Disruptive Technologies

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

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!

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  1. I am really interested in hearing more about your app concept. My wife and I spent a bunch of time talking about the ideas you did share with me over email and we both instantly saw a really important concept emerge. I love the idea of giving people a chance to connect with others instantly to help broaden their horizons. I have a friend and colleague from Penn State who does work like this … he teaches the most popular class at PSU, Race Relations and runs the World in Conversation project … perhaps I can have him come in over Google Hangout to share his work?

    Take a look http://www.worldinconversation.org/about-us/

  2. Jay.Loomis@stonybrook.edu

    February 3, 2015 at 2:08 am

    World in Conversation looks great… so practical and necessary – it seems like a great way to approach tough topics from a variety of perspectives. It’d be great to hear more about it from him through Google Hangout, and get feedback or collaborate on this app idea (for now I’m calling it InteGreat). I’ll post about it later tonight… I’m just finishing up a short paper.

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