Rationale: Research and Development is a "front loaded" investment that is not immediately or even quickly amortized. It is, however, essential to maintaining competitive levels of service and performance with respect to technology-assisted teaching and learning as well as being vital to attracting grants and contracts. "Today's R&D is tomorrow's air supply."
The Work: Frank Lowney's R&D work is largely a symbiosis between action research and production design and development. The focus of that work for the past several years has been on technologies that appear to offer the greatest return on investment (ROI) in terms of the range of educational objectives to which they may be applied. Learning Management Systems and the QuickTime Media Architecture have been ongoing areas of interest but Podcasting, mLearning (Mobile Learning) and "Web 2.0" technologies are fast coming into prominence. For example, GCSU was the first educational institution to use the iPod for instructional purposes in 2002. This was well in advance of what is now called podcasting and mLearning. Thus, by 2005 when "podcast" became the word of the year, GCSU was perfectly positioned to take a leadership role in Podcasting and the educational use of the iPod. Much of that story is told on the GCSU iPod site.
The Future: Future research is
likely to include a significant level of attention paid to
a class of tools referred to with the unbrella term, "Web
2.0" or the "Read/Write Web." Web 2.0 tools center on the
learner more than on the instructor, eschew intermediation
and thus, foreshadow substantial changes in how teaching
and learning proceed in the twenty-first century. Another
promising area of research, one that will likely interact
significantly with Web 2.0 learning, is mLearning where
portable devices such as the iPhone and iPod touch take on
many of the learning tasks formerly assigned to laptop and