By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

The Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGiT) at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) is undertaking a virtual learning experiment this Friday, offering a seminar featuring faculty members from universities throughout the world, together with enterprise representatives, as lecturers and discussants.

According to Professor Lee McKnight, director of the WiGiT Lab, the goals of offering what might be called “the world’s first ‘WOOC’ (Wireless Grid Open Online Course)” are threefold. First, the program is designed to engage world-class experts such as Moscow State University’s UNESCO Chair of “Ecologically clean engineering” to build interest in the Syracuse University WiGiT Lab’s v0.2 open specifications for smart grid/energy, environmental, emergency response, education and enterprise cloud mobility applications. Secondly, it is hoped the seminar course will grow WiGiT’s National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation-supported experimental testbeds for edgeware gridlets, wiglets, and new devices. Another objective is sharing cyberlearning opportunities on advanced wireless research outcomes through synchronous and asynchronous access collaborative efforts, McKnight said.

WiGiT is a virtual organization and a shared experimental testbed spanning campuses and communities. It conducts research and refines open specifications for transformative technologies to create infrastructureless ad hoc networks and markets, bridging the gap between wireless network middleware and grid application layers and accelerate commercialization and adoption of new products and services, according to McKnight.

Participating in the Friday session are lecturers from Oxford, Moscow State, the University of Nigeria, Indiana University, and the Regional Energy Centre of Excellence for Sub-Saharan Africa. They will join with representatives of enterprises National Instruments, Wireless Grids Corporation, VRC, Fiscal Development, and AVIsion in this blended learning offering, McKnight said.

The meeting will be held physically at the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Energy and Environmental Systems, in downtown Syracuse, and also online.  It is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to noon, Eastern time.  Presentations will be offered regarding the status of the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed; IDAWG and GridstreamX experiments; WiGiT environmental science and best practices; Africa Energy Sustainability efforts; unmanned vehicles and the Oxford Cluster; and ecologically clean engineering.

The session is available in real-time or on demand. Online participants can login to the WiGiT conference through a guest link via Elluminate (virtual room) at: Those who want to participate by audio only may dial in at United States: 1-855-285-2755; and International: 1-315-442-8702. More information may be found at the WiGiT site: and at the Center for Convergence and Emerging Network Technologies:

McKnight observed, “Ten years of research and innovation at Syracuse University and deep engagement with nearly 100 National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation, WiGiT campuses, companies and communities has led us to offer what is admittedly a modest and experimental wireless open online course.  Still, this event represents added progress by the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed, part of the Center for Converging and Emerging Network Technologies (CCENT), and further student learning, innovation and engagement opportunities.”

Registered participants for the non-credit course will receive a digital certificate as a recognized Syracuse WiGiT Lab Virtual Organization member. Those who take the course will be asked to complete a short post-course survey at no obligation or cost, as a means of obtaining feedback about the virtual learning experience.

Confirmed speakers include: McKnight, Edward Nanno, Joseph Treglia, Murali Venkatesh, Joshua Foust, Emmanuel Mukose, and Janet Marsden of the Syracuse University iSchool. Additional lecturers/speakers include: Peter Wong, of Tufts University and the Museum of Science, Boston; Kevin Lair, Indiana University Center for Art & Design; Sidney Clouston, Clouston Energy Research, LLC; Edmund Okoroigwe, University of Nigeria; Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall, Redskies Oxford, United Kingdom; Igor Tyukhov, Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering; Roberto Montoya, VRC; and Gary Knapp, Fiscal Development.

Also invited are: Sarah Chauncey, Benchmark Education; Susan Osborne, Lafayette Public Schools; Michael Williams, IBM Watson; Joe Wodenscheck, National Instruments; Bob Cohen, Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council, TM Forum; Patricia McKenna, AmbientEase LLC.

Nanno, executive director of the WiGiT Lab, said the virtual seminar course offering provides “an excellent example of the WiGiT lab’s leadership in experimenting with transformative educational experiences for our students and a wide and diverse global community of learners and esteemed educators.”

Sally Nerlove, Program Manager, National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation, added, “The ongoing explosion of creativity and innovation arising from the Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed community, as exemplified by the WOOC, is a great validation of the National Science Foundation’s model of fostering interdisciplinary partnerships. It is this kind of work that has led the PFI to support Syracuse University WiGiT Lab and its many partner campuses, companies, and communities.”