The University of Mind for CyberArts…
Introducing CyberArts to Universal Education…
Think of the Potential to Learning!
By Ron O. Cook
In the early 1990s, somewhere in Pasadena California, there were international conferences held on a budding concept called CYBERART. It was the place where America’s leading communication scientists, entertainment professionals and media-artists gathered for exploring and exchanging ideas, techniques, and knowledge about cutting-edge technologies, and creativity. These meetings and others like them spelled the future of an idea called Edutainment or the combination of creative learning and entertainment through CyberArts.
|Today, the power of cyber art creations represent the frontier of tomorrow’s departure into learning that will eventually spell the end of the classic classroom idea. This new mind-set, presently dawning on the minds of our children, urgently suggests to us that now is the time to feed their burgeoning genius before they lose their curiosity forever. As a psychoanalytical-entity (better known as a teacher) that interfaces with the minds of some of the most creative kids in the state, I know they are hungry for the experience of dreaming-up a new tomorrow. As their mentor, I have fought hard to bring their world into focus, so that they may use the newest building blocks, the technology of “their” world, to lab-test the issues that just sit unrecognizable to some of my colleagues who sit on the threshold of the ultimate educational resources.
For any educator to have made the trek to the Pasadena Conference Center in those days to truly see the future in the making, it would have been an act of unbelievable courage and farsightedness. To hear Stewart Brand speak the words that will send us beyond MEDIA LAB (the trend setting book for media watchers) would have been too much for school board members to grasp. It would be like experiencing THE WHOLE EARTH CATALOG via virtual reality, only this time knowledge and wisdom would have quadrupled into an unknown language. A language our future must understand if we are to survive in a turbocharged world.
The simple truth is, we can’t wait much longer in installing cyber-art learning into a communications curriculum. Though creativity is feared by our school leaders because any unknown is always met with trembling and suspicion, action is the demand of our kids. If CyberArt were introduced into our school systems through an act of increased automation and subsequent curriculum expansion to accommodate such technology — what would the result be?
Schools and their organizations would change radically. Students would find outlets for their creativity — their wanderlust would once more blaze in intellectual passion toward seeking the unknown. Learning would be locked in a quest for knowledge and wisdom — and the kids could be doing it on their own with teachers facilitating. That is why your kids are behind the curve of international knowing — schools cannot compete with the power of today’s business and entertainment communications know-how. (Just think what Spielberg’s DreamWorks Interactive will do for your grandchildren). The school districts do not have adequate programs or plans, such as a communications curriculum; to interface with the technology purchases that are taking place haphazardly at most schools. They can run with technology but they can’t hide from the fact that there is no clear VISION.
Define CYBERARTS: A system involving the data driven capabilities of a computerized representation of intellectual and aesthetic conceptualization. The tool is amplified through the computer and its output of ideas through other technological expressions that become a new art form or discipline. Example: Wrappin
g city buses in computer generated graphics that change the exterior and perhaps even the interior through interpretations of ideas that create entirely new expressions of movement and form.
CYBERARTS will become an entirely new means at arriving at Multimedia learning via embellishing new forms of technology through the creation of visual elements and principles that change and animate shapes and masses. Entire cities could be given new coverings via shrink-wrapping pre-printed or ink-jetted designs upon materials that change past images or set ideals of their primary purposes. Worlds never seen before could become intellectual coverings for anything coverable, transformable or understandable.
CYBERARTS would explore new paradigms in thinking and designing via holography virtual reality with parts of each melded into units never seen, heard or felt before.
CYBERARTS would seek means of expression that are projectable, growable, or even genetically alterable in special forms to produce new art forms for the future. The dictates of this new expression would be established on the fly and later analyzed in depth to create ideas for new products, services, and appreciation of art that has never been created.
CYBERARTS can be soft, hard, or provide any electrical-tactile feedback that creates sensations of virtual serendipitous transformation into an artistic experience that enhances intellectual expansion in all realms of knowledge and then some.
