Disruptive Technologies

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

Week 15: What a Long Strange Trip

It is hard to believe that we’ve only been at this since late January … so much has happened in that time. I owe you all both a very real “thank you” and a longer reflection on what this experience has meant to me. Consider this the thank you, but I will take some time to reflect on this very rich and rewarding experience and share it with you.

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me, Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been. —Truckin’, The Grateful Dead

Today we see how you have taken the time to bring all of this to closure — Linking community, identity, and design together to synthesize your own understanding of what the last 15 weeks has exposed us to. It only seems fitting that you all own our last 3 hours together. After 6 PM tonight there will be no more “out of class” assignments, no more strange readings from Weinberger or Wenger, and certainly no need to reflect on a piece of glass and aluminum. I sincerely hope you do take some of these things we’ve done and turn them into habits — creating on a regular basis, working to not dismiss new and emergent ideas but instead unpacking them and discovering their affordances, and certainly taking the time to reflect on yourself and the world around you.

My closing thought as we embark on our final week is that the work we created here in this space is like a time machine — you will be able to return to the course site and see what you were thinking about, working on, and making for as long as it stays here. You are co-creators of something that will extend well beyond this week 15 and into the future. If I teach this course again here (or somewhere else) you will be linked to the legacy that is the Grand Experiment of Disruptive Technologies. Welcome to the club!

Bittersweet, Like an Apple Removed from My Heart

So guess what? This is it. It’s a bittersweet moment as I sit here typing out my final blog post. I had so many goals and aspirations to achieve this semester and reached some while never thinking twice about some others. Then there are the goals that I achieved without intending to. You may be wondering what some of those goals are, but I’ve decided to not tell you. If you’re reading this, then let me tell you that you have been blessed with a magnificent brain that can come up with ideas that I could never dream of—don’t let me hold you back.

 

There is one thing that I learned this semester that I really think you should keep in mind. It’s all about people.

All of this. School, technology, families, the postal service, all of our communities, everything. Don’t take people for granted, but in turn, don’t take yourself for granted either. You’ve fought half the battle by just taking the moment to read this. It proves that you not only want to, but can do it. If you’re having this read to you, guess what, you still can.

 

After school special aside, this has been a great semester. It’s one of the first courses where I felt like whatever I put in I got in return. I definitely appreciated that it was taught and attended by university administrators–not to have an outlet to vent, but it was encouraging to see that the people behind so many emails care about improving the school and are motivated to do it with students in mind.

As you should know by now if you’ve been keeping up with this blog and course, we had iPads all semester. Needless to say that all my plots to keep mine have been thwarted by that nifty ID number on the back. Oh well. I must say that I don’t know if this semester could have been possible without them. They established a baseline technology that we could implement in whichever ways we saw fit to be successful in school. I frequently caught myself panicking if I left my iPad at home (moreso than if I left my phone). It has been everything this semester–never leaving my side. It took some getting used to, but wasn’t unbearable, and since it was new, it forced me to begin thinking out of the box in general. In essence, it was disruptive. Knowing that I would be giving the iPad back, I can speak honestly and say that I failed and didn’t push it as far as I could. As a broke college kid, I refused to spend money on it. If I had brought my own, or purchased it in the beginning, I think my selection of apps and utilities would have been much more in depth (would have had an external keyboard too). Do I think iPads should be implemented in education? Definitely. Will something new need to be added eventually? Definitely. Is that okay and natural? Definitely.

 

I bid you adieu, and may the dreams of a back button forever rest with you, my dear Future People.

Technically Yours,

Richard.

Closing Remarks Chris W.

This class has been a great experience. Coming into this class I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Honestly, I enrolled in the class because I heard we’d get to use an iPad for a semester. While the iPad was nice, I’d say the best thing about this class were the excellent discussion we had in class and how fluid the syllabus was. This class has really opened my eyes to the subtle complexities of community development and really helped me define who I am as a person. The guest we had in class pushed me to do what I want in life (which is to work in the gaming industry). The last section, Design, helped me take a new approach to the creative process that I will definitely use later on in life.

This class has shown me a few apps that I really enjoyed using. In no particular order SwiftKey, Adaptxt, Evernote, and POP.

