Hollie L. Miller

Scholarly Work for PhD. Consideration

Author: Hollie L. Miller


This week we were tasked to explain how the current competition between DVDs and video-on-demand is an example of increasing returns or Red Queens. In order to look at this more you have to know a little bit about Red Queens. It is indeed a reference to Alice in Wonderland and the Red Queen Race. The Red Queen says to Alice “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” (Wikipedia 2016) So, with Red Queen’s we are looking at technology to see if the intention of the technology is to move twice as fast to overstep the current market and land in a new environment for expansion.

Increasing returns is a little different. “Increasing returns refers to the notion that the greater the size of the network, the greater the advantage of each participant of the network (network effects).” (Definition 2016) So when we take a look at video-on-demand, DVD’s or streaming services we are looking traditionally at the aspect of increasing returns.

Why do I say this? Mostly because if you look at “Broad examples of increasing returns include an open source project (the more contributors, the better the product) and a proprietary communications device (the more users of the device, the more people with whom a user can communicate)” then you can see how this benifits streaming services. (Definition 2016) The more that services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu have expanded their user base the better it has been for all of the streaming video-on demand services.

It is only now that we are seeing these services try to Red Queen and outrun the current offerings with something new. For example, Hulu is trying to run doubly fast to become a live streaming service and move itself from just a streaming service and get into the market share that is currently being serviced by the slingtv device. (Kastrenakes 2016) Netflix is also questioning if they want to make videos available offline for their users. If you run too fast and expose your customers to something completely different that they weren’t ready for you can potentially alienate the customer base you gained due to increasing returns.

In looking at McLuhan’s tetrad and the four criteria, we can see streaming, video-on-demand and DVD’s go through expansions and changes. McLuhan’s tetrad asks the following:

What does the artifact enhance or intensity or make possible or accelerate?
What is pushed aside or obsolesced by the new “organ”?
What older, previously obsolesced ground is brought back and inheres in the new form?
What is the reversal potential of the new form?

  • Video on Demand intensified the possibility for streaming live media on the internet.
  • Because of this video on demand, it pushed dvd’s to the wayside because of the ease of obtaining a video on demand.
  • I’d say that pay per view is brought back in a new way thanks to video on demand. Not paying per viewing but paying for the ability to view and own.
  • Streaming and video on demand isn’t fully accepted yet, though it has a high usage. There is the possibility of cable network providers for reversing the trend and having it all be accessible through a network provider. There is enough of a divide still generationally of being ok with the decision of what to watch vs the cable company telling me when I can watch what I think I want to watch. Video on Demand, Streaming, and DVD’s involve direct choice in choosing what you want to view. For different generations, when forced to make that choice, not choosing also becomes an option. Meaning letting cable network programing guides choose what airs when or choosing to turn off the media.

As we continue on we have to think about how live streaming is going to affect these areas as well. Items like Facebook live, Periscope and Snapchat are potential services that are offered now that are going through the benefits of increased returns, it will be interesting to watch who (if any) Red Queen’s into the next step for this growing technology.

Definition: Increasing Returns – GROK Knowledge Base . (2016). Grok.lsu.edu. Retrieved 9 May 2016, from https://grok.lsu.edu/Article.aspx?articleid=7207

Kastrenakes, J. (2016). Hulu confirms plan to stream live TV next year. The Verge. Retrieved 9 May 2016, from http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/4/11590306/hulu-confirms-live-tv-2017-plans

Red Queen’s race. (2016). Wikipedia. Retrieved 9 May 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen%27s_race



“A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders and alliances.” (Wikipedia)

So what makes technology like sixth sense or google glass a disruptive technology or innovation? When google glass came on the scene in 2013 it was doing so to create a different type of experience from the ones that many smartphone users were currently having. Smartphones allowed you to have a touch sensitive device, a camera, and a visual display all at your fingertips. Google glass broke into the scene by letting people know they could have similar but different experience using their product and having all of the usability of a smartphone in a wearable piece of hands free technology.

When I first started at my institution one of our instructors was heavily using google glass. He was mostly doing so to record his lectures and to take images from the things he was seeing and experiencing. Socially it was great because it was an innovative idea and an innovative piece of software. However, it was a bit too much for our campus culture, so the faculty member is known as an outlier in the campus culture surrounding technology.

