Disruptive Technologies

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

Date: February 1, 2015

Kate Schwarting- Personal Introduction


Hello, My name is Kate. I am originally from Saint James, NY. I am a graduate student in the theater department completing a masters in interdisciplinary arts. I did my undergraduate work at Stony Brook as well and majored in Geoscience, Studio Art and a minor in art history. Here is a link to some of my undergrad work from way back just to give you an idea how all these fields came together for me:


I currently work at the Craft Center on campus helping develop leisure activities for the students. I also help at the Paul Zuccaire Gallery and The Simons Center Gallery. I am the current artist in residence at CEWIT and am working on developing an installation that I hope to premiere this spring. I am interested in both science and art, but mostly on how these two fields can intersect. I think that the fundamental principles of art can be used to engage people in discussions about science including those that are complex and often deter some individuals from the subject. I think technology can play an intriguing role at this intersection. I am currently teaching an Intro to Visual Interpretation class. I am taking this course for several reasons. The first is to be able to disect the capabilities of these technologies and have that knowledge to apply to my work in the future. I also taking this to get more insight into the interaction between technologies and the classroom experience.  I am already seeing a multitude of ways I would love integrate some of these into the course I am teaching to better engage the students. I am also interested in the creation of identity through the use of social networks. I am pretty comfortable with technology though I am usually the one who has things go wrong with it, however I like finding solutions to these problems. I try to use it with purpose and have a reason for using it. I have played with some coding and hope that I can be proficient at using it with in my work in the near future. Outside of my work and studies, I like spending time with my pets including cats, ducks and a chinchilla and working with local animal rescue groups.

I am active on Facebook, 2 Instagram accounts, and Pinterest. I have a Twitter account but have not tweeted.

Technology is really apart of every aspect of my life considering I use glasses to to see properly and I would consider them a technology.

Thoughts on the readings

I found the reading very engaging especially because I can relate it to the class I am currently teaching. It is based on the students being able to interpret visuals and understand how to go about this. To be able to do this, it is essential that they be able to communicate what they see and to me harnessing the possiblities in social networks and disruptive technologies would make a class that needs discussions thrive.

In regards to Disruption + Innovation, I think the future is going to involve a collaborative environment between MOOC based learning and in class learning environments. I think this this hybrid can create an interesting learning experience for students and I find the discussion of the future of higher education to be very interesting.

Also, a few thoughts on the podcast we listened to in class. I felt it brought up the interesting topic of anonymity in social media. Anonymity gives the individual the ability to to say anything with out reprocussion. This has both negative and positive results. It can highlight areas of our society that still needs work or better understanding that are hard to face either either by the community or the individual posting it. Though many negative comments can hold a lot of weight socially, it is the individual that puts his/her name to post that takes ownership of the comment and can become a “community leader”.


iPad Reflection Week 1 – Chris

To be completely honest when the iPad first came out, I thought it was a wasted piece of tech. After using one for a week I cannot imagine working without it. I’m not 100%  knowledgeable of what the iPad can do so as of now I use it as a second screen while I work on a game I’m making.

At this point I’m considering not buying a notebook and using the iPad for all my notes, so at the moment I’m looking for an app I can use to write with my finger (maybe I code one myself).


I’m not that into apps so the only ones I’ve downloaded have been YouTube, Gmail, Spotify, and Yammer (for this class).

Typing on the iPad is a little awkward in both landscape and portrait mode.  I know there are apps that improve on the native keyboard, but I feel Apple could do a better job.


I’m looking forward to see what I can do with this machine.

Disney, YouTube, Web 2.1, and Me.

Hello Everyone! My name is Richard, and if you’ve made it this far, you might as well stick around till the end. After all, you’re reading a blog to see someone’s comments, and I’d love to hear yours too! Back where I’m from, it’s rude to have a conversation without having properly met, so maybe it’s a good time to tell you all a little more about me.

Even though I’m from a place with a 7-month summer, I ain’t no sweet summer-child. Born and raised in Central Alabama, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around a bit until most recently settling in NY for school. It’s definitely been a unique experience having come to Long Island, but one that I wouldn’t change for the world…and if you hadn’t noticed, the world is a very big place. I’m a walking Disney Proverb, and consider myself a “Musicologist-In-Training.”

“And YOU get a happily ever after! And YOU get a happily ever after!!!”

