Static & Dynamic Technologies



As an educator and a doctoral student specializing in Educational Technology, I feel very comfortable and very experienced in using static technologies.  I am in the middle range of comfort and expertise in dynamic technologies.  What I need to work on is familiarizing myself with learning more dynamic technologies for collaboration.  Tangrams are interactive games that contribute to higher order thinking.  Accelry’s Life Science Modeling is a simulated and interactive platform where students can manipulate objects to understand processes.  Finally, Atlantis Remixed is a new interactive game which I feel can be beneficial to college students who are trying to get past their developmental classes.  These three collaborative dynamic tools can be utilized by college students at my place of employment.  Since most students enjoy video games, these platforms are excellent ways for students  not just to have a good time but to learn at a deeper cognitive level.  To be more comfortable and experienced in utilizing these dynamic collaborative technologies, my first step is to just try them out.  As I sink myself into these technologies, I can be as comfortable and as experienced in using them as I am comfortable and experienced with static technologies and with dynamic technologies for communication and content building.

Engaging Learners

graphicorganizer.FINALEngaging Today’s Learners

Students demonstrate “positive attitudes and higher levels of performance” in online classrooms rich with opportunities for interactions (Durrington et al., 2006).  The three C’s: collaboration, communication, and content building are major strategies for educators to incorporate in their online classrooms.

pic1Content Building:

There are various apps that encourage students to build content.  Accessible slides such as Prezi and Slideshare are some of the ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge building skills.  Utilizing social media such as Twitter enable students to contribute their ideas and opinions with their peers.  Screencast can help them capture what they see in the web and incorporate them in their lessons.  Blogs created in web applications such as WordPress are excellent ways to bring a team of students together as they build knowledge and demonstrate their creative skills. Videos via You Tube and Vimeo are increasing in popularity and can be used by both instructors and students as they share their presentations with one another.

pic 2Communication

Communication between instructors and students as well as peer-to-peer communications are essential in any type of classroom.  There is nothing more frustrating for a student than an absent online teacher.  Being able to communicate with instructors help students feel more at ease, knowing that their support system in their education is accessible to them. Students should be able to email their instructors and know that they will get a response in a timely manner.  In discussion boards or forums, students need to be able to share with others what they are learning in their current module and get others’ point of view, thus increasing their worldview.  In training, webinars are excellent tools to present new ideas and to get other people’s opinions. Students can also communicate with their peers and instructors via Skype.  With Skype, appointments with instructors can be scheduled accordingly and students can chat with their instructors about their questions and concerns.  Instructors have a unique way of delivering lectures through You Tube or Vimeos.  These tools help students capture the lessons and they can even watch the videos over again for further knowledge building and to help them master their skills.

pic 3Collaboration

Wikis (Wikispaces) can help students and instructors gather together for further collaboration. Google Docs allow students to upload files and work on their teams’ files and presentations together. Confluence, much like Sharepoint, can help students communicate with their instructors and navigate through their classrooms’ resources. Second Life is a virtual reality learning environment where classes can meet.  Finally, Smarthinking is a web application utilized by many institutions to provide their students with interactive tutoring sessions.


Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environmentCollege Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

Assessing Collaborative Efforts

Assessing Collaborative Efforts

How should participation in a collaborative learning community be assessed?

Assessing participation in collaborative learning communities can be challenging. Instructors rely on the students’ written comments within the discussion boards or other collaborative platforms including wikis and blogs. To assess students in Distance Education (De) group presentations, instructors can utilize rubrics that address the following criteria:

1. Teamwork, 2. Presentation Style/Delivery, and 3. Information Content (Palloff & Pratt, 2005).

To assess individual works in De classrooms, instructors can utilize rubrics that address the following criteria: 1. General Attitude, 2. Ability to work with Others3. Collaboration, 4. Preparedness, and 5. Focus on Task and Time Management (Palloff & Pratt, 2005).

How do the varying levels of skill and knowledge students bring to a course affect the instructor’s “fair and equitable assessment” of learning?

First, refrain from treating all students in exactly the same way (Suskie, 2000). This reminder is important since students vary, “depending on their prior knowledge, cultural experience, and cognitive style” (Suskie, 2000, p. 5).  What equitable assessment mean is to assess students “using different methods and procedures that are most appropriate for them” (Suskie, 2000, p. 5).

To assess students as “fair as possible” instructors should clarify the learning outcomes of the class, providing students with the goals to achieve and the skills to master (Suskie, 2000, p. 6). Assessments should come in various forms: multiple choices, essays, etc. (Suskie, 2000).  Students should also be taught how to assess themselves and they should be encouraged to stay engaged (Suskie, 2000).  In De classrooms, staying engaged with their peers can generate diverse perspectives and opinions which require students to dig into the topics even deeper.

