Disruptive Technologies

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

Category: Personal Intro

Personal Introduction – Ken

My name is Ken, I’m from Long Island and I’m interested in mobile and web development, software engineering, and music. I’m taking this class because it sounded amazing and it was recommended by Meg Schedel. I’ve been part of her Cuddle Time group for three semesters and created an app with her called Drum Circle, which is an web-based collaborative drum machine. My comfort level with technology is very strong. I’m a Comp Sci major and my primary business and hobby is creating software.

Social Networks

I’m an occasionally user of several social networks, although I’m not the most active poster. I try to stay quiet until I have something unique to say, and as a reader I appreciate others who take the same view.

I like Twitter, however I don’t like how I have to follow a whole person. What I mean is I tend to follow a lot of software people, but I’m not interested in other aspects of their lives. I like the way Pinterest lets you create boards for each topic and you can choose which to follow. I’m also on Facebook, Quora, Stack Overflow, LinkedIn, and Google+ (barely).

Is there any area of life that technology is not a part of?

Technology is absolutely everywhere, even if it’s old technology. Humans have the drive to make every area of life easier and more effective, and have done so for thousands of years.

Reply All: The Writing on the Wall

I had heard about Yik Yak but hadn’t tried it until after I listened to this podcast. I actually had an idea for this type of app about 4 years ago but decided not to pursue it. I had mentioned the idea to my Mom (who is African-American) and she pointed out that it could lead to bullying and a mob mentality. Looking back it’s interesting that she’s the one who had that insight.

I knew this kind of racism existed, but never thought it would be quite so public in this day and age, especially on college campuses which are supposed to be bastions of liberalism. Actually I suppose it’s not really “public” since the haters are anonymous but it has very real consequences IRL.

Disruption + Innovation

I found the part about Toyota interesting, and it made me think about makers of low-end Android phones and tablets. In most countries besides the US and Japan, Android has a majority market share. However Apple makes the majority of the profit at the high end in first world countries. Cars are different though I suppose since they’re much higher priced items. Also a lot of the money in mobile is made after the initial device is sold, for instance Amazon can afford to sell hardware at cost or even at a loss, but the tie-in to their ecosystem more than makes up for it.

I feel that college could be displaced by online courses such as MOOCs, but only if there’s a way to deliver an approximate substitute for the social experience. Perhaps this would take a form similar to Coworking spaces.

Disrupting the Classroom

Honestly I’m a bit skeptical about attempting to harness social networking channels into the classroom. My personal feeling is that I would be less likely to engage through Twitter for instance than participating face to face. I tend to be pretty self-conscious and knowing what I say would be saved on the Internet and also tweeted out to my followers would probably make me more self-conscious.

Also I’m not sure how asking questions online would compare to asking them in the moment. On the one hand you’re not disrupting the lecturer’s flow, on the other hand will they remember the context when they address an 140 character question about something from 15 minutes ago?

I do however very much like the idea of using tools like Yammer for private class communication, and using things like Trello and Google Docs for group projects. I adore Trello and use it for my personal projects all the time.

Kate Schwarting- Personal Introduction


Hello, My name is Kate. I am originally from Saint James, NY. I am a graduate student in the theater department completing a masters in interdisciplinary arts. I did my undergraduate work at Stony Brook as well and majored in Geoscience, Studio Art and a minor in art history. Here is a link to some of my undergrad work from way back just to give you an idea how all these fields came together for me:


I currently work at the Craft Center on campus helping develop leisure activities for the students. I also help at the Paul Zuccaire Gallery and The Simons Center Gallery. I am the current artist in residence at CEWIT and am working on developing an installation that I hope to premiere this spring. I am interested in both science and art, but mostly on how these two fields can intersect. I think that the fundamental principles of art can be used to engage people in discussions about science including those that are complex and often deter some individuals from the subject. I think technology can play an intriguing role at this intersection. I am currently teaching an Intro to Visual Interpretation class. I am taking this course for several reasons. The first is to be able to disect the capabilities of these technologies and have that knowledge to apply to my work in the future. I also taking this to get more insight into the interaction between technologies and the classroom experience.  I am already seeing a multitude of ways I would love integrate some of these into the course I am teaching to better engage the students. I am also interested in the creation of identity through the use of social networks. I am pretty comfortable with technology though I am usually the one who has things go wrong with it, however I like finding solutions to these problems. I try to use it with purpose and have a reason for using it. I have played with some coding and hope that I can be proficient at using it with in my work in the near future. Outside of my work and studies, I like spending time with my pets including cats, ducks and a chinchilla and working with local animal rescue groups.

