Disruptive Technologies

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

Date: February 10, 2015

Week 2 iPad Reflection: What’s in Kate’s Bag?



What’s in my bag? Well there are actually two bags that I’m including here: my laptop case/bag and my general bag I bring to class and work. Today I have:

  • iPad Air
  • iPad charger
  • Laptop
  • Samsung phone
  • Bamboo Tablet and usb cord
  • Bamboo Pen
  • Papers/quizes to to grade
  • Sketch book
  • 1 woodless pencil
  • 1 mechanical pencil
  • 4 pens
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Pocket screwdriver
  • Heavy duty staples
  • Receipts
  • Lists
  • Tissues
  • Hair brush
  • 1 bottle of water
  • 2 rocks

I can say over all I am carrying less than I was as an undergraduate because I can leave a lot of my books that are not digitized, a spare charger for my laptop and other supplies in my office. The iPad has also condensed how much I have to carry. Theoretically the receipts and lists could be converted though these need to go to someone who does not use an iPad so this becomes a problem when not everyone uses the same level of technology.  this also is a factor in the stack of papers I had to bring home from the class I teach. Though the students were allowed to do their in class assignment on a laptop or iPad and email it to me, many either do not have one or chose not to bring it. I plan to scan all of these into my iPad. I would not have to carry my laptop if I had a way to hook the iPad to a projector for my class and if I had an app on the iPad that was capable of competing with photoshop and aftereffects programs which would also eliminate the tablet.

I cannot live with out my cellphone, sketchbook and woodless pencil. My cellphone is still my preferred way of communicating with a lot of people. I like keeping it separate from my other devices and I only upgrade when necessary( hence the very old phone). My sketch book is a must! It never runs out of battery life and I take it everywhere whether it is the small one I am carrying today or the larger one I usually use, I always have one on hand. Though there are some great apps that claim to be sketchbooks and work really well, there is still nothing like a woodless pencil.

Most surprising thing? I don’t think it surprises me but it would probably go to the heavy duty staples and the rocks. The staples were part of a project I was working on and I left staple gun is in my office. I collect things like rocks that I find inspiring for my art that are small enough and I don’t feel a photo does justice.

Weekly Create – Week 2

Wenger qualifies a “community of practice” as a balance of mutual engagement, a joint enterprise, and a shared repertoire. While the interactions of the humans discussed in his chapter on community are specific to claims processors, I read it in the context of a theatre company; theatre companies, groups, or organizations are all communities of practice. Providing that individuals decide to be part of some sort of collective, relationships form between the individuals, the individuals have their own unique qualifications that supplement their peers’ qualifications, and a model of power, influence, and change is acknowledged, the community in question is one of practice.

This psychologically insightful analysis of community objectifies the scary, and sometimes unpredictable, nature and happenings in collaborative communities. Wenger mentions that collaboration is not implied, but the communities that he describes can only thrive if there is participation, in/with groups, which is collaboration.

The section about  joint enterprise really spoke to me. For three years I have served as the President and Artistic Director of Pocket Theatre. One of my jobs is to assemble teams of individuals with the intent to collaborate, so examining shared repertoire is a crucial part of determining who gets to mutually engage. I recently worked on a production; tensions were high, arguments were not uncommon occurrences, and productivity was often slowed by those two things. The lack of mutual accountability caused every issue. Because Pocket Theatre is a student organization, all individuals involved with our projects are students; holding students accountable for anything extra-curricular is a nightmare.

So, here is my “original question”:  How can we hold students accountable for the responsibilities that they take on in the extra-curricular setting? (Note: it is sometimes more effective to keep an inefficient person on a team, and correct work, than firing that inefficient person and replacing them.)


This is the basic layout of jobs / responsibilities in the theatre. In smaller companies, these jobs get condensed.

In the diagram above, communities of practice are contained within larger communities of practice. Crews are their own communities, but they report to supervisors / designers who exist in a larger community. (The communities nest further, going all the way up to the board of directors.)

Jay Loomis – Ants, Wenger, & Communities of Practice

In the writings on communities of practice by Etienne Wenger, there were several specific characteristics that the author described that caught my attention. To start, he made a point of defining his terms: community and practice. He specified that for his purposes these ideas need to be considered has a whole: communities of practice. One of the most important defining characteristics is that these groups of people are bound together, not only by having a common goal, but also through the collaborative actions that individuals in the group undertake to achieve that goal.