Adaptxt: If you want swept functionality on your iOS device I would definitely recommend this app. The user interface is clean and is very responsive.
SwiftKey: This is another third party keyboard that has the swipe functionality. From my experience sometimes the keyboard wouldn’t appear and you’d have to tap on the lobe icon more than once. Otherwise it is a great app to use.

Evernote: This app is a powerhouse! From presentations to website layouts Evernote can do it all!

POP: In the design section of the course both teams used this to make the layout of our apps which were our a part of our Final Synthesis.

Lastly, the iPad was really useful this entire semester. Slowly substituted paper with the iPad and it became an integral part of my day to day. This device is useful beyond belief and after this semester is over I will seriously consider buying one for myself.

Cheers to a great semester!

Final Weekly iPad Reflection

From the first day of CDT450, I have been pondering possible implementation of the theories and technologies that we’ve explored together.

The isolated iPad experience:

The iPad is the most stable tablet on the market. I have been able to increase efficiency in my workflow and decrease the mountain of things that I would normally bring with me. Check out some of my other reflections for the specifics on my favourite features.

The iPad as a baseline technology:

Wow. Here is where the magic happens. Once everyone has the iPad and a similar app vocabulary, the possibilities open up with collaboration enabling features and products. Evernote, which integrates with chrome and other applications, is our go to for collaborative searchable notebooks– better than a shared google doc. Drive is our go to place to dump files for instant sharing and collaboration. AirPlay allows us to move data across our devices efficiently and share our screens with a common display. Stre.am allows us to deliver live video streams. There are other notes on positive changes in collaborative workflow in my other reflections… I mostly discuss Slack. *surprise!* (I’m sure that none of my classmate surprised at all)

The reality:

iPads for every student may not be immediately feasible. In the meantime: I will work to implement cross platform apps that allow us to get by with devices other than those sold at the apple store. Slack, Evernote, Google Apps, Basic video/audio recording are here for us immediately. Things that I’d like to try with students, next semester: delivering a presentation via Stre.am, group presentation outlines and research organization via Evernote, eliminating the need to be in the same room while building presentations via Google Slides, and having group readings/text accessibility via the Kindle app. I am TA’ing a theater history course next semester, so I’m going to pitch these ideas to the professor running the course. He’s been telling everyone to get iPads for ages, so I’m sure that he would be very excited to try new things in class.

Final Synthesis – Team Right Shark

Ken’s Final thoughts on the iPad

Using the iPad this semester was interesting. I already had owned Android and iOS phones, but this is the first tablet I’d used for a long period of time. Having the extra screen real estate on a mobile device was nice, although I realized that for the work I do the best device is a MacBook and that a phone is more convenient for most mobile use.

The one area where a tablet seems most useful is for reading articles and eBooks, which makes it an attractive device for students. On this I’m a bit torn because it’d certainly be better than using multiple textbooks, however carrying three separate devices with me seems strange. This is probably an irrational aversion though; I’m sure I could get used to the idea of having a device in my pocket, two in my bag, and soon maybe even one on my wrist. The biggest conclusion I’ve reached at this point is that buying stock in Apple is probably a good idea.

Final Post – iPad, etc.

Throughout this course, the iPad was extremely helpful in exploring different aspects of the Disruptive Trinity of Community – Identity – Design. By using apps like Pop and plugging in to Gdrive our group communicated continually with a purpose. Since we had specific objectives to achieve, and we were required to address specific issues related to readings and topics introduced in class, our team acted as “Community of Practice,” as far as I understood Wenger’s description of this term. The iPad served us not only as a tool to connect and collaborate; I came to conceive of this mobile device as a “global broadcasting tool” which facilitates my interest in communicating to others about my interests, creations, research, and exploration of myself, my community, and my miniuniverse. Thanks to recent experiments with prototyping tool called POP, I can experiment with a number of different app ideas that I have, exploring workflow and practical aspects of how objects interact on a touch screen. This practical perspective on app development and has expanded my understanding of the options that are available through mobile technology to communicate and interact with people using digital mobile tools.

iPad reflection – Final

I cannot express how glad I am I took this class. The last 13 weeks have tough me a great deal of technology, being able to interact with students have helped me understand their needs better, being back to school have renewed my understanding of how complicated student lives can be, but most importantly, having used an iPad as my only technical device for the class has shown me the potential of such little device.

