Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Project Development

Primary Sources –

In order to find out about the history of tech in education I need to find out the roots of how technology environments came in to being this picture sheds some light upon PLATO. The first primary source in my opinion will be this article and picture of PLATO from the 1960s. This article talks about PLATO, I feel this is important in exhibiting the roots of online and technology aided education at the University. Since PLATO was a monumental discovery for the whole world, it is a bigger sense of pride for the University.

Source: https://www.vice.com/en/article/pa3vvg/the-greatest-computer-network-youve-never-heard-of

This picture talks about how several courses at the University are dependent on Technology for instructional purposes. The article introduces RELATE, a study platform that was created by a Professor at the University to help classes take place more seamlessly. This picture helps answer the question in terms of the need for technology platforms and the article further elaborates on how platforms like RELATE are changing the way studies take place at the University.

Source: https://dailyillini.com/news/2018/04/05/engineering-professor-develops-free-online-course-platform/

Secondary Sources –

In order to answer my question of how technology is aiding education, we need to show how the technology environments have evolved over time. This article from 2013 talks about the introduction of Compass2g at the University. It also sheds some light upon the new features that the platform possesses. This article will be useful in showing the evolution of such digital platforms.

Source: https://dailyillini.com/uncategorized/2013/08/30/moodle-compass-manage-class-readings-quizzes-homework-assignments/

In order to answer the question about the impact and different methods of technology that are used in education we can use this research study by Prof. Wong. This study examines the factors of technology that impact the learner, educators and administration. How these platforms are aiding or affecting education and what kind of a growth we are seeing in online education.

Source: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/108160/WONG-DISSERTATION-2020.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=n

Once we are done scraping through the above resources, I believe reading more into studies and articles where students and educators talk about how their lives have changed with the advent of such technology would be an interesting source to help answer the questions. I also believe we should research more into the impact of online environments like these in time of the COVID pandemic because online education in Today’s era is more important than it ever was. I believe this would be a very crucial part in our study too. I would also like to look into the impact of devices like the I-Clicker in education and how it has helped in attendance and class attention grabbing statistics.

Drafting Interview and Survey Questions

a. Have you ever used any online learning environments/platforms? If so then which ones and in what capacity? (eg. Student, Educator, Administrator, etc.)

b. How do you think your educational experience would change if you were to shift your studies to completely offline without access to such platforms?

c. What are some offline study experiences that you think cannot be replicated in online study platforms?

d. Are you currently a student, if not what year were you one, and what kind of technology did you use at that time to aid in studies at the University?

e. Do you think your attention is better grasped if the class uses interaction technology such as the i-Clicker, etc , why? or do you prefer some other kind of classroom experience.

Reading Response

Three strategies that Foster and the team at BCL used to develop cybernetic practices were –

a. Heuristics – In the spring of 1968, a group of students from a variety of majors approached von Foerster and Brün with a proposal for a course on heuristics—a broadly focused, interdisciplinary survey of how problems are identified and solved, whether by artificial or living systems, by individuals or groups. This helped students be more involved in research in the classroom. (Hutchinson)

b.  Publication of Das GedächtnisThe same year that von Foerster published Das Gedächtnis, MIT mathematician and Macy Conference participant Norbert Wiener published Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, on the science of communication and control. This gave cybernetics the exposure in the education community that it needed. (Anderson)

c. Proposal to National Science Foundation – Von Foerster made a final, ambitious attempt to keep BCL alive by submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled, “Cognitive Technology: A Citizen–Society Problem Solving Interface.” The proposal drew on campuswide expertise in cognitive theory, educational psychology, linguistics, computer networks, programming, and multimedia. (Hutchinson) This proposal tried to raise enough grants for the BCL to keep it up and running.

Questions –

a. What makes you say Cybernetics is the most important tool to cure the problems of a troubled today?

b. Do you still think Cybernetics is as impactful in the present as it previously was, is there anything you feel needs evolving?

c. Do you think Heuristics is a necessary field that all students should learn? What are your thoughts on learning research in the current world with the advent of advance searching tools of the present?

d. What kind of other research took place at the BCL? Do you think there is still a void that needs to be filled by reviving BCL? What and Why?