As I perused several materials online, I came across some of Koelsch, Estrin, and Farr’s (1995) guidelines, cited in North Central Regional Educational Laboratory’s website, for preparing and administering assessments, which I believe says it all when it comes to fair and equitable assessments: I came up with the red hexagon: Provide learning activities that trigger students’ creativity and imagination.  

I also think that different learning activities should have appropriate assessments. As an educational technology student, an important aspect of my learning process is my ability to utilize all forms of collaborative platforms such as wikis and blogs, and all forms of media to create learning materials. This is an exciting field because technological changes happen so quickly and as an educational technologist, I need to be up to speed with these technologies and I need to evaluate these technologies to see if they are appropriate for my students and  most importantly, to see if these technologies will contribute to knowledge building and knowledge gains.


If a student does not want to network or collaborate in a learning community for an online course, what should the other members of the learning community do? What role should the instructor play? What impact would this have on his or her assessment plan?

In expressing what another member should do if a student does not want to network or collaborate in a learning community for an online course, simple nudges via emails and chats, though respectful, should also indicate a sense of urgency.

In expressing what an instructor should do in this situation, creating team charters are useful as well as providing reminders and rubrics for participation.  However, there’s only so much a member or an instructor can do.  Eventually, the student must come to a realization that non-participation in such activities simply means a “poor grade” or even a “failing grade.”  In the end, we are all responsible for our learning processes and outcomes.


Critical Issue: Ensuring Equity with Alternative Assessments. (1997). Retrieved from

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Suskie, L. (2000). Fair assessment practices: Giving students equitable opportunities to demonstrate learning. American Association for Higher Education [Online]. Retrieved from

Collaborative Interactions


Collaborative Interactions in Education

George Siemens discussed the growing acceptance of distance education in today’s corporate and educational spheres, including three possible elements of distance education that are creating more effective learning experiences and giving distance education an identity of its own distinct from F2F courses: (a) global diversity, (b) communication, and (c) collaborative interaction. Do you agree or disagree with his view?

I agree with Siemens (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008) that the educational industry experienced a proliferation of learning tools that result to effective teaching and learning experiences and are fueled by a) global diversity, b) communication, and c) collaborative interaction.  It is evident that technological tools for teaching, communicating, and collaborating went beyond the traditional boundaries as millions of individuals conduct their businesses and experience learning.

Collaborative Interaction

Collaborative Interaction is quite unique and one that I did not expect to soar in education.  Given the fact that some teachers hesitate to use technology, collaborative interaction is growing in its popularity even with teachers who are late adopters of technology.  Obviously, they have seen the versatility of collaborative interaction, and at the same time, they understand that learning to use technology is a key factor in their job performance and job growth, as well as their personal and professional development.

Emerging EdTech Blog

edtechThere are many platforms for facilitating collaborative interactions between students and their instructors.  Videoconferencing is an effective way of gathering all students and instructors in one place, giving them opportunities for meaningful interactions and discourses.  Students can now “visit with a NASA astronaut without leaving a classroom” (Anderson, 2014).  This type of collaborative interaction between experts and students address many issues including the “costs incurred” when conducting a special field trip such as a trip to NASA or even a trip to a nearby planetarium.  Logistics alone can be overwhelming and with the limited budget that schools have, visiting space or science exploration agencies such as NASA was out of the question because of feasibility and practicality issues.  However, with videoconferencing, getting experts in the field to speak synchronously with students is not just a possibility but it is a reality and one that needs to be explored deeper, by evaluating several videoconferencing tools and training more teachers to embrace this technology (Anderson, 2014).

EduCause Blog

educausePurdue University adopted “PassNote” to generate collaborative interactions between instructors and students.  PassNote is a “feedback tool that enable instructors to provide formative assessments” for their students (Croton, Willis III, & Fish, 2014).  The tool has a customized feedback feature for instructors to connect deeper with their students by providing them with direct links to tutoring services, supplemental instructions, library sources, and workshops” (Croton et al., 2014).  What is compelling about this tool is that it provides instructors with opportunities to communicate with their students one-on-one, helping students visualize the lessons and what is required from them with regards to projects and assignments (Croton et al., 2014).  For example, providing feedback on students’ writing assignments consists of meaningful comments and further requirements that students can use as guidance while they experience the scaffolding effects evidenced from written feedbacks.


Anderson, J. (2014, July 30). 5 ways videoconferencing is bringing exciting collaborative interaction to teaching and learning [Web blog]. Retrieved from
Croton, B., Willis III, J. E., Fish, J. (2014, September 15). PassNote: A feedback tool for improving student success [Web blog]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Distance education: Higher education, K12, and the corporate world. Baltimore, MD: Author.