I am active on Facebook, 2 Instagram accounts, and Pinterest. I have a Twitter account but have not tweeted.

Technology is really apart of every aspect of my life considering I use glasses to to see properly and I would consider them a technology.

Thoughts on the readings

I found the reading very engaging especially because I can relate it to the class I am currently teaching. It is based on the students being able to interpret visuals and understand how to go about this. To be able to do this, it is essential that they be able to communicate what they see and to me harnessing the possiblities in social networks and disruptive technologies would make a class that needs discussions thrive.

In regards to Disruption + Innovation, I think the future is going to involve a collaborative environment between MOOC based learning and in class learning environments. I think this this hybrid can create an interesting learning experience for students and I find the discussion of the future of higher education to be very interesting.

Also, a few thoughts on the podcast we listened to in class. I felt it brought up the interesting topic of anonymity in social media. Anonymity gives the individual the ability to to say anything with out reprocussion. This has both negative and positive results. It can highlight areas of our society that still needs work or better understanding that are hard to face either either by the community or the individual posting it. Though many negative comments can hold a lot of weight socially, it is the individual that puts his/her name to post that takes ownership of the comment and can become a “community leader”.


Disney, YouTube, Web 2.1, and Me.

Hello Everyone! My name is Richard, and if you’ve made it this far, you might as well stick around till the end. After all, you’re reading a blog to see someone’s comments, and I’d love to hear yours too! Back where I’m from, it’s rude to have a conversation without having properly met, so maybe it’s a good time to tell you all a little more about me.

Even though I’m from a place with a 7-month summer, I ain’t no sweet summer-child. Born and raised in Central Alabama, I’ve had the opportunity to travel around a bit until most recently settling in NY for school. It’s definitely been a unique experience having come to Long Island, but one that I wouldn’t change for the world…and if you hadn’t noticed, the world is a very big place. I’m a walking Disney Proverb, and consider myself a “Musicologist-In-Training.”

“And YOU get a happily ever after! And YOU get a happily ever after!!!”

——– Oprah


I love social media. It’s 2015. Besides my mother, who doesn’t? I’m a somewhat active user on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitch, Tumblr (not a creator…just a sponge), and YouTube. When I’m not binge-watching a series on Netflix or HBO GO, I’m probably catching up on all the many vlogs I subscribe to. I like figuring out what makes people tick and why. The interwebs provide the perfect study group (and who doesn’t love cat videos?…once again…besides my mother). Although born in ’92, I’m a child of the 21st century. I’m not a true “techie,” but I wouldn’t say I’m quite a layman either–the internet is too much fun. I remember when my family purchased our first desktop with Windows ’98. Technology has just spiraled like a perfectly inflated football since then. Although a caveman’s rock-hammer is technology, I won’t use that as a cop-out. Disruptive, innovative, positive, negative, or any other adjective, I would challenge you to come up with an area of your life that isn’t affected by tech…because I certainly can’t.

Although I’d love to say that you came here for me, I’m sure you know that this blog space is connected with a course about disruptive technologies. For me, it’s like Charlie just bit my finger or Miranda Sings just called me Bae. I get to explore and talk about two of the things I love most: people (and identity) and social media. I go directly from a course on the sociology of identity to this. I can’t believe I get school credit for something this fun (okay geeking out moment done…I do that sometimes).

This all brings to mind two articles I just read for class: “Disrupting the Classroom” and “Disruption+Innovation.” As I was reading, my mind was racing with a collection of thoughts that I’ve been formulating for the last couple of years. We have seen the quick outpouring of support or opposition for various things in media. Anyone remember the petitions to secede from the US that went around? Or the rallying around Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby scandals? America has found itself in a place that was already built on instant gratification and failing self-identity, but now has morphed into a place of reclaimed, semi-collective identity.

Fads and trends have always been around, but with social media, the world can be changed overnight. YouTube videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger” enabled the world to see the first step of what was possible. Maybe someone out there thinks the same things are funny as me? People no longer have to settle for what’s around them. Go to the internet and there’s bound to be a like-minded someone.

This is the world that these articles were written in, and the same world that my thoughts began. However, there have been recent changes in TV and movies such as a rise in the “Trinity Complex” (strong woman that still needs a man in the end), Disney’s progressive views of love (from Brave to Frozen), or even as far back as Tru Blood‘s not-so-covert LGBTQ support. There’s also more recent events such as Ferguson, MO, or the national Yik Yak fiasco. People that have never had the opportunity now have a voice that can be shared with the world (anonymously or not). Like I said before, there will always be someone like-minded enough to “like” or “up-vote” something…no matter how trite or harmful it may be.

