Disruptive Technologies

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

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.

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1 Comment

  1. I think the combination of the psychology and digital arts is a really interesting mashup. I too was a psych major and the ideas of expression — particularly digital expression — always appealed to me. In fact, I found later on that my psych background fit really well with my other interests — social computing, teaching, learning, and design.

    I think you are hitting on something with the notion of collaborative learning. I feel learning is and of itself a social endeavor, so having tools that affords real collaboration is a big step forward. In our class we will be using google docs to co-author a lot of content, so we can put our theories to test!

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