewed at the same time using a mouse over or right click feature. An example of this feature is in a visualization of the percentage of obese people in counties across the continental United States. I'm sure this visualization could have proven useful for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Instead of going to Los Angeles in Season 2 to help school children with healthy eating, he might have gone to Mississippi or Alabama (after viewing this visualization).

When I saw this visualization, I was amazed at the amount of information that could be provided to the user in minutes. However, I also immediately realized that the Weave visualization tool was built using the Adobe Flex/Flash Builder coding environment. (My background in computer science and Adobe Flex/Flash Builder programming informed this realization). The knowledge of the Flex/Flash Builder coding environment is important for two reasons: accessibility and compatibility. Let me explain...

Accessibility
Flash does not support accessibility very easily and the Adobe Flash Player plug-in can be buggy. People with disabilities (e.g. audio, visual) have difficulties with Flash programs because Flash does not follow web accessibility guidelines. One of the reasons Apple decided not to support Flash was to increase web accessibility on their products (e.g. iPod, iPhone, iPad). This fight (i.e. Apple vs. Adobe) was one of the contributing factors of a change in how people create websites. Another contributing factor was the creation of HTML5 / CSS3 / AJAX / JQuery. Web designers can use HTML5 and CSS3 with scripting languages AJAX and JQuery to design websites that provide accessibility without any necessary plug-in. In an educational context, data visualizations need to provide accessibility options. However, until Weave is built on HTML5 / CSS3 / AJAX / JQuery as opposed to Adobe Flash Builder, Weave will have a hard time making progress in accessibility. 

Compatibility
The fight with Adobe Flash Player is getting bigger than Apple. People have joined an OccupyFlash movement that is calling on all people to uninstall the Adobe Flash Player from their favorite web browser to facilitate change in how the web works. A colleague and friend of the Krause Innovation Studio, Dr. Simon Hooper, thinks that Flash is on its last legs. To this point, Dr. Hooper is removing Adobe Flash from his instructional design studio curriculum and instead focusing on HTML5 / CSS3 / AJAX / JQueary in iOS environments. What is the future of Weave if Flash will not be supported in web browsers such as Safari? Unless we want to assume that our students all have PCs running Microsoft Windows, we need to move away from Flash. We need to design educational products that can be used on multiple browsers.

I'm not asking you to join the OccupyFlash movement or email Weave and explain why they should switch to HTML5. However, in an indirect way, by fighting against the Adobe Flash Player, you are fighting for accessibility and compatibility. (Don't worry, you are not condemning Adobe; Adobe will be OK if Flash goes away because they recognize the issues and are working to stay in the market with other software products). If and when HTML5 has reached its limit in terms of accessibility and compatibility in the future, we will need to fight against HTML5 and fight for accessibility and compatibility. Borrowing from the Beastie Boys, "you gotta fight for your right to..." maintain accessibility and compatibility in interactive websites.
The current IPv4 (internet protocol version 4) system for web addresses has reached its maximum capacity and usage. "Due to the Web's tremendous growth, all of its addresses have recently run out, worldwide" (Universidad Carlos III). To address this problem, a research group at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid is working on a new internet protocol version (IPv6). The protocol fits within a larger project, titled Trilogy. The Trilogy project is pushing the future of the internet in three major ways: routing/coordination through multiple paths, congestion control, and user payment on congestion. I explain the importance of the project and suggest the implications on education below.

The first goal of the Trilogy project is routing/coordination through multiple paths. Currently, a user on any wireless device (e.g. laptop, iPad/tablet, iPhone/smartphone) may lose a connection temporarily when passing from one wifi network to another. By routing and coordination through multiple paths, the Trilogy technology allows a seamless transition through networks without data loss. This improvement allows for a more mobile computing solution. A student can participate in a mobile augmented reality without technology failures. At the University, a professor can bring students outside during a weather system and provide real-time simulations with updated data on smartphones and tablets. And then, when the system moves, the students can follow the system without any issues in wireless access.

