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  • 1. A Virtual Incubator to Promote Information Technology InnovationsAbdullah Konak Sadan Kulturel-Konak Penn State Berks Reading, PA
  • 2. Penn State Berks 2,800 undergraduate students with about 800 of them reside on campus 15 baccalaureate degrees and first two years of 160 Penn State degrees Entrepreneurship Minor (E-Ship) since Fall 2009  Two NCIIA grants Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 3. E-Ship Minor Learning Objectives Demonstrate communication skills (verbal, non- verbal, and written skills) needed to share innovative product/ideas. Identify opportunity including seeing market possibilities and the product/idea from a customer’s perspective. Define and solve problems. Work in a team environment. Demonstrate appropriate critical thinking skills requisite in an entrepreneurship environment. Demonstrate ability to be an “ambidextrous thinker”, Virtual Incubator @ Berks one who can appropriately blend rigor with creativity.
  • 4. Motivations  We assume that students have the technical knowledge and skills and try to provide them with Entrepreneurship knowledge and skills. New ideas, KnowledgeEngineering & Skills Seizing opportunities New Technology Ventures Programs Innovative thinking Business skills Entrepreneurship Leadership Education & Programs Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 5. Challenges in IT Education &Innovations Strict IT policies on campus computers Lack of secure computing environments to test critical tasks Challenges to dedicate specialty computer labs to the exclusive use of E-teams for extended periods of time Projects limited to a semester time frame Limited access to specialty software and operating systems A steep-learning curve Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 6. A Solution: Virtual Computers Virtual computers are software emulators of fully functional operating systems (OS). Multiple OS can be simultaneously run on a single host. Virtual PC1 Virtual PC2 Virtual PC2 (LINUX) (Windows XP) (WS 2003) Host (Lab Computer) Virtual Network ` Virtual Machine Software Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 7. The Collaborative Virtual ComputerLabratory (CVCLAB)- Penn State Berks The CVCLAB aims to provide students with an open learning environment in which they can experiment with high risk operations without any concern. http://ist.bk.psu.edu/cvclab Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 8. Virtual Incubator @ Berks (VIB) Virtual IT resources dedicated to the exclusive use of E-Teams over extended time periods to prototype their IT-based innovation ideas. Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 9. Objectives Instill entrepreneurship spirit into IT students  Shorten the lead time from idea to prototype  Pre-configured computers  Software repository  Tutorials Engage entrepreneurship students in local business and community needs for economic development  Business and community partnerships  Internships Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 10. Target Technologies Distributed object computing with an emphasis on database and web applications Application development for mobile devices Open source technologies Data mining (Big Data) Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 11. An Example LMC Software Solutions, Inc.  Innovative Product: A Development and Operations Platform  Needed to test their products on various operating systems, Solaris, Windows Server, and Linux Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 12. Challenges Rapid changes in IT Creating policies that make both our students and IT happy Recruitment  Competitions  Integration into classes Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 13. Experiential Learning Model Claim: Activities designed as step-by-step instructions that guide students through challenging tasks do not achieve complete learning. Research Question:  What are the best pedagogies to design hands-on activities for virtual computer laboratories? Virtual Increased Computer Student Activities Learning and Laboratories Motivation Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 14. Experiential Learning Cycle (Kolb, 1984) •Hands-on activities Concrete Experience •Projects •Tutorial Active Reflective Experimentation Observation •Review questions •Short discussions •Lab reports•Generalization Questions •Peer-to-peer interaction Abstract•Open ended questions Conceptualization•Quiz Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 15. Research Plan & Experimental Setup Control Treatment (Kolb’s Model) Class Treatment Control IST 110-I 19 IST 110-II 15 IST 110-III 19 IST 110-IV 17 MIS 204 5 IST 220-I 12 IST 220-II 7 Total 44 50 Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 16. Data Analysis Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 17. Results The Smaller, The Better Virtual Incubator @ Berks
  • 18. Discussions We can foster more comprehensive learning by including all stages of Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle in hands-on activities. Design activities based on an inquiry-based framework rather than a cookbook methodology. Virtual Incubator @ Berks