——– Oprah


I love social media. It’s 2015. Besides my mother, who doesn’t? I’m a somewhat active user on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, Tumblr (not a creator…just a sponge), and YouTube. When I’m not binge-watching a series on Netflix or HBO GO, I’m probably catching up on all the many vlogs I subscribe to. I like figuring out what makes people tick and why. The interwebs provide the perfect study group (and who doesn’t love cat videos?…once again…besides my mother). Although born in ’92, I’m a child of the 21st century. I’m not a true “techie,” but I wouldn’t say I’m quite a layman either–the internet is too much fun. I remember when my family purchased our first desktop with Windows ’98. Technology has just spiraled like a perfectly inflated football since then. Although a caveman’s rock-hammer is technology, I won’t use that as a cop-out. Disruptive, innovative, positive, negative, or any other adjective, I would challenge you to come up with an area of your life that isn’t affected by tech…because I certainly can’t.

Although I’d love to say that you came here for me, I’m sure you know that this blog space is connected with a course about disruptive technologies. For me, it’s like Charlie just bit my finger or Miranda Sings just called me Bae. I get to explore and talk about two of the things I love most: people (and identity) and social media. I go directly from a course on the sociology of identity to this. I can’t believe I get school credit for something this fun (okay geeking out moment done…I do that sometimes).

This all brings to mind two articles I just read for class: “Disrupting the Classroom” and “Disruption+Innovation.” As I was reading, my mind was racing with a collection of thoughts that I’ve been formulating for the last couple of years. We have seen the quick outpouring of support or opposition for various things in media. Anyone remember the petitions to secede from the US that went around? Or the rallying around Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby scandals? America has found itself in a place that was already built on instant gratification and failing self-identity, but now has morphed into a place of reclaimed, semi-collective identity.

Fads and trends have always been around, but with social media, the world can be changed overnight. YouTube videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger” enabled the world to see the first step of what was possible. Maybe someone out there thinks the same things are funny as me? People no longer have to settle for what’s around them. Go to the internet and there’s bound to be a like-minded someone.

This is the world that these articles were written in, and the same world that my thoughts began. However, there have been recent changes in TV and movies such as a rise in the “Trinity Complex” (strong woman that still needs a man in the end), Disney’s progressive views of love (from Brave to Frozen), or even as far back as Tru Blood‘s not-so-covert LGBTQ support. There’s also more recent events such as Ferguson, MO, or the national Yik Yak fiasco. People that have never had the opportunity now have a voice that can be shared with the world (anonymously or not). Like I said before, there will always be someone like-minded enough to “like” or “up-vote” something…no matter how trite or harmful it may be.

Long story short, America is a “bandwagon” country. It’s just a matter of time until a new one comes along. These are not inherently good or bad things, and I think  that we should accept the way things are…otherwise we may find ourselves living a lie that is based on “the good ole days.”

All of this makes me wonder about the classroom itself. I personally have been in many classes that I’ve been so bored out of my mind that my only escape was getting online and putting my headphones on (gotta be honest). Conversely, I’ve been so enraptured by some professors’ lectures that I did not once think about blinking, much less getting on Facebook. I tried to pinpoint some of the differences.  The not-so-successful ones were usually marked with reading from PowerPoint slides or handouts verbatim (eghmm…I can read, thank you), or standing behind a podium and never interacting with anything but speech lecture notes (this is not Congress, talk to me, not at me).

Successful professors usually engaged me by simply being excited about what they do. They walked around, spoke with their hands, asked for students’ opinions, elaborated and expanded upon the PowerPoint or textbook readings. I don’t necessarily think it’s social media’s fault students aren’t paying attention. I have had a professor that tried to implement a course blog before and it simply didn’t work. This prof was incredibly engaging in class, but I simply detested the fact that we had to do a blog. There seemed no point…there was never any feedback or interaction. I’m now Facebook friends with her and every now and then we use Facebook to discuss work, and it’s very effective.

My rambling on this has a point! People want to be cared for, accepted, loved, perhaps even admired. In our current society (especially with Millenials), every part of life is subject: class, work, church, etc. The articles talked about people’s “fractionalized identity.” People were one way online, and another way in person. Yes this is often the case and is the result of living in a world dominated by Web 2.0. I recently found an article about how social media can affect our own memory and perception of ourselves. I plan to be reviewing and expanding my thoughts about this article on my own SB You blog soon, but for now I will say that it is no secret that technology and social media has changed who we are. I think instead of fractionalizing ourselves, we have begun to simply change who we are by choice. As we move forward, I think it’s time to begin reevaluating life and technology. We still work with Web 2.0 tech, but I think it’s made us into a Web 2.1 society.

