How will the maker movement revolutionize our society?

If you asked me this question two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea on how to respond. But thankfully, the step up from the Week 10 Learning activities have enlighten me on this subject and here I attempt to share my perspective of how I see the maker movement is going revolutionize our society.

To begin with, The empowering philosophy of “do-it yourself “behind the Maker Movement to revolutionize society will certainly see its effect flourish in education by way of nurturing a vivacious sector that holds strong belief in effective leaning through:

  • Doing
  • Sharing
  • Mentoring
  • Playing
  • Exploring
  • And Risk-taking
A-Sproutfund,. (2015). Groupshot. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/sproutfund/15248916504/in/album-72157649458300115/
A-Sproutfund,. (2015). Groupshot. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/sproutfund/15248916504/in/album-72157649458300115/

Since, Makerspaces provide collaborative learning that is fun. It will be a cool alternative to ordinary lectures and opens an avenue for participatory and hands on experience for students like that which is seen in Think Box.

Lets look at QUT as an example, the maker culture is seen as a significant tool that is used to encourage enrollment throughout most of the courses. This is marketed extremely well by the slogan “a University for the real world”. Obviously, the value of emphasis on how things are done and self-reflection and articulation is not only taught here but also the importance of how we as individuals are rooted and will transform society and culture. This is exactly where the merge between education and the maker movement becomes succinct.

As we take a deeper look, when QUT ventures to train and nurture its diverse student population for the next generation of global citizens, the influence the maker movement has is that it brings benefit through the broad impacts on the courses taught by providing a sense of creative expression and constant reflection and analysis of the real world. The outcome of this is that students are able to be engage in meaningful content and be innovative in their respective disciplines simultaneously. An example of this is seen in the invention of the Robotic arm that was built recently to aid in hip replacement procedure by the engineering students here at QUT by engineering students .

Queensland University of Technology,. (2016). Robotic arm used to perform hip replacement. Retrieved from https://www.qut.edu.au/news/news?news-id=104597
Queensland University of Technology,. (2016). Robotic arm used to perform hip replacement. Retrieved from https://www.qut.edu.au/news/news?news-id=104597

So, as I see it, the key effort in introducing makerspaces at QUT provides opportunities for students to creatively interact, reflect and learn by sharing their skills and knowledge. By linking the Maker concept with courses it gives students a chance to experience in-depth learning with the aim of (Hensler, 2015) materializing and linking their understanding together with reflection whilst valuing knowledge building in context.

If we are to break this down, we see that what QUT produces is an individual, who once graduates will have a qualification but also where the hat of a Maker. How this is so is that the potential graduate of QUT will be able to integrate new knowledge about society, culture, history language ethically when they add value to their workplace through their creative input.

Maker Media Inc,. (2016). Meet the Maker: Solidifier. Retrieved from https://makerfairesydney.com/category/makerspaces/
Maker Media Inc,. (2016). Meet the Maker: Solidifier. Retrieved from https://makerfairesydney.com/category/makerspaces/

Now, having this in mind, as I bring our focus back to the question of – How will the maker movement revolutionize our society? I will conclude that Maker movement will transform society by integrating itself in the educational institutions by advocating participatory and hands on experience for students. However, the greatest influence will be seen in these graduates who are members of society ,to not only be able to build circuit boards or drones to be used in society but also critically be able to consider its uses, roles and the value of their contribution to the society they belong to ,wherever that may be in the world.

Toddler Fun

In the last two weeks for the Play Activity for Week 10, I decided to visit online Makerspace community and create a game for my two year old daughter. Since the maker-space gave access to tools and technology, I thought why not I create a game base learning experience for my two year old daughter.

I was basically trying to help my daughter as I realised she liked playing games however needed to perfect her coordination in using the keyboard arrows for game control. I wanted to see if I could develop a game that could influence her behaviour and teach her in a fun way instead of me being the teacher parent.

I began my challenge by checking out several online Makerspace communities. I was looking for platforms I could use to create a game. I was fortunate to find a link from one of the many Makerspace communities I visited to this site www.sploder.com . This was a site that gave opportunity to ordinary people to create, test and publish games. I was quite excited in realising I could actually create something.

Over the two weeks, I carried on sketching out simple games that would be suitable for a two year old to understand. By the end of the first week, I figured out a simple game with a clear objective that I knew my daughter would understand and I named the game ToddlerFun and started to build the game.