DE in the Next Generation

The Need to Evolve Distance Education to the Next Generation

1In this post, several resources were selected to compare and contrast the writers’ views on their reasons why there is a need to evolve distance education to the next generation.

These resources are:

Simonson’s video clips:

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Distance education: The next generation. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Equivalency theory.Baltimore, MD: Author

TechTrends Articles:

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5). 63-67.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70-75.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008, July/August). The evolution of distance           education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 2: Higher Education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

4According to Simonson (2000), distance education, often called online learning, e-learning, or virtual education should be “equivalent” to the traditional or campus learning, but not necessarily equal or identical.  Therefore, designing a distance education class must consider both the learners’ and the institutions’ return on investment or ROI (Simonson, 2000).  Similarly, Moller, Foshay, and Huett (2008) consider the ROI in distance education are more challenging to measure.  In an online classroom, “the thoughtful instructional design practitioner is placed in the situation of having to train a workforce so that they will be ready to execute innovations that have not been identified (p. 72).  Moreover, all the authors and speaker agree that in distance education, it is “difficult to isolate an effect due to training” (Moller et al., 2008, p. 72). Indeed, Simonson (2000) supported this statement and added that learning outcomes are just as important in distance education as in traditional education.  The question is, how can we identify these learning outcomes? And how are these learning outcomes different in online education and in traditional classroom education?

3While the content of each resource are similar in looking at distance education as an ever-evolving platform to transmit knowledge, the differences are set on how distance education should evolve in K-12, college, and corporate training.  Simonson’s (2000) video clips mostly focus on adult learners: online college students, while Moller, et al. (2008) captured distance education in all educational landscapes: K-12, college, and corporate training.

Although distance education is not a new concept as Simonson (2000) suggested, there are indeed new issues to consider when designing a distance education course.  Since the demands for online learning have significantly increased these past decades, distance education also provides several issues that instructional design (ID) professionals and instructors must consider. Therefore, evolving distance education to the next generation is imminent.

K-12 Distance Education

6Online education has captured all facets of education, from K-12, to post-secondary institutions, to government sectors and corporate industries.  The problem arising out of distance education for K-12 learners is that it requires self-directed learning or SDL, a type of learning wherein learners take initiative or control of their education (Moller et al., 2008).  The online education landscape requires discipline and maturity on the part of the learner, a principle that adult learning theory is based on.

The need to evolve K-12 distance education to the next generation is crucial and ID professionals should design online learning classrooms and curricula specifically for younger students (Moller et al., 2008).  ID professionals and instructors should consider the following when designing an effective online classroom for K-12 students:

  1. The amount of independence given to younger students (Moller, et al., 2008)
  2. The use of synchronous versus asynchronous instructions (Moller, etal., 2008).
  3. The characteristics required of a successful young distance learner (Moller, et al., 2008).
  4. The most appropriate technology to be used to deliver materials to younger learners (Moller, et al., 2008)

Post-Secondary  Education

5More and more college students are enrolled in distance education courses for convenience.  With intensive work and family demands, distance education appeals to many college students.  Therefore, demands for quality education and performance based testing are increasing, specifically, accreditation agencies are closely looking at the these issues very closely (Moller et al., 2008).

However, quality education is still the number one issue for post-secondary distance education.  The Craft approach, wherein faculty members “design and develop their courses based on what worked for them” are raising several issues (Moore & Kearsley, 1996 as cited in Moller, et al., 2008, p. 67).  With craft approach, instructors do not necessarily have the wealth of knowledge on the vast array of technologies that are effective in designing and developing their online courses (Moller et al., 2008).  At best, they only use the “simplest technology” available to them or “the simplest technology” that they know or are familiar with. (Moller et al., 2008), p. 67).

writer 1The Craft approach is also ineffective since most instructors realize that teaching online is more demanding than teaching in  traditional classrooms (Moller et al., 2008).  The demands come from the following:

  1. Learning new technologies require time, which for the most part, instructors do not have given that teaching online requires more work than teaching in traditional classrooms (Moller, et al., 2008).
  2. Instructors often feel isolated, overworked, and find that teaching online is personally consuming (Moller, et al., 2008, pp. 67-68).
  3. Online education does not ensure salary, promotion, and tenure, and adjunct online teachers have lesser control over their course designs and course deliveries (Moller, etal., 2008).

Business World

7Business professionals must constantly adapt to changes and these changes usually involve the use of technologies for training employees and ensuring a higher return on investment (ROI) from their employees and their products. However, training in the corporate world is far too different than teaching adults online.  First, the trainers lack the ID skills to design and to deliver a quality training course (Moller et al., 2008). Without the applications of ID principles, teaching and learning theories, and teaching pedagogies, training the workforce requires using innovations that they themselves have not identified (Moller, et al., 2008, p. 72).  Since the ROI in online education is more challenging to measure, it is hard to pinpoint if employee performance can be based entirely on the training or on other factors.

