Net Centric Principles Term Paper

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Computers, more specifically the hardware that allows computer to process data and the languages that have evolved to make that process more streamlined, continue to improve and evolve based on technological, cultural, and social evolution. This is based on several environmental and social factors: sophistication of the technology (audience), needs of the audience, and what changes technology has made that allows this evolution to occur. Early on, computer-programming languages were tied specifically to the hardware they had -- think of the old vacuum tube computers and their limitations. Thus, the initial generation of computing languages were machine languages, written in only binary, a series of zeroes and ones, which is difficult to read and even more difficult to proof. Additionally, this early stage of computing required different languages for different hardware systems. Luckily, this evolved into the assembly languages, which were a higher level, not just zeroes and ones, but symbols designed to be used to make commands. Third generation languages were converted from Standard English to machined language by compilers, which took the programming instructions, and translated them into a form the machine could read. Fourth generation languages are more object oriented, and now with the Fifth generation the goal is to make the machine do the work, the proofing, etc. with the outline done by humans asking for the problem to be solved. For example, computer language is binary, but the methods of input and translating into binary have undergone vast changes within the past few decades. Key punch cards for input were a way to get information into the system at one time, yet as chips evolved and were able to handle more multitasking and greater memory needs, so evolved the languages used (and graphical abilities) of the machines. As each step in the improvement of technology occurred, so then did both the user needs (what if, why can't we do that, we should be able to) as well as the technological evolutions and means to change and improve the programming languages (O'Regan, 2008). Sometimes this is known as the "cloud" paradigm, in that there are numerous ideas floating around, awaiting the most significant and relevant use. In business, this is often depicted as the manner in which the user interacts with the internal, external, and self-created, environment.

The idea of this continual evolution in computing has resulted in a new paradigm, called net centric computing, that refers to an evolving template of continuous devices, information, and services that are all interconnected (networked) in order to become optimally resourced and managed. Various market segments (e.g. business, home, and education) adopted this new idea at different rates and levels, but certainly required that a new group of it students be not only familiar with the process, but actively engaged in it as well. For instance, educators immediately found that net centric computing became an easy way to enhance the collaboration of interdisciplinary subject in a more robust way, using net centric ideas. Faculty and students may dialog and engage with one another across geographic or time boundaries; thus increasing the educational experience itself. In fact, this idea has been so robust, it has truly caught on -- gone are the libraries of the past that required physical presence and lengthy and laborious searching through stacks of documents. Instead, with net centric-based curriculum enhancements, materials are available 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Because not only curriculum documents, but course materials, lectures, discussion boards, and other shared materials are electronically available and achieved, the ability of a different segment of student (adults, geographically isolated, etc.) are able to take advantage of education in a way never before experienced (Griffiths, 2006).

Indeed, for many, the paradigm shift with net centrism is really analogous to a shift in the entire way global society views all the cultural things that allow us to be human: technology, communication, actualization, leadership, politics, economics, and leisure time. It is not just technological improvements that engender this change, but the manner of how these changes are used. It is almost a combination of gene rationalism: the technology is developed, then after a few innovations, embraced by the few, then more and more until it reaches a critical mass. Once that critical mass is reached then actual formalized education begins to first teach the history behind the invention, then the current application. However, this has an important and considered effect upon the possible, and innovations become more commonplace. One group expressed this as:

… a new age has dawned in scientific and engineering research, pushed by continuing progress in computing, information, and communication technology, and pulled by the expanding complexity, scope, and scale of today's challenges. The capacity of this technology has crossed thresholds that now make possible a comprehensive "cyberinfrastucture" on which to build new types of scientific and engineering knowledge environments and organizations and to pursue research in new ways and with increased efficacy (Tucker, 2004).

Of couse this type of concept is so vast, so huge, that it may be interpreted in numerous ways. It is a tool, and like any tool, may be used for a number of purposes in a number of ways. Philisophically, one might even take a more utilitatarian approach and debate the morality of netcentric computing. There is a potential misuse of the concept; it could be used to control a population or to hinder natural rights. It could be used by a nefarious group for war, criminal activity, or even to control and subjugate. but, like any tool, the decision of its use is not the "fault" ot the discovery or objet, but the manner in which the individual interprets the rightness or wrongness of the act. Aristotle said we should act in the right way, at the right time, in the right amount towards the right persons for the correct reasons:"...To experience these emotions [fear, courage, desire, anger, pity, and pleasure] at the right times and on the right occasions and toward the right persons and for the right causes and in the right manner is the mean or the supreme good, which is characteristic of virtue" (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II). The basic assumption about Aristotelian morality is that humans are moral agents through their individual actions. but, human behavior being what it is, morality is only one of the facets of human's evolution towards happiness. and, since this seminal question enters in all technological advances -- it also answers the issue of technological intent. It is not likely that we are hard at work improving technology so that leads to destruction, but we have seen several decades in which that could have happened (Sokolski, 1060).

One such example of a dualist learning approach -- tht is use of thetool and teaching of using the tool -- is that of Trident University. Founded in 1988 as an online university serving member of the U.S. military and their families, the core concept of deliving education internationally without the encumbreances of classrooms yet with the flexibility of receiving a top-notch experience from qualified personnel would literally be impossible without a netcentric approach. Because Trident's student first must learn to learn -- to aquire the tools necessary to further their careers through education, and because of the nature of not having the same type of face-to-face time with other students and faculty, part of the experience at Trident is allowing the netcentric approach to work as the core template for all university activities. In particular, using the idea of the netcentric paradigm, two concepts emerge:

TUI uses a Robust Learning Module that assesses progress based on the ability to acquire appropriate knowledge, think critically about the knowledge acquired; and then through analysis and synthesis, form unique thoughts that are communicated in a written manner to show mastery of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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