To build the game I had to create and account with SploderTM and used the online tools to build my game. The Steps can be seen in the screen shots I took below.

 

Step1:Create an Account( my user name is fox33)

Gabb,G.(2016).SploderHome.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/
Gabb,G.(2016).SploderHome.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/

Step2:Build Game

Gabb,G.(2016).SploderCreate.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/
Gabb,G.(2016).SploderCreate.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/

Setsp3:Test Game

Gabb,G.(2016).SploderTest.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/
Gabb,G.(2016).SploderTest.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/

Step4:Publish Game

Gabb,G.(2016).SploderPublish.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/
Gabb,G.(2016).SploderPublish.jpg. Retrieved from http://www.sploder.com/

The outcome was very interesting. As shown in the screen shots of the game creation, the simple objective of the game was to use arrows to move Left or Right and the UP and Down button to jump and hit coins. Since my daughter loves stars I used this as a background and added music to bring it alive. When I introduced the game to her, I was amazed that she was able to pick up instantly and use arrows without looking at the keyboard but just concentrating on the screen and navigating with her fingers. She was really enjoying it and kind of got hooked on. I also noticed that when she took on other advance toddler games she was able to play freely. It was really satisfying to see her learn and improve with fun from a simple game.

This Makerspace activity was like a Hollywood blockbuster to me, of an ordinary desperate dad who built the invention of the century to save his little girl. It has made me realise the huge influence technology has in engaging us and how using simple gamification for game based learning can have a significant outcome. I am now convinced that the collaborative nature of the Maker movement is surely going to revolutionize society with its “do-it-yourself product design and creation”.

Drones will harvest big data!

I am so fascinated about drones and just love the dynamics of these small unmanned aerial vehicles (sUAV) especially the small ones like the Phantom that is capable of carryout 3D mapping, to forensics inspections and precision agriculture. For this week’s reflection, for the past week and a half I’ve been on an online safari to understand the impact of this innovative technology on business. What follows in my discussion is what I think will be the largest impact that drones will bring.

dji-phantom-2-vision-plus-2-300x203
DRONELIFESTYLE,. (2016). dji-phantom-2-vision-plus-2-300×203. Retrieved from http://dronelifestyle.com/dji-phantom-review-2014/

 

Firstly before I continue it must be understood that when we look at the big picture you will find that drone hardware is already a commodity and question that comes from this is how much one is willing to spend on a drone. Secondly, even though the interaction between user and drone is meditated by software this is also fast becoming commoditized which leaves us with one question where is the greater value in all this?

The greater value in all this is in the data that is captured. Since small drones have the capability of flying at very low altitude the capture good precision images they are excellent data capture vehicles. Currently, it is very economical to fly a cheap drone to cover a large area of land than to do so with a vehicle and a team of surveyors. We must be also mindful that the process of digital photography/or video is a complex process that involves converting visual light to binary numeric representation as a two dimensional image. Now in this day and age where cameras become more resolute, the amount of images captured increases and so does the potential value of this images such as those produced from a high value satellite. However, the same can be produced today with a consumer camera mounted on with an off the shelf software on a laptop. The twist to it is that, the software can build textured 3D representations from still images. And when it’s an infrared camera being used, the images produced are even more valuable because not only is difference in heat produced but also the opportunity of measuring those differences.

So, say if we apply this to agriculture, especially in the big Sugar Cane farms in Queensland imagine the amount of data that will come from it. Already predictions from Kansas State University state high spending on UVS in agriculture with the industry to be worth around a staggering US$100 billion by 2025. Currently, applications of drones in  agriculture being developed are in the areas of data collection in plant health, pests monitoring etc. Field images captured from drones by far are much more accurate than satellites or planes. Since drones are agile and can be used anytime to produce results, farmers can deploy them at any time and numerously to identify anomalies. Such valuable information gathered will certainly improve productivity.

However, having access to this technology doesn’t necessarily make any farmer an image specialist. Using the drone to collect images is only the tip of the ice berg to the data collecting process. Images need to undergo certain procedures before they can be used. For precision agriculture data quality is crucial in getting value out of the images. Cloud based application like the PrecisionMapper assist in this area by enable users to upload there images and have it stored, processed and shared in a secure and legitimate environment.

