Category Archives: Technology Studies

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Copyright in (cyber)space: Space Oddity

Here is a momentous instance: when copyright in cyberspace meets copyright from the depths of space! For according to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, copyright permission he had been granted on May, 13, 2013, when as the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station ISS for Expedition 35 , he played and recorded a tribute originally composed by David Bowie, expires on May, 13, 2014. As it appears, link for the popular culture oddity that Commander Hadfield had popularized from the depth of space, viewed 22 million times, has since expired on Youtube.

That said. a legacy remains, documenting the joint space odyssey, including the above historic transfer of space command, from Hadfield to Vinogradov, from Expedition 35 to Expedition 36, in English and Russian.

Commander Hatfield playing and recording in space

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3D Printing: Paper as media, in the 3rd Industrial Revolution

Interesting conference and expo, specializing in 3D printing technologies as the emergent third industrial revolution (perhaps Vancouver next, for its upcoming Expos?), where it has become possible, to print any content in any form (see the 3D printed guitar!) in any media- even paper, in full color 3D- dispelling possible prior preconceptions of paper, in which paper emerges as durable material, for our design considerations, that due of its unique properties, can also be coated, to extend its initial properties with the strength and properties of other as/more durable materials. 3D printing

Invitation to Mirela Gutica’s PhD Defense

Designing Educational Games and Advanced Learning Technologies:
An Identification of Emotions for Modeling Pedagogical and Adaptive Emotional Agents

by
Mirela Gutica

Abstract: Emotional, cognitive, and motivational processes are dynamic and influence each other during learning. The goal of this dissertation is to gain a better understanding of emotion interaction in order to design Advanced Learning Technologies (ALTs) and Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) that adapt to emotional needs. In order for ITSs to recognize and respond to affective states, the system needs to have knowledge of learners’ behaviors and states. Based on emotion frameworks in affective computing and education, this study responds to this need by providing an in-depth analysis of students’ affective states during learning with an educational mathematics game for grade 5-7 (Heroes of Math Island) specifically designed for this research study and based on principles of instructional and game design.

The mixed methodology research design had two components: (1) a quasi-experimental study and (2) affect analysis. The quasi-experimental study included pretest, intervention (gameplay), and posttest, followed by a post-questionnaire and interview. Affect analysis involved the process of identifying what emotions should be observed, and video annotations by trained judges.

The study contributes to related research by: (1) reviewing sets of emotions important for learning derived from literature and pilot studies; (2) analyzing inter-judge agreement both aggregated and over individual students to gain a better understanding of how individual differences in expression affect emotion recognition; (3) examining in detail what and how many emotions actually occur or are expressed in the standard 20-second interval; (4) designing a standard method including a protocol and an instrument for trained judges; and (5) offering an in-depth exploration of the students’ subjective reactions with respect to gameplay and the mathematics content. This study analyzes and proposes an original set of emotions derived from literature and observations during gameplay. The most relevant emotions identified were boredom, confidence, confusion/hesitancy, delight/pleasure, disappointment / displeasure, engaged concentration, and frustration. Further research on this set is recommended for design of ALTs or ITSs that motivate students and respond to their cognitive and emotional needs. The methodological protocol developed to label and analyze emotions should be evaluated and tested in future studies.

Defense:
When: March 17, 2014 @ 9:00 am
Where: Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, UBC

Happy 30 Mac #apple #google

Would it have killed Google to show some respect and do a bit of logowork to wish Mac a happy 30th? No loyalty oaths necessary here. I bought my first Mac in yes, 1984. And 30 years later I tap out this text on a Mac. Had to replace the trackpad yesterday, which exorcised the ghost in the machine, but that’s minor in the long run of 30 years. Happy 30 Mac!

Facebook waning for Teens but still popular

Of course still popular in terms of traffic for teens, currently Facebook is 2nd to Twitter among teens in terms of importance. Waning importance for teens is translating into lulls in traffic. Myspace, in 2012 less than 7% of the teens found it important, has now dropped out of the picture. Google+ is, hard to say what is happening…

See: Statista 2013 and  Statista 2012 for more

Teenagers say goodbye to Facebook and hello to messenger apps

Gradual exodus of young people towards WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk is just as their mums and dads get the hang of social networking:

Parmy Olson, The Observer, November 10, 2013– Facebook made a startling admission in its earnings announcement this month: it was seeing a “decrease in daily users, specifically among teens”. In other words, teenagers are still on Facebook; they’re just not using it as much as they did. It was a landmark statement, since teens are the demographic who often point the rest of us towards the next big thing.

Their gradual exodus to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk boils down to Facebook becoming a victim of its own success. The road to gaining nearly 1.2 billion monthly active users has seen the mums, dads, aunts and uncles of the generation who pioneered Facebook join it too, spamming their walls with inspirational quotes and images of cute animals, and (shock, horror) commenting on their kids’ photos. No surprise, then, that Facebook is no longer a place for uninhibited status updates about pub antics, but an obligatory communication tool that younger people maintain because everyone else does.

All the fun stuff is happening elsewhere. On their mobiles.

When mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp first emerged in 2009, they looked like a threat to mobile carriers. Everyone from Vodafone to Dutch operator KPN was mentioning them in sales calls. Mobile operators are estimated to have lost $23bn in SMS revenue in 2012 due to messaging apps, which host free instant messages through a phone’s data connection, which these days is often unlimited. Now these apps are becoming a threat to established social networks too.

WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in the UK and on half the country’s iPhones, according to Mobile Marketing Magazine, has more than 350 million monthly active users globally. That makes it the biggest messaging app in the world by users, with even more active users thansocial media darling Twitter, which counts 218 million. About 90% of the population of Brazil uses messaging apps, three-quarters of Russians, and half of Britons, according to mobile consultancy Tyntec. WhatsApp alone is on more than 95% of all smartphones in Spain. The power users and early adopters of these apps, the ones you’re most likely to see tapping their thumbs over a tiny screen, are under 25.

Part of the reason is that gradual encroachment of the grey-haired ones on Facebook. Another is what messaging apps have to offer: private chatting with people you are friends with in real life. Instead of passively stalking people you barely know on Facebook, messaging apps promote dynamic real-time chatting with different groups of real-life friends, real life because to connect with them on these apps you will typically already have their mobile number. The trend flies in the face of recurring criticism of young people – that their social lives are largely virtual – when many more are in fact embracing the virtues of privacy and services like WhatsApp, which shun advertising.

“I only use WhatsApp to communicate and send pics these days,” said Natalie West, a twentysomething financial sales associate in London. In the last few years she has used Facebook less and less because she doesn’t want “the whole world to know” what she’s doing. When people set up events and get-togethers on Facebook, West and her boyfriend tend to reply on WhatsApp instead because “it’s more personal”. For similar reasons, some 78% of teenagers and young people use mobile messengers to plan a meet-up with friends, according to research advisory firm mobileYouth.

Another factor is the rise of the selfie, often silly self-portraits taken at arm’s length with a mobile. Almost half of the photos on Instagram feeds among people aged 14 to 21 in the UK are selfies, according to mobileYouth. Sending those photos via a mobile messaging service is safer than broadcasting them on Facebook, since they’re less likely to be seen by a boss or dozens of Facebook friends you forgot you had. Selfies are even bigger on Snapchat, the evanescent photo sharing app that deletes a photo several seconds after it has been viewed. With about 5 million active monthly users, the service has inevitably become a favoured way for teens to send sexy or even naked photos of themselves, an ill-advised practice known as “sexting”. But teens also love Snapchat because it allows them to send inane photos of themselves without fear of leaving a permanent digital footprint.The California-based app is seen as so hot, with so much potential for growth, that it has already been pegged with a $2-$4bn valuation in the Silicon Valley tech community. Estimates are even higher for WhatsApp, which makes money through an annual subscription; some observers suggest it could be worth $5bn or more.

The final, big reason why young people are gravitating towards messaging apps is that many of these apps no longer do just messaging. They are social networks. The best examples come out of Asia, with messaging platforms KakaoTalk (South Korea), WeChat (China) and LINE (Japan). All have tens of millions of users, with WeChat boasting more than 200 million, and take their services beyond offering straight messaging to games, stickers and music sharing. Before you write off digital stickers as inane, they are a decent moneyspinner for LINE: of the $58m the company made in sales in the first quarter of 2013, half came from selling games and 30%, or roughly $17m, from sales of its 8,000 different stickers. Some are free or, in Spain where LINE has 15 million registered users, cost around €1.99. Often users choose stickers instead of words when they need to express themselves, one LINE executive said; it’s known to have helped couples get over fights more easily by offering multiple stickers to say sorry.

Read More: The Observer

Bruno Latour: War and Peace in an Age of Ecological Conflict

UBC, Vancouver, and Lower Mainland students and faculty: Calendar the return of Bruno Latour to UBC @ 23 September 2013 (Monday eve, 7:30 downtown at the Vogue Theatre). For this fall’s Peter Wall Exchange, Professor Latour will address War and Peace in an Age of Ecological Conflict. See Peter Wall Institute for details.

June Kaminski wins 2012 CASN e-Health Award

June Kaminski (Kwantlen Polytechnic University faculty member and UBC PhD student)
2012 Nursing Faculty e-Health Award

Congratulations to EDCP PhD Candidate June Kaminski, recipient of the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing’s (CASN) prestigious E-Health Award! June is an Instructor in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Faculty of Community and Health Studies. She has been an established national leader in e-health and nursing informatics throughout her career and this award recognizes her long-standing and ground-breaking achievements. She is completing research on e-health and informatics, and the challenge of innovation in nurse education. June works under the Supervision of Dr. Stephen Petrina within Technology Studies.

Kwantlen Press Release

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) nursing faculty member, June Kaminski, has been chosen as the recipient of the Nursing Faculty e-Health Award. This prestigious award was presented during the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing’s (CASN) Annual Award’s reception in Ottawa on November 13, 2012.