From my experience in looking at google glass and some of the benifits that this technology could have, well there are some pretty intersting things out there. One of the coolest things i have ever seen with google glass was a viola player play his instrument and record it on google glass. https://youtu.be/jwAAR4-nuqE and then with wine glasses https://youtu.be/KOfSqhHkfyc  Another area where google glass has come into play is medical doctors who used it in operating rooms. https://youtu.be/YZtNO2OnSqY

The prediction of how long these items will be around until another emergent technology or disruptive technology replaces it doesn’t need to be a prediction anymore. These items have been shelfed for other projects. While google glass claims that it will be re released in another variation, I am not sure how traditional to the original google glass that will be.

My prediction is that the new google glass that may come out will look very similar to the Oculus VR. Oculus already provides the same types of experiences of music, environmental factors, operating rooms, it is all being programmed for VR devices. Even Facebook at F8 gave all the developers there Oculus devices so they could experience VR and program for it. Facebook is planning on VR being the hip thing in about 10 years.  

It is going to be a constant, this aspect of disruptive technologies. However the skill that needs to be taught is for how a user can evaluate the technology to see if it’s sustainable and right for their use. The harder the disruption due to media sensation, the more certain the product will eventually falter in popularity if the structure and support for the technology isn’t built by the company.
Disruptive innovation. (2016). Wikipedia. Retrieved 22 April 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation


What happens when a technology can shape the way we think about developmental theory creating a rhyme of history in the theoretical world? I’m going off on a slight tangent in this blog post but I feel like it runs parallel to the assignment at hand. Thornburg asks us to look at rhymes of history and use the process of reflecting on how current technologies have emerged, and then analyze  developing technologies that could have similar or “parallel” impacts in the future (Laureate Education, 2014).

So let’s take a look at developmental theory for a moment. While there is no technology associated with it at first, as we have grown and become shaped by technology as a culture, this has impacted technology and finds us looking for specific experiences with the technology we use. For this example we will look at Kohlberg’s theory of moral development. (Wikipedia)

Stage’s of Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory

  • Level I: Preconventional
    • Stage One: Heteronomous Morality: Obeying rules so not to be punished (focus more on self than the other)
    • Stage Two: Individualistic, Instrumental Morality: Focusing on only following the rules that benefit themselves.
  • Level II: Conventional
    • Stage Three: Interpersonally Normative Morality: The person begins to start living up to the expectations of the important people around them. (i.e.: friends, parents, teachers)
    • Stage Four: Social System Morality: We begin to realize that everyone has morals and we live in the society’s morals established by the people in it.
  • Level III: Postconventional or Principled
    • Stage Five: Human Rights and Social Welfare Morality: Being able to depend on everyone around you to carry out the social justices and entering groups to maintain these ideas that you hold as well.
    • Stage Six: Morality of Universalizable, Reversible, and Prescriptive General Ethical Principles: Coming up with your own generalized morals that can apply to everyone and everything that you do.

This theoretical principle is used to look at the development of students within higher education. How has technology changed this and what is next for the steps of a student’s development because of technology?

Look at public shaming on social media. How incidents can become “stoning” incidents just by going with the crowd. Speaking up within an environment like that then makes a new target. Mob mentality then takes over the social media account and makes morality judgements.

As technology progresses, we will see the same items repeat. What happens when virtual reality is more prevalent than actual reality? Will the development of moral codes still occur in the manner Kohlberg suggests? I think it will but I think technology will shape it to look differently. I think it will take scholars looking at digital identity development to be able to help facilitate alternative environments that help progress identity in a safer manner.

I know it’s a bit off subject but it runs parallel to what we are being asked to think about and this runs parallel to the items that I want to research within this PhD. program.


Wearable technology. Is it all just smart watches? It’s actually not. There is a whole new world coming to wearable technology. Most of it has been in the professional fitness or military functions before hitting mainstream consumers.

picture of fitbit on wrist

This is my personal Fitbit Charge HR. I also use it as my medical alert bracelet.

First off, wearable smart watches, health monitors, etc. They all came from the ability to track ones heart rate. At first it was difficult and frustrating to wear a heart monitor. It was also difficult to track the mileage and where you ran for a running journal. So those items started to be coupled together. My ironman timex GPS watch sits dutifully on my desk in my office.

