Disruptive Technologies

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

Author: Katherine.Schwarting@stonybrook.edu (page 1 of 2)

Kate’s Personal Reflection

I can say that this has been one of the most remarkable class experiences I’ve had and I am very sad to see it coming to an end. When I signed up for this class I really had no idea what the experience was going to be. I was looking for another class to take that would relate to my other studies but hadn’t made up my mind. When I received an email with the link to this blog, I was intrigued by the type of experimental atmosphere that was alluded to in the course information. As someone who started out skeptical of the positive “disruptions” that technology can have on the classroom, I can say that my view has completely changed. I now see possibilities for communities to form, identities to emerge and be expressed all within well designed environments(both physical and virtual space).

The iPad that served as the featured technology this semester created an interesting platform for exploring community, identity and design.  The way this course was structured allowed me to investigate how I could benefit from the device. I can now say I do 90 percent of my work on the iPad.  Though I still retreat to my laptop for adobe programs, I discovered many apps that could take over this work for small scale projects and I was very happy with the outcome. I recently started using a new note taking app that allows me to highlight and write on any pdf which has been a great find. I have been working with Mindly to map tasks and help me manage work. There are certainly many distractions available with the iPad but turning off notifications can greatly reduce them. It has also helped me manage my emails much more efficiently and I use it for most of my communications. I also used it for lesson planning and presenting material.

There is much to say about the class experience but I would just like to thank everyone for the great journey  and hope that “future people” get to enjoy it as much as I did.



Kate’s Weekly iPad Reflection

Here is my latest update on my iPad use this semester:

I have used it as my primary way of displaying content to the class that I teach. while I have to resort to the laptop for several programs, it has been good for showing video and slides. I bought a wireless speaker to attach when I show video clips. Unfortunately I tried using apps with white board features but have not found them to be as useful in the classroom since it feels like there is a bit of a learning technique to writing on the small screen thats different from writing on the white board.

I use it for most of my notes, lists and organizational needs. I recently found the Mindly app to be a really interesting and unique way of organizing just about anything because I can nest tasks within tasks and it provides the ideal visualization for me. I wish I could easily check things off or visualize when something is completed in the app, though I am happy enough with the way it is.

I tried periscope a few weeks back and though it was tough getting through some of the material that was not useful, I found some students asking people to ask them math questions. Out of curiosity, I asked them a few questions about things I remembered from undergraduate classes.  What amazed me was their joy at being able to help and and the great explanation they gave. I can only think that if I had access to something like a virtual help room when I was taking those classes how much more I could have gotten out of them, especially with people who genuinely wanted to explain things.

I have used it to take some videos for an upcoming project I’m working on and Im hoping to eventually be able to integrate it with the ardiuno that I am using in the project.


Right Shark Design Challenge for “Critique”

Challenge: Design a mobile app that supports peer critiquing using gamification elements.

Restated from original: “How can we create a mobile environment that supports peer review and feedback through gamification?”

Process: This challenge was chosen after carefully evaluating the positive and negative attributes of each of the suggested challenges made by team members. Our evaluation included the following discussion:

What stood out about each idea?
Kate’s idea is good for faculty and students.
Chris’s idea is simple.
Ken’s idea seems like something people could use a lot, and use to make some income in an unstructured and unstressed way. It’s like Cuddle for the whole campus.
Shady’s idea has a lot of potential for presenting information visually through maps and reports, and create serendipity through GPS and potential for online discussion around events.

Are there patterns or areas of overlap?
Kate’s and Ken’s ideas could be somewhat combined for critiques and collaboration in the same app.

Are there areas of multiple interest in the ideas?
Kate’s idea could potentially be used as a portfolio site or for networking.

Strengths, weaknesses, needs, constraints.
Shady – mapping multiple events in the same building could get cumbersome
Chris – app doesn’t really do that much

Identify who each idea is for (audience)
Kate – faculty, artists, art students, possibly app developers and other students.
Ken – students, faculty working on projects
Chris – students
Shady – students, campus clubs, administration

Are the ideas focused on solving their problems?
Yes, each one will work to resolve specific problems for the intended audience.

What we know about the challenge we chose:

Students can benefit from feedback on their work
Gamification can be effective in incentivizing behavior

What we don’t know:
What methods of gamification can work for this application. Since it’s similar to Quora, we can perhaps analyze their methods.

What are the limits to the types of projects that can be critiqued?

Research Questions and Methods:
How can this be built as an app, from a technical perspective (i.e. what language or platform(s) to be used)
How can this be marketed?
What’s the budget?
What’s the target audience?

How is it supported?

Will the audience be willing to integrate it into their work flow?

Kate’s Weekly Create

Reese & Roxie
This week’s create involved using the Slate app to tell a story. Since I used slate last week, I wanted to try something different from what I usually do and though I had several ideas that I will be trying on my own time, I decided it would be interesting to see how slate could be used by students to help the community. I volunteer at a local animal rescue center and wanted to use the platform to feature the story of their adoptable pets. After visiting the dogs, hearing their background, and making a few paintings for a personal touch, this app is fantastic for quickly putting together a finished product and I could see this being very useful for student work. I was able to produce everything including the watercolors on the go which was really helpful. My only issue with the app is that though I love the one option that allows you to have the window move over the image, it’s height depends on the screen dimensions which is not always obvious if you are doing it on the iPad. This may make the content not look right on all devices or orientations. I would love a bit more flexibility.


