TeachLivE Editorial: Magic Sauce

At my house, where I have a son in the restaurant business, as well as two daughters, a daughter-in-law and my wife who each are wonderful cooks, the dinner table conversation often includes descriptions of wonderful dishes someone has tasted at a restaurant or in another person’s kitchen. The question arises, “How did he/she make that?”, leading to a discussion of how people protect the recipes for their favorite dishes. You know those wonderful dishes someone else makes never taste quite the same when others try to replicate the dish at home, even with “the recipe.” Invariably, someone around the table remarks that people sharing recipes leave out ingredients, do not tell the exact truth about proportions of ingredients, add an ingredient that spoils the dish, or shave a few minutes off the cooking time. Indeed, chefs don’t like to tell what’s in their secret sauce.

TeachLivE has a “magic sauce”, too. This sauce has many ingredients that result in a tool that will revolutionize how teachers are prepared and current teachers improve their practice. This tool is most effective when the teacher candidate or teacher is unaware of the secrets of the “magic sauce.” We have observed that when users of the TeachLivE system think they are talking to a person “behind the screen,” results are diminished.

We know that it is important for each university or school district client of TeachLivE to tell the world about this wonderful new tool being used to enhance the performance of new and practicing teachers. Also, we know that users of the system bombard the operators of TeachLivE with many questions about how the system works. We want you to emulate our friends who are chefs and not reveal the secret of TeachLivE’s “magic sauce”, so we are providing you with statements to use when describing TeachLivE.  Here are some truthful statements you should use to explain TeachLivE without revealing its secrets:

•           “Participants at the X campus are connected to the University of Central Florida in Orlando where the TeachLivE server provides interactive control of the virtual students’ behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal.”

•           “Yes, there are humans “in the loop.”  Simulators often have humans involved to operate the system, enhance the experience or provide a review of the experience afterwards.”

•           “The development and operation of the TeachLivE system involves computational theory of computer science; artistic modeling of avatars; rigging avatars into the system; developing poses for the avatars; embedding Kinect into the system for movement of the teacher in the classroom; and professionals to develop meta-scripts and perform archetypical interactions with system users.”


Mike Hynes

Dieker Hughes Hynes