After these 13 weeks, I find that iPads are a Jack of all trades and Masters of “most”. An iPad does a tremendous amount of things, GarageBand, iMovie, KeyNote, POP, and the endless array of productive applications are just some of the examples of the power of this tablet. It does a lot, and I mean a lot of things really really well.

When I compare it to my work device of choice, a Chromebook, there is only one reason why I would pick the Chromebook. The Chromebook only does one thing, but it does it exceptionally well. It provides a full feature web browser, and for work, in a Google environment, it is great news. However, putting work aside, and in a student environment, an iPad would, without a doubt, be my device of choice.

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.

 

 

Personal Reflection Post – Katherine

I’m actually a lot sadder to be writing this post than I expected to be. This class is hands down the most memorable and stimulating class that I have ever taken. To be completely honest, I signed up to take CDT 450 for two reasons. One was because Cole’s description of the class had mentioned not spending all our time in the physical classroom. As a second semester senior and a person who prefers naps to actually being in class, I thought this would be a pretty easy and not very intellectually stimulating class ( I was wrong). I wasn’t at all disappointed that Cole never once cancelled class (he even held a Google Hangout class on a school snow day). The second reason I signed up for this class was because I started to google “Cole Camplese” and read more about him as a professor and person. His reviews on ratemyprofessor we’re pretty promising even though they were for Penn State and not SBU. When I walked into the class on the first day, I was a little overwhelmed to see that there were so few people in the class and that I was one of only two females. I quickly became aware of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to sit in the back of the classroom and blend in while staring down at my laptop or phone screen. I realized right away that Cole wasn’t a “normal” professor and that this definitely was not going to be a “normal” class. We were given iPads the very first day which at the time seemed like a lot to trust us with after only knowing us for a few hours.

Cole very rarely stood up in front of the classroom and lectured us with powerpoints. He engaged us in conversation and had us get into sometimes heated and tense discussions on everything from technology to “future people” to “master bakers.” I usually hate classes where there’s no notes on blackboard or study guides or lecture slides to learn off of. This class changed all of that. Cole didn’t want us to learn old, recycled information, but to come up with new ideas and reach new, exciting conclusions. I feel like all classes should be taught by professors like Cole. If Cole asked a question in class, and no one responded, he wouldn’t just give away the answer. He would stare around the room until someone became uncomfortable enough to actually try to answer the question and come up with new ideas.

On the topic of the iPads, I think it’s a commonly held believe that technology is tearing our generation apart and has no place in the classroom. Our experiences in CDT 450 could completely turn that belief on its head. We used our iPads to collaborate and make presentations, present them, and to have knowledge right at our fingertips. I think we made 2 presentations so far. My group, Too Disruptive, only met for about maybe a total of 30 minutes to work on one of the projects. Everything else was done through our iPads or laptops using Google Drive. I never thought it would be possible to be able to collaborate on a project without physically meeting with my group. Having the ability to work with others from the comfort of my own bed was a great feeling and that wouldn’t have been possible without our iPads. The iPads really took our class from a community to a community of practice. I remember when we first started discussing the topic of community and Cole asked us if we felt our class was a community. Everyone was a little hesitant to say yes but I strongly believe we would all identify the 9 of us as a very strong community after the past 14 weeks. We were able to create common goals and reach them, all using our iPads as a tool and resource. I loved that our class grades didn’t come from essays or quizzes or tests, but rather from class discussion and our synthesis presentations that gave us the opportunity to illustrate what we learned and give us the chance to teach it in new and cool ways.

Overall, Cole is probably the coolest professor I have ever had and CDT has been an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. I genuinely believe that all professors and students could learn a lot from CDT 450 and Cole Camplese.

Week 14: Working Session!

Well, this is it … our last class before we wrap up with the final Team Synthesis next week. It is hard to believe, but here we are. Today will be unlike any other day we’ve spent together. I will be giving the class to you — we will still be in the room together for most of it, but I want you to take the time to hang out, talk, laugh, and work in your teams on a couple of things. First and foremost, I want you to make progress on your paper prototypes. I am really excited to see how you have decided to design at least two of the interactions we brainstormed last week and I am very interested to see if you took advantage of the tools we looked at.