Long story short, America is a “bandwagon” country. It’s just a matter of time until a new one comes along. These are not inherently good or bad things, and I think  that we should accept the way things are…otherwise we may find ourselves living a lie that is based on “the good ole days.”

All of this makes me wonder about the classroom itself. I personally have been in many classes that I’ve been so bored out of my mind that my only escape was getting online and putting my headphones on (gotta be honest). Conversely, I’ve been so enraptured by some professors’ lectures that I did not once think about blinking, much less getting on Facebook. I tried to pinpoint some of the differences.  The not-so-successful ones were usually marked with reading from PowerPoint slides or handouts verbatim (eghmm…I can read, thank you), or standing behind a podium and never interacting with anything but speech lecture notes (this is not Congress, talk to me, not at me).

Successful professors usually engaged me by simply being excited about what they do. They walked around, spoke with their hands, asked for students’ opinions, elaborated and expanded upon the PowerPoint or textbook readings. I don’t necessarily think it’s social media’s fault students aren’t paying attention. I have had a professor that tried to implement a course blog before and it simply didn’t work. This prof was incredibly engaging in class, but I simply detested the fact that we had to do a blog. There seemed no point…there was never any feedback or interaction. I’m now Facebook friends with her and every now and then we use Facebook to discuss work, and it’s very effective.

My rambling on this has a point! People want to be cared for, accepted, loved, perhaps even admired. In our current society (especially with Millenials), every part of life is subject: class, work, church, etc. The articles talked about people’s “fractionalized identity.” People were one way online, and another way in person. Yes this is often the case and is the result of living in a world dominated by Web 2.0. I recently found an article about how social media can affect our own memory and perception of ourselves. I plan to be reviewing and expanding my thoughts about this article on my own SB You blog soon, but for now I will say that it is no secret that technology and social media has changed who we are. I think instead of fractionalizing ourselves, we have begun to simply change who we are by choice. As we move forward, I think it’s time to begin reevaluating life and technology. We still work with Web 2.0 tech, but I think it’s made us into a Web 2.1 society.

Technically yours,


Personal Introduction – Katherine

Hi, I’m Katherine and I was born in Suffolk County and have been living on Long Island my entire life. I’m a senior Sociology major with a double minor in Women’s Studies and Media Arts. I’m interested in working with online/social media after graduation. I have an obsession with the music production industry and on occasion attempt to make my own electronic music. Ideally, I’d love to work managing a well-known producer or working on marketing/social media for them.

I originally found out about this class from a class I took last semester, CDT 208. I ended up reading the class description and reading more about Cole and thought it would be a really interesting class. I was excited to see how ecstatic he was about having the opportunity to teach again.

Overall, I feel like I’m pretty comfortable with technology but could definitely learn more about certain programs and apps. I would say I’m about as comfortable with technology as most other college students are. I’ve had a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and most popular social media accounts. I’m currently active on Facebook and Instagram but deleted my twitter last year.I can’t think of any area of life that technology isn’t a part of currently.

“Disrupting the Classroom” and “Disruption+Innovation.”

I really enjoyed reading Disruption+Innovation. I thought that the comparison of newspapers to modern education was extremely interesting. Newspaper companies never used to worry about going out of business because consumers weren’t interested in reading newspapers anymore. I definitely think the modern education system is completely going to change with the rising popularity of MOOCS replacing actual in-class environments. I was really surprised when Cole showed the statistics of how many people were enrolling in online classes versus the number enrolled in actual college institutions.

Disrupting the Classroom

The articles discussion of technology as a positive disruption was interesting. The word disruption tends to hold a negative connotation but new technologies should be a positive thing rather than strictly seen as a distraction in the classroom.

Thoughts on Podcast

The podcast we listened to in class really made me think about the dangers of anonymous social media apps like Yik Yak. I thought it was cowardly of the people who were writing  those vicious yaks about the ACC to do so anonymously. I was especially surprised when the podcast talked about how Yik Yak will only agree to block their app using geofencing in high schools but not college campuses. I didn’t think that Colgate University handled the situation very well, at least publicly. I thought it was amazing of the Dean to offer the members of the ACC who felt threatened to stay at her home but it was only a temporary, not permanent solution. The schools offer of allowing the students to finish the semester off campus seemed to indicate that the students, not the university was doing something wrong. I think anonymous social media apps like Yik Yak can be really fun and interesting when they are used by mature people in the right environment. I think Yik Yak should have a better system for managing posts targeted against a certain person or group of people.

