Ottawa County Innovation and Technology Forum 2016


Big Data Panel Discussion

Kevin Desouza, Rod Davenport, and Paul Stephenson, professor and chair of the GVSU department of statistics talk about the value and challenges of big data.



What is Big Data?


Big Data at GVSU

  • Real-world applications (link from the real world back to the classroom)
  • Big Data (real world context and data sets are available)
  • Complex Content
  • Internships and Jobs (students are interested)
  • Knowledgeable Community (educational institutions have a drive)
  • Students at universities have: tech skills, eager and creative minds, discretionary time.

Data Scientist Skills

  • Visualization, Communication, Storytelling
  • Basic statistics and computer programming.
  • Domain knowledge and teamwork
  • Sampling and data storage/retrieval
  • Statistical modeling and machine learning
  • Curious, evaluative (critical thinking), innovative, strategic

Challenges of Big Data

  • Data quality
  • Accessibility of data
  • Re-purposed data
  • Privacy and security
  • Complicated systems
  • Analysts that don’t understand the question or understand the solution
  • Inferential thinking (focus on error bars and intervals)
  • Differentiating “signals from noise”
  • Balancing time constraints

Realizing the Promise of Data and Technologies for Local Governments

Kevin Desouza, associate dean for research at the College of Public Service & Community Solutions and ASU Foundation professor in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, presented at the Ottawa County Innovation and Technology Forum.


  • Complex platforms and governance now requires use of tech, data, mobile.
  • Data and technologies provide situational awareness, transparency, engagement, policy, innovation, and governance.
  • Open data includes many platforms, including crowdsourcing so that the data management and tool development occurs using the data.
  • Issues with open data include: limited tech talent, public/private partnerships, success metrics are not defined, and there is a transparency vs privacy concern.
  • Example: Arizona Budget Analysis Tool (AZBat) – Took for months to build and it was built with 8 undergrads for a reasonable cost vs hiring an outside firm.
  • Big data issues include: local governments lack IT infrastructure and talent to conduct large-scale predictive analytics projects. It also includes data that is “volunteered”. How can we link all of our separate databases? With the access to the data, what does that mean, ethically.  Should we/can we “discriminate” aka predicative policing, knowing that we have the data…
  • Mobile data includes Fitbit like devices that contribute data around health and activities, this data is given up by end users. Real-time data from phones, wearable tech, social networks, etc. is growing rapidly. Issues include byod, regulating apps, encryption, interoperability, video data processing and curation (police cameras).
  • Emerging tech such as autonomous vehicles will cost local governments big bucks. There are big data concerns and challenges.
  • We all make decisions based on data, once we made a decision we often stop processing data. People often have emotions, hopes, and instincts but without data you can’t align resources.

Top 10 Governing Data and Tech for Societal Value

  1. Start with a Goal in Mind – Evidence-based Decision Making. Knowing what the objective and outcome is needed.
  2. Explore Design Options – Designing for the customer vs designing with the customer. Needs are best met with working directly with the customer.
  3. Rapid Prototype Development – Open and frugal innovation.
  4. Manage Scope Creep – Bound the problem and hold.
  5. Build Partnerships – Leverage and connect to resources.
  6. Harness Collective Intelligence – Design civic labs and crowdsourcing platforms. Open and welcoming for people to experiment.
  7. Experiment Constantly – Test interventions, simulate intended and unintended consequences. Bring in end users to do actually test and use, simulate, experiment, try, provide recommendations.
  8. Release in Beta – Iterative and the project is really never done.
  9. Promote “Intrapreneurship” – Develop competencies from WITHIN and promote innovation inside of the organization to promote innovation.
  10. Outputs and Outcomes – Track both for evaluation and communicate the ROIs.


GVSU’s Lightboard Featured in Ensemble Video Blog

Enter the “GVSU Lightboard“. In an ongoing effort to bring innovative applications to teaching and learning at GVSU, Just Melick, Digital Media Developer in eLearning and Emerging Technologies worked to bring to life a new solution that provides a brand new way to create video lectures at the university.

Justin was recently featured as a guest blogger on the Ensemble Video notes blog!


Teaching Naked – How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning

teachingnakedNotes from  the book: “Teaching Naked – How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning”

  • The future of higher education is deeply intertwined with new technologies.
  • If we want campus education to survive, then we need to focus on the experience of direct physical interaction in HE and make it worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver.
  • The value of bricks-and-morter will remain in its face-to-face (i.e. naked) interaction between faculty and students.
  • Student engagement and faculty student interaction matter most in student learning – Alexander Astin
  • This book proposes that tech should be used outside of class in order to increase the naked interaction with students inside the classroom.