In congestion control, the Trilogy project allows users to avoid traffic jams on the internet. Currently, a connection does not see a congestion in the path and tries to forge through without consequence. In this new system, when a user connects to information on the net, the computer may connect through any number of paths. The goal is to avoid congestion and to send back the information packet to the user as fast as possible. This solution increases the reliability of the web. In the previous example, with congestion control, the professor does not need to worry about a server crash on the weather site. Students can use the internet while avoiding the on campus congestion from students in their dorm rooms downloading pirated movies and music. The University can continue to crack down on these students, but not at the expense of those invested in their education.

Payment on congestion refers to how the internet tracks usage. The current system charges all users the same regardless of upload and download usage. In the new system, internet service provider companies and Universities will be able to charge for internet use based on how much a user contributes to the congestion in network resources. Good for professors and students in our example. Bad for the pirates!

Despite the advantages to the new IPv6, one current issue that is being worked out is the lack of compatibility between IPv4 and IPv6. They are incompatible! As researchers work through this issue, it leads me to wonder about all of the other systems that will need to be updated in the near future (e.g. storage devices, file formats). Before digital archiving, saving previous work was not a big issue. The only problems with saving documents on paper was a possible loss of data (ruined paper/ink) or translation issues (language barriers). However, we still have access to documents and writings from the beginning of the printing press (around the year 1440). 

Today, digital archiving is a much bigger issue. Much of my work is saved in .pdf format. Will people 600 years from now have the ability to open an Adobe PDF file?



To read more about IPv6, follow this link to the original article: 
Two years ago today, the late Steve Jobs (Apple) unveiled the iPad. In my post from January 2011, I explained how I had bet on the success of the iPad and purchased one share of Apple's IPO on January 27, 2010 for $202.56. On the one year anniversary of the iPad announcement, that same share was worth $343.53. Today, on the second anniversary of the iPad announcement, that same stock is trading at an amazing $445.93 (a difference of $243.37 or an increase of 120%)! Wow! 

When I wrote my post on the first year anniversary, I explained that "it is safe to say that using iPad apps to support teaching and learning is smart. What I'm left wondering, however, is how smarter could I have been if I had purchased more shares of Apple's IPO on January 27, 2010?" When I think about that question today, the word smart still comes to mind, but the phrase pure amazement accompanies it. I've lost money in every other stock I own during the two year period from January 27, 2010 - January 27, 2012. Yet, Apple's IPO increased by 120%? Wow might be an understatement.

I realize that other products have influenced the increase in Apple's IPO since January 27, 2010 (e.g. successful iPhone upgrades, IOS upgrades, an increase of apps available in the Apple App Store, and the introduction to the iCloud storage system), but it is safe to say that the iPad has played a significant role in the success of Apple over the past two years. The rest of this post explores my use of the iPad during the past year and looks ahead to future projects supported by the iPad in the Krause Innovation Studio.

Digital Scholarship
At times over the past year, I found myself reading physical print-outs of PDF files and highlighting the articles with highlighting pens/markers. My scholarship goals and outcomes were simple: read and note relevant and useful quotations and ideas in the literature on topics important to the Krause Innovation Studio (e.g. digital records of practice/video analysis; learning spaces). And then, copy those notes into a word processor for use in a manuscript. I wondered if the iPad could support my goals and outcomes in this process. The affordances of the iPad and applications available on the iPad streamlined this process. I found myself storing my PDF files in Mendeley, Sente, and Dropbox; reading and highlighting them in iAnnotate PDF, Papers, Goodreader, Mendeley, and Sente Viewer; and then sending my notes and highlighted bookmarks either back through Mendeley, Sente, or my email account for use in a word processor on my laptop. 

