Professional Development


For my first year in the PhD program, I set out to become involved in many activities and projects to get a feel for what was going on in our department and the university.


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iSkills Project

May 2012-December 2012

The first project I became involved in at UGA was the iSkills project. iSkills consists of a website that provides videos of critical life skills to people with disabilities. I assisted in maintain the server and brainstormed ideas for the user interface analysis study. Working on this project was my first opportunity to participate in a funded project. 

 

Creativity Research Group

August 2012-December 2012

This past Fall semester I began attending meetings with the Creativity Research Group at the Torrance Center for Creativity. During these meetings, students presented their research ideas and received feedback from the group. Presenting my ideas in this setting allowed me to shape my research direction at an early point in my studies and get feedback from other students and faculty who studied creativity and innovation. Every other week there were “playdates” involving some activity to enhance our creativity  (Example dates included making sushi, learning magic, and improv). The topic of my playdate was creative computing.  It involved learning how to use Scratch, a drag and drop programming language, and Makey Makey, an invention kit that allows user to use anything that is conductive as an interface for the computer (i.e. fruit, plants, water, Playdoh etc.), to create engaging games and interactions. The group really enjoyed using the tools and it was my first experience with giving workshop to adults.

 

Techno Geeks Enrichment Cluster of Barrow Elementary

December 5th, 2012 

After the success of my playdate, I took the creative computing workshop to Barrow Elementary. The Techno Geeks Enrichment Cluster consists of guests coming to school to share or demonstrate some form of technology to engage the children. For this workshop I only used Makey Makey device. The children were able to play games on their laptops in a creative unexpected way. The children were very engaged using the kit and I enjoyed showing the children a new way to interactive with a computer. My research interest at the time involved engaging children in design activities and I felt this way to a great first step to beginning this research.

 

ARST4800/6800 “The Million Dollar Class”

January 2013-May 2013 

In the Spring of this year, I became involved in an interdisciplinary course taught in the Art X department. The only goal of the course is to create a product, service, or scam that generates a million dollars of revenue. The students and instructor formed a design team to collaboratively develop an idea. The only rule of the course is every member must agree on the same idea (or agree to work on separate ideas). Becoming involved in this course peaked my interest in the development of interdisciplinary courses focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation and the management of design teams in these courses. I also got an IRB approved so I can use the data in any future publications about the research. More about this research can be found the Samples of Work and Research Ideas section. This is the first time the course has been taught and there are plans to offer it every semester. I will be involved in the modification of the structure of the course over the summer. I have an interest in design thinking and think it will be a great help to the success of this course. I hope to develop a design-based strategy to finding tools and activities that increase the effectiveness of the course.

 


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GameDesk GameJam

March 2, 2013

In March of this year, I travelled to Stanford University to participate in a “GameJam” produced by GameDesk, am educational gaming research and development organization”.  I was placed in an interdisciplinary design team that was tasked with creating a game that will help students in K-12 learn a concept. Our team consisted of designers, educators, entrepreneurs, programmers, and students. It was an entire day of being exposed to evidence-centered design, ideation, prototyping, business model development, and presentation of our product. Design experts from GameDesk and IDEO, a world famous design company, mentored us. My team created a game called Pizza Posse, which used a giant pizza to teach third graders about fractions. This experience was invaluable and allowed me to see the entire design process in action with the added entrepreneurial element. I also gained experience working in an interdisciplinary team.


Cool video of the day

Article on my team from GameJam

 

Interdisciplinary Certificate in Creativity and Innovation

As I continue my studies, I plan to pursue the new certificate which aims to “bridge knowledge across diverse disciplines in creativity and innovation and to stimulate the ability of students and faculty to synthesize and apply this knowledge in their diverse fields”. The certificate only requires 9 hours of core courses and 6 hours of electives. The courses needed can easily fit into my schedule as shown by my Plan of Study. 

 

 

SAP



Student Ambassador Training Program

Starting March 2013

This program trains students in how to bring innovation and entrepreneurship to their campus. There are currently students serving as ambassadors at many universities across the nation. The initiative is a partnership between Stanford and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and is funded by NSF. The program is currently for a year, but will be extended for a longer duration. Students in the program go on to hold multiple campus-wide events, experiential learning opportunities, and projects that benefit their campus technology entrepreneurship programs. Since my research is related to implementing entrepreneurial concepts into design-based learning activities taught in an interdisciplinary course, I feel this is a great opportunity for the university and me. The program includes weekly virtual training sessions with faculty from Stanford, NCIIA, and ambassadors at other universities. There is also an OPEN conference in DC, which brings together the nation’s leaders in technology entrepreneurship in higher education.


Information about program


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Engineering Education Cluster

Starting June 2013

This semester I have begun to meet with the Engineering Education CLUSTER (Collaborative Lounge for Understanding Society and Technology) research group led by Dr. Nadia Kellam and Dr. Joachim Walther. Over the summer I will begin a graduate assistantship on a NSF funded project "Making Connections: A Theory of Synergistic Learning in Engineering". My work will involve analyzing data from a Interdisciplinary Design Studio course given last semester with engineering and art students. Interviews and focus groups were conducted to investigate how students connect classroom concepts with prior life experiences.


Gates Foundation grant

I am currently in the process of assisting in a grant submission to the Gates Foundation 4th-8th grade literacy grant. We are currently brainstorming features of a website that allows students to take a position on an issue and create a persuasive argument to support their viewpoint. Other students would have the opportunity to vote in favor or opposed to the argument and leave comments. Over the summer I will possibly assist in building a prototype of this system through a concept level grant. After the system is developed we will pursue the bigger pilot level grant during the next funding cycle. 


EDIT9990 course

Starting August 2013

Next semester, I will assist Dr. Rieber in teaching his EDIT9990 course based on the use of technology in research. I hope to gain experience in the development teaching of a course with this opportunity. 


Extra-Curricular Activities

This year I became active in GREPIT (Graduate Researchers in Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology students association) and Kappa Delta Pi, an education honor society. These organizations are great ways to network with students in the College of Education.

 

Conferences

Attending conferences are a great way to network and share ideas with other people in the field. This year I will attend the AERA, OPEN, and ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) conferences. I will also assist with the development of the Interdisciplinary Research Conference and the Design-based Research Conference.

© Gregory Wilson 2012