A Course of Cyber Study
To offer a course in CyberArts would first require the basics of ancient concepts of art rolled into the Multimedia of today and later evolving into exploration of prospects for tomorrow. Such Cybernetic exploration for tomorrow would involve research of elements that ordinarily would not necessarily be considered art or knowledge, but both. Later after melding ideas once thought unrelated now related through technology, a new philosophy could be emerged from raw input to change the very form of the future’s predetermined course toward openendedness. Alternate worlds would be explored through virtual reality and mirrorjective disciplines. This process of analysis through the birthing of cybernetic though on the fly could produce the mentality that would invent tomorrow’s new mindset for a phase II civilization — one advanced and full of creativity beyond humanity’s wildest dreams.
Initially, CYBERARTS would exist as a mindset to stimulate thinking in and through the computer amplifier. Points of departure would start with known systems, and paradigms and explode toward “brainstorming” of possibilities not often arrived upon naturally. Numerous papers would be written about the expressions arrived at, in the processes of creativity.
The Cyber Version
Conceiving economic and educational structures for tomorrow requires a gestalt or macroscopic level of thinking that can result in monumental accomplishments. In order to take full advantage of our position at this time in history, considering the new technology and its channels of distribution, we need to consider the new paradigms that would impact intellectual, social and economic concerns. We need to “think large” in order to envision and establish a new world where our old one now stands in the face of total creative obsolescence.
CyberArts Students could cyberly attend to a new mindset conceiving of socially-interactive environments, where citizens would have constant access to simulation computer/s, and would participate in the various sections of a massive interactive learning program that would provide simple to multilevel learning. Smart environments would be a product of their brainstorming and resultant creations. Cyber-learners could also gain knowledge on their own and at their own pace by incorporating the Internet and World Wide Web as a research resource.
The student’s cyber-experience could be individually programmed to fit each participant’s abilities, inclinations, needs and personality profiles. State or national curriculum could be written to incorporate a CYBERARTS curriculum that would interface with the national educational experience. Because our children would have to attain “street-smarts” in this new mode of thinking, they would learn to face the world on their own and comprehend the excitement of being responsible cyberartists. The process would build a more mature person…one who could lead this nation into the 21st Century and beyond.
Trends and Conditions Pointing to CyberArts
Futurists look at statistics, social trends, and new technologies and suggest the ways that society and schools will be organized and how teaching and learning will take place. In a review of futurists, I found many ideas that will assist in our development of a vision for CYBERART curriculums. Some examples are below:
• Society is being compressed at exponential rates, thus creating a stressed citizen who is increasingly adversarial toward new taxes and programs that maintains a mediocre quality of life. Governing agents should take care to create an education that is relevant to the potential of the “Real World” economy.
• Minority populations will increase, both by birth rate and by legal and illegal immigration. Education is the key to creating a leading edge citizenry.
• There will be an increasing diversity of languages spoken at home and in the marketplace. Technology can act as a bridge or common language to business.
• Economic divisions will be increasingly polarizing, especially in living conditions and provision of nutrition and health care. Technology can mollify this possibility.
• Children will continue to have more adult figures in their lives, but fewer of these adults will have responsibility for the children’s care and learning. Education that is appropriate in helping them become productive adults will be necessary to overshadow these prospects.
Business & organizational structures
• New jobs will be at the low end of the service economy and will be tailored for a less educated work force that receives the minimum wage. Unless this is changed, cities will continue to deteriorate. Technologically high curriculum can challenge this forecast.
• Challenging jobs for the college educated will focus on the management of information. If students are prepared early with proper technological stimulus, students will opt for higher education.
• Information technology will reduce the need for middle managers as decision making moves lower in the hierarchy. Technology curriculums will create more entrepreneurs to develop new business.
• Technology continues to get faster, cheaper, and more powerful.
• There will be many ways to control technology, including light pens and voice, as well as keyboards and mouse controllers. Virtual Reality will usher in feedback in the form of glasses, head mounted displays, and other wearable sensory devices.
• Schools will continue to get less powerful technology than business unless a benchmark program is established. Super-learning and CyberArts will come to the Internet and World Wide Web.
• Some form of governmental assessment for electronic or computerized learning will allow credit for any progress toward graduation in various categories. Credit would be instantaneous.
Teaching & learning
• Learning can take place anywhere and at any time even in cyber-space. We no longer have to be constrained by school buildings, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., nine months per year. CyberArts and Multimedia will create simulation resources for future courseware.
