Week 11 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab/Post Lab

Question: Many social media platforms are considered sociotechnical systems that people use on a daily basis. How might these platforms take over a student’s life over time?

I believe this question will help my research based on the survey results because many of the questions involve social media and it will help me determine how common it is that students use technology and its effect on those students. It will also show me whether or not students actually use these sociotechnical systems too much.

Pivot Table:

Based on my pivot table, a lot of students tend to use social media on a daily basis, although, I was surprised by how many people use it on an hourly basis. Additionally, most people seem to agree that social media platforms create more problems than they solve for students on campus, which correlates to my question above. On the other hand, most students still use social media very often, regardless of how it affects their lives.

This data is valuable to me because I can start to see a trend towards students who agree that social media is problematic and continue to use it. It’s interesting to think about what it would be like if social media didn’t exist in our time because it did not exist back in the 19th century, so a lot has changed since then. My interviewee Sebastian brought to light that social media is great for communication and networking, but also agreed that it is not beneficial for everything that it’s used for.

Reading Response

1. Rap Genius- “built a feature called ‘group annotations’ right into the browser – and it worked great – all users could comment on any page and discussions quickly ensued,” (Andreessen).

2. Rap Genius- “generalize out to many other categories of text… annotate the world,” (Andreessen).

3. PrarieNet- “A Free-Net was a new way for people to communicate with each other online, using the power of the Internet. Many people had realized what a wonderful communications medium their computer was, and had started to rely on the Internet’s many features for all kinds of things.” (Newby).

4. PrarieNet-“Many lives were changed for the better, by using Prairienet to communicate across time and space with other people of similar interests.”

5. Mosaic-“Today we can shut down the browser and admire the HTTP code traffic. We can see every request and response taking place between our computers and many others,”(Canales).

Mosaic was the first widely used point-and-click interface to the internet that changed the lives of many people, especially at the University of Illinois. Before the development of Mosaic, most users could only access the internet with a command-line computer interface, but through new innovative interfaces, we can “gain access to a portal, cross a threshold, or simply peer into a different space while at a safe distance,” (Canales 153). If I were in the room in the early 1990s working with Andreesen, Bina, and other young researchers on Mosaic, I would make sure that Mosaic would be credited with being the application that made the web available to the general public.

Week 10 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

This is a visualization from March, it is a chart depicting how prepared the countries were to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The index was decided based on 6 factors that are mentioned above the chart in the picture.

I re-designed the visualization, the previous chart only showcased the pandemic preparedness index, I changed this uni-axis chart into a 2d axis chart. With the x-axis showing the pandemic preparedness index and the y axis showing the number of covid cases in the respective countries. This was enabled the chart to put forth more information as well as serve its original purpose.

Week 11 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Excel Workshop

1b.)Lab/Post-Lab Assignment

  1. Question: How can organizations like the ROTC improve a student’s time management skills at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

This question will help me to research and analyze the time management skills that many ROTC students obtain through their four years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Time management is important in a successful life. ROTC students excel at balancing their workload with their commitment to the Corp.

2. Pivot Table:

Currently the responses from the ROTC section are empty. However, I send the survey to more ROTC students at the University of Illinois. Hopefully they filled out the survey.

Excel Sheet:

3. My pivot table will answer the question because the table will show the answers made by the ROTC students will trend towards the “Strongly Agree” and “Agree” answers. Based off of my interview with Annika, the Freshman ROTC students will most likely Disagree with the statement, but the upperclassmen will Agree with the statement showing a growth in time management skills.

I will hope that the data will expands on my interview with Annika because she discussed that she struggled with managing her time during her freshman year. She eventually learned to balance school with her commitment to the Reserve Corp. The ROTC commitment requires a lot of time and sacrifice. Many of the freshman ROTC students should show a struggle with managing their time, but it depends on how quickly the students are able to balance their commitments.

Part 2: Reading Response

5 Different Applications:

  1. Genius – “The ability to annotate any page on the internet with commentary and additional information” (Andreessen).
  2. Genius – “Create the Internet Talmud” (Andreessen).
  3. Free-Net – “Brought email, discussion groups and the fledging World Wide Web to anyone with access to a computer and modem” (Newby).
  4. Prairienet – “first taste that many thousands of people had on the Internet, and offered a springboard to the many new opportunities for commercial dial-in services” (Newby).
  5. Mosaic – “gives the Internet what the Macintosh gave the personal computer: a navigation system that can be understood at a glance by anybody who can point and click a mouse” (Canales 154).