Week 07 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Ethical Research and Best Practices

1b.) Archives

This first source will help me in my research because it provides me with the relationship between the United States military and the University of Illinois. The source also establishes the history of the United States Army school.

The second source goes through the different replies given by 16,500 former University of Illinois students that were a part of the armed forces. The questionnaire focuses on the students’ plans after their return from the war and their recommendations.

The final source discusses the history of the military department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The source also talks about the history of the ROTC and other branches of the military that are at the University of Illinois.

1c.) Interview Questions

  1. What is a day like as an ROTC student balancing other responsibilities such as school?
  2. Why did you decide to join the ROTC?
  3. Were you contacted by recruiters in high school? If so who?
  4. What are your future plans after the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
  5. Are you a part of any military-related organizations or RSOs? If so, which one?
  6. Do you struggle in school or relationships because of your commitment as an ROTC student?
  7. How often do you go to the Armory? Any classes in the building?
  8. Do you have any scholarships because of your commitment to ROTC?

1d.) Identify Interviewees & Survey Distribution Leads

  1. Ezequiel Barraza – Treasurer – Army ROTC Cadet Council
  2. Peter Villanova – Public Relations Director – Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps
  3. Jacob Smith – Primary Contact – The National Society of Pershing Rifles
  4. Kavya Vedurmudi – Secretary – Arnold Air Society

Part 2: Reading Response

One of the five different applications was the design of PLATO IV. PLATO IV was able to run thousands of terminals that were located away from the central computer and had a transmission rate of 1,200 bits/second (Bitzer 555). This gave students more access to information miles away from the central computer. Another application the PLATO system had was its interactive mode. A quick response time of 1/10 of a second is due to the storing of data in the extended core memory of the system (Bitzer 555). This makes the processes efficient and faster. The third design involves its ability to communicate with students that have disabilities. The PLATO system would ask the handicapped student questions and accurately determine if their answers are correct (Weber 17). The fourth design helped blind students use the PLATO system. The PLATO system had a software that changed the video output to an audio output by converting audio analog words into bits (Weber 18). For the final design, the abacus was incorporated into the PLATO System. The student would be given a problem, if they got it correct, they would move on to a more advanced question, if not, they will get a more simplified version (Weber 20). This provided the blind students with strategies that used the basic four arithmetic operations.

One of the biggest differences between the PLATO system and modern online platforms such as Khan Academy and Youtube is accessibility. The PLATO system required a computer that used the system and had a limit distance from the main computer. Online platforms have the promises of accessing the information from any place in the world as long as there is a good internet connection. Another difference between the online platforms and the PLATO system are their libraries of information. Khan Academy has numerous lectures ranging from math to history.

Week 06 – Lab + Reading Response

1b) Lab Assignment: Project Development

In order to explore the question of the effect of student activism on the University, I need to also cover the effect that activism had on non-University departments. This resource helps highlight the effect that it had on pressuring large entities like Facebook to take down hurtful pages.

In order to answer my question of the effect of student activism on the University, I need to learn more about what student activists have been doing. This resource helps explore the public pressures and demands of these student groups.

Housing Is An Epicenter For Change: A Narrative of Students and Staff Championing Campus Social Change Movements by Kimberly Otchere, Tekita Bankhead, Ayanna Williams.

In order to answer the question of the results of student activism in changing UIUC, I need to find out more about large-scale student activist efforts and their effects on specific aspects of the University. This resource helps explore the relationship between Black students on campus in the mid 2010s and the results of their activism on housing at UIUC.

Catching the Spark: Student Activism and Student Data as a Catalyst for Systemic Transformation by Debra Bragg, Heather McCambly, Brian Durham.

In order to answer the question of the results of student activism in changing UIUC, I need to find out more about student activism and its relationships with other entities. This resource helps explore the role of student activism and data as catalysts for change.

In one more paragraph, begin to sketch out what other resources, documents, or interviews with
living or past individuals would help you to flesh out the research you hope to complete.
Consider the “so what” question: why would your research findings be relevant to campus or
community leaders today?

I want to look into other resources covering the anti-Black rhetoric and backlash online and in person, perhaps in response to their protests and demands. There seems to be an increase in the usage of technology, so I think that could be an interesting aspect to consider. As well, I would want to talk to individuals involved with these efforts (e.g. townhalls, protests) and talk to them about how successful they believe these efforts are. In terms of interviewing or surveying current University students, I would be curious to find out if current students know about these movements or even acknowledge its effects which have since changed their University experience. These findings would be relevant to campus leaders today, because some of the changes that were brought about due to student activism can still be adjusted, reformed, or improved — especially if they are not accomplishing their intended purpose.