Technically yours,


Week 1 – Chris

Meet Me:
My name is Chris Williams and I was born and raised on Long Island. I am a senior at Stony Brook University studying Psychology with a minor in Digital Arts. About  two years ago I stumbled upon this thing called computer science and fell in love with it. Currently I am teaching myself a number of different programming languages to pursue a career in game programming. I am taking this class because the course website alluded to a class whose organization sparked an interest in me. I’d say I’m pretty comfortable with technology if it belongs to me. I’m not one to experiment with expensive tech if I have to pay a huge price for it. As of now I am active on Facebook and Instagram. I post on those two platforms frequently. I have Vine and YouTube but I only consume media from there. Technology play a big role in my life and I cannot imagine life without it.

Disrupting the Classroom:

My favorite topic in psychology has to be collaborative learning (I worked in a lab collaborative learning lab at Stony Brook for a year) and the web has certainly opened up collaboration across the globe to those who which to participate. The trend in education that I see is less focused on the individual and pushes for more group work. Seeing this excites me, but I’m still a bit hesitant in what this trend will produce in terms of individual production.

Although embracing technology in the classroom has been improving as of late, as a student I still feel a little resistance when it comes to using new technologies in the classroom. The fact that many educators feel the need to restrict the use of cell phones and laptops in classroom to this day still surprises me. With a little creativity the devices those educators see as distractions could be worked into the course to provide a fresh learning environment.

Disruption+Inovation = ?: 

The number of remixes, parodies, and homages seemed to have increased with the introduction of platforms like YouTube. Media consumers want to actively participate in the media consumption experience. Want proof? From television to film everything is attached to social media to further fan interaction. Web 2.0’s ease of use has given people an outlet to be a part of a community, establish an identity, and made a platform for people to share their creations.

Yik Yak at Colgate:

During our first class we listened to the podcast linked above. The ideas presented in the podcast aren;t thing I am unfamiliar with. With anonymity granted with the Internet people are given the liberty to post whatever they want and many a times the worst things people can say are said. This was the case at Colgate. What I found interesting about this scenario is the response made by the faculty. Essentially they broke what Yik Yak was designed for (anonymity) by signing their names to their posts. By inserting identity into the community of Yik Yak the toxicity was brought down, which I feel could be a good psychological study if it hasn’t been done already.

Personal Introduction – Katherine

Hi, I’m Katherine and I was born in Suffolk County and have been living on Long Island my entire life. I’m a senior Sociology major with a double minor in Women’s Studies and Media Arts. I’m interested in working with online/social media after graduation. I have an obsession with the music production industry and on occasion attempt to make my own electronic music. Ideally, I’d love to work managing a well-known producer or working on marketing/social media for them.

I originally found out about this class from a class I took last semester, CDT 208. I ended up reading the class description and reading more about Cole and thought it would be a really interesting class. I was excited to see how ecstatic he was about having the opportunity to teach again.

Overall, I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with technology but could definitely learn more about certain programs and apps. I would say I’m about as comfortable with technology as most other college students are. I’ve had a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and most popular social media accounts. I’m currently active on Facebook and Instagram but deleted my twitter last year.I can’t think of any area of life that technology isn’t a part of currently.

“Disrupting the Classroom” and “Disruption+Innovation.”

I really enjoyed reading Disruption+Innovation. I thought that the comparison of newspapers to modern education was extremely interesting. Newspaper companies never used to worry about going out of business because consumers weren’t interested in reading newspapers anymore. I definitely think the modern education system is completely going to change with the rising popularity of MOOCS replacing actual in-class environments. I was really surprised when Cole showed the statistics of how many people were enrolling in online classes versus the number enrolled in actual college institutions.

Disrupting the Classroom

The articles discussion of technology as a positive disruption was interesting. The word disruption tends to hold a negative connotation but new technologies should be a positive thing rather than strictly seen as a distraction in the classroom.

Thoughts on Podcast

The podcast we listened to in class really made me think about the dangers of anonymous social media apps like Yik Yak. I thought it was cowardly of the people who were writing  those vicious yaks about the ACC to do so anonymously. I was especially surprised when the podcast talked about how Yik Yak will only agree to block their app using geofencing in high schools but not college campuses. I didn’t think that Colgate University handled the situation very well, at least publicly. I thought it was amazing of the Dean to offer the members of the ACC who felt threatened to stay at her home but it was only a temporary, not permanent solution. The schools offer of allowing the students to finish the semester off campus seemed to indicate that the students, not the university was doing something wrong. I think anonymous social media apps like Yik Yak can be really fun and interesting when they are used by mature people in the right environment. I think Yik Yak should have a better system for managing posts targeted against a certain person or group of people.