• Students will increasingly take more responsibility for their own education, using the instructional staff to guide their inquiries in cyber-space.
• Technology can lead to more opportunities for individualizing instruction, especially for those on the edges of traditional schooling such as the physically handicapped, the gifted, and those with learning disabilities.
• Interdisciplinary curriculum will add meaning to the disconnected subjects we teach today. Interdisciplinary learning plus contextual-gestalt learning will amplify how fast and how much a student can learn.
• New ways to evaluate learning will begin to replace traditional tests.
• Language instruction will become increasingly important for both students and teachers. Technology and Cyber-gaming will assist in remedial training.
Educational Assumptions and Projections for 2014 and Beyond.
• The biggest business in the world is “mind-works” and the degree of a person’s quality-of-experience determines his/her worth to the self and humanity. The potential of this “business” has not been touched. Without this educational utility, mankind would be no higher than the animal kingdom. Amplification of the Human Intellectual Utility is our only “winning” strategy. We must add CyberArts to our curriculums.
• Education is and will be the most important key to America’s future economic status. Without a business driven directive…a career oriented objective that addresses the entire spectrum of human potential, the old liberal-arts system will continue to breed poor learning results from out-of-sync methodology that is unsupported by technology and the CyberArts.
• A rebellion on the part of the Business Community may totally revamp the old educational establishment from its stagnant foundations. Those trendsetters that get the jump on technological concepts for communicative delivery systems will become the benchmarks of civilization in the 21st Century. Creativity will be key to the development of this new visually oriented form of learning.
• Educational institutions and those businesses that supply creative services in software and program-related products will constitute some of the most important growth-industries to America’s future job market. Massive hyper-world/media will link all known data into instant mirrorjective systems that work with any hardware.
• School Districts as we know them today will gradually collapse into fewer, yet more efficient administrative entities built on less-labor-intensive computer technology rather than political empire structures. Only the lean and relevant will survive. School Districts will eventually become community center administrations.
• Automation of administrative duties and elimination of redundancies will free states of financial emphasis on administrative overhead thus allowing the correct focus to fall on the teacher/facilitator/
technologist and the classroom. This new focus will reverberate to the universities requiring massive updates of relevant teaching-facilitator courses to meet the demand of America’s business leaders and our economic strategy.
Teachers of the CyberArts
• Renewed respect for the pedagogue and the spirit of wisdom accumulation will be a major strategy applied by economic leaders in the future. This much maligned profession which needs to increase by two million within the next 5 years is currently impacted by burnout, inferiority, disillusionment and financial worry. In the next 5 years 40%-50% will leave the profession. With Technology resources these teachers could become viable once again.
• Pedagogues of the future will be paid better than most middle-managers. More males will be attracted to the profession many coming from the military establishment. Congress should pass a tax credit that will encourage educators to return to college each year becoming “national treasures.” Seminars in the leading economic areas will offer teachers rate-reductions on tuition. Many corporations will sponsor select master-teachers in amplified study programs. These efforts by the business world will reap returns-on-investments with better, more productive employees.
• The “professionalization” of teachers (like the Bar Associations or the medical versions) will spur teachers to be less impacted by trivial class-size policies, or lack of chalk. They will become dynamically driven through respect and remuneration deserving of a professional dedicated to altruistic and scientific amplification for all our students.
• Though only 60% of the future teaching jobs will be filled within the next ten years, a new marketing campaign communicating a “vision” of a more relevant educational world being fulfilled, will encourage young people to join the profession. Also, a program to reclaim former or retired teachers back into the profession seeded by incentives like a semesters tuition filled with courses on the new info-tech methods, will help them to “reclaim knowledge” enough to rejoin the educational environment. Older citizens should also be encouraged to give back to our smallest learners at day-care centers, some of their vast knowledge and experience. (We must lobby for alternative certification concepts.)
• Teachers, termed “Catalysts” will be charged with the responsibilities of presenting to the student body a weekly update on new research developments that are impacting the future courseware of the “Moving Curriculum.” Catalysts will stay informed of any and all information that can be plugged into the on-going dynamics of everyday study. Catalysts will be special effects wizards in terms of presenting all news of technological development via multimedia in the most stimulating and entertaining manner. Their jobs will be to pique the interest of all students through “what-if” creative brainstorming methods. Through perceptional testing, Catalysts will then be able to direct students into database servers that will expand on the interest factors.