My Two Cents

2I agree with Moller, et al.’s (2008) and Simonson’s (2000) viewpoints.  Indeed, there is a need for distance education to evolve to the next generation.  Education is no longer a “one size fits all” phenomenon. All learners and instructors have different teaching and learning styles, thereby, different ways to acquire and comprehend knowledge.  First, age is an important factor that ID professionals and distance educators must consider. Knowledge acquisition and knowledge comprehension vary by age, based on the principles of human development and human behavior.  Therefore, distance educators should consider the types of delivery that younger learners and mature students require. What works for a 30-year old student will not work for an elementary or high school student.  Likewise, in the corporate world, trainers should not consider online education as simply an avenue to disseminate information and therefore, only resort to the available technology.  Identifying the appropriate technology to the appropriate audience is a crucial key into unlocking the learner’s potential to acquire and synthesize information and to apply knowledge into practical or real-life situations.

10ID is not synonymous with PowerPoint or video classes.  ID considers the learner as a whole.  Age, learning style, learning environment, the teaching style, the delivery method, learning theories, instructional pedagogy and more should all be considered when designing and developing online curricula.  We are faced with literally hundreds of ways to deliver effective distance education courses, using hundreds of technologies for meaningful learning.  In distance education, we have only tapped tip of the iceberg.

Hsu, Y., & Shiue, Y. (2005). The effect of self-directed learning readiness on achievement comparing face-to-face and two-way distance learning instruction.International Journal of Instructional Media, 32(2), 143–156.


ipadsThe innovation that literally changed my life is the iPad.  It’s the first thing I grab when I wake up in the morning.  It allows me to read/watch the news, access social networks, retrieve my emails, read books, watch movies, and get apps for games, etc.

What barriers might have existed to the diffusion of this innovation?

If iPad failed, the main reason would have been its lack of versatility, which encompasses (a) usability, (b) compatibility, (c) affordability, (d) mobility.

  • Usability – iPads are user-friendly.  Navigating through it is not difficult at all.
  • Compatibility – If users need to buy additional systems to make their iPads work or if they need to purchase other peripherals to use it for different purposes, I don’t think it would have succeeded.  Personally, being able to integrate every system or app I have into one device is very important.
  • Affordability – An innovation that most people cannot afford will have major setbacks.  If users cannot afford an innovation, they would probably wait for similar innovations at lesser price.
  • Mobility – We live in a digital era when we need to communicate and acquire information anywhere at any time.  A device that does not allow us to stay mobile would not succeed in this generation.  People are always seeking new and convenient ways to do things.

What do you think were the principle reasons why this innovation was successfully adopted?

Re-invention:  According to Rogers (2003), Sometimes the adoption of an innovation means using a previous innovation that has similar behavior.

The iPad was based on a successful technology –  the iPhone.  According to Steele  (2012), Jobs had the idea of the ipad first before the iPhone.  However, the world was not quite ready yet for the concept of “multi-touch.”  In fact, Jobs was criticized for it (Steele, 2012).  Jobs set the iPad idea aside and created the iPhone (Steele, 2012).  After seeing that the world is accustomed to the multi-touch feature of the iPhone, Jobs pursued the implementation of iPads (Steele, 2012).  According to Jobs, “If it worked on a phone, I knew we could go back and use it on a tablet”.

“In 2007, the iPhone was introduced and Jobs started to revisit his iPad idea which led to Netbook” (Steele, 2012).  Netbook was not a success because of its keyboard design.  Jobs continued his idea of a multi-touch innovation and until he was ready to present the new iPad.  In 1971, “Charters and Pellegrin were the first scholars who recognized the occurrence of re-invention” (Rogers, 2003).  By using the features of an iPhone and by waiting for the right time to implement an innovation, Jobs was successful with the iPad.

What significant ideas did you draw from this innovator’s story, and how might you apply those ideas to your own role in the field of educational technology? 

The most significant idea that I acquired from Jobs’ innovation of the iPad is his awareness and knowledge of what the society is ready for or what the society is not yet ready for.  Sometimes, innovators get ahead of themselves and would miscalculate the timing of an innovation.  It is always good to create new ideas, but we don’t necessarily need to throw the idea out if we realize that the society might not be ready for this innovation.  We can re-visit some of our ideas in the future and determine if it is the right time to implement it.

In educational technology, we do not decide on implementing an innovation based on what other schools are using.  We need to be aware of the stakeholders and take their pulse once in a while to determine if they are ready to accept a new innovation or stay with an old one.