Big_Data_Lab
Wentzlaff, A. (2015). Big Data Lab. Retrieved from http://blog.onapproach.com/topic/big-dataanalytics

Overtime, we will see this large scale collection of data will enable service providers to process exceptional levels of detail data that can aid farmers immensely in their crop yielding. This is exactly what the owners of PrecisionMapping are aiming for in developing their model to bring out in the near future. What can be predicted from this is that drones will serve as stimulate for creating cloud based service providers who will be competing based on speed and prominence of their visions. This will see drones harvesting big data and from this will come the rise of cloud base computing.

Gone Offline!

goneoffline

I was very excited to go offline for a day, because the magnitude to which my gadgets and the internet influence my everyday life was overwhelming. I saw my life divided into two sorts as being online or offline and I saw the play provided a way to separate the two tags and describe my digital disconnect.
I have often thought of going back living like how things were when I was back home in P.N.G when I did not feel the urge to keep up with information or the need to constantly access it. Seldom, did I manage to go offline but this short period of digital disconnect was only a few hours due to my data plan running out so technically it was a connection mishap and not intentional for me to take credit for.
So getting ready for the long weekend, as I started to plan my weekend, I decided to completely go offline on Labour. Here’s my experience.
The day before Labour Day, since I would be spending my time at home, I prepared a list of things I would do to fill the void that be left by my digital monitor. I also got all my assignments details printed out including resource materials borrowed from the library as I had hope to get much of my assignment tasks done during this time. Then just before going to bed I logged onto my social media platforms for updates, then checked my personal email and left an auto reply of my absence before shutting down on my laptop and putting my phone away.
Waking up the next day, without checking my iPhone6s was unbearable. The lure of grabbing it on the dressing table to check the notifications was a struggle for me but I remained steadfast and left it as it was.
That Monday morning, which was the 5th of May, 2016, around 8:00am, I reached the city and found it not that busy but had a good flow off people already off their feet. Heading off to Coles to buy groceries I found myself surrounded by people with every second person that passed by was hooked onto their device and it made me miss my smart phone even more. To make it worse, the nice old lady in front of me in the que to the cashier was Facebooking and it made me think about all was missing out on social networking.
Fortunately, the distraction of going home and getting into the groove of the day made me forget about going online.
Upon going home, I got into helping with household chores and doing things with my family around the house had me not missing the online life that much.
The only moment during the day that I wished I had access to Google was when I needed to check Blackboard for templates for my IFN600 assignment. Since I was rushing to prepare for my offline experience I overlooked that resource I needed. Despite facing this I managed to do my assignment.
I also failed that day to do my laundry, as I thought it would rain mainly because there was a rain shadow and I couldn’t confirm the weather forecast for the afternoon.
What thrilled me about the day was, being offline got me to actually live the moment and I had more awareness of my surrounding and the people around me.
That night, the urge to go online and catch up on social media and especially the NRL round nine coverage online did trigger me pick up my phone but I managed to waiver it. For most part, I dug into my assignments and kept myself busy with my readings. Even though I did feel restless and some stage having deprived myself to online access the feeling did eventually subside.
There were a number of times when I thought of cheating and grabbing a device belonging to one of my family members just to surf the net but the thought of spoiling the experience got me on the straight and narrow and I endured and was content to wait till Tuesday morning to get online. When I did get back online ,I realized I hadn’t missed out on anything and what I did miss out on could simply be retrieved and so I wasn’t handicapped in any way to get on with my life.
I guess for me the whole experience made me see that we live in an information age where information dictates our lives and so having access to it is vital in answering all the questions we have. The internet era however, is making such a living possible.

The takeaway for me in this activity is that though the internet has become such a powerful tool that has transformed the world, my digital absence in this exercise has mattered to only a fewer people than I thought. It made me realize I have become over dependent on living  online and  now see the need to  find the balance offline to this online world.

