Research

INTED 2018 Conference Presentation: Beyond Web 3.0

 Image courtesy of  INTED 2018

Image courtesy of INTED 2018

After a short 6 months following our initial meeting in Washington DC, our small group of researchers from Arizona State University and Dublin City University converged on the beautiful city of Valencia Spain to deliver our paper on our initial collaborative work to develop an international research group on future educational technologies. As a milestone in our efforts to form a research collaborative, this paper serves as our initial plans on how we intend to develop our network.

The 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, was held in Valencia Spain over the 5th, 6th and 7th of March, 2018.

Beyond Web 3.0: International collaboration exploring learning ecologies and teacher professional development for the Diamond Age

Link to paper abstract: INTED 2018 Proceedings

Abstract
The purpose of this oral presentation is to share the process and outcomes of an international collaboration exploring the futurology of educational technology. This multi-phased collaboration centers on envisioning the impacts of future technologies within the classroom and articulating resultant implications for teacher professional development. It leverages interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise from within and beyond educational colleges in partner universities, namely, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in Arizona State University, United States of America, and the Institute of Education in Dublin City University, Ireland.

A question at the heart of this collaborative study was how can we prepare the teachers of tomorrow to use technology in the classroom in the most effective way possible? Given the rapid development of technology and the subsequent adoption in formal and informal educational settings, how can we prepare a new generation of educators to adopt, and optimize technologies in their classroom? According to the 2017 New Horizons K-12 Report, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be generally adopted by 2022 (Freeman, Adams, Becker, Cummings, Davis & Giesinger, 2017). Artificial Intelligence is often thought of the “next wave” of technology, but our goal is to move beyond the near future, and look to what will be the “new” technology 25 to 30 years from now. Using the forecast of common “narrow” AI implementations across classrooms within five years as the baseline for our model, we aim to envision what technologies will have an influence on, and be implemented within, learning ecologies over the next several decades, an era we describe as the ‘Diamond Age’.

The proposed oral paper presentation will discuss the need for such a collaborative project, the current development of the multi-phased, multi-year project scope, and the future directions and joint-program goals. In many cases, the education sector handles new and emerging technology in a reactionary fashion. One of the aims of this collaborative project is to look at educational technology from a futurist perspective to lay a thought provoking foundational model in order to redefine what education may look like in the “classroom of tomorrow”. The intended goal of this futurist model of educational technology is to re-conceptualize how teacher preparation programs think about preparing future educators.

References:
[1] Freeman, A., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Davis, A., and Hall Giesinger, C. (2017). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K–12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Keywords: Educational technology, futurology, emerging technology, futurist model, semantic web.

Book review published: Empedocles

Hot off the press! A book review that I wrote for Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication is now out in Volume 8, Number 2, 1 November 2017. ISSN 1757-1952 (Print); ISSN 1757-1960 (Online).

Book Review:
Philosophy for Multisensory Communication and Media, Keith Kenney (2016) New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, 250 pp., ISBN: 9781433122057, p/bk, 35

Excerpt (introduction)
The continued development of new communication technologies such as mixed reality (MR), wearables and smart devices has ushered in a new wave of sensory-based platforms. With these developments in mind, the author Keith Kenney attempts to initiate the discussion around building a theoretical foundation for their use in communications. Kenney draws upon the works of multiple philosophers to outline and explore multisensory media by exam- ining haptic, olfactory, gustatory, auditory and visual media. Throughout the book Kenney provides examples and suggestions for practical applications as he attempts to lay a theoretical foundation around multisensory media. (p. 240).

I had a great time reading and reviewing this book. As with any review, there are notable strengths and weaknesses but this review afforded me the opportunity to engage in the futurology of media communications.

EDULEARN 2017 Publicaiton - Foundations of Video Production

EDULearn2018 Cover.png

New publicaiton for the 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies EDULEARN17 (Barcelona, July 3-5, 2017):

FOUNDATIONS OF VIDEO PRODUCTION: AN INTENSIVE COURSE MODULE ON BEST PRACTICES TO ENHANCE EXPERIENCES OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY EDUCATORS AND PROFESSIONALS

Link to paper abstract: EDULEARN2017 Proceedings

This paper and virtual presentation was created around my work developing intensive short-courses in media and technology for the Masters Program in Educational Technology (MAET) at Michigan State University. More specifically, this paper focuses on a recent development of video production foundations for non-video/media professionals. In a way this type of intense module can be thought of as "film school in a day" where the focus is on learning the fundamentals in a very approachable way to get students up and running with solid pre-production, production, and post-production experiences to enhance their video projects.