PC Magazine. (2012). History of iPad.  Retrieved August 8, 2013, from

PC Magazine. (2012). History of iPad.  Retrieved August 8, 2013, from

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

Rationale for Technological Innovations

  According to Rogers (2003), the elements of diffusion for new technological innovations are (a) innovation, (b) communication channels, (c) time, and (d) social system (pp. 35-37).  In time, successful diffusion of an innovation takes place after a social structure has gone through a series of communications.  The diffusion of a new idea or innovation can be a “hit or miss” phenomenon, and according to Rogers (2003), it generally takes a long time for an innovation to be widely accepted.  Communication plays an important role in transmitting innovations.  The manner in which individuals act as “change agents” can be a determining factor for a successful diffusion of innovation (Rogers, 2003).

This paper aims to examine three innovations scheduled for presentations at two upcoming educational technology conferences and to evaluate the pros and cons of these three innovations, including their features, potential effects, benefits, and barriers in education.  It also aims to discuss these innovations and determine if they are simple or difficult to adopt.  Finally, this paper’s intent is to select an innovation out of the three discussed as the ideal innovation in light of Rogers’s (2003) four elements of diffusion.

Innovations and Conferences

The first innovation for discussion is “iMovie, an animated video program” for curriculum development and “student learning” to be presented at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for educators and library specialists who serve pre-kindergarten to high school students (Turnbull, 2013).  The second innovation for discussion is the utilization of digital badges for educators and technology specialists at ISTE (Flickinger, 2013).  The third innovation will be presented at the Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (CDTL), focusing on virtual and face-to-face open houses for different departments in an institution (Britto, M., 2013).  These innovations are designed to assist educators, library specialists, and administrators in engaging their students in the 21st century classrooms.

iMovie2 in classrooms.  While watching a movie is not a new concept in education, more innovations that can help educators create their own movies to motivate their students are increasing in popularity.  For students having difficulties in their classes, audiovisual resources such as movies can capture their interests and help them understand abstract and concrete concepts.  Educators utilize iMovie2 (a newer version of iMovie by Apple) to create lesson plans enhanced with special effects and sounds.  Howard (2001) utilized iMovie2 to create movies for her history class.  She created “biography” videos, enhanced with “images, voice-overs, titles, and music” (Howard, 2001, p. 18).  There are two primary advantages of using iMovie2: (a) the user does not have to be a seasoned videographer to create captivating movies and (b) the user has freedom and flexibility in enhancing movies with captions or titles and audio-visual effects (Howard, 2001).  However, educators who are not familiar with Apple products might find it difficult to use iMovie2.  In addition,   making iMovie videos is “time-consuming and movie footages can take up large amounts of hard-drive space” (Howard, 2001, p.21).  IMovie2 requires FireWire hard-drive to run it (Howard, 2001), contributing to iMovie2’s primary barrier:  its specificity in the system (Macintosh) and hard- drive (FireWire) requirements could deter educators from using iMovie2 simply because it is incompatible with their schools’ systems.

Simple or difficult?  For some educators, making a movie from iMovie2 is simple.  However, most educators may not be able adopt this technology in their classrooms.  Several of them do not have the specific computer system (Apple Macintosh) or the hard drive (FireWire) to run iMovie2.  Most importantly, many educators may find iMovie2 too complicated to use, especially if they are not familiar with using Apple products.  Even though iMovie2 poses some barriers to many educators, it is reassuring to know that personal computer (PC) users can produce educational video clips with other applications.  Sites such as “” or “” are good alternative sources for making video clips for educators because they provide tutorials and discounted costs.

Digital badges instead of diplomas.  Several institutions that provide massive open online courses (MOOC) are generating digital badges for their students instead of letter grades for mastering specific skills sets and for completing assessments (Young, 2012).  Taken from the concept of badges for “Boy Scouts,” some online schools use digital badges instead of actual degree programs (Young, 2012).  Digital badges are advantageous in motivating students.  Students who feel that acquiring diplomas, or degrees could take a long time to accomplish, would acquire early recognition from digital badges.  Frequent motivation and visual diagrams indicating students’ specific learning milestones are reasons why “digital badges” are popular in digital classrooms (Young, 2012).

A disadvantage when using digital badges is that students tend to work for flashy “badges” instead of authentically working to complete their programs (Young, 2012).  In addition, creative and technically proficient students can make up their own badges, reducing their courses’ values.  Finally, as a primary barrier, digital badges are not college degrees, and including them on resumes will not warrant future job interviews.  A digital badge’s flashy feature for motiving a student to complete an activity does not necessarily indicate that it can motivate a student to persist in a program.  Students still need to persist in their degree programs for future employers to recognize them as competent, well-rounded, and employable professionals.

