Virtualization of Education


Education, policy, and the future; these are all facets which this white paper aims to address by illustrating a lifestyle that is not so far off. The reader of this paper will better understand the possibilities of where education can go, understand what technologies are already out there to support those directions, and what schools and corporations are already doing to capitalize on the possibilities offered to this sector. Furthermore, the reader should better understand that the changes that need to be made to make way for this type of education are not just technological, but behavioral and political, as the landscape of education could change drastically.

To help explain what benefits lie ahead for a culture that adapts, the paper goes into what has already been proven through the use of virtual learning techniques and the effects that it can have on society. For example, it has been proven that while students only retain 10% of what they read, they retain 90% of what they do, even if it is a simulation. This means that schools, from Kindergarten to higher education, can use these simulations to increase the learning ability of their students. Along with the many opportunities offered to the education sector, technology poses as a huge enabler for new forms of innovation in the corporate world which can have much longer lasting and impactful effects on society.

At the end of the day, this paper shows that the speed at which education through this medium advances is the result of how open policy makers and everyday citizens are to the changes being made. This paper should serve as a starting point for anyone making a decision on whether or not to try these new methods and technologies.

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I Can’t Wait For the Future…


As I wake up, I roll over in my bed and see my beautiful wife lying in bed with our German shepherd between us.  I look up onto the ceiling and see the digital projection of the time, weather, news, photos. When my eyes meet the projection, a calm voice greets me with a “Good Morning Mr. Vallala” as I start to get out of bed noticing it is 0600 (US now use the 24 hour clock).  As I tiredly reply with a “Good Morning Sonny” the screen follows me and meets me at the bathroom mirror. I then click the schedule button to see what is on my agenda on this fine Monday morning while Sonny reminds me that I have to meet a client at 9:00 a.m and that it is my mother’s birthday today (which I completely forgot about).  Noticing I have a busy day ahead, I put on my all Nike running attire I laid out the night before and start running at 0615. When I arrive back home after my daily 3 mile run, I open my door to my dog, Walle, jumping on me and my wife watching TV on the see-through screen in front of the stove as she gets ready to for work and makes us both breakfast.

I then notice how I am running a little late when I look at the digital screen on the wall that continues to follow me as I walk back into my room. After my multiple shower-head shower that I typed in the temperature for, I start shaving while listening to Ira Glass podcast from the week before. When I walk into my closet, I turn to the mirror and tell Sonny to show me my black custom fit suit. Looking at myself in the mirror wearing the suit, I realize I am not feeling that particular suit today and simply swipe to the side with a hand gesture and see another “related” charcoal shirt that Sonny already had lined up before I asked. I easily chose the charcoal suit and had Sonny bring it to the front of the closet on the rotating rail.

Now 0715., I go into the kitchen and start eating my organic eggs and whole wheat toast with my wife as we talk about our schedule. Annoyed with the television noise, I simply say “Sonny Hide” to temporarily hide the television and screens on the fridge, over the stove and in the living room. I tell her about my big client meeting in an hour and a half and she tells me about how her new patient is feeling better with the new artificial liver transplant. After breakfast, I tell Sonny to start my fully electric Audi A8 and start walking to my garage. The garage door automatically opens when I enter the garage and I quickly have to stop Walle from running out the door to play with our neighbor dogs. I get into the driver seat of my car and tell it to start backing out.

As I check my emails on the windshield, the self-driving car starts pull out the garage and driveway on its own. I simply say, “Drive to work” and it shows me a navigation path to my destination on the screen in which I say “accept” and my car starts driving me there. I then tell Sonny to pull up my schedule and I start checking off completed tasks on my to-do list and he reminds me to call my mom now because I am busy for the rest of the day. I agree and Sonny starts calling her and she picks up and I see her face on the windshield of the car where my emails use to be. She tells me how she is doing great and loves traveling around the world. Once we hang up, I pull up my emails as I drive by the miles of protected wind mill farms that supply energy for the majority of North Carolina.

