Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Penguins & Netbooks - Budget Solutions For Education Birthed by Innovation!

Penguins & Netbooks - Budget Solutions For Education Birthed by Innovation!

One of my podcasting co-hosts, Mark Gura, and I have been intermittently discussing the $ 100+ laptop project for the last two years on our popular bi-weekly series. If you happen not to be familiar with the $ 100 laptop project; it has been spearheaded by Nicholas Negroponte formerly of MIT. The importance of it is the way it has leveraged opened the tidal wave of adoption of open source software and forced computer manufacturers to develop low cost netbooks. This education-related project has truly transformed the computer industry and tech user expectations!


Background


Negraponte's project is now called the One Laptop per Child project (OLPC) because the basic purpose is to provide low cost, durable laptop computers to the children of developing countries. The prototype of these laptops have gone through wide variations, and brought much criticism over the past few years and they are never meant to be the "does everything" computer.


These are basic models and yet quite revolutionary in several ways. For one, they are very small, have alternate power sources, such as hand powered, can be linked together to form an intranet (wireless broadband that can mesh network) and most of all do not suffer from what the founder dubs "Microsoft bloat." In the dedicated efforts to keep the cost so very low, the software that is used is open source, which requires a much smaller installation footprint and hardware operation requirements.


The Original Prototype 2007 Details in Brief: Linux-based operating system, a dual-mode display, a 500MHz processor, 128MB of DRAM and 500MB of Flash memory. No hard drive, four USB ports and the wireless broadband that creates a mesh network.


Enter: Wider Public Adoption of Open Source Software!


In several episodes of the Teachers Podcast we discuss the merging of another one of my favorite technology trends with the OLPC phenomenon- open source development and software. Open source development occurs when groups of people openly share source code in the development of the programming languages, operating systems, or another application. The purpose is that the community will be able to test and work collaboratively world-wide on the project with many minds and perspectives available that might not otherwise be able to meet and work together. It truly is a community and thereby the content and the product remains "open" that is free for use. Very often a Creative Commons code license is used is to describe use and attribution of the software.


Probably the most famous current example is the operating system Linux (identified with by its mascot of the penguin aka Tux). Related to Linux which has scores of programmers working on it around the world, there are also other Linux-like operating systems available also including Apache, Ubantu, Linspire and more. For the education sector open source software has been way behind in adoption as schools have stayed mainstreamed primarily on pcs and small number on macs in the younger grades. However, having visited a few educational technology conferences the past two years I have seen a different trend finally being paid interest and the OLPC project could push it even much further again! Let me explain.


At ed tech conferences we have experienced hands-on demonstrations of Linux or Ubantu network labs which are "dumb terminals" hooked up to a server and all gaining internet access and applications from the server. This first-hand experience provides a point of entry for many teachers, ed tech specialists and school administrators who might have never otherwise considered these options. In these cases, participants see that there is no great loss in function with this configuration whereas the cost for this equipment is a small fraction of a conventional school lab. This is because of two obvious major factors 1), the hardware are not stand alone computers, and 2) the operating system is open source. Hardware costs and upgrade costs are also greatly reduced, as well as the fact that software licensing and upgrades are eliminated.


Open source software is no longer just for the tech heads. These platforms are point and click similar to most other programs. And there are thousands of open source programs freely available for us to meet business, education, graphic, music composition, media design, application needs to name just a few As some K-12 superintendents are bringing in open source networks (they call them Open Technologies) into their schools we are seeing the march of the penguins, pencils and laptops strut their stuff for education! At a time of increased scrutiny of school budgets and greater accountability, I expect that 2009-2010 will be a time when open source software, dumb terminals, as well as virtual terminals (to be discussed in an upcoming e-zine article) will be charging ahead at a double- or triple-time pace.


Update May 2009


The massive wave of netbooks (Asus, Acer, HP, Dell, and more) which have flooded the computer market in the last 16 months has been a welcome relief for consumer and school budgets alike! We have Dr Negroponte to thank for transforming the computing industry nearly single handedly by pushing his OLPC project to the forefront of the corporate table of competition. The details unfolded close on the heals of the progress of Negroponte was the Asus group and the release of the ee pc with Linux on board (originally).


Not just for tech people these were released in the standard grey and black colors, but also shocking pink and green, and white-- we can see the market was broader than the standard computer industry had been addressing). Their product was enthusiastically received and so impacted the public marketplace that the major computer manufacturers had to respond - quickly. Now in June 2009 we have netbooks available from every major manufacturer available for under $ 500. The resulting smaller, much less expensive (roughly 77% reduction in price) and robust hardware selections we now see all around us in computer and office stores, is originally due to OLPC shake up of a sanguine, over priced system.