The author explains three elements of a community of practice: mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and common repertoire. An important aspect of “mutual engagement” is that members are not required to have similar skill sets or backgrounds; in fact, diversity is valuable and can help a community of practice to achieve their objectives. “Joint enterprise” refers to the collaboration that takes place and the accountability that is a necessary part of this system. The “shared repertoire” refers to shared expectations and experiences that accumulate from the group; after spending time acting together as a team, they know what to expect and have common references related to their objectives that help them to act effectively.

A community of practice can be described as a purposeful, intentional group of people who act together to achieve common objectives, with a variety of individual perspectives on how to approach problem solving situations.

As I read these articles by Wenger, I was thinking about some examples of this type of effective community action in nature: ants. There are many examples of the extraordinary feats that ant communities can achieve, from creating huge underground colonies, to creating the paths through perilous jungle terrain, to their singular focus on providing for and caring for their queen. For this reading on communities of practice, I found the following YouTube video of ants creating a bridge to be especially informative while thinking about effective collaboration as a community of practice.

My questions relate to the section where Wenger talks about the need to cultivate communities of practice. What are some specific ways that administrations or managers in hierarchical institutions can encourage this semi-informal yet effective style of team work? What is it about this type of collaboration that sometimes makes managers uncomfortable? What changes in perspective need to take place in hierarchical systems to help managers embrace this style of collaboration?

Fast forward to about 2:20 to see the moment when the gap is bridged.

Wegner’s Community of Practice – Katherine

Wegner defines a Community of Practice (COP) as a group of people who share a similar passion or interest for something and interact on a regular basis in order to learn how to perform their skill better. There are 3 different dimensions to a Community of Practice which include:

  1. mutual engagement
  2. a joint enterprise
  3. a shared repertoire

Mutual engagement is the amount and pattern of which the members of the community interact with each other. Membership within a community of practice doesn’t only rely on allegiance to a club or organization or being born into a specific social category but on the interaction between members. While geographic proximity between members is not necessarily, it is helpful to interaction between members. Three key aspects:

  1. enabling elements
  2. diversity
  3. multiplexity – joined by a variety of ties, including conflict

A joint enterprise refers to the common purpose that binds the people together and provides a unifying goal and coherence for their actions. Three key aspects:

  • negotiated goals
  • Indigenous purpose
  • mutual accountability

Shared repertoire refers to the continual development and maintenance of a shared repertoire of procedures, techniques, shortcuts, jargon, tools, forms, symbols, mental categories, actions, concepts, etc. Three key aspects:

  • shared history
  • richness
  • ambiguity

“The repertoire of a community of practice includes routines, words,
tools, ways of doing things, stories, gestures, symbols, genres,9 actions,
or concepts that the community has produced or adopted in the course
of its existence, and which have become part of its practice.”

I had a bit of difficulty with this reading but complemented it with some examples and summaries found online. One of my biggest takeaways from the reading was that a community of practice differs from just a community based on a few different key aspects but mostly the interaction between members. At first I had trouble understanding how Wenger was using the term “practice” until I read some other sources online.

Based on a chart I found on google images, I made a comparison between Communities of Practice and other types of work environments/groups.



  1.  Is our classroom considered a Community of Practice?
  2. Could a community meeting on a Google Doc or Google Hangout be considered a Community of Practice?
  3. What elements of a Community of Practice does our CDT 450 class have? Which elements does it not?

If Wenger Were a K-Cup

This week’s reading, Wenger, “Community” from Communities of Practice, is, as many of my colleagues have already pointed out, a fairly hefty article. It took a bit longer for me to read which I believe is partially due to the fact that I attempted to only read on the iPad, and I do not currently know how to highlight or whatnot like during my usual note taking.

This is the second chapter of his book, and Wenger often references chapter one. It might have been helpful to have that knowledge, but wasn’t entirely essential. To my own understanding,

Wenger describes a community of practice on a few different levels. I best equate each of these levels (or at times it could be better understood as a concept or other similar thought-model/pattern) with my job.

I work in Academic and Transfer Advising Services at Stony Brook University. We handle academic advising for all transfer students and continuing students after their freshman year. Take for instance, this picture:



At my work, our practice is helping students academically through transfer articulation and advising. We have decided to come together to develop this practice. We have formed a “process” which is reflected in the Red-Covered binder. It has all of the policies and regulations. “Jackie’s Posting Guide” represents each employee’s own contribution to these practices: We all have a specialty. We come from different backgrounds with different experience.