Education and Business
What We’ve Learned
We collected information on successful programs by visiting schools, businesses, universities, attending conferences, and reading articles in business, economics, and educational /research journals. The list below summarizes the major results of our findings in four categories.
• The most success with cooperative learning occurs when there are group goals and individual accountability that are “real-world” oriented.
• Computer simulations permit teachers to create learning environments where students deal with “real-life” and “life-like” problems that reflect the business environment.
• The use of multimedia technology increases opportunities for collaborative learning and builds on the strengths of individual skills.
• Learning best takes place at a student’s own pace and if presented in accordance to his/her learning style eg. right brained=symbols, left-brained=language.
• Individualizing learning can result in great gains, but requires careful diagnosis and planning to be successful.
• Student learning should proceed from his/her own strengths to increasingly more generalized instruction that reinforces their talent or style.
• Students should be given the chance to concentrate and win at learning in their strong areas rather than punished for all their school experiences, eg. “no pass, no play. Some of us only have one talent. We deserve to be successful with the one.
• Programs based on meeting teachers’ curricular needs have been more successful than programs of a general or survey nature.
• Programs that focus on “the classroom” are primary to igniting learning.
• Programs that take a “train the trainer” approach have been successful in overcoming initial resistance to technology.
• An in-house expert is more helpful than outside experts if changes in pedagogy are to be sustained over time. A systems management staff is a must.
• Change takes time; new curriculum, new pedagogical approaches, and new technologies cannot be fully incorporated into a school in one or two years.
• Teachers should be given more power and training in solving their own classroom experiences.
• Teachers should be given “Surge Seminars” in leading-edge technologies that impact their courses and curriculum, so they may remain current in their fields.
• When students direct their own learning experiences, their test scores improve.
• Anecdotal reports of success, especially with regard to the use of technology in schools, are more common than researched-based findings.
• Portfolio reviews provide much better information to help students and teachers, but they take a great deal of time to prepare and discuss. We must make time.
• Providing students with access to computers and computer-based technology results in increased motivation and enthusiasm for learning.
• The use of technology has had a positive impact on both the achievement and self-esteem of learning-disabled students.
• Electronic mail permits greater efficiency in planning time, encourages teacher collaboration, and increases teacher communication with administrators.
Overall, I want our region’s educational programs to meet the needs of our students and to allow our teachers to be more effective. The statements below, which outline specific areas of our vision for education, are the underlying themes that appear in all of our dreams for the educational system of tomorrow.
- All children will be able to graduate from high school after progressing through the grade levels appropriately. All students will graduate from high school within five years of reaching the ninth grade.
- All children will become actively involved in what they are learning and approach learning with great enthusiasm.
- All students will have opportunities to reach their intellectual potential and their success will be recognized by them, their teachers, and their peers. They will have access to the resources, materials, and tools that best fit their needs and learning styles.
- All children will be evaluated using appropriate techniques, and that evaluation will have meaning to them and to the next stage of their educational program.
- The school will be a learning environment in which children can be successful both as individuals and as members of a group.
- School will be an interdisciplinary learning environment, where subject matter lines are blurred, where meaning is more important than memorization.
- The educational environment will include access to learning opportunities beyond the school; some educational activities will take place in the community.
- Teachers will act as mentors to students and as valued colleagues to other teachers; the school will be collaboratively managed by both teachers and administrators.
- Team teaching will be practiced when appropriate and supported by technology and other instructional materials.
- Teachers will use contemporary technology and tools that encourage productive, effective, and professional instruction and class management. Teachers will be provided with the staff development opportunities to master the technologies and tools that add value to their professional work.
- All parents will participate in their children’s education and, with the help of the school, become adult learners when new skills are needed.
- Data Collection, External Trends
The following broad environmental trends could have impact upon the educational program in America’s collective community:
• The retiree-to-worker ratio is growing.
• The role of women in the family and in the work force is shifting; most new workers are women and minorities.
• Business is retraining the work force from industry to a service- and information-based economy. Creative info CyberArtists must be developed to create new jobs.
• Most new jobs are at the bottom of the pay scale.