Simple or difficult?  Digital badges are new to online educators.  They are excellent tools to motivate learners.  Online learners welcome frequent recognition to help them move forward from one lesson to another.  However, implementing digital badges may be difficult for educators to set up.  Instructional specialists or information technology (IT) personnel are more equipped to design badges and imbed them in systems than educators.  In some institutions and industries, implementing digital badges instead of actual grades or degrees do not see digital badges as competency indicators.  Lastly, designing and implementing digital badges could take a long time to implement.  Depending on how an institution is set up, administrators, IT managers, and educators need to approve this innovation.  In addition, institutions need to consider all of their stakeholders including investors, students, and accrediting bodies when implementing digital badges instead of letter or percentage grades to students.  Several stakeholders may not see digital badges as excellent ways to promote learners from one level to the next.

Virtual open houses.  Several organizations are quick to adopt virtual technologies for their annual events.  For example, an open house to promote MBA programs was hosted by Touro University in 2012 (PR., 2012).  One of the advantages of conducting a virtual event such as an institutional open house is its feature to deliver its message to a broader audience.  Virtual open houses eliminate work force and cost constraints for organizations.  Interested parties can visit the organization’s website and participate fully in a virtual open house. 

The cost to send recruiters or representatives to face-to-face events, along with the costs of multi-media materials, rented spaces, and advertising could constrain an organization’s budget.  With virtual open houses, participants have the option to print out marketing materials or virtually try out new products such as software applications or programs.  Participants can utilize virtual open houses to network with other participants, depending on how the virtual open house is set up.  Finally, organizations of virtual open houses can eliminate travel costs incurred by their staff.  Overall, the primary advantage of virtual open houses is the elimination of substantial costs incurred with organizing face-to-face open houses.

A disadvantage of a virtual open house is an organization’s potential failure to hire or select appropriate individuals who can design open house platforms that are compatible and user-friendly to a wide range of participants.  In addition, participants of virtual events expect flawless transmissions of information.  Therefore, as McNeill (2013) stated, virtual event organizers should “borrow from Hollywood” in order to produce captivating virtual atmosphere (p. 61).  Organizing successful virtual open houses require expertise in directing and producing virtual meetings that can capture everyone’s attention.

The representative of the virtual open house must be knowledgeable in providing support for individuals having technical difficulties.  Not only do they need to answer questions about the organizations, they also need to answer technical questions.  Participants could have difficulties downloading documents, viewing the videos, or hearing the audio parts of the presentations (McNeill, 2013).  Therefore, the primary barrier in conducting virtual open houses is its meticulous requirement to select a chat moderator who is also the organization’s representative, and who possesses technical expertise to help participants with computer-related issues.

The second primary barrier for virtual open houses is the compatibility of the organization’s software programs and other applications that can open visual materials, along with the video and audio facets of the event.  The usability and compatibility features should be considered when designing virtual open houses.  Conducting virtual open houses will become more popular as people realize their features and benefits.  Virtual open houses can save event managers and participants from incurring large amount of time, work force, and costs while capturing a worldwide audience.

Simple or difficult?  Conducting a virtual open house is simple once all the components are in place.  The primary difficulty that organizations may encounter when implementing virtual open houses is their unfamiliarity with this emerging technology.  However, once the virtual platform is set up, many event managers, as well as participants can take advantage of this innovation.  The difficulty lies on the organization’s decision to select an expert or a group of experts to set up the open house platform and advertise the event.  Virtual open house organizers and hosts are responsible for ensuring the usability and compatibility of their virtual platforms with prospective participants’ web browsers and systems, but, after all the details are in place, setting up virtual events such as open houses, career fairs, and other virtual events is very simple and can be repeated easily.

Innovation Selected in Light of Rogers’ Elements to Diffuse an Innovation

Setting up virtual open houses is the choice of innovation for this paper.  The “cause and effects of this technology is certain” (Rogers, 2003, p. 12).  Virtual open houses are designed to cut costs, labor, and time, which are essential components designated for face-face-face open houses.  Virtual open houses, when designed extensively with consideration of its usability and compatibility, can affect cross-geographical audience.  In addition, it can be replicated easily.

The “communication channels” for implementing virtual open houses is broad (Rogers, 2003, p. 18).  Any organization can conduct a virtual open house with a PC.  In addition, many participants can attend virtual open houses with either PCs or Mac computers.  The “rate of adopting virtual open houses” depends on the organizations and their personnel (Rogers, 2003, p. 21).  Organizations may have all five adopters for this innovation, “(a) innovators, (b) early adopters, (c) early majority, (d) late majority, and (e) laggards” (Rogers, 2003, p. 21).  The organization’s leadership and ability to communicate all the benefits of virtual open houses, including its primary feature of expanding its audience or clientele may generate more “innovators” and “early adopters” (Rogers, 2003, p. 21).  Finally, virtual open houses are applicable to any type of “social system” (Rogers, 2003, p. 24).  A virtual open house will be a welcoming addition to several organizations and institutions whose motives include attracting a large amount of new and existing clientele or prospective employees.