With little traffic due to the new efficient road system that allows cars to work together to plan paths based on traffic control, I arrive at work just 10 minutes after leaving my house. Saying goodbye to Sonny, my car parks itself as I walk into my office at 0820.  I then walk into my office on the 6th floor overlooking the city. I then pull up my company computer system and start preparing the marketing strategy that I prepared all last week for my client meeting. When my client arrives in the building my computer system notifies me and I meet him in the lobby. After a two hour meeting, he decides to hire me as his advertising consultant and I get pay raise.

Now 1630, I call my car on my phone and my car comes and picks me up. Tired from the long day, I stare out the window and notice all the moving advertisements on the billboards and buildings.  I tell Sonny to turn on the TV and I watch TV in my car on my way home. When I arrive home, my wife and I start looking up air fares to Europe. With almost everything completely wind and solar power, the flights were cheap and we planned for a two week anniversary trip to Rome. After watching the final season of our favorite HBO show, I tell Sonny to turn off the TV and go to bed at 2230.

(similiar idea)

Say Goodbye to Our On-The-Go Lifestyles


I still remember the days when I had no cell phone.  The days when I would have to flip through my elementary and middle school address books to find my friends’ phone numbers.  The days when home phone was the primary way of reaching someone.  My how things have changed.  Continue reading

Carry on after Carrion?


The very first thing that popped into my head after reading this prompt is the computer software Carrion from ABC’s show Revenge. One of the main characters, Nolan Ross, is a computer programmer and hacker extraordinaire. He created this Carrion software years before the show takes place, but left the coding of the sole copy of the program that exists incomplete in case it fell into the wrong hands. The show doesn’t explicitly say what the software does, but Nolan mentioned it is capable of turning off the entire Manhattan power grid in a micro-second and used it to partially hack the Grayson’s bank account. So basically, my “internet apocalypse” is imagining what will happen in the show if and when the Carrion program is deployed for evil, which will probably happen in the season finale.

Let’s think about what would happen if the entire Manhattan power grid was intentionally shut down suddenly with no ability to recover it for a long period of time?

1. The Earth’s energy consumption would plummet.

2. Manhattan would be dark. Chaos would ensue without traffic lights or lighted tunnels.

3. Millions, if not billions, of dollars in retail business would be lost.

4. Wall Street would cease trading, and banks all over the world would probably lose a lot of money as well.

5. National television networks would probably be down.

6. Security and safety of people and their accounts would be at high risk and vulnerable to attack. Theft and crime would be rampant.

7. People would have to walk hundreds of flights of stairs to reach the top floors of buildings and probably die.

Any other ideas of what would happen or what the Initiative might be planning to do with Carrion?

Dear Diary…Today The F*ckin’ Cell Phones Crapped Out


April 3rd, 2013

6:45 AM: I am awakened by a bright flash that seems to illuminate the morning sky.  What the hell was that?  I immediately reach for my iPhone to check for what happened.  Shit.  My phone doesn’t even turn on.  I go to my roommate’s room and his phone doesn’t work either.  I now realize my worst fear has come to fruition….all cell phones are now just useless pieces of plastic.  My first class isn’t for another 3 hours so I decide to sleep a little and see if the phones work when I wake up.

10:01 AM:  I awake in a panic.  I overslept and now I’m late for class.  How did that happen?  Oh yeah, my alarm was set on my phone and that’s dead.  I rush to class and apologize to the teacher, but as I look around the class there are at least 6 other students not here yet.  Halfway through the class I get bored as hell.  I can’t check my Facebook, Instagram, Wall Street Journal, Snapchats or Tinder, so I resort to doodling small pictures of animals in ironic situations.  My first picture is of a lion (lyin’) swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Next to him is a cheetah (cheater) telling a woman he is in a loving relationship with his wife and refuses to commit adultery.   My entertainment is short-lived and now I have to pay attention again.

