Disruptive Technologies

Course site for Disruptive Technologies. Exploring identity, community, & design.

Month: January 2015

Ken’s iPad Reflection, Week 1

It’s the second day since I unboxed my shiny new iPad Air. It’s a sleek little machine.

I knew going in that it wouldn’t fully replace the desktop experience. As a programmer I had no illusions about being able to install my IDE of choice (IntelliJ IDEA). However I have found it useful for diagramming and planning my software. Maybe I can finally upgrade my system of clipboard and stacks of scrap paper (thank you Professor Prusslin for giving such a crazy amount of handouts, it’s kept me going for years).

So far I’ve been using the app Lekh Diagram. The free version lacks the ability to export your diagrams, but for my uses that’s been fine. I look forward to exploring other apps, and I have nothing against investing the cost of a turkey wrap¹ if it’ll help get the job done.

It’ll be nice to test the app I’ve been developing on this tablet. I recently joined the iOS developer program and plan to release my first app for the platform, only having done Android up until now. I’ve already successfully provisioned the device, pushed my app to it, and found a few sizing issues I’ll need to address.

I noticed the iPad came with GarageBand preinstalled. As a sometimes composer I was curious to try it out, but when I try to open it it just closes right away. The same happens with Numbers, iTunes U, iMovie, Pages, and Keynote.

¹ Despite having working there I don’t really drink Starbucks.

Charlie Robbins on Social Justice

In Shady’s personal introduction he shared a TEDxSBU talk from our own, Dr. Charles Robbins. Dr. Robins is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the Undergraduate Colleges here at Stony Brook University. He is an exceptional friend, colleague, and educator. His passion for undergraduate education is rivaled only by his deep interest in social justice. His talk at our own TEDxSBU was the only one of the event to receive a standing ovation.

Weekly Create – Week 1 – Shady


iPad Reflection Post – Week 1 – Shady

I neither like nor dislike iPads.  I find them such a great companion in long trips, at the night stand, in the train, and to read a book, but I’ve never been a big fan when using them as a productivity tool, and this, might be very specific to my line of work.  While at work, I’m constantly on the go, in and out of meetings, creating meetings on the fly, and working and collaborating on Google Drive.  For this, I need a real web browser that will give me the same user experience I would feel when sitting in front of my desktop.  It is for this reason that I rely heavily on a Google Chromebook for my day to day.

I was very excited to get an iPad for the class as I wanted to put it through the test, this time, as a student.  Here are some likes/dislikes during my first few days with it:


  • Design
  • Battery life
  • Ease of use
  • Better vetted and tested apps than Android

The device is under the influence of a central management console.  As such, I have found some anomalies with how the device was configured:

When I click on classroomD… 2015-01-31_1328 I get the attached error:


The iPad lacks a full web browser, therefore pages don’t always render well:


Not sure what the App Catalog is 2015-01-31_1335  but when I click on it, I get this:

There are some Apps that I don’t know what they are, but I’m sure this will be discussed in the class; AirWatch, Content
Instead of Word and Power Point, Pages and Keynote, I would’ve preferred Google Drive to be already installed.  Just a personal preference.
I first tried to used the iPad’s native app Mail, but I was not able to delete email.  I’m sure it’s there somewhere, it was just not intuitive enough.  See attached:

I also couldn’t find  the attach button in that email client.
One of my biggest gripes of iOS, vs. Android devices, is the lack of a Swype keyboard.

Overall I installed the Gmail app and the Chrome browser app as I find them superior to what the native apps the  iPads had to offer, again, a personal preference.

I tried to download an app, YikYak, from the App Store and it would not come up after the search.  I didn’t know why since it’s such a popular app, specially on college campuses.  Then, it was brought to my attention that this is an iPhone app, and I had to change the search criteria.  After doing that, I was able to find it and install it on the iPad.  If it’s known to work on the iPad, why not display it on the search with a disclaimer?

Overall, beautiful and practical device.  The design is admirable, as well as the ease of use.

Personal Introduction – Shady

Hello, my name is Shady, pronounced shad-dee.  I was born and raised in Spain, came to the States at age 20 to get a college degree.  Who would’ve thought I would never leave.  I am currently the Senior Director of University Information Systems at Stony Brook University.  In this role, I supervise the creation of most software systems for the Stony Brook University.  Many of these systems are front facing, i.e. SOLAR and Campus Residences software, as well as software development for administrative systems, campus residences, research systems, and several others.  In addition, my group also provides project management support to some of the largest software deployments on campus in support of faculty, staff, and students.

I’m very interested in this course because it will give me insight in two different ways; one, I will be able to learn more about disruptive technologies, a field that directly impacts my line of work.  Secondly, it will give me a true experience of the troubles and tribulations that our students must go through in order to enroll, create and view their class schedule, pay their bills, and ultimately, see their grades, which all ride on software supported by my group.

In my spare time, I love tinkering with cars, specially Volkswagen’s.  I’ve loved VW’s ever since I was a little kid, and I’ve pretty much have had all models (Scirocco, GTI (1.8T and VR6), Golf, Jetta (2.0 and GLI), Corrado VR6, Passat VR6 .   I can mechanically work on them.  Do not care for air cooled ones however.