The difference between the Mosaic and other information access is the idea of the interface. Mosaic was one of the first used point-and-click interfaces for the internet that is used a navigational tool for exploring data. It became the first successful browser because it created an image of the internet for people to view and enjoy. If I were in the room working with Andreessen, Bina, and other young researchers, I would recommend that Mosaic offered students with disabilities the opportunity to use the interface through VoiceOver options and other accessibilities. This recommendation would give Mosaic a bigger audience.

Week 10 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

https://www.urban.org/features/where-low-income-jobs-are-being-lost-covid-19

If I could redo this visualization, I would try to emphasize the holistic impact on the system of jobs being lost. At the moment, it shows the estimated low-income jobs by category pre county or metro area but I think that it would also be helpful to see how this impacts each county percentage wise. Seeing the number per county is helpful, but it doesn’t show the magnitude of how it affects/decimates each industry. Tying into then COVID-precautions and policy could be interesting too in order to highlight how more strict policies may lead to less of an effect on each industry of a particular county or state.

Week 10 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Re-Designing Visualizations:

Original Visualization:

Link: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

Re-Design of Visual:

My new visualization changes the narrative because it demonstrates how many people a certain disease can infect without the use of vaccines. Although measles is portrayed as the most contagious, COVID-19 remains more infectious because there is a vaccine for measles. Additionally, there are other diseases that have higher chances of infecting more people than COVID-19, but all have a vaccination for them. According to the Infographic website, “The more people are immune to a disease, the less likely it is to proliferate, making vaccinations critical to prevent the resurgence of known and treatable diseases.” Since COVID-19 is new and without a confirmed vaccine, it is harder to create herd immunity for this specific disease until scientists come up with a cure to prevent spread.

Week 10 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 2: “Re-Designing Visualizations” Response

Sketch:

Website:

My visualization tries to change the narrative by emphasizing the ongoing pandemics that are affecting the world. AIDS/HIV and COVID-19 are still ongoing pandemics but the AIDS/HIV epidemic is still not resolved or stopped. Although COVID-19 is a major problem right now, we shouldn’t forget on going pandemics like HIV/AIDS. My redesign tries to simplify the major impact the bubonic plague had on the world population which is easily read by the graph. However, it compares current pandemics in the present day which are minuscule to to the deaths of the past.

Week 09 – Lab + Reading Reflection

Quotes

“And like I said, there were times where, you know, I was really close to the people that were protesting and doing all these things, and, you know, really getting in the face of administration, and I wanted to be that person so bad. I think I’ve always wanted to be that person. But I think I had to recognize within my journey that as I said, to the analogy, you need people in different positions for it to really work. And that was just my role. So sometimes it sucked, because I couldn’t be on the front lines. But I understood that my position was just as important in the journey to try to get what we want on campus.”

“You know, and it’s weird kind of seeing the different dynamics where a lot of people hear what I did my freshman sophomore year, and it’s like, Wow, that’s amazing. But if you’re a person of color, you’re Black, like you understand like, yes, that’s when it starts. No, that’s what it starts with freshmen and sophomore year, so then you can compete with the people that don’t have to think about it until junior and senior year because their experiences are a lot different than ours. So for me when it meant to get mentored, and what it means to mentor people is that understanding how our identity kind of goes into the professional process, organizational process, and just understanding it starts really early.”

“But if you think about it, like there are protests every year, right, people are mad at something every year. So you got to think about what separates this protest from all the other protests? … So imagine if they were responsive to every protest every year, like, how much money it would cost them? … Like this movement started before started before I even got on campus… So it’s like, you have to really realize how long the movement was right? And how this was not going away anytime soon… So I think, above else, above all else, that’s the reason why I’m in work is because we have people year after year, putting people on to the next step, putting people on to the next.”

a. Provide an example(s) of possible critiques;

There were critiques of living and learning being “divorced from each other … and that the mission of the  University was not being logically extended to the residence hall environment.” From there, I can glean that education at UIUC was not seen as intimate or particularly enlightening. Students did not feel connected to each other as part of a community nor did they find their coursework specifically meaningful. They did not feel as though their education connected to each other nor real life itself.

b. Identify at least 1 challenge the program faced from its inception and discuss why this was so;

A large challenge program was that it was born out of ambiguity and lacked structure. For that reason, its educational philosophy’s goals “were never made clear enough to serve as evaluative guidelines.” From there, it was hard to describe if it was effective or not, and this also came to a head between 1974 and 1980 as there was a lot of conflict due to its unique situation in the gap between the normal institutional process and the development of educational philosophy.

c. Consider: How does the evolution of Unit One/Allen Hall make visible the vulnerabilities of innovation? Where else have we seen vulnerability in innovation this semester?