11:00 AM: Class ends and I am hungry.  I told my friends I would meet them at the Bison at 11:05, but I have to meet a Professor really quick uphill.  I get to the Bison at 11:21 (I got distracted by some chick on the walk over and had a 5 minute conversation).  None of my friends are at the Bison.  I reach into my pocket to give them a call…..damn, I forgot. I decide to grab a table near the TV which is currently airing LIVE with Michael & Kelly, and try to change the channel to ESPN but the damn remote never works in that place.  After 10 minutes of waiting, my friends never show up.  I end up ordering my food and eating alone as I watch Michael Strahan make a fool of himself.  The same girl that I saw on the walk over now sees me eating alone and watching this show…I feel embarrassed.  She giggles directly at me and looks over to her friends to point me out.  They all laugh.  Awkward and alone, I wish I had my phone to act like I actually had friends I was talking to.  Instead, I put my jacket around the chair next to me, a couple used napkins and my drink infront of the other seat, and my backpack on the back of the last seat, making it look like my friends have stepped out for the moment but will return shortly.  At 11:45 I see my friends walking by and I asked them what happened.  They told me they waited but never heard from me, so they went upstairs to the cafe…after all, it was blackened beef salad day and they couldn’t resist.

12:02 PM:  We are walking back to our downtown house when someone brings up the TV show Full House.  “What was Uncle Jesse’s band’s name again?”  This question haunts me because it is on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t recall.  I wish I had my phone to give a quick Google search, but that option is out.  Now I have the unsettling feeling in my head (you know exactly what I’m talking about) and NEED to find this answer.  The next half hour is spent in deep thought, but I’m coming up empty.  Well, my day is now ruined.

3:37 PM:  I get in my car to drive to an obscure store out in the country in search of a birthday gift for my mother.  Somewhere along the way I must have taken a wrong turn.  I am now in a random Pennsylvania town with absolutely no idea of how to get back home.  At this point I usually breakout the Maps app, but just like every other problem I had durung the day, I don’t have my phone.  Now I have to ASK for directions and write them down on a piece of paper (which I don’t have so I end up using a page from the owner’s manual).  On my way home, I have to continuously look down to read the directions.  Out of nowhere, a telephone pole jumps directly into my path (or I drifted off the road…the details are still being worked out) and I have to swerve like a madman to avoid it.  I hit a ditch and my front axel gets ruined.  My car is totaled and I am SCREWED.  I stumble to the nearest gas station to find a landline and contact my house.  I get to the phone but realize I haven’t memorized a phone number since I got my cell phone.  My house number was recently switched and I never took the time to commit it to memory.  Why would I when it was saved in my phone and on the Cloud?  Turns out I have no way of calling my house so I give up.  After an hour of waiting, I finally get a taxi company to bring me home from this distant land.  I go to pay the man and the price is higher than expected.  I want to check my bank statement before I overdraft my account to pay for this, but I can’t because I can’t access internet on the go and I don’t remember my password because it’s saved on my phone.  So I use the card anyway because I don’t have cash and ‘whaddaya’ know, I overdraft.

8:08 PM: I go out for few drinks with my buddies.  My one friend gets WAY too intoxicated and decides he is going to dance on the bar.  Well I want to document this so I have blackmail over my friend for years to come, but realize I can’t because my phone also doubles as my camera.  This one is just going to have to be a memory, and I am not a fan of that.  He’s lucky this time.  After a few more drinks I begin to fraternize with the lady-folk.  One gives me her phone number just in case the phones start working, and like a fool I put the napkin in my pocket.  An hour later my drunk friend spills his Irish Car Bomb on my lap and I lose this chick’s number.  Damnit.  I don’t even remember her name.  I feel like an idiot and now I have no shot of even facebooking this fine young lady.

11:59 PM:   I am laying in my bed…alone…drunk.  I feel like I could use some company this evening, so I go to my phone to send the classic late night text, “You up?”  Well, I can’t do that.  This sucks.  All day I have had problems and not a single one was solved.  OH SHIT! It was Jesse & The Rippers!  That was Uncle Jesse’s band’s name.  Well at least one problem was solved.  My life is miserable without my phone.  I pray that when I wake up the phones work again.  As for now, goodnight cruel world.