The lack of paper, and capability to edit multiple PDFs at any time was an obvious benefit to using the iPad over traditional methods. Less obvious was the ability to link multiple people to files for collaborative work. Other affordances will become known as reference managers and PDF organizers (e.g. Mendeley, Sente) are upgraded and features are added. One of our Krause Innovation Studio goals over the next few years will be to investigate the use of the iPad in digital scholarship and continue this conversation... 

Records of Practice
Classroom video as a data collection method is one of the best ways to record practice and conduct educational research. StudioCode, a video analysis software suite initially designed for coding sports events, has been used as a tool to identify themes and codes across classroom video. A new mobile version of the tagging system, iCoda, is now available for free at the Apple App Store. Recently, our Krause Innovation Studio team has installed Coda on an educational server for use in Penn State's College of Education courses. This system will enable 15 users of iPads and/or iPhones to code a video at the same time. The collaborative nature of coding teaching events has the ability to transform how candidates think about best practices in teaching. I will provide more details on this project in the upcoming months...

My Third Anniversary Expectations
As we look ahead to 2013, what can we expect? More appropriate uses of the iPad in teaching and learning? I expect that affordances of IOS upgrades and hardware upgrades in addition to upgrades in Applications will help the iPad in teaching and learning. However, even with upgrades, it will be important that the iPad only is used if it supports and/or transforms the goals and outcomes. 

What else? An increase in Apple's IPO? I expect that the IPO will rise once again in the next year. With the iPad 3 soon on its way, Apple will continue it's hold on the tablet market. Another 120% increase? I might have to write another post on January 27, 2013 if that happens.
...and if we're lucky, 2012.

Now that it is 2012 and we have the chance to look back on the past year, it is clear that social media played a significant role in the events of 2011. From the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt to the Occupy Wall Street protests in the U.S., social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Mashable) changed how people communicate and organize. When other Internet sites were shut down and censored, Twitter/Facebook/YouTube users could stay up-to-date with protests in Tunisia and Egypt. Online networks accelerated the in-person protests in these countries and facilitated political change. 

When Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011, social media changed how we remember. Instead of watching the news for information, I found myself on my social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Academia.edu, Google+) looking for anecdotes and links to information from friends and colleagues. Two of my most interesting finds were (1) an idea for an apple tshirt with Jobs' face and (2) a visualization of his Stanford commencement speech from 2005. 

Two additional examples of social media changing how we remember populated my news feeds at the end of 2011. The Google Zeitgeist team provided a glimpse of 2011 by compiling search strings that people used in Google:

 

Jeremiah Warren (@jeremiahjw) provided a glimpse of 2011 by compiling tweets that people published on Twitter:
 

Both of these videos provide visual representations of the events in 2011 using text and images directly from us, the people. 

Come February 2nd, will Punxsutawney Phil predict much of the same for 2012? That is, will social media have a significant impact on the events of 2012? Or, will the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) put a stop to social media as we know it?

Perhaps, the answer is already known. All day today my news feeds have been populated by requests from friends and colleagues to make our voices known about SOPA. In 2012, it seems like social media is playing a significant role in stopping SOPA. What will social media facilitate next?
Scott and I have been invited to present our findings from a literature review on digital records of practice at the 2012 annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) in March. An excerpt from our proposal is provided below:

Recent research on the use of digital video among researchers in the learning sciences provides a foundation for conducting video research and using digital video to reflect on and analyze teacher practice. Goldman et al. (2007) explored the theoretical and methodological issues associated with conducting research in the learning sciences using digital video. They found that video research enables researchers to "capture complex, real-world practices" (p. xii). And, video can be used to form collaborations around research in the learning sciences (2007). While analysis for professional development purposes and using video in research are not the same activity, Goldman et al.'s suggestions hold regarding the analysis of video to form collaborations around professional development in education.