Open data is the future of the web

(2016). Retrieved from https://wwwdb.inf.tu-dresden.de/opendatasurvey/
(2016). Retrieved from https://wwwdb.inf.tu-dresden.de/opendatasurvey/

It is obvious that data has the potential to transform and disrupt the way society is ruled. But what happens when we make it open? The impact becomes colossal because open data means free access and free use of data that can be shared by anyone. The possibility that this opens up for predicting trends and behaviour in larger demographics does raise an eyebrow however it opens a whole new perspective to the use of data from what most of us are familiar with in–closed data.
A lot of organizations have seen the value of open data and have taken steps to combine and make accessible large amount of data about different sectors within their operations. Take for instance the website theyvoteforyou.org which was built by OpenAustralia Foundation. It used open data from the Federal Parliament to give ordinary Australian citizens real time information about their MP’s and gave them the options to assess an MP before they vote.
From this example we see that open data creates opportunities for new ways for organizations both public/private to address issues of society by creating new applications. Further collaboration with developers (i.e. app or website designers) can better this by converting the new applications from just an insight to an action. However, this would require the parties involved to come together under a common purpose.
What is more pressing about such an initiative for it to work is that one has to win the public’s trust and address security issues on privacy and cyber-attacks. Secondly, like all good innovations, open data focuses on bringing benefits to the community but it disrupts by way of calling for open data partnerships among willing institutions to collaborate and share disruptive initiatives like the one we see in the Air Louisville project.
So, at this time where openness is as an ally to transparency and democracy in governance, we will find data to quietly slip from the grasp of profitable institutions because of the opportunities that open data creates while improving living standards .Hence, when we look at the big picture open data is the future of the web.

My Reflection of Assignment 1 : Persona Poster Presentation

In doing this assignment I began with identifying the type of persona I was going to develop and who it was intended for. It was one of constant visualizing of a profile that I could create so that I can use to better inform or educate. The initial question I conjured was, to what intent is this persona based on and whom was I trying to influence. I did not quite understand the value of a persona or its use including its potential as well so the assignment appeared to me as a daunting task.
Nevertheless, with baby steps I ventured into the unfamiliar realm of a persona by observing my behavior in my use of technology as a Rugby League Fan to the Brisbane Broncos Club. To my surprise, I found it very interesting because the process was real and the collection of abstract data was me- it had a face. I often thought as a I fan I was a “die hard” but by laying out my findings it made me realize I wasn’t and it troubled me to think , Will this information be of use to Brisbane Broncos Club ? Besides this question running around in my head I began to see that the more I dug into my research to understand and observe my behaviour, it allowed me classify and separate my use of technology as a Fan.
It became clear to me that the persona I was creating was a model that summarized and communicated the research about me through observation. Although the persona depicted me as a person, at the very core I realized the persona to be a synthesized observation of an interest group and a representation of a significant portion of people in society. This information of which I saw had great benefit to the Brisbane Broncos Club in increasing their Fan loyalty if they decide to use it, to create a new improved digital engagement strategy, to target fans specifically and not generically.
What I got from creating the persona poster is that, even though the persona may seem to appear as a one page document, it is more than just another deliverable because it is a technique that does two things. First it communicates a trend or pattern and then it summarizes this research trend to an audience. The value that comes from understanding the user is what’s important and not the poster itself. This became clear to me as I had initially thought the persona and the poster that contains essential elements of the persona are the same thing- but they are not.
It made me realize how naive I was at the start to preoccupy myself on the best way to carry out the task rather than fully understand myself as a user and share this information with others. The approach became clearer when I did additional reading on the historical background of what a persona means. I ended looking up Alan Cooper, who in his works had informally developed persona’s of his subjects. He did that by putting himself in their (subjects) shoes to brainstorm and evaluate ideas from their perspective. This approach taken by Cooper was interesting as it allowed him to focus on users as the center of his designs in Software development. As he took up consulting, he then realized that to be successful there was a need to help clients understand his perspective. This drive has led to the creation of persona’s that we deliver and communicate today as user center knowledge to those who do not carry out research. Contemplating on this made me appreciate that this was the early origin of persona’s that has evolved over time to what I was doing now.
It became visible to me that the persona I created taps into the Brisbane Broncos Fan base because it personifies my research outcomes. This single representation of a single fan for many fans gives the advantage of focusing on its user while the club is operating. By understanding fans and their needs, the club can then fully satisfy those needs, through solutions derived from user’s filtered perspective shown in the poster. This knowledge of fan base behaviour would increase the prospect of creating an effective digital engagement.