1c) Drafting Interview & Survey Questions

What percentage of undergrad students at UIUC do you think are Black?

Do you remember I-Connect? What’s your opinion on it?

All University students are required to take both a Non-Western Cultural Studies gen-ed as well as a US Minorities gen-ed. What are your opinions on this? Why do you think they are both required?

Have you taken a U.S. Minorities gen-ed? How useful or interesting of a class was it for you?

Reading Response

In order to develop cybernetics practice, Heinz von Foerster and other members of the Biological Computing Lab got talented at accruing military funding for their research; however, that ultimate backfired on them during the anti-war movement of the ’70s. As part of cybernetics heuristics, von Foerster also emphasized the drastic need for looking at things from the eyes of the organism, not the observer. This went hand-in-hand with the idea of cybernetics being a more alternative take to view biological systems with the acknowledgement of the system of the system. Another strategy that von Foerster used was to teach several LAS 199 interdisciplinary seminars. Through classes such as these, von Foerster was able to to establish cybernetics as a field in many student’s minds as opportunities to explore.

Though the female-sounding name of Valerie Lamont was mentioned, what percentage of those affiliated with BCL at the student and then the staff/faculty levels were there (Prutzer)?

Since the BCL was quite influential yet largely lacks recognition nowadays, in terms of scope and impact on undergraduate students, what’s the modern equivalent to BCL today (Hutchinson)?

As a German/non-American, did Heinz von Foerster ever face any tension or difficulty as a researcher/director of the BCL due to his background (Anderson)?

Though funding for cybernetics eventually dissolved and got funneled into fields like Computer Science, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence, would there be modern-day value in investing back into cybernetics (Anderson)?

Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Online Search & Project Development

Primary and Secondary Resources:

In order to answer my question on how technology has shaped communication within students, I need to find out how technology can be utilized to influence social change. The resource “Students utilize technology for social good through Hack4Impact” helps explore how it helps connect students with nonprofits through technology and the impacts that they make on society.

In order to answer my question on how technology has shaped communication within students, I need to find out how certain communication methods through technology change the way students interact with one another. The resource “The Role of Communication Technology in Adolescent Relationships and Identity Development” helps explain the impact that technology and communication methods have on students.

In order to answer how communication between undergraduate students at the University of Illinois has changed over time through the innovation of technology, I need to find out how students are taught to use technology. The resource “It doesn’t matter what is in their Hands” helps explore what impacts technology provided by an institution has on a student’s academic efficiency as well as their social interaction.

In order to answer my question on the social impact that technology has on students at the University of Illinois, I need to find out how increased use of technology is a factor of the social impact. My source “Students increase social media use over stay-at-home order” will help explore what can change when a student uses technology more than they did previously in their life.

Other resources I can use that will help with my research are newspapers, experiments, and interviews. For example, I could interview alumni that have experienced the progression of technology since their years in college. My research would be relevant to campus or community leaders because by understanding how the means of communication between undergraduate students at an institution changed over time through the innovation of technology, and what social impact has it had since previous years.

Drafting Interview & Survey Questions

  1. Before COVID, did you use technology on a daily basis? If so, how often did you use it? If not, why do you decide not to?
  2. What communication method through technology is the most efficient? How so?
  3. Did you experience a social change after using a certain technology to communicate?
  4. What social media platforms do you use and why?
  5. How has the constant growth of technology changed the way students connect with each other and the world?

Reading Response

Heinz von Foerster and members of the BCL used specific strategies to develop cybernetics practice. The first strategy implemented was after he established ‘second order cybernetics.’ Shortly after he did this, “he established the Biological Computer Laboratory in 1958 as a center for the study of the computational principles in living organisms” (Anderson).

The second strategy is that a member of BCL, Andrew Pickering, who “presents the emphasis on biological computing within cybernetics during the 1950s and 1960s as a productive alternative to modern technoscience” (Prutzer). He focuses on British cyberneticians to reflect the omission of von Foerster’s and the BCL’s work within cybernetics literature.