Have We All Become Virtual Slaves?


Slave To Your cell Phone-Mobile Phone Addiction-Cell phone slaves-Technology slaves

So I decided to go a slightly different route with this blog post and instead of talking about one particular program I couldn’t live without, I will describe one particular device I cannot live without…

Growing up in the millennial generation, I, like most other members of society who are not stuck in the Stone Age, have become reliant on technology.  Everyday. I find myself glued to two of my possessions, my computer and my cell phone.  It is frightening to think what would happen if I suddenly was without either one of these devices.  However, out of the two I would have to say that my cell phone is slightly more important to me.

Everyday I use my cell phone to send text messages to individuals I have business with or to friends, with whom I would like to make plans.  Besides texting and calling, I also use my phone to check my email and even search the web if I am in a bind and cannot easily access my computer.  While I would rather not admit this, I am definitely 100% reliant on my phone in order to conduct my everyday life.  I almost feel naked without my cell phone (and I am sure I am not alone here).  It makes all forms of communication—email, text, phone calls—so easy to access and all in one place.  My phone keeps me informed and up to date in all areas of my life.  Whether I am emailing a professor, calling my parents, texting friends, or looking up an answer to a simple question using Google, all I have to do is whip out my cell phone and voilà problem solved.  So what would happen if cell phones were suddenly taken off the market?  The world would fall apart…okay, well, maybe not fall apart but it would certainly make accomplishing tasks much more difficult.  Individuals would also have to learn to use other forms of technology to accomplish the same tasks, and who has time for that anymore?

If I did not have a cell phone—a misfortune I have experienced before when I have either lost or broken a phone—I would feel completely cut off from the inner going-ons of my life.  Yes, I could use my computer to email people and search the web, but I would no longer have the convenience of being able to do such tasks on one device, wherever I am.  I would also be unable to call anyone, unless I used a landline (and goodluck finding one of those in the home of anyone under 25 now-a-days).  I would also be completely cut off from texting, as there is no other easy way, as far as I am aware of, to text from another device.  My normal lines of communication would be severed.

The average social life of a person in the 21st century has become dependent on texting.  I mean let’s be real here, when was the last time you called a friend of yours to ask a simple question or just to have a chat? While talking on the phone still happens, it is undeniable that most communication between members of my generation happens via text message.  I remember when I lost my phone for 4 days; it was like I had dropped off the face of the planet.  When I finally got a new phone and informed my friends, I was surprised at how many people responded with statements like “how has it been living in a hole?”  The sad fact is that this statement is actually pretty accurate.  Without my phone I had missed out on a lot of different events.  While I was lucky and had friends that I lived with that could keep me in the loop, not having my phone for those few days was a main hindrance to my social life.  Imagine what would have happened if I lived alone, then it really would have felt like I was living under a rock.

So I want to end this blog post with a couple of questions:  How much do you depend on your cell phone?  Do you agree that if you no longer had that device you would feel isolated, or would you be just fine?  The answers to this question will no doubt depend on whether or not the answerer is a millennial or not.  For example my mother still doesn’t really understand texting.  But for our generation, have we become so dependent on texting that without it we would feel cut off from the rest of our world?  What potential danger does this pose for the future of human relationships?

Are you addicted to your cell phone?  Here is a short 2 minute clip I found from ABC News that talks about cell phone addiction and how it can be just as bad as an addiction to drugs…

Sources:

http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article8502604.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/ecsImgphone-and-chain-65501.jpg (featured image)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EUpfz6GMkB8/UOpGNpd1B_I/AAAAAAAAAUU/VhxF9bHT66Q/s1600/Slave+To+Your+cell+Phone-Mobile+Phone+Addiction-Cell+phone+slaves-Technology+slaves.jpg (image in post)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvFc7bcaBMk (video)