Hence, with this sound understanding in my head I went about to create my persona poster. The images I used were collected on the Google Search Engine using the Google Advance Search. By accessing the Advance Search on the Home Page and the executing a query in the search field, results were obtained. Since by default Google results are not filtered by license, the ‘Date, user rights, numeric range and more section’ was expanded to give filter option “Usage rights” which then was used to filter CC materials(images) for this assignment.
Finally, the significant outcome I got from the assignment is that the Persona is a strategic tool that is used to increase quality and consistency of work. The concept has been around since the mid 1990’s. At first glance the task of creating a persona appears to be not something trivial to do however, after completing my poster my perception has changed. I now realize the full potential that a persona has if it is used properly. What is more amazing is that the whole activity was very innovative that I have now taken to use, the concept not only in this assignment but in my daily life and also in other courses to become more efficient and deliver outcomes that impact or is useful to others. I think the reason why this turned out to be fun for me is that, I found the tool to be very transparent, and efficient in bringing success.

A Reflection on how the iPhone has Changed My Life with Access to the Mobile Web

Today I find myself caught in a space that has been created by the present-day technological advances in personalized work and learning environment. This has been the change in scenario for me coming to QUT to study. Why? My iPhone device has become so important to me, it has somewhat become my life.

iphone-6

If you know the dreaded feeling you get when you’ve misplaced your phone, or if the battery’s gone dead- that basically sums up my life. My smartphone has become an essential part of my life and without it I feel incomplete.

I use my smart phone every day for school and personal business, to write instant message , play games, take photos, surf the net ,surf social media boards, listen to music and watch videos ,email, read news, navigate, plan my calendar ,attend lectures, check my grades, do group collaboration and the list goes on.

mobile-technology-1038x576

Now, back home in Papua New Guinea before coming to Brisbane, this was only imaginable. Consequently, this has changed the way I live significantly.

The way I consume information has changed from, just talking to a friend, or reading the newspaper to gathering information on the web through my iPhone. The fact that I can communicate effectively and efficiently and access any kind of information at any time has become both convenient and also overwhelming for me at times.

What’s more alarming is that with the use of my iPhone I know I can get information at any given time and I seem to grow forgetful at times because I know I can retrieve whatever that is I need to recall just by the use of my smart device. But what is more daunting is ,when I contemplate how to get an answer to a problem or question ,I often think about how to use the internet to answer the query rather than critically thinking about the question before hand and answering it. It is sad to say but I have become lazy because of accessibility to the resources given by my iPhone.

I am not sure if this iPhone has made me more social or not but I am constantly connected at all times. Even as I am typing this I am reaching for my phone to check the notification. This routine is constant and starts every day the minute I wake up to switch of the alarm (from the phone off course). I’m connected to my iPhone and it’s like being on call 24/7. And it does wear me out.

So it seems, this device has made mobile web accessible to make things in life convenient. It has become a device that is a must have. It used to be in the past me carrying several little gadgets (Walkman/mp3player etc.) in my backpack but today its just my iPhone. This device has become my personal assistant in mastering my day to day life and I admit cannot live without it.

Self Hacking myself on Facebook

Over the last couple of weeks for the Play Activity (4) I decided to track my use of Facebook. Since the Quantified-self movement is the thought that sums up the life of people in data, I thought why not let my self acts on Facebook be the object and subject to analyse and shape itself.

I was basically trying to reclaim a collection of my Posts, Likes, and Comments on Facebook not because of privacy but out of curiosity to see my behaviour to better deal with my time on Facebook.

I began my quest with the thought what is the me on Facebook? And what will be me on Facebook once I deconstruct my self acts on Facebook? I was optimist that counting my steps on Facebook would consequently shape my usage to this Social media.

Over the two weeks, I carried on as normal as I would, everyday checking my Facebook account, going through the thread of posts and tags that the notification brought up. By the end of the two weeks I filtered my results for three days consecutive days.

FB LikesLikes

FB CommentsComments

FB PostsPosts

The results to me were quite surprising. As shown in the screen shots of my filtered results, most of my time is spent on just liking peoples post, followed by making comments and my actual post. It showed that 70% of my time was spent just going through peoples post without doing anything constructive. For me this is a waste of time and it made me realize I had to be more conscious of my time and convert my efforts to more constructive use of Facebook.

This self-hacking activity was like taking medication to cure my Facebook fever. It has now evoked in me a desire to get literate in proper quantification techniques to manipulate and better myself and also taught me the importance of how one can express them-self with their data.  I see this trend is becoming a new part of our culture and  it may seem that quantifying our self  applies to fitness  only but it does not it can apply to anything we do in life.

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