Jay Loomis – Personal Intro, Readings, Podcast

I was born in Minnesota and I grew up in Wisconsin. After I graduated from college I went to Spain to teach English. I stayed there for about seven years.Then I went to Mexico where I taught English for a year. After that I moved to Long Island to live with my great aunt and uncle who live in Greenport. I have been in New York since 2003.

I have a number of different interests that intersect and are mostly focused on education. I have about 10 years of teaching experience in classrooms in Spain, Mexico, China, and in New York. In all of these contexts, and whenever I teach, I try to use music and art as a means to inspire students in their classroom learning experiences. Please check out my website for more information.

I love music. I play flutes from different parts of the world, I make flutes, and I’m always looking for a good opportunity to jam, and collaborate and create music with other musicians. I enjoy Western Classical music, and am passionate about different styles of music that come from around the world. Lately, I have been learning to play traditional Irish music on the silver flute and I’ve been researching flamenco music in New York City.

Here’s flute making video essay produced by a Stony Brook alumni, Jennifer Long:

I’m interested in this class because I know that technology can be an amazing tool to improve students’ understanding and retention of information that is shared in educational settings. At the same time I feel like my grasp of how to use technological tools in education is lacking. I’m hoping to learn some practical and disruptive skills to use a variety of different technological tools in a variety of educational settings.

In general, I’m quite comfortable using technology as long as I don’t need to code. I don’t know anything about writing software programs. I have used a variety of audio engineering software like Ableton, Audacity, Garage Band, and others, and lately I’ve been using the 3D modeling software AutoDesk Fusion 360 to create models for rapid prototyping. I use 3D printing to create tools that help me make different types of flutes out of clay and wood.

Facebook is part of my daily life. Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy, IFTTT, WhatsApp, and Skype are other social media tools that I have used, but not on a regular basis.

Technology is everywhere. A situation in life, devoid of technology? skinny dipping? 

“Disruption + Innovation” (Camplese) & “Disrupting the Classroom” (Camplese & McDonald)

I think I have been conditioned to consider “disruption” to be negative, especially in the realm of education. The negative connotation that [disruption] has for me is most likely due to all of the teachers that I’ve heard scold students for being disruptive in the classroom.

I’m enjoying reading about [disruption] in a positive light, imagining the need to disrupt a stagnant situation to bring about vibrant growth.

I think it’s clear that higher education has been evolving and changing since its conception so many generations ago. In our time digital technology is ubiquitous in Western modernized society, so it seems logical to me that the present evolution of higher education would take into account new realms that have emerged like social media, online communities, apps, and powerful yet portable digital tools like smartphones, tablets, and wearables.

I was also surprised by the term “worried.” What’s the point of worrying? Evolution is natural. Perhaps the challenge is to examine and evaluate new tools, and develop pedagogies to make digital tools even more useful to help people learn; the article “Disrupting the Classroom” examined some ways to do so.

I like the idea that social media in the classroom can serve to inspire dialogue, because discussing topics can help people people understand a information from a variety of perspectives. By coordinating and collaborating with other people and talking about new information and how to use it, a student demonstrates understanding and learns how to ask a variety of useful questions related the topic at hand. When effective interaction and communication occurs, the classroom can seem like a community. What makes a community thrive and succeed is probably similar to what makes a learning environment thrive and be successful.

I know that a great way to deeply understand something, and firmly grasp some new material, is to do something creative with the new information that has been presented and researched. The idea that students can be both media consumers and producers is a powerful tool for education. Thanks to the software innovation known as apps, there are innumerable opportunities to create media and share it; the goal for educators is to develop project based learning activities to achieve their pedagogical goals.

I was intrigued by the idea of multichannel discourse. It reminded me of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which can be applied to the idea of multichannel discourse. Different people excell in communicating in different ways, so it’s good to give students in a learning community a variety of different options to be expressive and interact with new information in the ways that are most natural to them. At the same time they can learn from each other a see different ways to approach solving a problem.

Some questions that I have about new developments in education related to digital technologies:

What about evaluations? What is the role of testing? How can a balance be achieved between individual learning and depending on the hive mind? What’s the difference between face-to-face and face to screen interaction?

“Reply All” PODCAST #9 “Writing on the Wall”

The podcast that we heard was disturbing. It was hard to listen to college students’ comments about African Americans as an inferior race. The animosity. The hate. The aggression. The depth of the ignorance and the lack of empathy was disheartening, especially amongst college students.

