The Future of Extra Credit


Extras by Andrew Ferguson via Flickr (Creative Commons licensed)

According to the Extra Credit Details Google document that was shared with the class last Friday (3/23), the deadline for proposals is this coming Monday (4/2). So far four students have submitted proposals. I’ve responded to all four and have only heard back from two.

I imagine that many of you are so busy with other classes and life and general to commit the time for such a project. That’s perfectly fine with me. Fewer extra credit projects means less work for me to evaluate and score them.

But in looking over the awesome work everyone did with defining and describing the various methods of analyzing the future in our last class, a thought occurred to me. I think it would be possible to do an interesting extra credit assignment based Wednesday’s work. I would be very interested to see what sort of scenario type of analysis / prediction you could come up with based on one of the descriptions done in class. So if this makes sense and appeals to you, please have a look at the document and think about how you might go about doing an extra credit project. Remember the proposal deadline is this coming Monday (4/2).

As for today: Speaking of scenarios, today we will be looking at the first two views of higher education in the year 2022 that Dr. Alexander mentioned in his Visible College talk at UMW. This diagram contains the notes I took while watching the talk and we will be working through it for most of today’s lesson. I used Lucid Chart to put the document together. There are some hyperlinks that can be shown by pressing the “Show Hotspots” button in the top right hand part of the window.

Image: Extras by Andrew Ferguson through CC licensing
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Chopping the future

The video below was made by Robert Spence, a British researcher of computer-human interface design, in 1981. It depicts several predictions of how digital technology would assist professionals manage information in the workplace of the future (circa 2004).

In watching it, I noticed that some of the things Spence predicted have become commonplace such as trackpads, voice activation (SIRI) and touch displays. Other areas, such as gesture based computing and bifocal displays have yet to be fully realized. And there’s a certain quaintness to see how he completed missed his predictions in other areas: reliance on telex communications, push buttons installed in the office furniture, and office telephones.

It can be a useful and instructive activity to examine how those in the past imagined the future would be. I’d be interested to hear your take on Spence’s “2004” office environment either in comments below or on your blogs. One question to consider is which of the 5 methods of analyzing and predicting the future from Dr. Alexander’s UMW talk might Spence have used in making his predictions (remember it’s possible to combine the methods)?

Dr. Alexander with axe animated GIF via Cogdog

Speaking of the methods presented by Dr. Alexander, we will be looking in to them in detail in today’s class. Please refer to the Google document that’s been shared with you for an overview and instructions of our activities today.

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CIS0835 – No Class on 3/26

no classes

Due to unavoidable circumstances, class has been cancelled for Monday 3/26. See you all on Wednesday 3/28.

Image Source: no classes by congjv via CC licensing

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WTF with the DFPQ1?

Dear ds106 community,

By now, I imagine, you will have noticed an avalanche of blog posts coming across the transom of your rss feed for ds106 with the cryptic title DFPQ1. As much as I wish it were, this is not some effort to create a viral social media phenomenon. DFPQ1 stands for Digital Face Lift Pop Quiz 1 and what you’re seeing are student responses to the pop quiz question that was given at the end of today’s lecture (see previous post for details).

Ordinarily I wouldn’t go to the trouble of sending out such a personalized blog post explaining what’s going on. But I fear that some folks out there might have been put out or dismayed by the sudden onslaught of identically titled blog posts. Come to think of it, it’s also possible that the sequence of characters I instructed students to use for the post title might trigger some alarm bells among the folks who’ve been tasked with using some of the tools that monitor the net for alarming anomalies and such.

Final slide of today's presentation on Paragraphs 1-5 of Personal Cyberinfrastructure by Gardner Campbell

So let me offer a brief explanation of what this is all about and offer an invitation. Above is the final slide shown during today’s old-skool lecture on the first five paragraphs of Gardner’s Personal Cyberinfrastructure essay. As I’d warned the students of the possibility of a pop quiz when assigning the reading, I felt compelled to find some way to keep my promise. Students completing the quiz/task before 17:00 (JST) will be rewarded with a modest amount of points based on the skill and style used in supporting the appeal the particular sentence holds for them.

This is where you, dear ds106 community members, come in. Wouldn’t it be a hoot for these students here in Tokyo to get some feedback on their effort? Your encouraging suggestion might prompt them to revise their newly born sentence in such a way that it garners them with with even more points. Or you might even be led to think about some of the ideas in Personal Cyberinfrastructure in a new way based on what you read. You never can tell until you click the link.

So I hope this explanation has helped to calm any rattled nerves and the invitation prompts some level of action. I thank you for your attention and wish you well.

Scott Lockman

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The Future’s Open Wide

For a long time in my high school days Modern English’s “I Melt With You” was my favorite song. It’s hard to explain the attraction we have to certain things. Such is the case with this song and the video below. Perhaps it’s because I thought I was in love and felt the song captured how I felt about the other person. Or maybe I imagined myself as the lead singer of the band. Who knows?

But through the years, one line from the lyrics has stuck with. That line is the title of this post and is also the idea I’d like for you to keep in mind as we work through the final “Surfin’ on Sunshine” section of the course.

While preparing for today’s introductory discussion of Gardner Campbell’s Personal Cyberinfrastructure, I spent some time reading a more recent blog post he wrote entitled “Computers in The University”. In it he offers quotes from William Blake and J.C.R. Linklider. Just as the song from Modern English appeals to me on a deep and inexplicable level, so too do the thoughts of these two creative thinkers. I’m still trying to process Gardner’s blog post and hope to share these thoughts on my personal blog in the coming days. I’d also invite and encourage you to spend some time digging in to what Gardner has to say in his post.