...The use of digital video in educational research to examine and improve teaching practice has taken many forms over the past five years. From video clubs to video editing, video cases to video analysis tools, or within digital video collaboratories, it is clear that digital video is making an impact on teaching practice especially in preservice education and inservice professional development. The emergent themes presented in this review tell a story of the state of current research in this area. Video cases (theme 1) enable teachers to connect theory and practice (Koc, 2011; Koc, Peker, & Osmanoglu, 2009; Eilam & Poyas, 2006), improve instruction (Kersting, 2008; Kersting et al., 2009), and focus on student-centered thinking (Stockero, 2008), a concept that spans across many themes. Video-based reflection (theme 2) enables teachers to focus on student-centered thinking as opposed to behaviors (Rosaen et al., 2008). Engaging in a video editing process (theme 3) allows teachers to focus on student-centered thinking as opposed to themselves (Calandra et al., 2008; Yerrick et al., 2005). Similarly, in video clubs (theme 4), the prompter focuses on student-centered thinking as opposed to teacher characteristics (van Es, 2009).

To read more, download our proposal (KrauseInnovationStudio_SITE2012.pdf) or take a trip to Austin, TX in March!

Visualizing Bookmarks

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In every web browser that I use (e.g. Firefox, Chrome, Safari), I make use of the bookmarks tab. Bookmarking webites allows me to save the URL without having to remember the URL verbatim. It is a form of distributed intelligence. That is, this knowledge lies outside of myself; I know how to access the knowledge, but I don't directly have the knowledge stored. When I go back to the bookmarks tab to access a saved site, I try to find the site based on the title of the site or a phrase that I have used to remember the site. I recognize the site based on a textual representation of that site.

"In About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design, Cooper, Reimann & Cronin (2007) explain that toolbars in many popular software programs (e.g. Microsoft Office Suite) use butcons (i.e. icons that also serve as buttons) because recognizing images is faster than reading text" (Montalto-Rook et. al., 2010, p. 199).

If my purpose in saving site URLs as bookmarks is to increase productivity, then it makes sense to save the bookmarks in some type of visual form. Maybe not a butcon... but, an image preview? A screen shot of the site? Perhaps...

A "literature" review (i.e. a what's out there?) type search identifies that Google is making big strides in this endeavor. For example, in Chrome, Google stores your most visited websites and displays them to you when you open a new tab. Google uses screen shots of these websites for quick recognition (see image below).

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In the Google search engine, Google provides cached screen shots of the search results when you roll over the results. For example, after searching for "teaching" in Google search, a screen shot of the first result (i.e. wikipedia) is shown after a mouse rollover of that result (see image below).

google.png

Why is this important? What is the problem we need to address? A few years ago, a colleague and I thought about changing the way teachers use bookmarks in the elementary classroom. After informally surveying the teachers in one elementary school, we discovered that: 

"there are problems with using traditional bookmarking tools (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari) or social bookmarking tools (e.g. delicious) in the elementary classroom. First, teachers have resources stored in many different places and need a place to aggregate their Internet resources in one place. Second, teachers lose the attention of their students while they search for bookmarked resources. Finally, traditional text-based bookmarking systems do not enable teachers to preview a resource before accessing it (Montalto-Rook et al., 2010, p. 199)."

Google's search engine and Chrome browser provide tools that speak to some areas of this problem, but more could be done. Research could advance the notion of a bookmark visualization tool, a tool that saves all of our bookmarks (across browsers) as image previews and displays these previews in many different ways. One particular example could be an animated 3D cube (e.g. Search Cube) linked with an interactive whiteboard. An elementary teacher and his/her students might be fascinated with such a visualization. Not only could it increase productivity, but student engagement might increase as well during the times when the teacher would normally look through collections of text based bookmarks. 

References
Montalto-Rook, M., Sperry, J., Techatassanasoontorn, C., & Van Middlesworth, H. (2010). Combining lesson planning, visual searching, and communication: A study of a collaborative image-based bookmarking tool. In M. Simonson (Ed.), Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Design and Development Division (pp. 199-201), Anaheim, CA.

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