On the ambient screens near his chair, Elliott sees
a schedule of interactions with individuals (some face-to-face at
the ambient and the others face-to-screen with people from around
the world) and a list of online resources dealing with the two issues
he had identified for the days interactivity. Elliott reviews
and synthesizes insights from the materials and directs that his
syntheses be saved. He converses with the ambient and negotiates
several changes in the schedule. He leaves the receiving area and
proceeds to the first of several work sites he will visit this day.
Ambient environments have enabled associations
and professional societies to enhance and extend their meetings,
seminars, and workshops. Physical convening is still important to
most society members. Ambient meetings can be held in smaller cities
and used to augment programming of chapters and special interest
groups. Even large national meetings have a variety of small ambient
spaces scattered about that can be used to extend learning and networking
From Site to Site, Topic to Topic. The
first site consists of three comfortable leather chairs with several
large ambient screens in proximity. Two other attendees at the ambient
join him. They spend the next three hours engaging with virtual
resources displayed on ambient screens, engaging in conversations
with other interested participants in ambient settings around the
globe. Elliott then spends an hour immersed in two on-site conversations
with local participants who want his perspectives on several issues
on which he is regarded as an expert. At 15:00 hours, Elliott asks
the ambient to put him in touch with the most recent synthesized
findings on the application of ambient environments to public policy
decisions. After reviewing these materials, he instructs the ambient
to direct them to his personal body of knowledge.
The ambient asks Elliott to create a three-page synthesis
of ideas for posting to the ambient body of knowledge on these topics;
Elliott agrees and completes the assignment that evening. His response
is posted that evening and viewed by 2,000 colleagues over the next
ten days. He also continues six conversations via e-mail with persons
with whom he had interacted during the ambient day, following up
on ideas that had been planted and required further exploration.
Reducing the Cost of Learning Materials. In
teaching his students at UT Austin, Elliott creates a tailored virtual
text from materials available through the CSIEEE or one of the content
marketplaces that integrates CSIEEE materials into their offerings.
These materials usually cost $50, far less than printed texts with
comparable topical coverage, which are not nearly as current. Elliott
liberally laces his coursework with new examples and developments
gleaned from the CSIEE portal by him or his students, who access
the portal through student memberships. Elliott captures insights
from his students and practitioners through knowledge management
tools, and shares syntheses of them with other practitioners.
Perpetual Learning Through CSIEE. Conrad
Elliott has earned both a baccalaureate and masters degree
in computer science from Virginia Tech. Rather than pursuing a doctorate,
he is engaged in a program of perpetual learning through CSIEEE.
This program is targeted to recognizing contributions and levels
of accomplishment of advanced practitioners. It involves participation
in topical meetings and tutorials; invited communities of practice
that involve senior practitioners, academic experts, and researchers;
and contribution of peer-reviewed learning materials to the societys
body of knowledge.
The society has developed a formal professional recognition
program tied to the participation of individuals in this range of
activities. The various levels of recognition conveyed by participation
have become de facto standards for excellence in the profession
among senior practitioners.
Resources of Interest
Ducatel, K., M. Bogdanowicz, F. Scapolo, J. Leijten, and J-C.
Burgelman. 2001. Scenarios for Ambient Intelligence in 2010.
February, IPTS-Seville, 7.
Enterprise Solutions Officer, Virginia Tech, USA
Susan Dixon is the Enterprise Solutions Officer at Virginia Tech,
a major research university that has long been recognized as a leader
in the use of technology to support academic and administrative
services. Over the years, Dixons position and responsibilities
have changed to reflect the evolving state of technology applications
and solutions at Virginia Tech. She reports to the CIO but typically
works with solutions teams from academic and administrative units
across the university.
- Enterprise Solutions Officer
- ERP, LMS, KM have fused into enterprise applications infrastructure
and EAIS fusion of academic and administrative applications
- e-Repositories and participation in knowledge marketplaces
- Value on investment drives ICT developments
- Enterprise portal-based lifelong relationships with students
- New relationships with technology partners, focusing on solutions
- Web based service applications