Abstract
The purpose of this virtual presentation is to share the structure and experiences of an intensive learning module on video production best practices developed as part of a capstone summer experience for a master of arts educational technology program. This learning module was conducted as part of a four-week international master’s program located in Galway Ireland. The students that participated were enrolled in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) from Michigan State University. The learning module on the foundations of video production was developed as a key component to the capstone curriculum of the three-year degree program. Learning how to effectively use video, and teach video production in educational settings is a key component of educational technology. Video has been shown to enhance training in distance based learning (Bayram, 2013), increase the online social presence of an instructor (Borup, West, & Graham, 2012), and through various production methods affect student engagement (Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). While there are many production oriented guides for filmmakers and video professionals, often there is little overlap into formal educational training. This learning module entitled “Foundations of Video Production” was developed to abstract the core essence of traditional film, or video production coursework and provide a practical program to get any level of educational professional “up to speed” with contemporary video production equipment, techniques, and best practices that can be adopted and implemented immediately in their own work, or in their respective classrooms. This learning module was delivered over the course of one week to the capstone cohort of educational technology graduate students. The aim of this learning module was to break down the video production process into its core elements; pre-production, production, and post production. Within each section students were presented with contemporary practical guides on the technology (both hardware and software), aesthetic components, and hands on active learning exercises. Attendees of this presentation will benefit from best practices on how to integrate video production learning modules into educational technology programs or coursework, and a review of the challenges and opportunities that were identified from the successful integration of this learning module.

References:
[1] Bayram, L. (2013). Enhancing an Online Distance Education Course with Video. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 83, 463–467.
[2] Borup, J., West, R. E., & Graham, C. R. (2012). Improving online social presence through asynchronous video. The Internet and Higher Education, 15(3), 195–203.
[3] Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How video production affects student engagement: an empirical study of MOOC videos (pp. 41–50). ACM Press.

 

INTED 2017 Conference Presentation

It was with great pleasure that I was able to present our paper on the use of podcasting to enhance and enrich international education along with some wonderful colleagues at the 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference in Valencia Spain.  

We had a wonderful round of discussions and questions from the conference session attendees, and it was so inspiring to hear how many other educators are looking to integrate a project of this type to enrich the student learning experiences.  I can speak for the group when I say that we are looking forward to continuing the development of the project and will be sharing our "toolkit" soon under a Creative Commons License to ensure that it stays open and accessible to anyone who would like to adapt an integrate this type of project.

The International Podcast Project Team
Dr. Sean Leahy (Webster University Leiden Campus)
Prof Kit Jenkins (Webster University St. Louis Campus)
Julie Smith (Webster University St. Louis Campus)
Dr. Brad Wiggins (Webster University Vienna Campus)
Francesco Arese Visconti (Webster University Geneva)

INTED is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. After 10 years, it has become a reference event where more than 700 experts from 80 countries will get together to present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies, educational innovations and experiences in technology and development.
— https://iated.org/inted/

Our paper was entitled: INTERNATIONAL PODCAST PROJECT: USING PODCASTS TO ENRICH AND ENHANCE EXPERIENCES IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION.

Abstract
The purpose of this oral presentation is to share information on the outcomes of an international collaboration involving student-produced podcasts as a course requirement. This project took place across multiple campuses in the global network of Webster University. Students and instructors participated from the following campuses: St. Louis, Missouri (the university’s home campus), Leiden, The Netherlands, Geneva, Switzerland, and Cha-Am, Thailand, and Vienna, Austria. Podcasting has increasingly become a useful tool in nearly all aspects of learning, but perhaps even more so when students produce the podcasts as part of a course assignment (Ashraf, Noroozi, & Salami, 2011; Çölkesen & Bedir, 2016; Forbes, 2011). The concept of the International Podcast Project was to provide an active learning experience in which students participate in a global media project by choosing a topic related to media and society, research their topic, develop a short audio program in the form of a podcast and publish their work along with their fellow classmates from the participating international campus locations. A main goal of this project was to provide a common cross-site academic activity that all Webster University campus locations could participate in. This project is intended to be an independent modular assignment / activity that can be adopted by any media (related) course, and therefore is not limited to a specific course offering, but can be adopted by faculty in which this assignment meets a curricular goal or active learning experience. Finally, the presentation offers best practices when designing a project that involves differences in terms of location, culture, resource, technological proficiency, and time zones. Attendees will benefit from hearing about challenges and opportunities that were encountered and the solutions that emerged from group discussion and collegial collaboration. While the project itself was developed by instructors who teach courses in media, many of the students involved in the project were not media majors or had little to no prior knowledge of how to produce a podcast. This presentation will also address how to mitigate such possibilities.