• There is a growing international interdependency.
• The middle class is getting smaller, with corresponding growth in the lower and upper income groups.
Demographic and social
• The baby-boom population is aging.
• Minority populations are growing, often placing strain on elementary, secondary, and adult education programs.
• Mobile and shifting populations result in less commitment to the community.
• The number of single-parent homes is growing; more adult children are moving back into parents’ homes for temporary lodging.
• Enrollments in lower grades are growing, enrollments in high schools are dropping, with the bottom reached in the early 2005-2006.
• There is a growing number of non-English-speaking people in almost every community. Computers can bridge the gap with CyberArts.
Educational and technical
• Parents and community expect more of the school system, especially in providing social, emotional, and health-related services. Schools impact economics.
• Proportionately fewer people have direct contact with the schools, either as parents or as workers, resulting in less support for tax increases for schools.
• The changing level of support for education will only worsen as baby boomers retire and want limits on property tax increases. Education must become relevant – CyberArts.
• Educational reform movements are increasing interest in and expectations of schooling, but there is little local support for dramatic changes. We must awaken.
• The United States is falling behind other technological nations in many areas, but comparisons are often misleading given our commitment to full, free education for all children and our heterogeneous population.
• Access to technology both at home and in schools is growing and new technologies have a steeper and shorter adoption curve.
• Technologies are more prominent and evident in all areas of life; schools do not take advantage of new technology as quickly as do businesses.
The trends and conditions that will impact
the “Automation Age” are as follows:
ased global and domestic compression — the Earth is saturated in compressive and restrictive conditions, adding to an overwhelming evolutionary process.
ased worldwide competition for jobs, food, space, environs, freedoms, and self-realization.
ased pattern of a fluctuating economic/business environment — some businesses becoming obsolete – new business must be created – Cyberarts.
ased expansion effects of laws, policies, rules, taxation, and bureaucracy, thus making room for new additions and more complexity
asing world (and domestic) populations — 5.8 billion now, 6.4 billion by 2005 and 15 billion by 2050. (10 to 16 billion projected by National Geographic, could be less)
asing foreign influence and crossbreeding cultures…e.g., America has become a convolution of cultures with differing value systems and individual perceptions, this either stresses the old systems leading to polarizations, or produces totally new cultures that need addressing.
ased legal and illegal immigration; most are illiterates and many are unemployables that will continue to stress our social structures such as education. We need education that attracts and has demand. (Law of supply and demand).
ase in high knowledge/high tech jobs and a decrease in traditional occupations almost overnight — leads to retraining on a constant basis.
ase in fast-food type, service sector jobs — 9 out of 10 jobs are expected to be low-end service jobs in 2014. This will lead to low pay, fewer advancements, and frustration.
asing drop-out rates in school and life, leading to drugs, crime, prison, and stressed social structures. Students must have relevant curriculums such as CyberArts to lead them to the future.
asing large unemployable underclass and street-people who are usually not reported in official employment statistics. Their quality of life must be addressed. New CyberArts designers could address this as a project in creativity to solve somehow.
ase in teenage mothers and a subsequent need for a day care system update — 70% will live at poverty level.
ase in single mother or father families — showing a lack of understanding for social responsibilities. They must be taught values.
ase in female employees — two-thirds of Americans employed will be women by 2014, due to higher male death rates, crime,and a lack of male self esteem perpetrated by media (biased memes)
ase in unemployed aged — by 2014, 80% of those 55 and over will be out of the work force, and in need of a reason to be — education.
ased stress and frustration of the public, brought on by the over-powering effect of “Techno-Shock” — an inability to keep up with waves of exponential change pointing toward complexity. CyberArts education could prevent such.
ased high technological demands will produce 16 million new jobs of which 80% will require above high school education.
asing knowledge — current research suggests that in 3 months, the present knowledge base will double. In 40 years knowledge may increase by 35-100 (or more) times today’s level.
ased social disruptions by frustrated labor unions and other special interest groups toward violence — or forced change. CyberArts systems of entertainment and relaxation could defray such disruptions.
ased use of simulation devices and robotics. By 2014 robots will rise to 1,000,000 and will replace as many jobs in the production and service sectors, that are possible to emulate or simulate. CyberArts will be in high demand.