A related wave of adoption is also continuing in spring 2009, and that is Open source, from Open Office.org to Linux, has seen very good year so far. Not only are we seeing more ads for these products in mainstream publications, but lay people (non-techies) are asking, requesting, and using them. What does this mean for Microsoft? Will there actually be a backlash against steep upgrade prices? We have talked about frustration for years, but is the time here for it to have a significant impact? These are exciting times for the voice of the people!


The Connection


As more and more people catch the vision of netbook and realize they don't need high-end computers for all student classrooms and instead they could even provide computers to go home with children; it will be open source software penguins leading that march as well. It's been a long day coming for our educational system to see that this is a much more economically way to serve the teachers and students and thereby be able to serve ALL of them.


An important aside- very much worth the read and exploration- Negroponte is so open source he is now publishing a wiki where he is openly displaying the technical production notes, tech requirements, software, participating countries, photos of the prototypes and much more (see: www.laptop.org). Bringing such tools into the hands of multitudes of schools and students around the world, near and far, can really change who the voices will be, and who will be in the global conversations in just a few months and in our global political future.


Providing such a tool and entry to the outside world for not just students, but also for their families, for that is part of the purpose, can build a growing wave of social change through many forms of literacy and understanding. When the walls of Equity and Access are broken down in even in these small ways, the opportunities are many for people to rise in to new possibilities. Penguins, open source, education and $ 100 laptop have much empowering potential for the children of the world, adults and nations.



Written by Dr. Kathleen P. King (EdD)
Transformation Education, CEO
Professional speaker, Award-winning author, Professor of Education
Transformation Education LLC: Helping Faculty Grow and Teach in the Virtual Age Contact me and the TELLC team at: http://www.TransformationEd.com

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Google Innovation

Google Innovation

Best Innovation in Google Innovation,On Tuesday morning, January 21, the world awoke to nine new words on the home page of Google Inc., purveyor of the most popular search engine on the Web: "New! Take your search further. Take a Google Tour." The pitch, linked to a demo of the site's often overlooked tools and services, stayed up for 14 days and then disappeared.


To most reasonable people, the fleeting house ad seemed inconsequential. But imagine that you're unreasonable. For a moment, try to think like a Google Innovation engineer — which pretty much requires being both insanely passionate about delivering the best search results and obsessive about how you do that.


If you're a Google engineer, you know that those nine words comprised about 120 bytes of data, enough to slow download time for users with modems by 20 to 50 milliseconds. You can estimate the stress that 120 bytes, times millions of searches per minute, put on Google's 10,000 servers. On the other hand, you can also measure precisely how many visitors took the tour, how many of those downloaded the Google Toolbar, and how many clicked through for the first time to Google News.


This is what it's like inside Google. It is a joint founded by geeks and run by geeks. It is a collection of 650 really smart people who are almost frighteningly single-minded. "These are people who think they are creating something that's the best in the world," says Peter Norvig, a Google engineering director. "And that product is changing people's lives."


Geeks are different from the rest of us, so it's no surprise that they've created a different sort of company. Google is, in fact, their dream house. It also happens to be among the best-run companies in the technology sector. At a moment when much of business has resigned itself to the pursuit of sameness and safety, Google proposes an almost joyous antidote to mediocrity, a model for smart innovation in challenging times.


Google's tale is a familiar one: Two Stanford doctoral students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, developed a set of algorithms that in 1998 sparked a holy-shit leap in Web-search performance. Basically, they turned search into a popularity contest. In addition to gauging a phrase's appearance on a Web page, as other engines did, it assessed relevance by counting the number and importance of other pages that linked to that page.


Since then, newer search products such as Teoma and Fast have essentially matched Google's advance. But Google remains the undisputed search heavyweight. Google says it processes more than 150 million searches a day — and the true number is probably much higher than that. Google's revenue model is notoriously tough to deconstruct: Analysts guess that its revenue last year was anywhere from $ 60 million to $ 300 million. But they also guess that Google made quite a bit of money.


As a result, there is constant, hopeful speculation among financiers around an initial public offering, a deal that could be this decade's equivalent of the 1995 Netscape IPO. A few years back, such a deal might have valued Google at $ 3 billion or more. Even today, a Google offering might fetch $ 1 billion.