Britto, M. (2013). Launching a virtual and face-to-face open house for your department.  Information session at the 29th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (CDTL), Madison, WI.

Commoncraft (2013.). Seattle, WA: Commoncraft.

Flickinger, B. (2013). Using badges to motivate young students to develop technology skills.  Poster session at the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTA), San Antonio, TX.

Goanimate (2013). Bay Area, CA: Goanimate.

Howard, M. (2001).  Team up with digital video and iMovie for Social Studies Excitement. Library talk, 14(5), 18-20, 22.

McNeill, D. (2013).  Creating engaging virtual events. Professional Safety 58(1), 61-62.

PR, N. (2012), January 19). Touro University Worldwide Hosts First MBA Virtual Open House on Tuesday, January 24, 2012.  PR Newswire U.S.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

Turnbull, C. (2013, June).  Animated video to liven up your curriculum and student learning.  Poster session at the meeting of the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTA), San Antonio, TX.

Young, J. R. (2012). “Badges” Earned online pose challenge to traditional college diplomas. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, 78(2), 48-52.





Under what circumstances should an effective leader be proactive rather than reactive in response to change in your industry?  

An effective leader should be proactive if he or she detects a need for an organization to go through a change by analyzing consumer behavior and studying new technologies or processes that could take the organization to its next level.  When a change is imminent, a change agent should be able to take a risk in breaking the organization change-150x150away from its “traditional mold” (Smaldino, n.d.).

How does one find a balance in your industry?

Balance has to do with knowing when to “push the accelerator” or when to “push the brakes” or when to leave an institution’s traditional mold as it faces change(s) or as new technologies emerge (Von Oetinger, 2004, p. 59).  In education, a leader can attain balance through strategic planning.  Strategic planning involves making necessary preparations and conducting extensive research for the institution’s future.  This process requires leaders to anticipate things or events that could happen within 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or more.  The process also requires leaders to anticipate emerging technologies or innovation that should be implemented within 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, or more in order to make the necessary preparations and provide adequate transition period for educators and staff to work on towards adopting the innovation within their personal development plan.


Donaldson, J. A., Wagner, E., Smaldino, S., & Rossett, A. (n.d.) Resources. The many hats leaders wear.Retrieved from



Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

Von Oetinger, B. (2004). A plea for uncertainty: Everybody complains about uncertainty, but it might be a good thing to have. Journal of Business Strategy 25(1) 57-59. doi: 10.1108/02756660410516038

Working in Teams


class discussion

What are the most important and essential responsibilities of the members in a learning community?

One of the most important responsibilities that members of a learning community should have is the ability to empathize with one another.  Members should understand each other’s differences pertaining to the amount of time each member has allocated for group activities.  Members of a group have various personal and professional responsibilities, which may or may not affect the amount of time and effort allocated for group activities.  Therefore, each member should empathize with the other members of the group.

In addition, members of a group should understand each other’s cultural differences (Palloff & Pratt, 2005).  Since members come from different parts of the country or different parts of the world with different time zones, they all have distinct cultures and priorities.  In addition, their comfort levels related to sharing or establishing communication lines with each other may also vary.  Each member of a group has a unique personality with likes and dislikes, and to each his or her own educational and career goals and standards.

As part of a virtual learning community, each member must have a basic knowledge on how to utilize technology as a means of communication and collaboration with the other members of the group.  Some members may have more technological knowledge or background than the other members.  However, each member must strive to be comfortable with technology designed for virtual collaboration in order to maximize each other’s participation and learning opportunities.

Finally, all members must show respect to each other, in spite of the absence of face-to-face collaborations.  Each member should follow netiquette rules to avoid offending someone in the group unintentionally.  Caution in using all capital letters or exclamation marks should be made.  Caution in using slang words or stereotype messages should also be made.  It is easier for members to work together when everyone respects one another and when everyone gets along with each other.

What are some guidelines you can offer that would make your learning community interaction more productive?

Architectural Team Going over BlueprintsI personally advice each member of a learning community to give each other time and space to get acclimated with the group and to get familiarized with the technology used for group collaboration.  In our case, working through a wiki page is a new experience for many members.  I am one of the members not familiar with the wiki page and its components.  Therefore, I plan to spend extra time familiarizing myself with the group wiki and the wiki technology

 How should members of the learning community deal with other members that do not actively participate or that participate in a negative manner?  