Kate’s week 10 Create post

I created this slate document to provide my response to how I define design. I included some simple ideas I had about qualities usually investigated in the design process along with examples of how my illustrations utilize design.
Thoughts on Design Elements

Kate’s ipad reflection

As an undergraduate I enjoyed studying both art and science. When I look back on what could be added to the iPad that could have enriched my experience I have a few ideas. Two of them center around studying art at a university that is focused on science.
The first would be an app that puts researchers and students/artists in touch with each other allowing students more opportunities to see what is going on in the community as well as correspond and get feedback from researchers and have a greater exchange of ideas. Something that is like a hybrid of yammer, LinkedIn, and possibly something else entirely.
My second and more developed idea is an app called “critiQue”. I recently had the opportunity to participate as a reviewer in an art show for students about ready to graduate high school and enter college most likely to pursue arts. For many of them it was the first time someone other than their teacher, friends, and family had given them feedback. This made me reflect on my experiences and what could be done to help students broaden their ability to receive crucial feedback. One thing I would have like to see would be a social media app that allows others to critique your work and provide you with constructive criticism. Though the critiquing process is sometimes harsh there is no better way to develop your work than by hearing criticism from others. For students especially those at a university like Stony Brook there would be many benefits to this type of app. Most apps are geared to social posting and comments are often from people outside the field who either “like” it or have some other generic “it’s pretty” comment that does not add any valuable discourse. While it is nice to hear people like your work, it does not help someone improve their work. Why is it good or bad? Why do you like it? How could I improve? These are all questions that are asked in isolated classrooms. Why not take this to the larger student artist community rather than waiting for the slim chance of an exhibition where you might have your work displayed and may get a few helpful comments ? It is very important to be able to see your work against the larger community discussion taking place in art across this campus as well as other campuses. In such an app, you could post your work in progress and hear feed back from other art students, faculty and professionals. Constructive comments could be rated to show which ones are most valuable and how many people agree. The initial amount of works you may share would be a small standard amount but would increase as you give feedback to others fostering a discussion between students.

Kate’s ipad reflection

I am finding my modular method of working with the iPad to be quite successful. Some of the interesting features I have discovered in explain everything is the ability to record actions on each slide and publish it on YouTube. I am also able to drop videos directly into the presentation, write and draw over them and include all of the interactions that I have on the screen in the recording creating a completely customizable presentation. I also found the app cute cut to have some greate features including the ability to layer videos and change their transparency. The only downside to this app is that the free version leaves a watermark on the video and has a limit to the length of the video that can be made. An easy fix for this is to place these clips in iMovie for final arrangement and to add music.

Aside from these tools, I have been using my iPad for most of the lectures that I do and have been finding it to be an overall enjoyable and smooth experience. I still needed the ipad for photoshop instruction and to play DVDs.

Kate’s Weekly create

I tweeted a little experiment with making abstract animations today. It’s really important to me that when I work in different apps that it doesnt call attention to the app that was used so that it remains consistent with my artistic identity and adds positive qualities to my work. In choosing what aspects of my identity to put on Twitter, I would like it to be about my experimentations with different media (including apps) as well as ideas. Twitter is a powerful tool for shaping identity and I think it’s important to take that into consideration at all times. I find it interesting that when I google my name it is one of the top three sites that appear along with this blog despite how infrequently I tweet, which shows how important it is to make sure that these are the aspects of my identity that I want to be public.

Kate’s iPad reflection

When I heard representatives from apple were coming I didn’t know what to expect. What would they add to this conversation? I was pleasantly surprised with with much of their visit. While much of their discussion on garage band was comprised of things I had already explored, it made me look at the app a second time and find a few new features that I had not yet tried. My main take always were the countless ways keynote can be transformed from just a basic presentation app to something that can be applied to many more dynamic projects. It even has some elements that will help me do mock ups of animations and websites. They also mentioned that keynote projects could be imported into the app “explain everything” and the presentation could be recorded I bought this app and love it. Its main down fall though is that it does not import slide transitions and there is no ability to add them in after importing. My only solution would be recording the presentation and then opening it in iMovie. I also liked the idea that iTunes U could be used to create a portfolio. I would like to explore more of these nontraditional uses for these apps and understand their fundamental capabilities so that I can repurpose them depending on my needs.

One of my biggest revelations was to break out of the notion that a single app has to do everything. I do a lot of animation work and not having an alternative to AfterEffects or something similar so I can do trial animations has been a big drawback. I am used to working with software that does everything but now I am seeing apps more as modules that I can move my work through. I have stopped searching for things like animation apps and instead looking for ones with specific tools such as apps that will cut out sections of images and give transparent areas to the images so I can layer them in another app. This has been successful and I am looking forward to developing a system of use with several free apps as well as Explain Everything, iMovie and GarageBand to animate some of my paintings.