Personal Introduction – Christopher Stratis

Hey, I’m Chris! I grew up in Bethpage, NY, but now I live in Wading River. This semester starts my eighth semester at Stony Brook University, studying theatre, and my sixth semester running Stony Brook Pocket Theatre, Stony Brook’s student run theatre company. When I’m not thinking about theatre, I am brewing and drinking copious amounts of coffee. For the past six years, I have been employed as an IT Technician, so technology is not to foreign to me.  You can find me on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Technology has woven it’s way into many facets of our lives, but it has not yet reached my fountain pen or books, that’s right– made of paper. Some things are better when left alone. I enrolled in this course because I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to get comfortable with publicly publishing work, and meeting regular blogging deadlines.

In response to the readings:

I agree that it is time for Education to embrace technology. Essentially, technology has removed geographical obstacles that prevent humans from interacting with one another. The internet allows people to communicate, peer review, create, and share data and ideas, so why not integrate technology into higher education?

We are finally getting over society’s massive initial investment of time to learn how to use technology. It’s here. People use it. It’s not going away. At the University level, students are expected to conduct themselves like adults; if they choose to play games or chat with friends on their devices, while they are supposed to be doing other work, that is their choice, and they will be evaluated the same way the rest of their classmates are evaluated. Technology is a tool with seemingly endless potential; incorporating it into the learning environment is the right move to make.

Intelligent discourse will happen with, or without, the university. It happens in forums and people are even dedicated to documenting information and peer reviewing it– Wikipedia. Isn’t that what makes information credible, peer review? If higher education does not embrace technology, it will probably be left behind. (Think IBM when they decided that the personal computer was a laughable idea.) With online courses, publications, and communities, there is really no reason to go to college in the first place… except the bit about obtaining a degree to list on resumes.

While I do not believe that gimmicky, uni-tasking products are sustainable in the classroom, opening up lines of communication between students and sources of data and storage is the only way to progress in education. If productivity is the desired outcome, then using technology to collaborate anytime and anywhere with network access, is essential.

I am a student and a working professional that is required to constantly check for emails and messages. Work doesn’t stop outside of the 9 to 5 anymore. Everyone is “plugged in,” so everyone expects that availability is extensive. With smartphones and tablets, I can be away from my desk or out of the state; I will still be available when needed.

Students have to opportunity to use the technology to shape the learning environment into something tailored for their own needs; with devices that multitask, on the software and hardware fronts, there is little left to worry about improving before implementing said devices into the daily grind.

Personal Introduction – Shady

Hello, my name is Shady, pronounced shad-dee.  I was born and raised in Spain, came to the States at age 20 to get a college degree.  Who would’ve thought I would never leave.  I am currently the Senior Director of University Information Systems at Stony Brook University.  In this role, I supervise the creation of most software systems for the Stony Brook University.  Many of these systems are front facing, i.e. SOLAR and Campus Residences software, as well as software development for administrative systems, campus residences, research systems, and several others.  In addition, my group also provides project management support to some of the largest software deployments on campus in support of faculty, staff, and students.

I’m very interested in this course because it will give me insight in two different ways; one, I will be able to learn more about disruptive technologies, a field that directly impacts my line of work.  Secondly, it will give me a true experience of the troubles and tribulations that our students must go through in order to enroll, create and view their class schedule, pay their bills, and ultimately, see their grades, which all ride on software supported by my group.

In my spare time, I love tinkering with cars, specially Volkswagen’s.  I’ve loved VW’s ever since I was a little kid, and I’ve pretty much have had all models (Scirocco, GTI (1.8T and VR6), Golf, Jetta (2.0 and GLI), Corrado VR6, Passat VR6 .   I can mechanically work on them.  Do not care for air cooled ones however.

I also enjoy keeping up with technology and innovation.  I would like to say that I consider myself to be above average when it comes to technical knowledge and exposure.  However, as professor Camplese said on the first day of class, his daughter makes fun of him for some apps that he uses which are already “obsolete” as per her.  Our youngsters are driving technology, specially Web 2.0, as read in Disrupting the Classroom.  I’m amazed at how quickly my kids have learned to use technology, and keep up to date with it.