The final strategy was that Von Foerster made an attempt to keep BCL alive by submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation entitled, “Cognitive Technology.” The purpose of this proposal “drew on campuswide expertise in cognitive theory, educational psychology, linguistics, computer networks, programming, and multimedia” (Hutchinson).

4 Questions:

  1. Were the obstacles of the formation of BCL difficult to overcome? How did you overcome them?
  2. What other work is involved in the BCL besides cybernetics?
  3. The BCL, with little to no university support for its highly interdisciplinary work, was unable to sustain itself without funding. How did it manage to continue its legacy?
  4. Are BCL innovations considered more social or technical? Why is one more common than the other?

Week 05 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

2 Questions

1. How has the use of technology and ed tech platforms changed the way education is imparted at the University of Illinois?

2. What new methods of education have been introduced with the use of Technology since the non-internet days?

I believe technology has played a pivotal role, and has been among the biggest markers of change in the recent times. Searching through the University of Illinois digital archives can give us several ways in which technology changed the way students study at the University. With the introduction of ed tech platforms like Moodle, Compass and other internet based solutions, I believe we can find several resources for how education took place prior to the invention of such applications.

#1 This screenshot talks about PLATO, the first ever intranet for education at the University of Illinois. PLATO was not only the first ever intranet at the University but also the world. It was a historic achievement that pre-shadowed the internet. This is an important landmark in the use of tech in education. PLATO came into existence in the 1960s

Source: https://distributedmuseum.illinois.edu/exhibit/plato/

#2 This screenshot talks about the timeline of the use of technology at the Undergraduate Library at the university. This timeline is important because it gives us a sense of how tech aided education during the early 1960s. This screenshot is especially interesting because it gives us an exact timeline of what kind of tech was used during that time.

Soruce: https://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/history/tech/history/

#3 The DELTA program was founded to research Digital Environments for Learning at the University of Illinois. This includes technology-enhanced classrooms, mobile devices, and immersive simulations across a range of disciplines, including science, engineering, math, literacy, language, and history. This program was pivotal in introducing several types of technology services at the University.

Source: https://publish.illinois.edu/deltaprogram/

#4 This is an excerpt from the digital archives of a research paper called ‘EXAMINING TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS ON E-LEARNING ACCEPTANCE AND LEARNING TRANSFER’. This article talks in detail about the implication of e-learning and how it has played a role in education at the University. This particular screenshot gives us a lot of information about how technology acceptance in education has increased over time. This data is important in understanding our target size for our research.

Source: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/108160/WONG-DISSERTATION-2020.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=n

Reading Response

The author Andrew Yang in his book – The War on Normal People. Talks about the people of United States of America. Yang discusses job displacement and the shrinking of local economies, terming it the “Great Displacement”, which has been “the product of financialization, globalization, and technologization”. He talks about how money, education and privelege has created two different groups of people within the United States of America. One, the rich, educated and privileged which is the minority of people and then the Other, the poor, uneducated class which in his own terms are the ‘Normal’ people of America, the median.

In Chapter three of the book – Who is normal in America. Yang uses personal anecdotes to talk about his realisation about how what he used to think are the normal people of America, i.e people from his circle actually are the privileged class of America. He uses data, statistics, and graphs to show what ‘Normal’ in America truly is. How the ‘Normal’ american is much poor and uneducated than what we might think.

In Chapter four – What we do for a living. Andrew sheds great light through stats and facts about what jobs in America look like, what are the average jobs and the amount a median american makes working those jobs. It was an interesting fact sheet into what kind of work is the Normal American Involved with. A thought provoking line from the book, that made me think about the job market at hand was “Clerical jobs, retail jobs, and food service jobs are the most common jobs in the country. Each category is in grave danger and set to shrink dramatically. Yet they’re not even the ones to worry about most. The single most defining job in the automation story—the one that scares even the most hard-nosed observer—is the number four job category: materials transport, also known as truck driving.”

The last chapter for the reading delved deeply into the lives of Truck Drivers and Factory Workers, one of the biggest jobs that a lot of the Americans work in. It gave facts about how much they earn, what their lifestyle is like and what kind of a life they can afford.