As we turn our attention to this final section, I am going to ask you to think deeply about the future: your future. I would like you consider how what you’ve learned to date about the relationship between cyberspace and society will play out in the world in which you now find yourself: university students in the year 2012 preparing for life and career in the 21st.

Since we have just a limited number of time together (7 more lessons after today), I’d like to share with you the revised workload for our Surfin’ on Sunshine section. The point totals for blogging and ds106 assignments will remain the same (10 and 15 points respectively). But the number I will ask you to will be reduced. I also have specific topics for you to focus on for your blogging.

I will explain these revised requirements in class today and then present them as a blog post before our next meeting.

In many ways, I feel that this course is really just beginning. I’m very excited to see how you all respond to ideas we will be bouncing around in the coming days.

For those of you who’ve worked through Gardner’s essay and are ready for the next challenge, I’ll invite you to check out the video we’ll be dealing with next week. It is from a talk given at UMW last week by Bryan Alexander. In it, he proposes four views of what education will look like in the year 2012.

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Presentation Session – Round 5

Copy Right & Wrong 3

Today will be the final round of presentation sessions. The topic is Repression, Control & Propaganda. Below are the presenters:

Looking ahead:
Next week we begin the final section of the course: Surfin’ on Sunshine. As mentioned at our last class, I will be sharing a handout that will list the revised requirements in terms of blogging and ds106 assignments. As this section will be a couple of lessons shorter, you will be required to less of both than in earlier sections. But I will have more specific instructions about topics and categories. If you miss class and are unable to get the handout, please get in touch with by email.

For Monday’s lesson (3/19), please read the article and watch the video linked to below. It would be great if you could bring notes and questions you came up with while watching and reading to class.

Also don’t be surprised if there is some form of pop-quiz type activity related to the video and reading on Monday (3/19).
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Presentation Sessions – Round 4 (plus some important info)

Vice Online 3

Image from Vice Online presentations 3/12/2012

And now we have two more rounds of presentations remaining. Today’s topic is Copy Right & Wrong. Below are the presenters and links to the articles they based their session on:

Blogging and ds106 assignment deadline extended

Those of you paying attention to the syllabus will have realized the Fear and Loathing Online section of the course ends today. That should mean that your blog posts and ds106 assignments should also be due. Since we were late getting started with this section, I’ve extended the deadline. Please have your Feedback Forms completed by 23:59 on March 19. Anything done after that will be counted as late.

Extra-credit opportunity

I’ve also not forgotten about offering an extra-credit chance for those in need. Details will be handed out in class on Friday 3/16 and Monday 3/19.

Surfin’ on Sunshine section

The final section of this course, Surfin’ on Sunshine, will begin on Monday 3/19. As there will be less than the allotted 9 lessons for this section, I intend to revise the required number of blog posts and ds106 assignments downward. Details will be posted prior to Friday’s (3/16) lesson. Please note that there will be an article assigned to be read and video to be watched for the 3/19 lesson in that post. Don’t be surprised if there’s a pop-quiz related to the article and video on 3/19 as we begin Surfin’ on Sunshine.

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Presentation Sessions – Round 3

Privacy & Surveillance 2

Image from Privacy & Surveillance presentations 3/9/2012

Today we do Vice Online. Below are the eight presenters:

Also don’t forget student conferences today. I will be meeting students on the sixth floor. Please come 5 minutes before your scheduled time and wait near the window next to the copy machines and paper shredder.

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Presentations Sessions – Round 2

Gotta say, I’m delighted with the way the first round of Presentation Sessions went with the Everywhere Malware topic this past Wednesday. I was impressed with the level of preparation and quality of information the presenters shared with classmates.

Everywhere Malware 2

And judging by the pictures of smiling faces and attentive expressions and blog posts from Takuji, Jeremy, and Nick, I have to say you guys totally exceeded my expectations for this activity.

This quote from Jeremy was particularly encouraging:

I’m looking forward to doing mine on the Copyright and Wrong, now

Unfortunately, Jeremy has to wait until next Wednesday to do Copy Right and Wrong. Today is the day for Privacy and Surveillance. Below is the list of presenters. I would like to try to go through four rounds of presentations so we will be starting a bit earlier than we did on Wednesday.

  1. Bryan N. – Online Privacy fears
  2. Rodnie – Hackers-for-hire are easy to find
  3. Danny – What kinds of spyware are there?
  4. Lei – The end of online privacy
  5. Alex – Uncle Sam: if it ends in .com it’s seizable
  6. Bryan W – Surveillance and privacy by the American Civil Liberties Union

As with last time, I’d like for each of the presenters to sit far enough apart from one another so that there will be room for people to sit without interfering with other groups.

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March 5, 2012 – Pie Chart

As so many students were absent from Friday’s lesson, I decided to use today to review the midterm exam. In addition to this, I’ll direct everyone’s attention to the Feedback form  Google documents. On your document you will see an up to date point total for your work this semester. Please double check the math to make sure everything adds up. Also, compare the numbers to those posted earlier on your Feedback form in each category.

After going over the exam and the point tally, we will spend remaining time taking about Privacy and Surveillance.

Don’t forget that the first round of student led discussions begin at our next class. Seven students are scheduled to talk about an article from the Everywhere Malware channel

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