This “contribution” is not only expressed via policies, but also through simple “water cooler conversation.” In our case, it is the office Keurig! Employees talk relationships, the weather, general gossip; they laugh and cry together; parties are celebrated together. Each of these contribute to the overall atmosphere of the community.

Wenger was also adamant to point out that communities of practice are not limited to a particular office, building, or even country. To represent this, I opened Google Hangouts on my iPad Air. Although you cannot see the name, it is actually a colleague that I have done much work with via Hangouts.

If you have read Wenger’s chapter, you may notice that I chose to not use much of his terminology. Frankly, I found it to be a bit excessive. Of course, I plan on delving into this matter further, but I believe that these things can be said much more simply than his terms: Mutual Engagement, Joint Enterprise, and Shared Repertoire.


I am curious to know other “simple” examples of this idea. I’m sure that it can be used in education, and I think that MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are possibly heading toward this idea of a “shared” repertory of knowledge. However, I wonder how classrooms can more immediately begin to transition to this style of learning. I personally enjoy Wenger’s thoughts and believe that it is indeed part of what can help the education system.

Question is…is there a middle ground between MOOCs and the classroom? CDT 450 seems to be on the right track, but are there other possible ways? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What are your ideas?

Technically Yours,




iPad Reflection: What’s In Your Bag – Chris



Name: Chris

Place: New York

Occupation:  Student/Amateur Internet Connoisseur

At this moment It would be extremely difficult to live without my MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro charge, iPhone, keys, and wallet. As for things I can replace with the iPad, I don’t think I could replace anything. If I print something at the computing centers at my university I put them in the folder. The notebook is good for when I need to hand in loose leaf. Pens to write on said loose leaf. The most surprising thing I carry is the clicker because I have no immediate use for it.

Here’s what I have in my bag today (left to right, top to bottom):

  • VGA/HDMI to Lightning Bolt converter
  • Wallet
  • Pens (5)
  • Macbook Pro
  • iPad
  • Keys
  • Nametag for class
  • iPad charger
  • Blistex
  • iPhone
  • Wired mouse
  • Altoids (2)
  • Hand warmers
  • Macbook charger
  • Turning Technologies clicker
  • Moleskine notebook
  • Notebook
  • Folder


Get! In! My! Belly…Um…Bag!

Good Afternoon Everyone!

Now that I’ve been using the iPad Air for 2 weeks now, I thought it’d be nice to see how it has changed my life in regard to how much stuff I carry around with me each and every day. So, without further ado…What’s In My Bag??



  • Binder full of class readings, extra paper, and a hole puncher
  • iPad Air
  • Umbrella
  • Different Colored highlighters, pens, and pencils for notes
  • Flash Drive
  • Headphone Adapter for 3mm headphones to DAW
  • Headphones
  • Business Cards (in black holder)
  • Three packets of mustard (you never know when you’ll be in need)
  • An eyeglass/flute/sound art repair kit (tiny screwdriver that gets used with tons of stuff)
  • A stick of cocoa butter (I use it as a waxless chapstick)
  • 2 “flavors” of hand sanitizer
  • Name Tag for work
  • Unsalted almonds
  • Emergency pack of peanut butter crackers
  • Clarinet reed (keep in mind, I play the flute)
  • Saxophone reed (^^^)
  • Guitar tuning pitch-pipe (^^^)
  • 2 “tweeter” speakers
  • A mini-stapler
  • In-ear, re-usable ear plugs
  • Playing cards (same set from high school)
  • Scarf
  • Handmade ear-warmer headband
  • My own scarf that I’m knitting

Not Pictured:

  • Water bottle (It was being washed at the time. I go through about 80-100 ounces of water a day).
  • Asus Nexus 7 and extra Android charger (I am trying to mainly use the iPad, and I recently got a newer phone with a better battery)

I recently swapped my bags out. For four years I used a messenger bag that was my go to bag for everything (school, travel, storage, you name it..). Last semester I purchased a true backpack because I figured the two straps would be better for my terrible back. This bag is smaller so I have had to minimize what I have. I used to also keep band-aids, ibuprofen, other OTC meds, and my flute/piccolo. Now I have a separate music bag.

