Weeks Fourteen and Fifteen in CSC 442 Section B at UIS – Transcript

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Today’s podcast is about Weeks 14 and 15 in CSC 442 Section B at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  For more information, visit the blog at csc442b.blogspot.com.

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Well, welcome back!  This is Burks Oakley, and today is Sunday, May 4th, 2014.  I'm speaking to you from my home office in Champaign, Illinois.  It is hard to believe that the semester is almost over!  And it is amazing that it is still so cold in east-central Illinois - certainly much cooler than normal. I had a good week this past week, and I was able to photograph 4 new bird species that I had never seen before. Spring migration is certainly underway!  And I booked a ticket on American Airlines to go out and visit our younger daughter in Seattle next month, and we have planned a number of outdoor activities, including going out on a boat in Puget Sound to photograph Orcas.

OK now, on with the podcast.  This actually will be the last podcast of the semester for our class.  I've really enjoyed producing these podcasts - but I'm not sure that this has been time well-spent for me.  So few students have listened to these podcasts - it makes me question whether I should continue them for the Fall 2014 semester.  If you actually listen to this podcast, please drop me an e-mail note and let me know.

At any rate, this past week, in Week Fourteen of our course, we discussed several publications from the Pew Internet and American Life Project – and those reports dealt with the topics of Internet video, with an emphasis on video-sharing sites such as YouTube and UStream, as well as video communication using software such as Skype.

Regarding Internet video - I was amazed to see how many of you rely upon the Internet to watch video - ranging from YouTube to Hulu to UStream; how many of you watch TV shows on the Internet, and how you just turn to the Internet to watch funny videos for entertainment.  This really is so very different than just three or four years ago.  Of course, there is so much on YouTube that is educational - and I was surprised that so many students think that YouTube is only for watching humorous or entertaining videos.  

We had a good discussion about the professor who went on a rant when a student yawned in his lecture - and what happened when the video of his rant went viral on YouTube.

I especially liked reading the article in the Huffington Post, comparing and contrasting YouTube and television.   

This week, we also learned how many of you are dropping cable TV and watching TV programs on the web and watching movies streamed into the home using Netflix.

Finally, we had the opportunity this past week to view lots of good YouTube videos - as well as videos connected to Twitter postings.

Well, we now have come to Week Fifteen, which is our last week of the semester.  We'll be reading several papers that deal with the future of the Internet.  One report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project is entitled "The Future of Cloud Computing".  Technology experts and stakeholders say they expect they will ‘live mostly in the cloud’ in 2020 and not on the desktop, working mostly through cyberspace-based applications accessed through networked devices. This will substantially advance mobile connectivity through smartphones and other Internet appliances, such as the iPad or its successor. Many say there will be a cloud-desktop hybrid. I certainly see that more and more of the applications that I'm using are available in the cloud - and I see this growing in the future as more of my time will be spent on tablet computers, such as the iPad.

The second Pew report we will be reading is entitled "The Future of the Internet IV".  This report, the fourth in their series, reveals fascinating new perspectives on the way the Internet is affecting human intelligence and the ways that information is being shared and rendered.

The web-based survey gathered opinions from prominent scientists, business leaders, consultants, writers, and technology developers. It addressed questions such as:

Finally, the third Pew report we'll be reading is entitled "The Future of Smart Systems".   By 2020, experts think tech-enhanced homes, appliances, and utilities will spread, but many of the analysts believe we still won’t likely be living in the long-envisioned ‘Homes of the Future’.  Hundreds of tech analysts foresee a future with “smart” devices that are connected to the Internet - devices that make people’s lives more efficient.  But they also note that current evidence about the uptake of smart systems is that the costs and necessary infrastructure changes to make it all work are daunting. And they add that people find comfort in the familiar, simple, “dumb” systems to which they are accustomed.

I'm looking forward to some interesting discussions in this final week of our class.

And since this is the last week of classes at UIS, it's time for course and instructor evaluations.  UIS has a secure evaluation form on the web for students to use in evaluating their courses and their instructors.  This form has ten questions, and the same questions are used with both on-campus and online classes.  A link to this form is on the announcements page in Blackboard.  And please submit this evaluation form at your earliest convenience.

Remember that your second paper is due by noon central time on Friday, May 9th -- this coming Friday.  I've already opened a new discussion forum for the submission of these papers.  Please make sure to read through all of the postings that I made about how to submit your paper, as well as the grading rubric and the final checklist.  Of course, please feel free to contact me if you have any last-minute questions about this assignment.

I have enjoyed getting to know all of you (virtually, that is) through our online discussions.  This has been an enjoyable class for me.  And I think that we really formed a learning community, and it was great to see how everyone participated in the teaching and learning process.

Finally, you should know that I offer a lifetime service contract with this class.  Anytime in my "online" lifetime, I will be most happy to answer questions or provide advice regarding our topic of the Internet and American Life!

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Well, that wraps up this final podcast, so this is Burks, signing off.

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