Red Queens and Increasing Returns

For the Module 4 science fiction discussion, I watched the movie Next.  When I first decided to watch the movie, I was going to obtain a DVD from Redbox.  Instead, I saw where I could watch it on Demand.  So I had no need to even leave the house to watch this movie based on a Philip K. Dick book.  I remember a number of years ago, I was a member of Netflix.  At first, I loved the idea of getting movies in the mail.  Now they don’t even mail them, you download them.  How cool is that?

“Technological products do not stand alone. They depend on the existence of other products and other technologies” (Arthur, 1996).  So when addressing the competition between DVDs and video-on-demand, I must admit that I believe it is an example of Red Queens and Increasing Returns if it could be both.  According to Thornburg (2009a), “Red Queens are huge competition between two technologies in the process of emerging, all other competitor are left behind” (Laureate Education, Inc.).  Most people hardly ever use VHS which was one of the competitors left behind.  “Increasing Returns allows two innovations to hit the market at about the same time and one technology happens to get locked in and drives the other to extinction” (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009b).  I have hundreds of DVDs and have watched most of them.  However, when this assignment come along, I chose not to even look through them to see if I had any of them instead I watched it on demand.

tetrad for vod


Arthur, W. B. (1996). Increasing returns and the new world of business. Harvard Business Review74(4), 100−109. Retrieved from the Business Source Complete database.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2009a). Emerging and future technology: Red queens. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2009b). Emerging and future technology: Increasing returns. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Thornburg, D. (2008). Red Queens, butterflies, and strange attractors: Imperfect lenses into emergent technologies. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.


Disruptive Technology

second life pic

There is a force and power of disruptive technologies.  This force and power rewarded to the idea that disruptive technologies comes in and obsoletes the technology that has the same functions.  Dr. Thornberg (2009) refers to these technologies as “wild card” due to the nature of how they work.  Disruptive technologies come and disrupt the usual or “normal” way things work.

One disruptive technology is Second Life.  Second Life is disruptive because it changes the way classrooms are set-up or what society considers to be a traditional classroom.  Displacing the traditional classrooms, Second Life comes in as a force that prompts a different classroom setting.  Students are no longer sitting in a classroom with a teacher in front of them.  Instead they can be anywhere in the world in a virtual classroom online using avatars which can be a replica of themselves.

I think that Second Life has many years left before another emerging technology or disruptive technology replaces it.  Second Life is a technology that many people do not know even exist or how it works.  I had heard about this technology but never had the need to explore it until this class.

The social benefits of Second Life includes being able to interact with colleagues.  According to Nutball (2008) Virtual worlds like Second Life can be used to teach and train students, conduct simulations and role-play, stage discussions and even conduct experiments.  As an educator this would be beneficial because class time can then be a bit more flexible.

An example of a technology that represents a rhyme of history is the iPod. Music has been rekindled through a vast variety of technology. At the age of 10, my father sent me a tape recorder for my birthday. This is an audio storage device that records and plays back sounds, including articulated voices, usually using magnetic tape, either wound on a reel or in a cassette, for storage (Tape recorder, 2015). I was so excited because I could listen to tapes on it.Slide1

Now the iPod has taken listening to music to another level. No more waiting for a song to rewind. Before the iPods came another technological idea, the Walkman. I remember being able to listen to music while walking to school. This changed society because some people no longer had these big “beat boxes” for the whole neighborhood to hear. Music could be heard in solitude.

Slide2The iPod is a digital music player which is used as a data storage (IPod, 2015) . Released by Apple in 2001, this technology could house over 1,000 songs and could be carried in your pocket. How’s that for a Rhyme of History? Taking me back down memory lane.


IPod. (2015, March 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:42, April 7, 2015, from

“Recordr tape” by shubham kumar singh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Tape recorder. (2015, March 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

“Various iPods” by Chris Harrison from Augusta, GA, USA – iPod(s). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Mobile Phone Tetrad- Module 2

McLuhan’s tetrad reflects around four aspects of a technology. These four aspects include enhance, obsolete, retrieval, and reversal (Thornburg, D. D., 2008). They are designed to work simultaneously (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009).

Mobile phone tetrad


Ackerman, E. (2013, July 20). Chromebooks Gain Ground In The Education Market; But A Majority of Educators Still Prefer iPads. Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Emerging and future technology: McLuhan’s tetrad. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Thornburg, D. D. (2008). Emerging technologies and McLuhan’s Laws of Media. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.

An Emerged Technology

As a futurist, another technology example for Dr. Thornburg’s article would be chromebooks. According to Intel “Chromebooks are low-cost laptops starting at around $279 that are built using Google’s Chrome OS and powered by chips from Intel, Samsung, and others ” (2014). Due to the low cost and wireless advantage, a number of school districts all over the United States have gone “Google”, Google Chrome that is.

Google Chromebooks has some challenges such as internet capability.  It may take a longer time to upload to the internet but once you’re on, you can do all sorts of things.  Another downside is that it is a bit fragile and sometimes children in the classroom are not as careful as they should be with the chromebooks.  With the cost as low as it is, they can be replaced more easily than the PC’s.

This technology comes with tools, applications, and extensions to help motivate student learning  in the classroom.  It provides the user not only with a technology but a tool that can be interactive among the students.  No more flash drive because there is a Google drive.  Google Docs as well as spreadsheets are used for collaboration among students.  Our district has gone Google.

check us out:


Chromebooks Emerging as Classroom Contender. (2014, May 1). Retrieved from

Gross, A. (2014, November 20). 10 Chromebook uses: How Google-powered laptops are enhancing classrooms. Retrieved from