At my last school, my friends joked that I was the “dad” of the group. My best friend was known as the “mom.” Between the two of us we would have whatever was needed. I’ve gone through sewing kits (which is now stored in my flute travel bag), trumpet and baritone mouthpieces (once again…I play the flute), more general office supplies, napkins, a rubber duck, air freshener, and hand wipes. I am proud to have my bag down to only this much stuff…but it sometimes makes me panic because I don’t have something!


For most of what is currently in my bag, the iPad cannot replace. I bought a Nexus 7 last year so I had already begun the “deforestation” of my own clutter. Paradoxical pun definitely intended. It can, however, replace my class readings and notes. I have begun to take notes on Google Docs and quite enjoy it, but the professor gives us handouts as well. Also, when reading lots of difficult articles, I like to use my own system of highlighting and whatnot. This also allows for my hole-puncher and stapler to be used. I know that I can do this electronically, but haven’t had the time to figure out how to do what I like to do just yet.

Through the cloud, my flash drive can also be replaced (unless going to one of the last remaining no-fi zones). I believe that I have already done a decent job of letting the iPad replace my note-taking and most of my class readings. Other than that, these things cannot be replaced.

At the end of the day, I simply need a pencil (to write on sheet music), my name tag for work, and the warmth from my scarf and headband (this is New York, after all). I just like having lots of stuff.


The craziest thing I probably have at first glance, are the 2 “tweeters,” but in the end, I think the clarinet and saxophone reeds are the most out-of-the-ordinary since I play the flute. And then there’s Duckter Donna. But who doesn’t have a rubber duck-bride named after a Doctor Who storyline?IMG_0071


Technically Yours,


Ken’s iPad Reflection, Week 2: What’s in My Bag?

my bag

  • winter hat, black
  • micro USB charger
  • white envelope containing coupons, receipts, etc.
  • wallet
  • electronic cigarette “mod” with rebuildable drip atomizer
  • 1 eraser
  • 3 ballpoint pens, 2 black and 1 multicolored
  • 2 folders containing various papers and blank looseleaf sheets
  • metal business card holder filled with my business cards
  • pair of Apple headphones, unopened
  • Two 18650 batteries
  • Nutri-Grain bar, apple cinnamon
  • pack of tissues, unopened
  • iPhone/iPad charger
  • iPad Air
  • 3 mechanical pencils
  • USB thumb drive, 64 GB
  • USB thumb drive, 4 GB

Most surprising: The electronic cigarette. People often used to be surprised I smoked and now they’re surprised that I used to smoke.

What I can’t live without: The wallet, the e-cig, the winter hat in this weather.

What could be replaced by the iPad: Most easily the envelope containing coupons and receipts, but that will take further technological change. If the world goes paperless I could see potentially getting rid of the folders and writing implements, but until then, in a world with math homework I don’t see getting rid of good old paper, pencil, and eraser. I suppose the thumb drives could be replaced if the iPad was easier to use as a regular storage device and had more space.

Weekly iPad Reflection – Week 2

I’ve attempted to use the iPad for video and photographs this week. I haven’t been able to get past the iPad’s inability to share content to google drive, facebook messenger, google hangouts, and many other apps. I am hardwired to search for files in locations that have been designated for their storage, before attempting to use them in some way. iOS demands that I begin this search in the application that I wish to use the file in; to lock everyone into this alternate approach, they’ve completely avoided building support to share files to apps from the share button found when viewing the file. Apple is forcing me to push the home button, locate the application that I wish to open the content in, and open that application, navigate to the option/button that allows me to look for images/content/files on the iPad, remember which file it is that I wanted to use, re-locate the file, and continue what I was doing, instead of: push share, select app, move on with life. It damages the otherwise calm and speedy workflow that I get into on the device.

I’m finding that typing on the iPad is getting easier, but I would never use it for typing if I had a real keyboard, and no, the iPad keyboards are not adequate. Gmail, Chrome, Drive, and Blackboard are most valuable to me right now; because I have more screen real-estate, consuming content and responding has become much easier and more enjoyable. Next week, I’ll try using the iPad as a utility while I’m at work. I have a Screen Connect installed, for remote support, and a utility called Fing, which is “the ultimate network toolkit.”