I also enjoy keeping up with technology and innovation.  I would like to say that I consider myself to be above average when it comes to technical knowledge and exposure.  However, as professor Camplese said on the first day of class, his daughter makes fun of him for some apps that he uses which are already “obsolete” as per her.  Our youngsters are driving technology, specially Web 2.0, as read in Disrupting the Classroom.  I’m amazed at how quickly my kids have learned to use technology, and keep up to date with it.

I can barely keep up with the never ending array of social media platforms.  I am however active in Linkedin,  Yammer, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and Instagram.  I also rely heavily on WhatsApp to communicate with my folks overseas.  When I first came to the States, I would try to send a hand written letter to my parents once a month, and every other month to the friends I left behind.  Phone calls overseas were extremely expensive.  Now, with apps such as Skype and WhatsApp, keeping close to loved ones is not only much easier and frequent, but FREE, talking about disruption!

I also spend a considerable amount of time playing racquetball every week.  I usually play four to five times a week for a total of about ~10 hours.  It is at this time that I can finally disconnect from the “internets” and go back to rudimentary tools.  A string racquet and a bouncy ball, those are not part of the internet of things 🙂

The first week assignment was to read and comment on the article Disrupting the Classroom

I enjoyed reading the article, and in some instances, it was an eye opener.  The Higher Ed landscape has certainly changed from the last time I took a college class, back in 2005.  Going back to school for the first time in 2015, I see students heavily relying on their smartphones.  Lids are certainly up everywhere, and collaboration is a breeze. Computers are in the classroom, wireless everywhere, collaborative spaces, all very different, in really, not that much time.

“Schools and universities have the potential to become communities of learning, but educators and administrators must rethink teaching and learning in the context of new social trends and the technologies that support them.”

Our faculty must certainly adapt to how students are now absorbing data.  The content might not need to change, but the delivery must.  Students are already coming with web2.0 embedded in their DNA.  They have grown up with, and not trained on.

Towards the end of the first identified trend, the authors discuss the need to train our students to be safe in the internet, just like we teach our children not to get in a car with a stranger.  But, how can we do this?  My 6 year old, already using a tablet more fluently than I do, loves to take pictures of his siblings while on the toilet.  He finds it extremely amusing and loves to show them to every one in the house.  His tablet is connected, and at his age, he already has a Gmail account, and knows how to send instant messages.  In one occasion I managed to stop him from sending one of these pictures to the neighbor’s kid.

We are not saying we want teachers to embrace ubiquitous social networks simply because students are present in them. We are suggesting that the affordances of these environments and devices should be used to support the underlying principles in our own classroom practice.

The lectures no longer need to happen in the class, say Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:20pm to 3:40pm, they can happen via blogs, tweets, contributions in Google docs, YouTube, etc.

Why are students, or youngsters in general, more used to sharing their thoughts in a public forum than older people … and by that, I include myself at 41.  Is it because they have grown up in Web2.0 era, as said earlier, it’s already embedded in their DNA?  My son started playing with an iPad at age 2.  I never tough him how to use it.

The question is how to develop new ways of thinking about assessment that encourage students to use the content they produce to create projects of a manageable size that can be assessed

A second reading was YouTube’s ‘Charlie bit my finger’ tells us about Web 2.0

This was another interesting read.  Perhaps a question from a psychological perspective; why do we want to be heard? Before the web, social networking, an other media where we could express our thoughts, people still wanted to be heard, we posted flags of our favorite soccer team on our windows, we had “outspoken” bumper stickers, etc.  With the revolution of the web2.0, expressing yourself has become easier.  This certainly touches on the three themes of the class; Identity, Community, and Design

When we post anything to the Web, we are begging for a conversation. We want to be ridiculed, called out, accepted, talked about, linked to, and, most important, not ignored.”

And again, we can identify a theme:  Youngsters are, unknowingly to them, a driving force to this revolution.  We saw it with the death of Myspace  in favor of Facebook.

And who is driving this revolution? Teens. For them, this isn’t “technology,” it’s just the way things are.”

During class we also listened to a podcast about how YikYak, an app that allows you to post anonymous comments based on geo location, had unveiled racism at Colgate University. The author, Alex Blumberg, discusses a series of racist comments targeted to specific people within the University.  An issue for which administrators were either not aware or had chosen to look the other way.

The podcast addresses two issues, racism in America, and the dangers of posting anonymously.

In my opinion, YikYak raised an issue, that, without anonymity, would’ve never surfaced and made known to senior administrators.  We monitor YikYak on campus to see what students have to say about SOLAR, about the wireless network, Blackboard.

A few months back, I had the privilege of attending TEDxSBU.  One of the speakers, Charlie Robbins, also a senior administrator at Stony Brook University, spoke about social justice.  I vividly recall his comments about racial injustice, how, after a series of national racial controversies, we, the american people, were supposed to start the “debate”, yet, has it happened? has it been addressed?

