Disruptive Technologies

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

Category: #SBUdisrupt (page 1 of 6)

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,


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 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.

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.

Too Disruptive – New Design Challenge:

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


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?

Right Shark’s CritQue

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

No change
Our approach to our design challenge is constantly evolving while the challenge remains the same.

After discussion with students some of their concerns were:
1: How to stop possible plagiarism?
2: What are the specific perks of being a Master in a category?
3: They felt feedback on prose is done better in person.


We sent out surveys and conducted group interviews with the population we are looking to connect with.
Stats from survey coming soon…

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.


iPad – Shady – Week 12

In the theme of design, this week I had to be a companion at the hospital.  While I was there, I saw nurses scooting around computers on wheels.  The entire setup must cost thousands; big frames, bumpers, wiring, batteries, monitor cradle, etc.  The nurse goes from room to room asking patients a series of questions before surgery, and she clicks the appropriate boxes.


Being in the field of IT, this interests me, and now, having been exposed to an iPad, I couldn’t help but thinking, how much easier would it be for this nurse to carry an iPad mini on her pocket.  The same software could be setup as an iOS app.  A fraction of the cost, and a simpler tool to carry.



The iPad as a Global Broadcasting Tool


One of the main ways my use of the iPad has evolved thanks to CDT 450 is that my mind is beginning to develop a deeper understanding of the iPad as a MOBILE GLOBAL BROADCASTING TOOL, and the implications for education in general. I can read, take notes, sketch, record video, audio, research, etc. I’ve been doing that for years – But now I’m thinking more about how the iPad can help me to communicate and share my creations, ideas, and discoveries with a global audience – especially when I create something compelling enough to grab and maintain people’s attention.

For me some of my most productive learning comes through interacting with other students and experts. I know that my understanding is increased when I am required to create something related to course material and present it, or creatively share it online. As I mentioned above, I’m learning new ways to do this throughout my learning experience, from collaborating online, to presenting to a group.

Weekly iPad Reflection Chris W

After almost a full semester of occupying the iPad, I don’t know how I am going to live without this thing.  All my assignments and a majority of my internet browsing are done using the iPad.

Stony brook University uses a website called Blackboard to distribute assignments, post grades and weekly reminders, and have the students interact with one another. I navigate blackboard exclusively form my iPad. The layout is nicer. The design is nicer. Everything is nicer on the app end of Blackboard.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.08.15 PM
Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.11.48 PM

Web version of Blackboard

imageApp version of Blackboard

The main difference between the two is the active panel the app version has. It is easy to navigate the different tabs as well as see exactly where you are.

Weekly Create – Shady – Week 11

SBU’s DDoS attack of  early April 2015:



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.


Too Disruptive Design Challenge for InteGreat App

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 5.29.18 PM

Too Disruptive Design Challenge:
How can we create an engaging social media platform / campaign called InteGreat, which will promote cross cultural events and activities at Stony Brook that encourage the diverse community at the university to develop an easy appreciation of, and deep respect for cultural differences within the community?

We are convinced that through social interaction, people from different socioeconomic backgrounds can get to know each other and at the same time participate in a nationwide movement to increase awareness that communities across America need to engage in activities that improve race relations.

We decided to focus on this app after discussing the pros and cons of the other app ideas put forward by:
Richard – Educational App to replace Blackboard
Katherine – App to airdrop notes to other students in close proximity
Chris – Task manager app that allows delegation and progress reports

One reason we decided on InteGreat was that the other three apps have certain areas that overlap, but we could not figure out how to combine these common features to create a compelling design challenge phrase. InteGreat seems like the most feasible app to create, and it has practical applications that are needed in the SBU community and in American society on a large scale.

Regarding INTEGRATION at Stony Brook, this is what we think we know:
SBU is an extremely diverse campus (but not necessarily integrated).
The diversity extends beyond each category into tons of sub-categories.
Students at SBU come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds:
– Variety of ethnicities – the percentage of each ethnicity that attends SBU.
– Variety of countries.
– Variety of places within those countries.
There are dozens of USG-funded clubs / groups based on religion, origin, interests, music, sports, art, academic areas, gender issues, politics, etc.
Number of members and funding that each club has and which clubs are most popular.
Integration is different than inclusion.

Here’s what we DON’T KNOW:
What efforts to increase integration at SBU already exist?
Do students, teachers, staff at SBU perceive a problem with integration?
What is Student Activities doing? Office of Cross Cultural Affairs? Study Abroad? International Students Services? Faculty? Advising (undergrad. colleges, ATAS, Honors, WISE, Scholars, Athletes)?
Are certain academic departments more aware of the state of the integration situation? Sociology? African Studies? Philosophy? History? Etc?
What is EOP doing (Educational Opportunity Program)?
What events have gone on in the last year at SBU to promote improve race relations?
What events are planned?
Have these events had an impact on individuals/communities and their integration within the community?
What is the general feeling of the SBU population to how different groups interact and work together?
What is the actual turnout from these events and is there any follow-up built into these types of meetings?
Do people want to break out of their shells and meet others?
Is the problem segregation or exclusion? These are two very different, but somewhat related terms.

This discussion and brainstorming is guiding us as we develop specific research questions, goals, and methodology.

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