Kate’s identity and iPad reflection

Using the iPad to create this was an over all positive experience. I shot the footage using the native photo app as well as iMovie and a short segment using the “stop motion” app. I made slides using the Phoster app and compiled it in iMovie and added some of the stock music as well as voice recording done in the app. As someone who works with video editing and animation frequently I found several pros and con


-basic video capture and organization of the iMovie is good for general use. Cutting video was simple. When I think back to classes I’ve taken, I could see this being used to support assignments in most subjects.

-easy to import video and photos from other apps

-sound is decient and easy to record. I liked that I could have several tracks and though it took me a moment, they were simple to move around.

– being able to crop the image and videos

-uploading I will put under pros but at first it was not so simple. In order to up load to YouTube I had to Chang my settings in my YouTube account to allow interaction with “less secure” apps. Though this took some time to figure out and get past it constantly asking me to sign in I know I will not have this issue again and things will go smoothly.


– as someone who works with video editing I wish there were more features such as better filters and lighting adjustments to make it look more professional. I would have liked more control over the text and title features since there was no ability to move them on the screen and change other aspects including the timing and duration of their appearance So I could have had a text overlay/captions. I would have liked more control over the transitions and audio transitions. I also wish it was possible to change how much a video is cropped over time- zoom in and out.

Over all though I think it’s a great app and it can be limited only by a lack of creativity however I would be even happier if those ther features existed.

Kate’s weekly create



Using the Phoster app I created this poster that compiles many of the verbs used on the Internet that play a role in the creation of identity online. Every action that “I” perform on the Internet builds a representation of my identity through the content attached to that action. Though I don’t believe it is always the “truest” representation of one’s identity it is still an identity and a way of portraying who we are or how we would like to be seen. I used different fonts and sizes because of the varying degree and ways that these actions may effect identity as well as the ability of different identities to exist.


Kate’s weekly iPad reflection

The iPad has continued to prove useful with my daily activities. I find in general its just faster and easier to use then my laptop because I don’t have to be hunched over a desk all the time. I compose my powerpoint presentations on it now and was very happy with its ease of use. I also have been making more use of Evernote for note taking and storing webpages that I would like to refer to later on.  I started using the google app as well and was very happy with its perfect translation of what I was saying. I continue to explore art apps that I think would be handy for that aspect of my work. I have been trying out Autodesk 123D Sculpt+ and have found it to be a wonderful and intuitive environment that is very easy to work with and has great results and for me would be a good way to explore 3D work however it occasionally quits so saving work is a must! The main problem I have been having with the iPad this week is its judgment on what should be autocorrected. A number of its assumptions have been pretty disruptive in the fact that when I am typing a long paper or email things get changed with out me noticing until after the fact or it stops me and I have to go back and change it. I like that it gives me suggestions I just wish it didn’t change things with out me accepting the changes.

Kate’s Pick for top 3 thesis from Cluetrain

1. There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

with the availability to fact check it is possible to instantly determine whether it is based on others experiences or other recordings of facts

2.There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.

each have motives and desired out comes

3. We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.

Kate’s Weekly Create

This week I wanted to continue with a post relating to community.  At first, I was going to create a website for the class I teach to provide a space to enhance a sense of “community” among the students. I started it but it is still a work in progress. I was inspired after seeing what others were doing to follow up on an idea I had had some time ago. I share many of my sketches and detail sections of some of my paintings that I use in animations on one of my Instagram accounts. I developed a strong sense of community with some of those I follow and those who follow me. We share tips, advice, and support. One asked me about my technique and if I had ever done a time-lapse of the process. At the time I had not, but I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to make one since in a way I feel like it is adding to the “community” I have built. I used both the iPad Air and my iPad mini, one to look at reference images and the other to record(really need a tripod or something for this otherwise just stacked things up and put the mini on top). The process was fairly easy and enjoyable, though there was some issues that came up when moving the file between apps. It was also to large to upload and required using my laptop. I recorded in the Hyperlapse app and easily transferred my video from one iPad to the other using Airdrop. I edited with iMovie app, though I wish it had more ways to edit contrast and light. Here it is part of it uploaded to YouTube, ( the initial drawing, masking, and painting) a watercolor time lapse based on an MRA image of the brain.

Watercolor Time-Lapse

Here is a still detail



Kate’s week 3 iPad Reflection

Its been 3 weeks since I started the journey with the iPad Air. It has maintained a place in my daily activities. I sill find moments when I say, ‘Oh, I can use the iPad for that!’. I started scanning old newspaper articles and papers into Evernote. I have been using my I pad frequently while I teach but really wish I had the ability to connect it to the projector so I could eliminate the need for my laptop on most days. I have also been using it for most writing assignments and notes. I recently got the QuickVoice app so I can ramble on about projects to myself and take notes on it later. In general it’s been a great experience so far. The only thing that continues to bother me is that in some apps and on some websites the touch sensitivity seems to be off and it takes too long to select or click on certain things. Also, while I have found apps that have promise in competing with photoshop I have yet to find something that competes or even attempts to compete with AfterEffects, which is what I primarily use for many projects. I will continue searching….

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