Social media allows us to uncover this type of issues, and should help those responsible in addressing them.  It does not create these issue.

I Lied. Getting into the Course Site.

Ok … here is a quick primer on getting into the course blog … once there explore and if you need help refer to the Lynda training I linked to it in the previous post. Go to the course site (you are here now) and find the sidebar where the heading is “Meta” and click the “Log In” link.


You will be prompted for your NetID and then returned to either the course site Dashboard itself or the SBYou dashboard — where you are taken has to do with a few factors. If you are not taken to the course Dashboard — You will know where you are based on the “Admin Bar” at the top. If it says “Disruptive Technologies” you are in the course Dashboard and you can publish away. It would look like this …

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 10.02.26 AM

If you land at the Dashboard for SBYou, roll over “My Sites” and find “Disruptive Technologies” to jump over to the course site.


WordPress Online Training

I told you I wasn’t going to teach you how to use WordPress, but instead provide you with a link to our Lynda.com online training … here is WordPress Essentials. You can skip the part about installing WordPress — we’ve already done that for you!

Corn — Who Knew?

One of the more intriguing things I learned in class yesterday was that Jay has spent time Detasseling Corn. Prior to last night I had no idea that was even a thing … well a quick google search later and I have done the deep dive into the life of a detasseler! It is interesting that in most of the YouTube videos I watched they bus high school kids in to do the dirty work … creating an ad-hoc corn detasseling community in the corn field.

Cole’s Interview

Here are my answers to the group interview questions. Leave comments.


What is a Weekly Create?

Anything. I want you to make stuff … take a picture, make a gif, make a meme, record sound, shoot some, video, or write something. My goal is to get you to stretch your creativity and make digital things. They need to be posted to the course blog and you need to write something about what you made. Here are some questions to consider … How did you make it? What was the motivation for making it? What did you use to make it? Did you enjoy making it? Was it difficult? What does what you make say about you? Does it shape your identity? Are you happy with it?

At the end of the day, I just want you to spend some time thinking about creating digital artifacts. You will do one each week and we will build the rubric together, but for the most part anything goes!


Getting Started with Diigo

This semester I plan to make use of Diigo to manage links and resources that I see that I think you will find interesting. I encourage you to learn how to use it for both this class and for helping you organize stuff online. One of the main reasons I like Diigo is the ability to markup and annotate webpages and then allow others to see the annotations. This is really helpful as I share things with you — you get to see what I find important. To take advantage of that you will need to create your own account and be signed in. Here is a decent overview of Diigo … take a look and let me know so I can add you to the course Diigo group.

iPad Apps to Consider

There are a lot of great apps to support all sorts of work flow on the iPad. I will add a few here and try to keep adding to this as you start exposing good ones throughout the semester. Please feel free to add any apps you find useful to the comments of this post as well. The links on the App titles open the iTunes App Store.

Apps I can’t live without:

  • Evernote: I use Evernote to keep nearly everything in order. I use it for so much, I could talk all day about how useful this one service is.
  • Scannable: I use this with Evernote to create very high fidelity photo based “scans” of my handwritten notes.
  • GroupMe: I find this much better than iMessages for lots of reasons. I have groups of all kinds in my GroupMe.
  • Yammer: The mobile app for the Yammer service is really pretty good. It lets me stay connected to all my Yammer groups and messages while on the go.
  • Hangouts: Fantastic for text, audio, and video chat. And with our Google Apps on campus it is a home run.
  • Drive: This is where I keep all my files and collaborative work documents.
  • Docs: Its like Word in a browser, but I like it more. The collaboration features make it a no brainer here at SBU.
  • Pocket: This is my go to “read later” application. I have tons of web articles clipped into Pocket for off and online reading.
  • 1Password: There are a few password managers on the market, but 1Password is my app of choice. I have different passwords for everything … thank goodness for 1Password.
  • Things: Beyond a basic to do list … sure Evernote can handle To Do items, but Things is built for it and I use it a lot.

A Little Hint

We are still a couple of weeks away from the start of the semester, but I thought I’d share a little hint as to what awaits students this spring!

A hint as to what is coming to #CDT450 students @stonybrooku #SBUDoIT this spring?

A photo posted by Cole Camplese (@colecamplese) on

Week 2: Apple iPad Seminar in Class

Week two is upon us and now is when we will really get things moving. I want to share some general thoughts on your posts and where we might want to go from here. We will reflect briefly on any lingering issues from week one and try to wrap up the idea of the Internet as a disruptor in general. This will let us set the stage for our first deep dive into our themes, starting with community. I will also introduce you to your team assignments and get you rolling on the Team Contract.

During class some people from Apple will be here to do a hands on session with us to help us get the most out of the iPads this semester. I am keenly interested in us really unpacking the affordances of the iPad as a tool to support learning and student work flow in general. I have asked Apple to focus mostly on how the iPad can support content creation of all types. In addition to the Apple team, there will be some folks here from around campus to learn a bit more about the iPad.

Week 2

Out of Class Assignments

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