For now, though, most of the cars in the lot outside Google's modest offices in a Mountain View, California office park are beat-up Volvos and Subarus, not Porsches. And while Googlers may relish their shot at impossible wealth, they appear driven more by the quest for impossible perfection. They want to build something that searches every bit of information on the Web. More important, they want to deliver exactly what the user is looking for, every time. They know that this won't ever happen, and yet they keep at it. They also pursue a seemingly gratuitous quest for speed: Four years ago, the average search took approximately 3 seconds. Now it's down to about 0.2 seconds. And since 0.2 is more than zero, it's not quite fast enough.


Google Innovationunderstands that its two most important assets are the attention and trust of its users. If it takes too long to deliver results or an additional word of text on the home page is too distracting, Google risks losing people's attention. If the search results are lousy, or if they are compromised by advertising, it risks losing people's trust. Attention and trust are sacrosanct.


Google Innovation also understands the capacity of the Web to leverage expertise. Its product-engineering effort is more like an ongoing, all-hands discussion. The site features about 10 technologies in development, many of which may never be products per se. They are there because Google wants to see how people react. It wants feedback and ideas. Having people in on the game who know a lot of stuff tells you earlier whether good ideas are good ideas that will actually work.



Innovation Road Maps

Innovation Road Maps
For the manager of complicated product development, business designing and different innovation activities, it is crucial to organize info efficiently not only as a communication tool for the project team, however to produce a path for the activity. By systematizing the knowledge visually, the method can be simplified and also the goals and allocation of resources can be efficiently defined. Of course, finding and creating visualizations that try this well can be a tremendous effort in itself, however the rewards of properly created innovation visualization tools will be well price it.

One among the main visualization tools that can be mentioned in this article are road maps.

Road mapping is that the apply of visualizing strategic coming up with data to speak market, technology and product needs. Through the road mapping method, businesses and organizations achieve increased visibility across the enterprise, providing decision makers and management with info necessary to form more accurate and informed selections about the development stream.

Road maps are helpful for capturing long-range innovation and development plans. The technique and tools of "road mapping" are one approach of adapting to alter as a result of the road map allows you to visualise the various dimensions involved in strategy-driven innovation, including:
?The "Huge Image" views of coming up with strategy
?Project time line
?Collaborating fields and dependencies
?Resources needed to support the strategy
?The changing patterns of relationships

Road maps help define the who, what and why knowledge of the innovation effort. A living document, the road map provides ongoing situational description of the innovation activity. It additionally acts as a database map for tons of other content regarding the event effort permitting users to drill down from the large-picture road map to detailed project plans, selling and engineering documents or money analysis documentation.

Depending on the project or development activity, multiple road maps may be used. Some of the main sorts of are: market, strategy, technology, platform, product and visionary road maps. Market road maps are used to project how the market can develop over the life cycle of the product. Strategy road maps are usually tied to the market road map, however might conjointly contain tactical assumptions. Platform road maps are utilized by organizations that want to develop product choices around their core technology or process. Coming up with how the underlying core platform evolves is therefore extraordinarily important. Product road maps are used to chart out how the merchandise will develop. Visionary road maps, though mentioned last during this sequence are often undertaken prior to the others, as they define the essential aims or themes of the business or organization.

Road map creation is now obtainable in innovation management software such as Settle for 360, 280Group and Sopheon's Vision Strategist. Combined with effective database tools, this software combines the visual benefits of roadmaps with integrated drill-down ability. Software like this enables the user to visualize and predict how external market and technology trends can impact product strategy over time, allowing better decisions on product direction or the introduction of latest technologies. Centralization of product development planning information, simplifies the access of the data and utilization of it for road maps.

Innovation may be a method which will and ought to be measured. Research and analysis indicates that firms applying road maps to the innovation process, additionally to the innovation successes and failures, are in a position to raised manage innovation. Using road maps therefore not only allows the project team to track and advance their activity, but will be used as an analysis tool when examining projects underway or past projects. This feedback can then be applied and cycled into subsequent development projects.

The road map should be kept up-to-date and shared with the cross-practical team and partners outside the business or organization to be effective. Managing these tasks can gift nevertheless another operational challenge, however road maps are one of the key ways providing organization to the advanced activity of strategy-driven innovation and product development.

On the full, road mapping is an efficient method for communicating long range coming up with and development strategies. Properly sharing road maps will help your organization build consensus concerning your desires, identify the technology and processes that can help meet those needs and configure the position needed to succeed at meeting those needs.


Kitty Cooper been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in innovation ,you can also check out her latest website about:
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