 I believe that every person can communicate his or her challenges with others with respect.  Showing respect to others is universal and is required in all diverse groups and communities.  Even when two people do not agree with each other, they should still be able to express their ideas with each other in a very diplomatic manner.  The good thing about collaborating online, in an asynchronous mode, is that we can take our time to construct our sentences or posts carefully and methodically, making sure that we do not sound condescending, pushy, or difficult.  Therefore, if we see that one member is not participating actively or if he or she is participating in a negative manner, we can take our time when constructing our written words to reach out to that person without further creating a conflict.  Perhaps this particular member is going through a challenging season in his or her life and being allowing that person to explain his or her personal circumstances is necessary.  I always believe that the manner in which a message is delivered is just as critical and important as the message itself.


Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


Successful Diffusion of Innovation for Electronic Portfolios (e-portfolios)

colorful gearsThe use of electronic portfolios or e-portfolios changed the way teachers and students organize their projects.  E-portfolios provide virtual storages for online and traditional students.  Bairral and dos Santos (2012) conducted a study wherein college mathematics instructors in Brazil utilized e-portfolios.  Likewise, Ozgur and Kaya (2011) conducted a study on BA students in Turkey, utilizing e-portfolios for assessments.  The studies indicated positive results as participants published their achievements and organized their course work systematically.

a world of technology











In Bairral and dos Santos’ (2012) study, participants utilized e-portfolios to self-publish, to reflect on their learning process, and to establish their web presence.  In Ozgur and Kaya’s  (2011) study, participants organized digital projects.  The studies were effective in engaging participants in their course work and with one another, a distinct element of communications correlating to Rogers’ theory (2003).  Although participants perceived the setting up of e-portfolios to be time-consuming (Bairral and dos Santos (2012), requiring frequent evaluations (Ozgur & Kaya, 2011), the perceived benefits outweighed its minor setbacks.

The specific social systems in these studies consisted of both students and instructors.  Since traditional portfolios were widespread applications for professional development in most colleges,   instructors and students quickly welcomed its electronic version.  E-portfolios featured a sense of familiarity for all parties and adopting it is easy.  Converting traditional portfolios to e-portfolios just makes sense.  E-portfolios continue to assist students and instructors in their professional development.

Difficulties in the Diffusion of Innovation – Second Life in Corporate Environmment

Second Life (SL), an interactive, game-based collaborative application, creates unique virtual meeting spaces for individuals to meet.  Zelenskaya and Singh (2011) adopted SL in their study, implementing it in a virtual career fair.  Zaid, Jamaludin, and Hosam (2011) conducted a similar study,   implementing SL to gather health care professionals.  Geographical disconnect was the primary reason for implementing SL (Zelenskaya & Singh, 2011; Zaid et al. (2011).  SL could also reduce the travel costs incurred by recruiting managers, since advertising virtual job fairs is less expensive than sending managers out to different job fairs (Zelenskaya & Singh, 2011).  Yet, professionals in this study did not accept SL.  While a small number of them accepted its innovation for further collaboration and communication, (Rogers, 2003), most managers (Zelenskaya & Singh, 2011) and health care employees (Zaid et al., 2011) failed to grasp SL’s benefits.

When individuals fail to see the benefits of an innovation, its diffusion is either slow or unsuccessful (Rogers, 2003).  Only one hospitality corporation in Zelenskaya and Singh’s (2011) study claimed that the benefits of SL outweighed its challenges.  The studies indicated that SL, being a new technical application for collaboration, failed to be diffused because individuals in recruitment and health care social systems are still unfamiliar with it (Zelenskaya & Singh, 2011; Zaid et al., 2011).  SL, according to many recruiting managers, failed to measure up phone and Skype interviews (Zelenskaya & Singh, 2011; Zaid et al., 2011).  In addition, participants perceived SL as complicated and scary.

Although SL has been successful in gathering people in one virtual space, the primary reason that SL was not accepted in several industries is its need to resolve several technical difficulties.  Researchers can detect SL’s benefits but its application and implementation for global collaborations is a slow process.  Finally, although SL is widely accepted by the younger generations who are familiar with video games and avatars, corporate professionals need ample time to diffuse SL in their particular industries.


Bairral, M. A., & dos Santos, R. T. (2012). E-portfolio improving learning in mathematics pre-service teacher. Digital Education Review, (21), 1-12.

Ozgur, A., & Kaya, S. (2011). The management aspect of the e-portfolio as an assessment tool: Sample of Anadolu University. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology – TOJET, 10(3), 296-303.

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

Zelenskaya, K., & Singh, N. (2011). Exploring virtual recruiting from employers’ perspective using Second Life. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 10(2), 117-128. Doi: 10.1080/15332845.2011.536505