Book – Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1 – Explosion of e-learning and how it’s changing higher ed.
  • Chapter 2 – Today’s college students consider physical proximity unnecessary.
  • Chapter 3 – Games have become the model learning environment because of customization.
  • Chapter 4 – Current research on the brain, learning, and course design. (The best courses create a sequence of learning experiences involving both technology and classroom interaction.)
  • Chapter 5 – Practical ways to use multiple formats and the vast knowledge available on the Internet for a first contact with course material.
  • Chapter 6 – Using e-communications and social networks to engage students with assignments and constant learning.
  • Chapter 7 – Rethinking assessment for freeing up class time and motivating participation for transformative learning in class.
  • Chapter 8 – Making our naked classrooms into interactive exploration spaces.
  • Chapter 9 – Lessons of intellectual property and the delivery of content.
  • Chapter 10 – Faculty, curriculum, and how we can motivate more innovation and learning.
  • Chapter 11 – The campus infrastructure and the implications of space, scheduling, and improving face-to-face education to make it worth the extra cost.

To survive in the digital world, universities will need to convince students and parents of three things:

1) Learning takes place when students and faculty interact in classrooms
2) This learning is different from the learning that happens when you learn on your phone
3) This learning is worth the massive expense of a face-to-face education.

Technology makes it possible to improve learning in classrooms, but it is most effective when it is designed into out-of-class experiences and removed from classrooms.

The new classroom is a flat screen.
The challenge for universities is to take advantage of the new possibilities that e-learning provides to improve and prove learning across the curriculum.
With 79% of students commuting, creating a campus community is more difficult.
Social networking is a tool to create communities, connect with students, integrate ideas, apply knowledge, influence student culture, and improve student learning.
Teaching is about making connections, and the first thing we need to do is to connect with our students.
If you don’t use technology as a faculty member, you lose credibility with students – as you are unfamiliar with modern life.
1 – Use e-communication and all of it’s flavors, from txt to tweets to async to sync.  From short bursts to sustained live connections.  Building a classroom community for engaging outside of the classroom for more frequent re-engaging with course materials and concepts.  Discussion boards, IM, live, Bb social spaces,

2 – Podcast your lectures because you can take the time to explain (you may not have time in class to go over examples) and provide focus using audio over a diagram to help students hone in, students can rewind/relisten or speed forward, links to additional resources increase richness, flexibility in how students absorb material and take notes or when they review or how many times they review or even where they listen, move content delivery out of class time can give more time to maximize the naked classtime for interaction, integration, and deep processing, and finally student interactions and commenting on video lectures can enhance community and collaboration.

3 – A learning module includes a sequence of activities, from opening the objective to presentation of content to practice to review and assessment.  A Bb quiz before class, rubrics for assessment and assignment learning, games, peer review activities, open book,

4 – Lectures are good for showing students the right entry point into the content (the what and why we want them to learn).  For motivation to witness passion, new ideas, and inspiration.  For making connections and creating better questions while allowing significant time for reflection even if silence is awkward.  Lectures should only be given when there is a pedagogical need.  Is lecture that best technique for the content for the class?  Faculty should ask themselves if their lecture can demonstrate that it will promote the learning outcomes.  Lectures work best when students do not take notes because connection comes from attention.  The notes should really only be about a list of things to do.  Students learn by doing.

Restructuring your class with active learning exercises requires different preparation that a lecture using  Powerpoint.  The key to a good class is to make sure you really need people together in that place before you assemble with them – and have clear goals for your time together. (And if the goal can be better met with technology in/out of class.)  Good discussions help students make connections with each other and the content.  The ability to use technology is an essential skill of the 21st century.

The best education of the future will be hybrid in that there will be a balance of face-to-face interaction and online resources so that the precious F2F time is maximized.  Think about musicians who have a mix of recordings and live concerts.

On student engagement – to improve learning we must force students into more substantive interaction with material outside of class.  (And we can take advantage of technology to help create more meaningful interactions – take online quizzes, organize notes, do assignments, play games, work together, create communities, etc..)

Use technology to motivate and challenge students outside of the classroom to provide new opportunities to increase learning.
We need to provide more content outside of class, but also more and better ways to engage with that content.  Asking students to read is not enough, we need them to engage and interact with the content. To process it.  To like, comment, subscribe, tag, discuss, vote, take note, bookmark, prioritize, quiz, make connections, RT, MT, etc.

The Showcase is Becoming an #EdTech Showcase @GVSU


In a short amount of time, the Technology Showcase, located in room 012 of the Atrium in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons has grown to become an exciting and compelling place for students and faculty to come together to share ideas and to have a dialogue around how educational technologies can advance teaching and learning at GVSU.