The second thing I want you to work on is your Final Synthesis. This one is different than the first two in that I want you to work together to draw our three themes together. You can do that in any creative way you see fit, but you must connect the dots from across the entire semester and use the lenses of Community, Identity, and Design to bring your synthesis to life. I am giving you one last reading this week and I do think you’ll enjoy it … please integrate it into your Final Synthesis. I expect you to share your app prototype, discuss the disruptive potential of the iPad, and describe how our themes and our semester long conversations about disruption impacted your final design statement. Most importantly I want your teams to bring forward a bold statement about how your collective minds may or may not have been expanded by our little grand experiment this semester.

Again, if you have readings or things for the rest of the class to do to prepare, please post them by 5 PM on Tuesday. As some inspiration, here is a Final Synthesis from ghosts of Disruptive Technology Past …

Out of Class

Small Pieces

One of the great paragraphs from Chapter 2 of Small Pieces Loosely Joined

But on the Web we experience something we can never experience in the real world: places without space. Instead of needing a containing space to enable movement, the Web has hyperlinks. Links are at the heart of the Web and the Web’s spatiality. The fact that the linked pages come from many people turns the Web into a place larger than we are. It is a public place, a place we can enter, wander, and get lost, but cannot own.” Since place and space have been inseparable in all of our experience in the real world until now, when we experience the Web’s place-ness, we assume that it must also have the usual attributes of spatiality, including the accidental nature of geography. That makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that what holds the Web together isn’t a carpet of rock but the world’s collective passion.

Too Disruptive – New Design Challenge:

How can we create a platform that builds community by connecting students to food?

OR

How can we create a platform that builds community by informing students of local events, and campus activities that provide cheap (or free) food options?

Ken’s Weekly iPad Reflection, Week 12

Recently, inspired by Jay, I’ve been looking into sending MIDI between different apps on the iPad. One promising way is using Inter-app Audio, which was introduced in iOS 7. A lot of apps support it, including GarageBand and Tabletop.

There’s also an app called MidiBridge that lets you route MIDI to and from apps that support it. This might be more promising because it seems like more apps can use it. If I were to write an app that supported MIDI thought I’d probably look to support Inter-app Audio too since MidiBridge costs $8.99 so that’d be a barrier for people.

 

Week 13: Time to Decide on Design

This week I want to give you ample time to complete your research and start actually prototyping a couple key interactions within your proposed app. We will start with you sharing the results of last week’s Team Post assignment. Let’s discuss what you have learned so far from your research and what has been effective.

Start with a peek at something I’ve been working on.

Brainstorming

We need to start with learning how to appropriately brainstorm … let’s do something together to illustrate how to best construct opportunities to arrive at ideas together.

Now it is your turn, I want you to brainstorm a set of scenarios or case studies that you can use as the basis to develop set of prototype interactions within your app. Work together to imagine:

  • A set of scenarios (3-5) where your app would be the tool people would use to solve their problem
  • How the app would be used in those scenarios by creating a work flow, a diagram, a process map, or other visual ways of articulating how the app addresses your audiences’ challenges
  • Create a set of opportunity areas to focus on within the scenarios — the team should construct a series of “How Might We …” statements to address the challenges illustrated in the frameworks from the previous step
    Spend time brainstorming each opportunity area …
  • Decide if your app truly does overcome the problems that people are trying to solve with your app
  • Choose at least two scenarios to prototype

Begin to Design your Interactions

Paper prototyping is a great way to do this … let’s explore some options. Here is a fantastic PDF template of the iPad you are designing for available for free to print (I even printed some for you). Here is an app that automates your paper prototypes — and it works perfectly with the template I just linked to.

Out of Class

  • Watch the Paper Prototyping course on Lynda.com.
  • Come to class next week with your interactions ready to paper prototype … it is a good idea to play with some of the tools we looked at.
  • Bring your iPad paper templates to class with some ideas sketched out.
  • Start working on your final synthesis — due in two weeks!
  • Remember you can now start doing your class evaluation.
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