References:
[1] Ashraf, H., Noroozi, S., & Salami, M. (2011). E-listening: The Promotion of EFL Listening Skill via Educational Podcasts. 6th International Conference on e-Learning (p. 10-16). Canada: University of British Columbia Okanagan.
[2] Çölkesen, D., & Bedir, G. (2016). The use of student-produced educational podcasts in foreign language vocabulary teaching. International Journal of Research in Education and Social Science 1, (3), 2415-2528
[3] Forbes, D. (2011). Beyond Lecture Capture: Student-generated Podcasts in Teacher Education. Waikato Journal of Education, 51-63.

Keywords: International collaboration, podcasts in education, student-oriented learning.

Emotional Map Design - Experience iTunes

 Experience to study: purchasing an album on iTunes.

Emotional Map – a visual representation of the user experience of purchasing an album through Apple’s iTunes music store.  The Map can be read by using the vertical line to represent the main timeline of the process, with the horizontal text on the left indicating the individual steps in the process.  The lettered notes are indicated within each step, then mapped in color that ranges from negative (blue) emotion to positive (red) emotional experience.

emotionmap-SML
emotionmap-SML

Latent opportunities are ubiquitous: Pick an environment For this emotional experience I have established that I will study my own emotional experience of purchasing a digital music album online.

Who or what to study: For this study I will map my emotional experience of purchasing a music album from Apple iTunes from my laptop computer.

Establish a goal: My goal for this study is to identify areas of my experience that could be improved upon based on my emotional response to the various aspects of the experience.

Establishing modes and identifying touch-points:Modes:

  • Anticipation: Anticipation is the first mode, where the user reflects on the idea of purchasing a new album from iTunes.  Reflecting on previous experiences of purchasing music through iTunes from various devices, and any feelings of excitement or trepidation that may shape how the interaction is approached.
  • Launch (Enter): This is the second step where the user actually opens iTunes Store and gains access to the library of music, videos, podcasts, and other media available for purchase.
  • Engage: This being the third step, is where most of the interaction takes place.  This step is where the user interacts with the various components of the iTunes store and contain the majority of the touch-points of the purchasing process.
  • Exit: This is the step in which you have completed the transaction and leave the iTunes Store environment after your purchase is completed.
  • Reflection: The final stage in which you reflect upon the recent experience of purchasing an album through iTunes and how it compares to the anticipation stage from which previous experiences were used to foreshadow how the current experience would go.

Touch-points:

  1. Online: (Anticipation)
    1. browsing music online searching for something new.
    2. Finding a new band/song that is catchy and new.
    3. Looking them up to see what other works they have, and band info.
    4. Launching iTunes (Anticipation)
      1. Hoping that the artists album will be available.
      2. Looking forward to seeing if iTunes has other similar matches that would be new “discoveries”.
      3. Opening iTunes Store: (Launch/Enter)
        1. Waiting for store homepage to load.
        2. Notice the new items promoted on the homepage.
        3. Enjoying the design layout of the iTunes store.
        4. Noticing the clear separation of categorical items (music, movies, tv shows, apps, books).
        5. View Top Rated Charts (Engage)
          1. Notice the “young” music at the top.
          2. Surprised by what is downloaded most.
          3. Click on few songs that are unfamiliar by artist/name.
          4. Search for specific artist (Engage)
            1. Type in search field artist name
            2. Waiting for iTunes search to be completed
            3. notice the variety of search results showing multiple albums/tracks
            4. browse options based on price
            5. encouraged by filter options that appear on left hand side
            6. Select Album (Engage)
              1. Click on album of interest (latest release)
              2. see list of songs and associated popularity (rating)
              3. preview songs (30 sec) - go through all
              4. read band info
              5. frustrated there are no reviews
              6. evaluate if there are more than one song that is good
              7. Purchase Album (Engage)
                1. Hover over “Buy Album” button to consider the value of the album based on song preview and album price.
                2. Click “Buy Album” button
                3. Please there is no further “checkout process”
                4. Wait for Download (Exit)
                  1. Downloads fast pleasing that it doesn’t take much time.
                  2. impatient for entire album to finish.
                  3. Play Music (Reflection)
                    1. play entire album and listen to each song.
                    2. burn to CD for backup
                    3. Load music on mobile devices (Reflection)
                      1. load entire album on iPhone and iPad.
                      2. Listen to as travel music on daily commute.