ased use of latent data forms. By 2014, society will become a paperless world with CyberArts workstations becoming the focal points.
ased computer speed and power. By 2014 America will see 30-50 times more potential from super computers and artificial intelligence systems. Such systems will eventually establish the replacement of our human intellectual utility.
ased computer speed will see billions and possibly quadrillions of instructions per second in the 21st century. This will position most human actions as obsolete.
ased computer storage capacities into smaller areas. A 4.5 inch optical disk will contain the same information as 11,000 “floppies”. Who needs it in 2014?
ased emphasis by competing nations on the development of strategies to position for power and control through unique technology and social reform e.g., Eastern Europe and Russia’s latest changes toward reforms — perhaps a reaction to the view on tomorrow or the return of the Overlords (Money gone turbo).
ased use of simulated education (via workstations) especially on the university level. This system is part of the future of Education — it is called the User Interface Management System (UIMS). The amplification of such UIM systems and the introduction of CyberArts could give Education the quantum-leap that is necessary to cope with the above.
Careers in CyberArts or Multimedia
Careers in CyberArts are centered around the platforms that support game players, CD-ROMs, online systems, interactive television, virtual reality, smart systems, and robotic systems in micro / macro worlds. These platforms, function in the worlds of film, advertising, publishing, software development, title making, games, CD-ROM titles, online interfacing, interactive television, and distance learning that includes virtual reality or simulation technologies for the conversion of training paradigms.
The hot spots for such activity are currently in San Francisco, and many of the major business centers of North America such as New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and the intellectual triangle of North Carolina. Other centers are in the United Kingdom, and major cities of Europe, Japan, Australia, and other hot business centers.
Careers involved in this new area of uniting intellectual development and the arts, includes the following professionals: Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, Art Directors, Interface Designers, Game Designers, Training Designers, Curriculum Designers, Audio Writers, Scripters, Editors/Moderators/
facilitators, Content/Context Designers, Animators, Multi-dimension Animators, Sound Producers, Sound Researchers, Talents for Voice and Acting, Composers, Musicians, Special Effects Sound, Special Effects Visual, Engineers, Editors, Videographers, Programmers, Computer Graphic Artists (Photoshop), Research Media Personnel, Media Placement Experts, Marketers, Market Analysts, Sales, Promotion Directors, Technicians, Nano Specialists, Holographic Designers and many others.
Resources for these Careers should emanate form advanced curriculums in Education development and psychological management for visual and audio impact for demographics and psychographics as offerings at major Universities and advanced secondary training programs in CyberArts. Books, magazines, brochures, direct mail, newsletters, newspapers, training conferences, professional organizations, and internet sites including the World Wide Web (Grid) are the resource distributors for this new area of CyberArts development.
- Change the name of existing Computer Arts & Design, Communications, Photography, Graphic Communications course/s, to reflect a new concept in today’s media transfer… CYBERARTS. Nothing changes with the state, we just call the old courses by their past names to the state, but build them locally into the newer CYBERARTS courses and curriculum/s that embrace Virtual Reality.
- Insert additional reading and writing courseware into the existing courses in Special Effects, Virtual Reality, Holography, Gaming Software and Multimedia. Prepare for coming of simulation education development in CD-ROMs and the New Internet (1000 times better).
- Upgrade technology in the existing communications oriented courses to reflect high speed computers no less than one computer to every two students if possible.
- Upgrade software to new versions of already existing software and begin a software library or Cloud Concept beyond current levels.
- Allow the classes to offer Fine Arts credit, Computer credit and other already existing credit sanctioned by the state in the class to attract more students with high talent potential.
- Promote the CYBERARTS classes to all students in the District’s area. And encourage students to transfer to schools offering such courseware. Seek potentially talented students.
- District Offices to utilize the CYBERARTS talents to develop district wide communications that reflect the new age that we are about to enter. It will give us a chance for students to build real portfolios that will help them get better jobs and/or place higher / position for college status. Establish a contact with a creative studio located at the district office.
- Utilize the CYBERARTS courses for development of the special schools within a school such as a School of the Performing CyberArts. Graphics for their portfolios will help sell student talents to prospective shows and schools after graduation.
More to come.