Yang argues that “as technology continues to make many jobs obsolete, the government must take concrete steps to ensure economic stability for residents of the United States,” – Overall statements like these make this an intriguing and eye opening read.

Week 06 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Online Search & Project Development

1b.) 2 Primary Resources and 2 Secondary Resources

In order to answer my question of the military’s impact at the University of Illinois, I need to find out the experiences ROTC students at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Resource “Students Share their experiences as half student, half ROTC candidates” helps explore the military’s impact at the university and the influence on students’ lives.

In order to answer my question of the military’s impact on the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, I need to find out the experiences of ROTC students. The resource “ROTC students share program experiences” helps explore the question because it provides me with more first-hand experiences as an ROTC student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In order to answer my question about the federal government’s influence on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I need to find out about the history of UIUC and its relationship with the government. The resource “American Higher Education: Learning and Culture from the Founding to World War II” helps answer this question by providing me with the history of land grant universities including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In order to answer my question regarding the federal government’s influence over the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I need to find out about the history of Illinois as a land grant university. The resource “University of Illinois Centennial” helps answer the question by providing me with the history of the University of Illinois and the state government’s thoughts about the university.

1c.) Drafting Interview & Survey Questions

  • Are you a part of a military organization at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? If so, which one?
  • Has a military recruiter ever been in contact with you?
  • Do you have any classes at the Armory?
  • What encouraged you to join the ROTC?
  • Do you struggle with school because of your commitment to ROTC?

Part 2: Reading Response

2a.) One of the strategies Foerster and the members of the BCL used to develop cybernetic practices is their striking of the Clabaugh Act (Prutzer). This act banned un-American activities and prohibited parts of free speech (Prutzer). This act ultimately led to the student group to sue the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois for infringing on their rights (Prutzer).

Another strategy Foerster and the members of the BCL used was heuristics. Heuristics was an opportunity to bring research into the classroom according to Foerster (Hutchinson). This class enrolled numerous students and consisted of students producing a final book that would be added to the BCL publication (Hutchinson). This encouraged students to participate in research involved with the BCL.

The final strategy used to develop cybernetic practices was the organization and development of conferences related to cybernetics (Anderson). BCL recruited a diverse group of scholars such as anthropologists and biologists (Anderson). By recruiting scholars that were specialized in different fields, BCL and Foerster were able to develop cybernetic practices.

Four Questions

  1. Why was freedom of speech important to the development of cybernetic practices?
  2. Why was the diversification of academic fields needed?
  3. Other than cybernetics, what is the most important work done at the Biological Computer Laboratory?
  4. What are some interesting topics published by students working with the Biological Computer Laboratory?

Week 05 – Lab + Reading Reflection


Are there any modern/more recent archives or resources that cover student activism at the University of Illinois?

How might I go about finding more recent information about student activism?

I would want to look at any sections covering the history of student life, especially as it pertains to “political,” “social,” “activism,” “police,” “anti-Black,” and “civil unrest.” For a topic like mine which covers modern student activism, the terminology of “defund the police” may be more recent, but the idea of discontent with an authority like the police has been around for decades. It just may be more difficult to find records covering it.


Chronology of Campus Protests is useful in understanding the campus and community events from 1948 through 1972 in a wide array of student activism causes such as free speech, political protests, civil rights and anti Vietnam war demonstrations, and community, union, and voting initiatives. 

Looking at a document like this highlights the anti-Black backlash by fellow students on campus in more recent years.

Along with the last example, a Facebook group such as this is targeted against Blacks, Muslims, and Mexicans in an inflammatory way.

Discourse about the university and their values in a progressive and critical manner, as targeted to people of color, showcases the activism and higher philosophy of students in regard to race, class accessibility, and transformation.

Reading Response

In Andrew Yang’s book, The War on Normal People, he illustrates the dichotomy between the privileges of the many well-educated and affluent individuals who may be reading his book and the “normal people,” or statistically-typical person of the United States. He does this to highlight the conclusion that many statistics out there do little to cover the massive effect that automation is and will be bringing to the job economy, and while many Americans will be affected by it, it will especially affect the less-skilled and less-educated masses. 