I’ve moved upwards to a fitbit charge HR. I wanted my heart rate to be tracked along with my sleep patterns and daily steps. Using a fitbit was something much less intimidating than a GPS watch, so it made it easier for the average consumer to be comfortable with. Now there are several kinds that you can choose to wear. Many that are not just focused on fitness but that also focus on connecting your phone, email, text messages, etc. It is something that comes with a bit of backlash. It begs the question why do we need to be so connected to technology.

Perhaps it’s because of items like those listed in the NY Times article  “They hope their young participants will be more comfortable telling a faceless app about personal health matters — a slump of depression, gross blood clots, irritated bowels — than telling a doctor. And it’s not just teenagers; most of us are willing to be much more honest with our phones than with professionals, or even with our spouses and partners. We look up weird symptoms and humiliating questions on Google with the same ease that we search for the name of a vaguely familiar character actor. For many of us, our smartphones have become extensions of our brains — we outsource essential cognitive functions, like memory, to them, which means they soak up much more information than we realize. When we hand over this information willingly, the effect is even greater.” (Wortham)

Now when we are looking at wearable technology, we are looking at more than just smart watches. Take the athos clothing line. It is a clothing line where each item has the ability to connect to the wearer by adding a tech dongle to the clothing itself. This clothing then becomes the technology and focuses in on what muscles are being fired off during exercise and it you have worked them to a sufficient limit.

What about the future of wearable technology. In looking at older wearables you can take something like a diabetes insulin pump that is worn outside of the body and attached through tubing and is monitoring the individual’s glucose levels and just pass it off as something that looks like a pager from 1992 (I make jokes with my friend about it all the time). However, then a new format of wearable technology comes to light such as the diabetes skin patch that is checking the level of glucose from a user’s sweat and seeing if they need an insulin injection. If they do then it is disbursed right there through the wearable skin patch. No skin prick, no test strip, no injection pen. It’s all there happening in one piece of wearable technology.



Lee, Hyunjae et al. “A Graphene-Based Electrochemical Device With Thermoresponsive Microneedles For Diabetes Monitoring And Therapy”. Nature Nanotech (2016): n. pag. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601064/controlling-diabetes-with-a-skin-patch/

WAXENBERG, JAKE. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. https://www.liveathos.com/products

Wortham, Jenna. “We’Re More Honest With Our Phones Than With Our Doctors”. Nytimes.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/magazine/were-more-honest-with-our-phones-than-with-our-doctors.html?_r=0


From pencil and paper, to chalk and board, to onscreen inking


The interactivity of inking on screen is a current technology that has become more popular in the past several years. Stemming from the use of screen inking on Kahn Academy, many faculty wish to produce videos with a similar look and feel to them. The want to create a video where they are  explaining a concept and able to write “on the board” while recording it all on video.

The main challenge that is associated with this technology is how steep of a learning curve the initial concept took to produce. Items such as the movies from Khan Academy and RSA Animate sparked a form of creativity that many faculty wanted to reproduce but were unable to comprehend the various tools it took to create those films. Khan Academy states that it currently uses Camtsaia Recorder, SmoothDraw3, and a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. Previously Sal Kahn used ScreenVideoRecorder and Microsoft Paint to capture his initial videos.

Most faculty find this style of video presentation appealing because it best mimics the traditional style of board and lecture instruction. It allows for the visual content and steps to be shown while accompanied by audible content reinforcing the concepts being viewed. It also benefits the student who is consuming the information. By hitting both audible and visual learning styles many students retain the information better than they would by just listening or just viewing.

However, the fascination of the technology and the style of video capture can tend to outshine the content. If you look around on the internet enough you will find many examples of those who are trying to use a similar approach to Sal Kahn where the content is rough or could be successful through another form of technology. We all can fall prey to what seems fancy and updated, it is the job of the Academic Technology department to assure that faculty know what goes into producing videos similar to Khan’s style and when it is appropriate to use and when it is not.

While Kahn states now on his website how he creates his presentations and what software he uses, it does not speak towards the learning curve that one will have while attempting to produce similar videos. One tool that has come to my attention that is very attractive for use on our campus is Office Mix. It is a free add in for Microsoft PowerPoint. The learning curve is less steep for faculty members because they are working off of a piece of technology that they are already familiar with. The aspect of annotating and live inking a screen becomes a rather simple task that with some practice can be done using one piece of software. While the software is becoming easier for faculty to use and reproduce ideas that were once more proprietary there is still the aspect making sure that the technology fits the needs of the lesson.

For more ideas and information check out these links:



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