The contents of the bag that holds my scholastic belongings:



In my bag, I’ve got some plays, some books about theatre, two notebooks, a fountain pen, ink for the fountain pen, two charging cables, one power adapter, and an iPad, complete with case. Nothing in my bag can be replaced by an iPad, except for the iPad. At the moment, I can live without the two plays in the bottom right corner of the image, as they are for leisure, but the rest, I must have with me. The only thing not pictured here is my binder, filled with various papers, that is currently in a storage locker at SBU. The most surprising thing that is found in my bag is the bottle of ink (inside the box below Next to Normal.) Unfortunately, I use ink rather quickly, so keeping the bottle close by is a must. The dramaturgy text is not a full time addition to the pile of texts that reside within my bag.


Jay Loomis – My Pack

Here are common contents of my backpack:


And here’s the pack:

FullSizeRender (2)

My wife got this pack for me when she trained students for a presentation at the UN last year. Since it was a give-away, I thought it would be cheaply made, but it’s not – I love it! It has so many pockets that I still lose things in there! I don’t usually carry my laptop around, but I can. The backpack has a dedicated pocket that makes it easy.

– iPad air and Zagg keyboard in a leather case. I use it to read and take notes, web search, etc.

– Charger can charge my phone or iPad.

– Headphones and stylus.

– Portable iPhone charger.

– Lunch pack. When I leave our apartment I’m not coming back for at least 8 hours, and I’m not crazy about cafeteria food.

– Water bottle. I drink a lot.

– Scratch paper and a couple ballpoint pens. Reuse. Recycle.

– Business cards.

Tin Whistles (Ireland). Papantla Flyer Whistle (Mexico).

– Blues Harp in A.

I could possibly replace the pens and paper with the iPad, but in some situations pen and paper is more convenient.

It’s pretty strange to carry various wind instruments around, that’s probably most surprising.

I really need my iPad, and I play music every day, I gotta have my chocolate too, if my phone loses its charge it’s really inconvenient… but I think water (and eventually food) is the only thing I can’t live without.

Week 2 Chris

This week’s reading was on Wenger’s study of Communities of Practice. Based on what I read I saw Communities of Practice as a shared space where members of this shared space participate in the exchange of knowledge and creation of new ideas based on individual problems. A Community of Practice is made of 3 parts mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire.

Mutual engagement is an obvious requirement. If the members of the community do not sign that unwritten contract to interact with one another a community cannot be built. I would describe joint enterprise as the synergy  of the members. I read shared repertoire as the culture of the community.

I watched this video to help me understand Community of Practice more and one thing I found really interesting was Wenger did not define wikis, blogs, or forums as Communities of Practice just merely tools. When I just started wrapping my head around Communities of Practice, I instantly thought of wikis, blogs, and forums.

I am a part of a group at my university called Computer User Digital Development Learning Environment or CUDDLE. During our CUDDLE sessions students of many different educational backgrounds come to collaborate on ideas and help each other out on personal projects. Based on the definition I understood from the reading, CUDDLE can be called a Community of Practice.
Some questions I have after reading up on Community of Practice are:

  1. At what point does a Community of Practice become more beneficial than traditional classes?
  2. Would MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) be considered a Community if Practice?
  3. Are there different types of Communities of Practice?

Reflections on Wenger’s Community of Practice

Chapter 2 of Wenger’s book discusses “Community of Practice”.  As definition, a Community of Practice (CoP) is a learning partnership where people engage in such partnership and start creating a learning environment by sharing common interests and needs with a set of tools.  This correlates directly to one of the classes themes, Community, and certainly indirectly to the other two themes, Identity and Design.  Wenger, a Social Learning Theorist, discusses the different dimensions of practice that embody community of practice; mutual engagement (identity), a joint enterprise (identity, design), and a shared repertoire (design).

The author goes in detail about how a CoP gets created, what are the necessary components, ground rules, its resources, governance, etc.  Conditions, resources, and demands shape the practice.

A CoP does not necessarily need to be “healthy”, meaning,  there will be fighting, disconnects, arguments, but at the end, it will still be a community of different and diverse personalities, learning and sharing valuable content.

I found this not to be an easy read.  I complemented the reading with other articles from the web, as well as a few videos in YouTube.  Time permitting, I will read chapter 1, as there were a few references in chapter 2 to this chapter.

Here are a few examples of a CoP in the Higher Ed space:


The questions I’d like to pose;

  • Are there learning environments that lack a community of practice?
  • Are there non-learning environments where a community of practice is present?
  • Could the same have been said in a simpler manner?
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