“I am very honoured and thrilled to receive this inaugural award from CASN and Canada Health Infoway, two organizations that I deeply respect and look to for leadership strategies for curriculum, e-health and informatics,” said Kaminski. “I wish to thank my nominators Dr. Noreen Frisch and Dr. Elizabeth Borycki from the University of Victoria, both creators of Inspire.net and our own Dr. Jean Nicolson-Church. Thanks too to our Dean, Dr. Tru Freeman for her continued support. I sincerely treasure the acknowledgement of my work and my passion for technology in nursing practice and education.”

The recipient of this award is a faculty member from a Canadian school of nursing who demonstrates exceptional leadership and commitment to e-health in nursing education.  Aside from national recognition, Kaminski also received a $2000 award for her dedication to effectively integrating the use of information and communication technologies, information and knowledge management, and related professional and regulatory accountability into pedagogical materials.
The 2012 Nursing Faculty e-Health Award is a component of the CASN-Canada Health Infoway – Nurses in Training project aimed at preparing nursing students to practice in modern, technology-enabled clinical environments when they graduate.

KPU’s community and health studies programs are grounded in the concepts of caring, collaboration, inclusion and development of healthier communities. Programs vary in length from four year bachelor degrees to five month citations. For more information on KPU’s community and health studies programs visit kwantlen.ca/health.

Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds by Yifei Wang

Congratulations Yifei Wang, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation, “Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds.” Yifei’s defence on 11 December was textbook perfect, in both presentation and response to questions from the Examination Committee and External Examiner. Minor revisions were completed and submitted, and Yifei is now Dr. Wang! The dissertation research involves a sophisticated design and analysis of an immersive learning environment.

ABSTRACT

Designing Immersive Language Learning Environments in Virtual Worlds

by
Yifei Wang

During the past decade, there has been increasing attention to second/foreign language teaching and learning in virtual worlds. The purpose of this study was to explore affordances of a 3D virtual world platform designed as an immersive language teaching and learning environment.

Focusing on designing virtual worlds as a catalyst for change, three design phases (development of artifact, low fidelity prototyping, and high fidelity prototyping) were detailed and documented in this study. Nineteen students from a pre-service teacher cohort, two technicians and eight language learners from high schools in Vancouver as well as eighty language learners from universities in China were involved in this study; participants were asked to immerse themselves in the virtual language learning environment designed for the study. Participants’ interactions in the virtual world were videotaped and avatar interactions were recorded.

Group discussions, observations, suvey questionnaires and the video-stimulated post interaction interviews provided complementary data for understanding affordances of virtual worlds in designing immersive second/foreign language learning curriculum. Analysis of the feasibility study, low fidelity design, and high fidelity design suggested a more robust design for immerisve virtual language learning environments. Three design cycles revealed primary design factors of immersive second/foreign language learning in virtual worlds (embodied avatar, co-presence, and simulation) and their relative significance in the process of learners’ meaning-making and knowledge construction.

Findings showed that embodiment through an embodied avatar, community of practice through co-presence, and situated learning through simulation had a greater impact on the immersive virtual learning design. Building on a theoretical framework of embodied mind, situated learning and distributed cognition, this study documented features of learning theories key to language learning curriculum design in virtual worlds.

The findings and techniques resulting from this study will help designers and researchers improve second/foreign language curriculum design in virtual worlds. It also prompts designers and researchers to achieve a better understanding of how virtual worlds can be redesigned by rethinking learning theories. The refinement of design-based research stages into low and high fidelity prototyping provides researchers with empirically tested and nuanced understandings of the design process.

The SPRING 7th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, Communication and Management: KGCM 2013

Call for participation from the KGCM 2013 Organizing Committee, for the 7th International Conference on Knowledge Generation, communication, and Management: KGCM 2013

(www.2013iiisconferences.org/kgcm), to be held on March 19-22, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, USA. (image below from site)

Submission Deadline:

December 14th, 2012 (other deadlines are included in the conference web site)

**************** Special Tracks ****************

  • Case Studies and Methodologies
  • Interdisciplinary Research, Education, and Communication

• International Symposium on Integrating Research, Education, and Problem Solving

  • Action Research and Action Learning
  • Peer Reviewing

    Information about the general topics can be found at the conference web site

    Submissions for face-to-face and virtual presentations are both accepted. Best papers will be published in the Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics (JSCI)

    JSCI is indexed by Cabell, EBSCO, and DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), as well as in Google Scholar. (All papers to be presented at the conference will be included in the conference printed and electronic proceedings)

Details about the following issues have also been included at the conference web site (URL given above):

  • Pre- and post-conference virtual session
  • Virtual participation
  • Two-tier reviewing combining double-blind and non- blind methods

• Access to reviewers’ comments and evaluation average
• Waiving the registration fee of effective invited session organizers
• Best papers awards

Possible deadlines extension and information about the events being organized for the IIIS Summer Conference on July 9 – 12, 2013, in Orlando, Florida, USA, can be found at http://www.2013iiisconferences.org/current- deadlines.asp

Technology Addict

On YouTube: Managing Editor of Forbes cries after The Today Show takes away his Blackberry for a week.

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Click to play video