This project was inspired by the Experience Map created by Erik Berkman from Little Spring Designs on improving the Starbucks experience.

Creating Infographics for research data

CEP-820-Survey-Infographic
CEP-820-Survey-Infographic

Infographics have become a popular new trend on consuming data in a more elegant fashion than the boring tables and charts of the past.  So this year when I was working on sharing the student data collected for an online course (CEP 820) I am teaching this spring semester, I wanted to branch out into the art of infographics to share this information with students.

Every semester the students in CEP 820 fill out an introductory survey as the first order of business for the course.  CEP 820 is a course offered to master level students in Masters in Educational Technology program (MAET) or Masters in Education program (MAED) at Michigan State University.  CEP 820 has a course title of Teaching Students Online, and is focused around the concepts, theory and practice of developing online courses and modules for a variety of educational needs.  This survey is used to help this fully online class get a better perspective of the makeup of the study body.

This year I wanted to do something a little more contemporary with the data.  In the past the students are usually presented with a few graphs and statistics about the composition of the course.  For this year I decided to go a little out of the way and create an infographic poster.  My intent to create this poster was two fold.  First, I wanted something more contemporary and fun for the students to see and explore the data with.  Second, I wanted to create something that can easily be repurposed by any of the students or instructors of this course (eg paper/conference presentations, web portfolios, etc.).

Creating this infographic was very fun.  It allows the artist to represent data in a much more compelling way than just presenting the data as a standard chart.  Now, I'm not advocating that standard charts or data tables ever go away, it's just nice to have an informative poster in addition that can serve as a great entryway to get people interested in the data behind research.

I look forward to developing more infographics on some research that is currently ongoing.

DOCTRID Video - Behind the Scenes

DOCTRID-MLeahy1.png

On October 16th, 2010 the first annual DOCTRID International Interdisciplinary Conference was launched after many months of planning.  To mark the inaugural launch of the conference a signing ceremony kicked off the conference in which Daughters of Charity and five universities (Dublin City University, Michigan State University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University College Dublin, and University of Limerick.) signed a Letter of Memoranda launching the new Research Center for Intellectual Disability.

I had the great pleasure of being invited to this truly amazing conference to capture the story behind the conference and research institute in a short documentary.   As a one man documentary crew I had to capture the best possible video and audio with very modest equipment and time.  This filming was my first official documentary shoot, and it was a wonderful experience in both the personal interactions with the wonderful people involved as well as the technical challenge of filming and capturing the story of this monumental conference.

The Planning:

Since I knew going into this project it would be a one man job from start to finish I had to ensure that I planned as much of the shoot ahead of time as I could.  I was able to work with conference organizers ahead of time to get an understanding of the flow of the conference and who would and would not be available for comment.  Given the platform of the conference and the unique challenge of shooting such a highly mobile documentary on a one-day-one-take type of scenario I had to carefully choose my equipment.  To meet the needs of the documentary and to also stay within my shoestring budget I had to choose very carefully the right tools for this job.  More on the exact equipment used below.  For this job I decided to go with a DSLR rig to ensure that I would get the highest quality images and sound with the maximum mobility needed for me to move from one area of the conference to another and setup quickly to capture the interviews and b-roll footage.

The Equipment:

The equipment I chose to take for this shoot was really simple, as that was one of the constraints and challenges of having barely any budget to accomplish the shoot.   For this job I used a DSLR rig setup for highly mobile video and on board audio recording and a pocket full of class 10 SDHC cards and Nikon EL3e batteries.

