Week 4 learning resources

This fortnight our topic is ‘Technology – It’s everywhere!’. This topic will cover ubiquitous and pervasive technology as well as the internet of things . Our focus will be on the technologies that have emerged from these concepts, with a focus on mobile and the quantified self.

But first a note about the resources! You might think that there are an awful lot this week, but bear in mind that there is only one scholarly article in the resources, the rest are brief articles. All the videos in total will take you about 15 minutes to watch. So even though it may seem like a lot of resources, in reality you will only be spending around an hour to look at all of them.

Over the past 40 or so years the Internet has changed our lives. It’s gone from being a resource accessed only by a few, to a resource that many of us carry around in our pockets. We are now in an era where it seems like technology is everywhere. This is sometimes referred to as ubiquitous computing, or pervasive computing, or the the third wave of computing.

Mark Weiser, was the man behind the term ubiquitous computing and is considered by many to be the ‘godfather’ of computing. This article that he wrote in 1991 is a must read to understand the concepts behind ubiquitous computing. The article is really easy to read, so even if you only have time to scan it please do!

While ubiquitous and pervasive computing are often used interchangeably there are some differences between these concepts which this article highlights.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

When we focus on the tools of ubiquitous computing you can also conceptualise it as the Internet of Things. But was exactly is the Internet of Things?

This 3 minute video will give you a brief introduction to the IoT.


If you think about ubiquitous or pervasive computing it’s easy to see the way that these concepts changed the way technology is developed. This fortnight we are going to look at two trends – mobile and the quantified self.


If ubiquitous technology means technology that is there all the time, then that’s almost a definition of mobile as well. Mobile is technology that is portable, hence a technology you can take with you everywhere.

This video will explain the rise in mobile. Be warned it’s actually an advertisement for Google, but if you switch off at the 2 minute mark you will get a good indication of the way mobile has changed the way we access information.


The next two articles will help you further understand the way mobile is changing the way organisations interact with customers. Firstly the Pew Report outlines mobile usage.

This article outlines the way the Smithsonian has responded to the mobile trend and their mobile strategy.

The Quantified Self

The Quantified Self can be defined as a ‘movement which employs technology to drive greater self-awareness by tracking data related to exercise, diet, health maintenance, financial management, learning and so forth‘.

This  5 minute video will explain the key concepts behind the movement, and show also introduce you to some people using their data to change their behaviour.


One of the the driving forces behind the quantified self is wearable technology. This article will outline some of the technology we might be wearing in the next decade.

But what are the implications of the quantified self? Organisations in America are already mining the health data of their employees, and there are many who see this as the beginning of the end. This video will tell you more.

While we have focused on the way technology is changing lives, it’s also important to keep in mind that there are still almost 4 million Australians who are not online.

If you are interested in this topic then a great article to give you some background about digital exclusion is:

Walton, P., Kop, T., Spriggs, D. & Fitzgerald, B. (2013). Digital inclusion: Empowering all Australians. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy. Vol 1, No 1, Article 9. http://doi.org/10.7790/ajtde.v1n1.9

This article can be accessed via QUT Library, please note that it is not required reading for the class but may be of interest to some of you.


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