Week 4: What I learned over residency

Last week I participated in my first residency here in Houston.  The residency was very helpful and I was pleased that I knew a lot about some of resources available to me, like the Writing Center,  useful webinars to help students with their writing, and the research center.

While I did learn a lot, I also learned that I didn’t know everything and that’s okay.  I’m still fresh in my program and I just need to give myself time and the rest will come.  There were a couple of takeaways I learned from the residency which I plan to apply to my academic life.

1. Read, read, read

2. The research question directs the research method

3. When looking for a dissertation topic always ask, “Where’s the gap”?

4. Organize your work

5. The KISS Method (Keep It Simple Sally)


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I learn something new everyday and today is no exception.  One of my classmates gave me a great link showing some of the best augmented reality apps available.  While not really “new” tech, it’s new to me which makes it new tech. Some of them look very useful like the augmented car finder.  That’s going on the phone NOW!

Check out the link below



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Emerging Technologies Tetrad: Brain-Computer Interface

total recalltotal 2

In the film Total Recall, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick, Quinn, a character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, has a memory trip to Mars as a secret agent. However, before he can be implanted, something goes wrong and Quinn begins to have a hard time deciding what is real and what is not (Verhoeven, Feitshans, Shusett, Kassar, & Vajna, 1990).

matrix 1 matrix 2

In The Matrix, the main characters hook themselves into the mainframe and download files that allow them to acquire language and martial art skills (Wachowski Brothers & Silver, 1999).

johnny 1 johnnymn3

In the movie Johnny Mnemonic (Longo & Carmody, 1995), Keanu Reeves character acts as a courier of information using his brain as a data storage to transport sensitive and classified information.

While we may not be able to implant a vacation, download language skills, or act as our own secured hard drive, researchers are toying around the with the idea to do just that; making us all Johnny Mnemonics. Below is my tetrad discussing Brain Computer Interface:Untitled

Enhance: Brain-Computer interfaces would be the ultimate upgrade for people around the world. If we ever achieve BCI integration, it would completely revamp some elements of our daily lives such as our attention span, and increase our multi-tasking skills (Serruya, 2015, p. 1). BCI will increase and improve the ways that people learn, and process information by allowing the information to download directly into our brains. Just like in Total Recall (Verhoeven et al., 1990), we will have the option of adding and or erasing our memories. It’s not just science fiction; researchers are making science fiction fact. Far fetching technologies from our favorite movies such as telekinetic ability, memory manipulation, downloading files will soon be a reality.

Obsoletes: Brain Computer Interfaces has the potential to make the items we use every day become a thing of the past. Let’s take our traditional classrooms; no longer will students come in, open a book and read the text. Nor will students open their tablets and read their textbooks that way. Now, they will “download” the information they need from the computer straight to their brains. There is no need to memorize facts, dates, or figures; all the information needed will be downloaded to our brains.

If data can be downloaded into our brains,  any negative emotions or bad memories can be changed as well. Just like in Total Recall (Verhoeven et al., 1990), we would be able to have any image projected into minds or memories erased. Implanted vacations can come in handy if we want to take a vacation to Bali, but we don’t want  to hop a plane and head off to Bali. We can have the vacation transferred into our brains and never leave the comfort of our homes. Naturally these vacations would make the tourism industry unnecessary.

Rekindles/Reinvigorates: As research and funding continue for brain research, people suffering from brain related injuries or illnesses would find the quality of their lives improving. Patients with Alzheimer’s or other brain illnesses will be able to start communicating again with the help of BCI (Liberati et al., 2013).

Reverses: BCI technology will open the way for researchers to explore further ways to improve brain interaction. The future could very well be a world filled with Professor Xs or Jean Greys like in X-Men (Singer, Donner, & Winter, 2000); a world filled with people controlling their environment by telekinesis and communicating telepathically.

Let me know your thoughts!



What’s a BCI?

Here are two good links describing BCI and how they are useful for patients having physical or mental disabilities:



Other blogs discussing BCI:

The Neuro Network: http://theneuronetwork.com/

Mind-to-Machine: http://mind-to-machine.blogspot.com/


Liberati, G., Veit, R., Sunjung, K., Birbaumer, N., Von Arnim, C., Jenner, A., … Raffone, A. C. (2013). Development of a Binary fMRI-BCI for Alzheimer Patients: A Semantic Conditioning Paradigm Using Affective Unconditioned Stimuli. Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 2013 Humaine Association Conference, 838 – 842. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ACII.2013.157

Longo, R. (Director), & Carmody, D. (Producer). (1995). Johnny Mnemonic [Motion picture]. Canada; United States : Alliance Communications.

Serruya, M. D. (2015). As we may think and be: brain-computer interfaces to expand the substrate of mind. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 9(53), 1-2. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.3389/fnsys.2015.00053

Singer, B. (Director), Donner, L. S. (Producer), & Winter, R. (Producer). (2000). X-Men [Motion picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox; Marvel Entertainment Group; Bad Hat Harry Productions; The Donners’ Company.