The camera I used was my trusty Nikon D300s with the Zacuto Z-finder and Rode Shotgun Microphone.  This setup allowed me to both hand carry and tripod mount the camera to capture an amazingly clear high def image at 720p and as well as capture high quality stereo audio without having to use wireless mics.  The Zacuto Z-finder proved to be invaluable as it allowed me to ensure tack sharp pull focusing (since the D300s does not have auto focus on video) and magnified the LCD to 3 times its native size.  The only draw back to the Z-Finder I had to deal with was one I caused myself by not ensuring I had the correct mounting bracket to work in conjunction with my battery grip, so I had to loose the battery grip while filming which turned out not to be too much of an issue but did mean that I had to carry a bunch of batteries in my pocket.  The Rode Mic performed wonderfully, I am still amazed at audio quality that mic is able to capture, even at a distance.  Being able to rely solely on a shotgun mic for audio was crucial given the  fast paced, limited time I had with each interview, setting up each person with a wireless mic was not an option, nor did I have an audio controller to monitor the audio levels.  While it would have been ideal to run a seperate audio capture the entire time with controlled audio levels etc. it was just not in the cards for this shoot, and I can't say enough how happy I was with how the Rode Mic performed.

The Challenge:

the biggest challenge for this shoot was that I only had one shot to get it right.  Since this entire documentary was to be filmed on one day while the conference was going on live, I had to execute my filming plan without the chance to "redo" any of the shoots or interviews.  While looking back, there are about a million things I would do differently, but that always seems to be the case.  Fortunately I was able to get most of the interviews planned and I did not run into any technical difficulties.

The second biggest challenge was to edit all of the interviews I had gathered down to a reasonable 10-15 min time frame.  This of course, took many hours of red eyed editing late into the night.  After many hours and a few consults to the conference organizers I finally released the final version of the video.

I was thrilled to coordinate with the folks form Fegan Films in Ireland to supply them with a finished European version (PAL) of the video to be incorporated into a published DVD of the conference.  I am very proud to have a finished piece of film on a published DVD along with the fantastic work conducted by Fegan Films.  Hopefully this is the first of many more short subject documentaries to come.

For More information on DOCTRID conference please visit their offcial website at www.doctrid.com.

Online Course Enrollment at MSU College of Education

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In 2008 my colleague Rob Malinowski and I took it upon ourselves to conduct an informal investigation into the trend of online course enrollment within the College of Education at Michigan State University.  What we found was a trend that supported our initial hypothesis that online course enrollments have increased in the last 5 years. Data Collection:

The data we collected was from the online course scheduling website provided by Michigan State University.  At the time of this study (Spring of 2008) we only had data that went back to fall of 2003.

Graphical Representation:

Once we had the data we were able to construct a series of graphs that showed the overall enrollment as well as the semester and course breakdown.  When viewed on the original site, the user can click through the various semesters to see a more detialed makeup of the enrollment per semester.

Results:

We found that:

Using the data collected we were able to build a detailed graph of enrollment broken down by semester, and then further identified by department offerings within the college. As seen in the graph below there is distinctive trend of increasing online course enrollments within the College of Education. Of the varying departments within the college, it appears as though the Teacher Education program is growing at the largest rate.

Future Study?

It is my intention to revisit this research in the coming year to further investigate the trend.  It would also be beneficial to broaden the scope to include more colleges across the university to get a more generalizable result to the university setting as a whole.

Original Website as presented in 2008:

MSU College of Education: Online Course Enrollment Trend

Fall 2009 Research Development Portfolio (RDP)

Fall 2009 Research Development Portfolio (RDP)

The following is my semester long project: Research Development Portfolio. This project is part of my CEP 900 Prosem course as an introductory course to my Ph.D Program.  This project has been an ongoing project that I have been working on all semester long.  As I have progressed through this project it has been very inspiring, has been providing me with very valuable lessons in educational research, and sparked my interest in several areas of online learning that I will continue to pursue in my doctoral program.  Traditionally this project is printed and a physical copy is turned in, however, an online option was available for those students who could submit electronically.  The entire portfolio is contained within this section, you may skim through the contents or use the index to jump to the desired section.