Unit One/Allen Hall makes clear that innovation is not clear nor easy. There is inevitable pushback and an evolution in offerings, while the primary mission to connect and educate students in an interdisciplinary community remains. For years, the program was under scrutiny for its efficacy and value, and it was later deemed to be successful after increased funding and reform. At the same time, these processes can be slow. We have vulnerability in innovation this semester through the creation of the cultural houses on Nevada Street. They came after a lot of student activism regarding a lack of cultural safe spaces, but even in more recent years, there was a push for a new BNAACC house. There were definitely times, too, that there was uncertainty in funding and viability of supporting and increasing the number of Black students and professors.

Part 2

What is articulated in this proposal is that past efforts have been lacking and falling short. There are pressures to perform and achieve at a high level, but students are feeling disconnected from their work and education. There is a grand push for interdisciplinary collaboration as well as acknowledgement that that may include the shifting of funding. The pressures an undergraduate education may be beginning to feel is that it is not as “useful” or worth the money and time as it used to be. Thus, there is a consolidated effort into improving the undergraduate educational experience.

Week 09 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab Reflection

Transcribe Interview:

How has the constant growth of technology change the way students connect with each other and the world?

“I’ve seen many students in public with their friends, and they are all usually on their phones, rather than speaking to each other. Whereas before the advances of technology, people would normally speak to each other without the use of their phones or social media. Technology has changed students for the better and for the worse” (2:01)

What communication method through technology is the most effective?

“Some time of video chatting, for example zoom, because if students are collaboratively working on a project, they can see what the other students are doing at a certain time, whereas through text or phone call, you can’t see the other person. So through video call, you can understand how the other person is feeling. You can see their emotions, hand signals, etc, and can better understand what another student is trying to communicate.”(2:45-3:30)

Did you ever experience a social change after using a certain technology or social media platform to communicate?

“Using certain social media platforms, I’ve tended to realize that students became more impacted about what other people say about them. People tend to either have negative comments about others when sitting behind a screen because they know nothing will happen to them, whereas in person, people don’t want to negatively comment on someone else’s appearance, and will keep to themselves” (4:15-4:45).

How does technology affect the perception of our needs?

“Technology alters our perception of what we truly need. For instance, on Instagram, you could see a very famous person living a certain lifestyle, and you may feel like you need that, or seeing good looking people and feel that you need to be that certain way” (10:15-10:30).

Reading Response

Part 1:

An example of a possible critique was the student fee that was implemented for funding. “Beginning in 1975, students began paying a modest fee of $15/semester. This fee gradually increased to $45/semester in 1980.” The administration represented this issue to the students who protested the program’s being terminated for fiscal reasons.

A challenge that the program faced from its inception was centered around social and political issues such as race relations, international politics, ideologies of the left and the right, and feminism. The issues raised by these discourses frequently caused students a great deal of discomfort, a logical outcome when freshmen/sophomores’ values are challenged. 

The evolution of Unit One/Allen Hall make visible the academic vulnerabilities of innovation. An example of this was when the feature characteristics of courses such as Community Internships, Women’s Studies, Interpersonal and Black/White Relations were reorganized. They were small class size, seminar format, flexible structure, innovative approaches to subject matter and presentation and student participation in design and content.

Part 2:

Peltason notes the importance of reform at the University of Illinois. His goal is to be a leading institution in Illinois in providing instruction for freshmen and sophomores of the highest quality level. He also articulates that “there is a need for coordinated curriculum development, experimentation, evaluation, and research in undergraduate education. Furthermore, Peltason is emphasizing how departments may restructure their curriculum, causing a domino affect to other departments without them even knowing it. This may bring pressures on the allocation of a student’s time during a semester, and all innovation and experiementation with courses should be evaluated systematically.