I’m convinced that one of the main causes of racism is ignorance, fueled and perpetuated by segregation. I like to think that if racist people can meet and interact with people who are different from themselves, they will be more likely to open their minds and hearts, and recognize that we are all human beings, and we have so much to learn from each other.

I’m sure that there are plenty of college students who are interested in getting to know people who are different from themselves, but they don’t know where to find opportunities to interact with people who come from ethnicities and backgrounds different from their own.

So I’m working on an idea for an app that would facilitate integration and help people get to know each other, even if their paths wouldn’t normally cross.

It’d be great to get some feedback – I’ll post a summary of my idea soon!

Personal Introduction – Christopher Stratis

Hey, I’m Chris! I grew up in Bethpage, NY, but now I live in Wading River. This semester starts my eighth semester at Stony Brook University, studying theatre, and my sixth semester running Stony Brook Pocket Theatre, Stony Brook’s student run theatre company. When I’m not thinking about theatre, I am brewing and drinking copious amounts of coffee. For the past six years, I have been employed as an IT Technician, so technology is not to foreign to me.  You can find me on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Technology has woven it’s way into many facets of our lives, but it has not yet reached my fountain pen or books, that’s right– made of paper. Some things are better when left alone. I enrolled in this course because I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to get comfortable with publicly publishing work, and meeting regular blogging deadlines.

In response to the readings:

I agree that it is time for Education to embrace technology. Essentially, technology has removed geographical obstacles that prevent humans from interacting with one another. The internet allows people to communicate, peer review, create, and share data and ideas, so why not integrate technology into higher education?

We are finally getting over society’s massive initial investment of time to learn how to use technology. It’s here. People use it. It’s not going away. At the University level, students are expected to conduct themselves like adults; if they choose to play games or chat with friends on their devices, while they are supposed to be doing other work, that is their choice, and they will be evaluated the same way the rest of their classmates are evaluated. Technology is a tool with seemingly endless potential; incorporating it into the learning environment is the right move to make.

Intelligent discourse will happen with, or without, the university. It happens in forums and people are even dedicated to documenting information and peer reviewing it– Wikipedia. Isn’t that what makes information credible, peer review? If higher education does not embrace technology, it will probably be left behind. (Think IBM when they decided that the personal computer was a laughable idea.) With online courses, publications, and communities, there is really no reason to go to college in the first place… except the bit about obtaining a degree to list on resumes.

While I do not believe that gimmicky, uni-tasking products are sustainable in the classroom, opening up lines of communication between students and sources of data and storage is the only way to progress in education. If productivity is the desired outcome, then using technology to collaborate anytime and anywhere with network access, is essential.

I am a student and a working professional that is required to constantly check for emails and messages. Work doesn’t stop outside of the 9 to 5 anymore. Everyone is “plugged in,” so everyone expects that availability is extensive. With smartphones and tablets, I can be away from my desk or out of the state; I will still be available when needed.

Students have to opportunity to use the technology to shape the learning environment into something tailored for their own needs; with devices that multitask, on the software and hardware fronts, there is little left to worry about improving before implementing said devices into the daily grind.

Modeling Expectations

So next week we start with the team posts. Things are looking to ramp up, and while I wait (not so) patiently to see how you will react to this week’s work with your postings I thought I would share with you a model that can illustrate the kind of substantive work I am expecting starting next week. The first week is very much about setting the stage and getting to know one another, but once the team postings start there is a rigor associated with my expectations that may be a bit beyond what you are used to encountering. You heard me say a few times on Thursday that I will not be giving tests this semester, but I will be assessing your grasp of our material through your conversations in class and your postings here on the blog.

With that in mind I want to share with you a link to the work grad students are doing in this course at Penn State. They are a few weeks ahead of us, so it stands as a good model to the kind of things you will be tackling in the weeks ahead. Now, keep in mind that they are reading multiple chapters of multiple books each week — something I have chosen not to do to you. Even so, I want you to be prepared for what I expect. Here are two examples of team based writing outcomes that you should use as guides for your own attempt at sense-making in your weekly team posts. See both, “Engaging in the Development of Identities” and “The Shapes of our Identity” as examples of team based posts for a week.

Kicking off the Themes

Next week we will kick off the exploration of our first theme, community. I’ve decided not to rotate through the three themes week to week and instead pause and spend three weeks on each theme. That will allow us to deep dive a little more and will give me a chance to give you some more dedicated readings and activities. Looking forward to seeing you and I am really looking forward to reading your posts!

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