This is the second installment of Dr. Kubina's four-part blog series. If you haven't yet, read Part I here!



It seems fitting to begin Part II of my Hackathon blog series with a short account of an interaction between myself and a colleague at the event. While minor, it conveys the power of use case 2: video.


As I sat alongside this colleague, whose daughter is in preschool, he pulled out his cell phone. With just a few clicks, he pulled up an app that instantly revealed real-time footage of his child at school. I thought that tech was remarkable. The peace of mind, not to mention accountability fostered by the video, impressed me.


Video seems almost prosaic in a world with virtual reality, augmented reality, ai, robotics, 3D printing, and other breakthrough technologies. Yet, video and video-based technologies can serve many needs and, in their own right, have transformed our society (think YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, Zoom, Netflix, and so forth). Use case #2, video ABA therapy, also holds incredible promise.


Use Case #2: Video uses

The subject matter of behavior analysis, behavior, can provide a challenge due to its ephemeral nature. Someone does something, and then that behavior recedes into the annals of time. The transitory quality of behavior means people interested in its occurrence must rely on observation. And observational data can suffer from a host of issues, including missed observations, incorrect observations, biased observations, difficulty coding data, and transcription errors.


Even after collecting the data may still never see the light of day due to data loss for one reason or the other. Parents, therapists, the person themselves, and other interested parties may have no transparency for the high-stakes data set. Video solves many problems and offers new benefits.


The hackers working on use case #2 spent the bulk of their time idea-generating, wireframing, and coding. The manifold advantages of video involve rich data analysis, clear communication of progress, and setting the stage for artificial intelligence to learn and help augment all processes vital for data collection and interpretation. The permanent video record also augments accuracy measures and demonstrates behavior change on a different level from written or verbal reports. The hackers used a method for sending clips to an analyzer to work on the uploaded video. Future hackathons will continue to refine video analysis, but what lies ahead looks especially promising.

Please join me for Part III, where I’ll delve into the topic of machine learning and behavioral metrics!


If you'd like to re-visit the first blog in Rick's Hackathon series while you wait for next installment, click here! Stay tuned for Part III!

Rick Kubina

Dr. Rick Kubina, BCBA-D
CentralReach Director of Research

Richard M. Kubina Jr., Ph.D., BCBA-D is a Professor of Special Education at The Pennsylvania State University and teaches courses on methods for teaching reading, behavior analysis, and experimental design. Rick graduated from Youngstown State University where he had Steve Graf as an advisor and then received a Masters and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University under John Cooper.

Rick conducts wide-ranging research in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis and Precision Teaching. He also served as the editor of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration. He has dedicated his professional career to helping behavior change agents such as teachers, behavior analysts, and other helping professionals efficiently change behavior through effective teaching and measurement such as Precision Teaching. Rick co-founded a software called Chartlytics. Chartlytics merged with CentralReach where Rick has assumed the role of Director of Research.

At CentralReach, Rick explores how technology can accelerate superior outcomes for all those seeking to engender professional and personal success.

Read more of Dr. Kubina’s publications.