This mission of the showcase is:

To provide faculty, staff, and students with an immersive and engaging environment to:  interact, discover, learn, and share how innovative emerging technologies can enhance teaching and improve student learning at GVSU.

Most recently,  the showcase was featured in the Spring Issue of Grand Valley Magazine.  In addition, a GVSU YouTube channel video about the showcase was created to capture the vision of the showcase moving forward.

It’s exciting to work with faculty and students to help shape the future of education!

“The future of education will be shaped by our own creativity and imagination
as we look to leverage technology in teaching and learning…” – Eric Kunnen

Join #GoogleGlass at GVSU – Invitation ends December 21!

Google Glass

Get Google Glass at GVSU!

Calling all faculty, staff, and students at GVSU!  Would you like to have your own pair of Google Glass?

Grand Valley State University has been part of the Google Glass Explorer program through the Information Technology department’s Technology Showcase which is located in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.  As an early Google Glass Explorer,  we have been offered the opportunity to invite 3 people to join the program!

This invitation is open to faculty, staff, and students at GVSU.   If you are interested in purchasing Google Glass and joining the program, compose a tweet with the hashtag #GVSUGlass about how you would use Google Glass at GVSU and follow @GVSUTechShow on Twitter.  Winners will be selected based on these tweets on Sunday, December 22.  (Note that this is a contest for a Google Glass invitation only, winners will need to purchase Google Glass.)

Here is how to submit a nomination:

  1. Compose a tweet describing how you would use Google Glass at GVSU and add the hashtag #GVSUGlass
  2. Follow @GVTechShowcase

This invitation and nomination opportunity ends at 11:29PM on Saturday, Dec. 21st – so act now!  If selected, the winners will be contacted on Sunday, December 22nd via Twitter direct message from @GVSUTechShow.  Once contacted on Sunday, winners will need to respond within 24 hours with their name and GVSU email address to be eligible to be entered to receive an explorer invitation with the ability to purchase Google Glass.

Note:  All Glass Explorers must

  • be a US resident
  • be 18 years or older
  • purchase Glass ($1,500)
  • provide a U.S. based shipping address OR pick up the device in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles

3D Printing at GVSU

3D printing offers all sorts of potential and possibilities!  GVSU’s Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons has two 3D printers that are available to students and faculty.

Every Tuesday and Thursday the Technology Showcase (Room 012 Atrium Level) in the new library hosts a demonstration from noon to 1:00.  Have a question?  Want to see a 3D printer in action?  Stop by!

  • Modeling – Create 3D objects of virtual blueprints
  • Prototyping – Create prototypes for experimental objects
  • Visualizations – Complex abstract objects in 3D

Learn more about 3D printing at GVSU on the library Makerspace page.  The Makerspace is a lab for you to create, tinker, and explore.  There are two 3-D printers and specialized modeling software for use by current GVSU students, faculty, and staff.

Also, are you interested in making?  Do you tinker?  Would you like to create?  Check out the GR Makers space located in Grand Rapids.

Meet and Greet with YETi CGI

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On October 29, 2013, a “Meet and Greet” event was held for students, faculty, and staff interested in Gaming, Mobile App Development, or Programming.   Over 25 students, faculty, and staff participated.

Who is YETi CGI?

YETi CGI is a Grand Rapids game design and production studio who developed the “Library Quest” game at GVSU.  In short, the Library Quest game is a mobile app that provides “quests” for students to explore the new Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.  By completing quests, students are able to learn about the library resources, services, and spaces while earning points for prizes!

Leap Motion Controller @ GVSU

Leap Motion Controller

Leap Motion Controller

Imagine controller your computer without your mouse or keyboard?  GVSU has a Leap Motion Controller as part of the Technology Showcase, located on the Atrium level in the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.  Stop by the Technology Showcase to check it out!

What is the Leap Motion Controller?

  • Gesture Computing – Provides computer control with natural movement
  • Touchless Control – Use fingers, hands, and gestures for interaction
  • Visualizations – Provides 3D space control for visualizations and experiences

What is the potential of this tool in education?

Intelligent Camera Software Demonstrated at GVSU


IMRSV CARA provides intelligent face recognition for cameras… Here you can see the software recognizing and displaying demographic data.

The  Technology Showcase at GVSU’s new library highlights innovative technologies.  Recently demonstrated was a software product from IMRSV Inc. that turns any camera into an intelligent sensor.

Here are a few highlights:

  • IMRSV Inc. was founded in Grand Rapids, MI in 2009
  • Real time audience data such as gender, age, and attention time is captured
  • Events can be triggered based on audience to connect online and offline worlds