Verhoeven, P. (Director), Feitshans, B. (Producer), Shusett, R. (Producer), Kassar, M. (Producer), & Vajna, A. G. (Producer). (1990). Total Recall [Motion picture]. United States : Carolco Pictures.

Wachowski Brothers (Director), & Silver, J. (Producer). (1999). The Matrix [Motion picture]. United States; Australia: Village Roadshow Pictures, Groucho II Film, Partnership, Silver Pictures.

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To residency we go

Today starts off Residency 1.  It promises to be  5 days of highly useful information crammed into an already overloaded brain.  If I can remember anything, I’m sure that I will learn something useful and I can take with me.  All I’m asking is that the weather please, please hold up  at least until I make it to the venue. We’ll see.

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Top 11 Trusted (And Free) Search Engines For Scientific and Academic Research

I knew about Google Scholar, but the rest are new to me. Looks interesting.



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Week 2

What did I learn this week? Well, I learned the difference between emerging technology and an emerged one. I think that an emerging technology has the potential to help us do tasks a lot faster and better that we ever could have thought of before. Emerging technology also forces us to step up our game when it comes to using technology.   There are so many reasons why it is important to keep up with emerging technology both in and out of the workplace, but the biggest reason is knowledge.

It is useful for us to stay up to date on the latest advances in technology. One never knows what you can discover when you allow yourself to open up to the world of new and advancing technology. Charles Darwin sums it nicely and gives all us the best reason for keeping up with emerging technology. “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”- Charles Darwin

“Only the educated are free.” – Epictetus

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From stuck at home to on the go: The Accessibility of using iPads in the Classroom

The Boy Reader's Class

The Boy Reader’s Class


Apple's iPad

Apple’s iPad


Maybe it was a happy accident or planned; there is no denying that the use of computers for educational purposed has transformed the way teachers teach (Molnar, 1997).Teachers began to make the change from traditional paper and book, to incorporate the computer into the classroom to assist with learning. When the Internet came about, it allowed teachers to teach students using collaborative inquiry-based learning.

When the concept of computer-based collaborative learning began to take shape in classrooms around the country, the computer, as a result, became smaller. No longer were people forced to stay home with bulky equipment, and limited Internet.

The Internet expanded to include not only dial-up modems, but broadband and wireless. With the introduction of greater Internet access, personal portable devices became readily available. Both of these advances were directly responsible to help create a learning environment for students to use personal devices in the classroom.

The biggest technological advancement since the introduction of the personal computer is the iPad. Ernst, Walker, & Cohen (2011), from the Online Learning Consortium gave a presentation about the use of iPads in the classroom. As a result of their presentation, I understood the value that iPads have in the classroom. Students currently use their iPads for playing games and watching movies, so it makes sense for teachers to use them in the classroom. Using iPads in the classroom can have some pitfalls, which teachers need to know before using in the classroom.

Pitfalls of using iPads in the classroom are in poor planning.  Teachers may be ineffective in their planning when giving instructions, the iPads may not integrated into the school’s network, and there may be some students who do not feel comfortable using technology.

The key for teachers to overcome these pitfalls would be first to start with their lesson plan. If using the iPad, teachers need to be sure that the assignment or activity meets learning objectives and engage the learner.  Teachers can assign groups where one or two members can assist other students who may not be comfortable with using iPads. Before diving head into the iPad pool, teachers should take the time to consider their students’ needs and how they address these needs with and without technology. Reid and Ostashewski (2011) produced an excellent study detailing how iPads met the needs of students participating in their study.

Let me know your thoughts!


iPads in the Classroom

A reference for giving good tips for using iPads in the classroom ishttp://www.edudemic.com/ipad-tips-classroom/; plus a video showing how iPads enhance student learning in the classroom https://vimeo.com/113727348

Other blogs this week that share the use of iPads in the classroom are:

Kathy Schrock: http://www.ipads4teaching.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html

KBeth: http://kbeth-ipadsintheclassroom.blogspot.com/

UMassBoston: http://blogs.umb.edu/ipadclassroom/



Ernst, D., Walker, J. D., & Cohen, B. (2011, November). Mobile learning with Ipads: Challenges and successes in a large-scale initiative. In D. Ernst, . Symposium conducted at the Online Learning Consortium, Northern Hemisphere D. Retrieved fromhttp://olc.onlinelearningconsortium.org/conferences/2011/aln/mobile-learning-ipads-challenges-and-successes-large-scale-initiative

Molnar, A. (1997). Computers in education: A brief history. The Journal24(11), 63-68. Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/1997/06/01/computers-in-education-a-brief-history.aspx

Reid, D. & Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom – New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved fromhttp://www.editlib.org/p/38089/

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