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A Guided Tour Of The Future Of Education

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Emerging Technologies / Pedagogies

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.46.1 - 13.46.8



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Paper Authors


Eugene Rutz University of Cincinnati

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Eugene is an Academic Director in the College of Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He manages the College's accelerated engineering degree programs as well as a pre-engineering program with local high schools. Eugene also helps faculty in the use of instructional technology. He is a self-described "hopeful skeptic" concerning learning in virtual worlds.

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Chris Collins University of Cincinnati

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Chris Collins is an IT Analyst in the UCit Instructional & Research Computing department at the University of Cincinnati. Chris specializes in developing supportable, sustainable enterprise services that integrate emerging technologies into existing and future curricula for distance learning, hybrid, and traditional courses, including the introduction of an online course management system, podcasting, use of wikis and blogs in education, and virtual world technologies. She currently manages the campus-wide podcasting and Second Life projects at the University of Cincinnati, and serves as the Second Life Ambassador for the Ohio Learning Network, a consortium of 80 colleges and universities in Ohio.

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Mani Mina Iowa State University

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Mani Mina (S⁍98) received the B.S. degree, the M.S. degree in physics, and the M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees in electrical engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, in 1982, 1985, 1987, and
1989, respectively. H e has research experience in applied electromagnetics, microelectronics and device physics, nondestructive evaluation, instrumentation, networking and physical layer issues. He is also engaged in research on pedagogical aspect of technology and engineering education.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Guided Tour of the Future of Education

Introduction As an instructor have you ever found your self exasperated by students who sit passively in class despite your best efforts at engaging them? From the other side of the desk, there are enumerable students desperately wishing the instructor would find a way to teach that wasn’t just lecture with PowerPoint or equations on a white board. If a classroom existed that required active participation of all students and instructors and there was immediate and meaningful feedback based on the students’ ability to demonstrate what was learned, would you use it?

Not today and not next year, but during the professional career of most of today’s educators, this classroom will exist. A prototype of this environment exists and is being used by millions of students and a growing number of educators. Actually it is not one prototype but several that go under the names of wikis, social networks, and virtual environments.

Wiki A wiki is a piece of software that resides on a server and permits individuals to create and edit content of web pages using a web browser. They support hyperlinks and generally incorporate a simple mechanism for creating new pages and links between internal pages. In addition to adding and modifying content, individuals may also be able to change the organization of the content. The first wiki – wikiwikiweb – was developed by Ward Cunningham in 1994. (1)

The key value of a wiki is that multiple users can easily add, edit, and amend a collective pool of knowledge, all while preserving a record of how, when, and by whom the information was added. This “history” mechanism of the wiki page allows the co-authors to analyze and debate revisions, revert to previous versions, and provide a measure of accountability and/or achievement by identifying each contributor to the knowledge base. Many wikis also allow the incorporation of various kinds of media, including images, graphs, and audio/video content, that allow for the development of media rich content repositories. Perhaps the best known application of a wiki is the Wikipedia project, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit” (2), but wikis are also being used by businesses for knowledge management, by researchers to document progress and findings, and by educators to allow for collaborative creation of content.

Virtual Environments Characteristics often attributed to virtual environments include (adapted from Dillenbourg (3)): • The information space has been specifically designed and includes an explicit representation • Interactions occur in the information space • Users of the information space are able to construct elements of that space

These characteristics transform an information space into an environment that facilitates interaction and creation of content.

An important subset of virtual environments are referred to as MUVEs, multi-user virtual environments. These typically support three dimensional graphics, allow for many simultaneous

Rutz, E., & Collins, C., & Mina, M. (2008, June), A Guided Tour Of The Future Of Education Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3577

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015