I can barely keep up with the never ending array of social media platforms.  I am however active in Linkedin,  Yammer, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, WordPress, and Instagram.  I also rely heavily on WhatsApp to communicate with my folks overseas.  When I first came to the States, I would try to send a hand written letter to my parents once a month, and every other month to the friends I left behind.  Phone calls overseas were extremely expensive.  Now, with apps such as Skype and WhatsApp, keeping close to loved ones is not only much easier and frequent, but FREE, talking about disruption!

I also spend a considerable amount of time playing racquetball every week.  I usually play four to five times a week for a total of about ~10 hours.  It is at this time that I can finally disconnect from the “internets” and go back to rudimentary tools.  A string racquet and a bouncy ball, those are not part of the internet of things 🙂

The first week assignment was to read and comment on the article Disrupting the Classroom

I enjoyed reading the article, and in some instances, it was an eye opener.  The Higher Ed landscape has certainly changed from the last time I took a college class, back in 2005.  Going back to school for the first time in 2015, I see students heavily relying on their smartphones.  Lids are certainly up everywhere, and collaboration is a breeze. Computers are in the classroom, wireless everywhere, collaborative spaces, all very different, in really, not that much time.

“Schools and universities have the potential to become communities of learning, but educators and administrators must rethink teaching and learning in the context of new social trends and the technologies that support them.”

Our faculty must certainly adapt to how students are now absorbing data.  The content might not need to change, but the delivery must.  Students are already coming with web2.0 embedded in their DNA.  They have grown up with, and not trained on.

Towards the end of the first identified trend, the authors discuss the need to train our students to be safe in the internet, just like we teach our children not to get in a car with a stranger.  But, how can we do this?  My 6 year old, already using a tablet more fluently than I do, loves to take pictures of his siblings while on the toilet.  He finds it extremely amusing and loves to show them to every one in the house.  His tablet is connected, and at his age, he already has a Gmail account, and knows how to send instant messages.  In one occasion I managed to stop him from sending one of these pictures to the neighbor’s kid.

We are not saying we want teachers to embrace ubiquitous social networks simply because students are present in them. We are suggesting that the affordances of these environments and devices should be used to support the underlying principles in our own classroom practice.

The lectures no longer need to happen in the class, say Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:20pm to 3:40pm, they can happen via blogs, tweets, contributions in Google docs, YouTube, etc.

Why are students, or youngsters in general, more used to sharing their thoughts in a public forum than older people … and by that, I include myself at 41.  Is it because they have grown up in Web2.0 era, as said earlier, it’s already embedded in their DNA?  My son started playing with an iPad at age 2.  I never tough him how to use it.

The question is how to develop new ways of thinking about assessment that encourage students to use the content they produce to create projects of a manageable size that can be assessed

A second reading was YouTube’s ‘Charlie bit my finger’ tells us about Web 2.0

This was another interesting read.  Perhaps a question from a psychological perspective; why do we want to be heard? Before the web, social networking, an other media where we could express our thoughts, people still wanted to be heard, we posted flags of our favorite soccer team on our windows, we had “outspoken” bumper stickers, etc.  With the revolution of the web2.0, expressing yourself has become easier.  This certainly touches on the three themes of the class; Identity, Community, and Design

When we post anything to the Web, we are begging for a conversation. We want to be ridiculed, called out, accepted, talked about, linked to, and, most important, not ignored.”

And again, we can identify a theme:  Youngsters are, unknowingly to them, a driving force to this revolution.  We saw it with the death of Myspace  in favor of Facebook.

And who is driving this revolution? Teens. For them, this isn’t “technology,” it’s just the way things are.”

During class we also listened to a podcast about how YikYak, an app that allows you to post anonymous comments based on geo location, had unveiled racism at Colgate University. The author, Alex Blumberg, discusses a series of racist comments targeted to specific people within the University.  An issue for which administrators were either not aware or had chosen to look the other way.

The podcast addresses two issues, racism in America, and the dangers of posting anonymously.

In my opinion, YikYak raised an issue, that, without anonymity, would’ve never surfaced and made known to senior administrators.  We monitor YikYak on campus to see what students have to say about SOLAR, about the wireless network, Blackboard.

A few months back, I had the privilege of attending TEDxSBU.  One of the speakers, Charlie Robbins, also a senior administrator at Stony Brook University, spoke about social justice.  I vividly recall his comments about racial injustice, how, after a series of national racial controversies, we, the american people, were supposed to start the “debate”, yet, has it happened? has it been addressed?

Social media allows us to uncover this type of issues, and should help those responsible in addressing them.  It does not create these issue.

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