Throughout the few chapters we read, Yang used data and statistics to back up his arguments concerning the dichotomy between those would likely be reading his book and the actual normal American. He points out that “what feels normal to each of us is based on our context,” and he further illuminates that if you had five best friends, “The odds of them all being college graduates if you took a random sampling of Americans would be about one-third of 1 percent, or 0.0036.” Through a very strong and illuminating statistic such as this, he showcases to his likely college-educated population that going to college and being surrounded by only those who have gone to college is a very atypical experience in the grand scheme of America. However, this data is likely manipulated in that those who have gone to college, which he states is about a third of Americans, are likely to be surrounded mostly be those who have gone to college — thus, choosing a random American and then giving them five random Americans to be their best friends skews in showing how atypical that experience is.

Another thing that Yang does throughout his book is bring up common rhetoric and rebuttals to the idea that automation is negatively affecting jobs. He responds to this one op-ed that highlights alternatives for those who have had their job displaced by saying that the options highlighted — Etsy and Upwork — largely are unsustainable for those who have those jobs and may not cater to the skills of the displaced workers. He points out that for platforms such as Etsy, it on average “contributes only 13 percent to household income and is intended as a supplement to traditional work” (Yang Chapter 4). This statistic is not specifically rigorous in showcasing how many Etsy sellers do it full-time — or would want to do it full-time but can’t due to its low profits — and the income that generates, and instead it disregards the relatively low statistic of 13% to be indicative of its unsustainability as a career. In this case as well, his point is likely valid, but he intentionally skews his data to more strongly favor his idea.

Additionally, Yang is careful to point out flaws in current statistics or common measures of success. For example, he brings up how the unemployment metric “does not consider people who drop out of the workforce for any reason, including disability or simply giving up trying to find a job” (Yang Chapter 8). In doing so, he can showcase how metrics and statistics, such as his own, can be deceiving. There needs to be more rigorous surveying and compartmentalization when it comes to making statistics more useful.

Week 05 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab – University Archive Visit Report:

2 Questions:

  • How have the means of communication between undergraduate students at UofI changed over time through the innovation of technology?
  • What social impact has technology had since the 19th century?

This question is not answerable with a simple yes or no, but rather requires synthesis and analysis of ideas and sources prior to the composition of an answer. Using the University of Illinois digital collections, I will be able to understand how different technologies have impacted students positively and negatively. My search terms will be “technology”, “innovation”, and “communication”.

Lab Assignment + Reflection

4 Screenshots that can help provide answers to my research question:

#1: This picture provides the abstract of an analysis of the use of the Internet with observation and interviewing. It also displays how data and numbers were also used by different methods and approaches. These materials are relevant to students because it provides research and statistics. This will help me further determine how the use of different technologies affected communication. Source:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79612

#2: These two pictures demonstrate data taken from the digital collections that show the purpose of students’ use of technology through email and factors that drive students not to use this kind of technology. I can support my question with this kind of evidence because it provides a bias from a student’s perspective. Furthermore, this can be relevant to students as they can see data that shows certain factors that drive a student to use a certain technology. Source:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79612

#3: This image provides results to questions that can relate to or even support my own question. The page numbers provided after each question will allow me to briefly find specific answers to my question and also raise other questions that I didn’t think of previously. A concern that may arise is determining how one communication impacted students one way, versus how another did not impact students at all. Source:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79612

#4: This picture explains the focus and purpose of the use of Internet-based communication. It shows that different communication methods were used as part of the research to determine how often they are used and their effectiveness. The only concerns that I would have for these results are inaccurate data or misinformation, but with enough evidence, this source will provide answers to my inquiry. Source:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79612

Developing Line of Inquiry:

Through interview data, survey data, and library-archive materials provided in my source, I will be able to answer and even build off of my questions. As I read through my source, I found that much of the research involved interviews with students which then gathered data to prove which technologies anticipate efficiency.

Reading Response:

I liked how Andrew Yang incorporated the quote “The future is already here—it’s just unevenly distributed” by William Gibson at the beginning of chapter three. It demonstrates the first point Yang makes about families with different incomes and how people question their normality. He makes a note that “What feels normal to each of us is based on our context” and uses college students or graduates education as examples (Yang Chapter 3). He displayed a chart of different genders and races and the percentages of how high they get to their education on average. This data allowed me to understand where I stand from an educational point of view and where being normal is on the spectrum. Yang also helps me connect to my friends’ context and how “the odds of them all being college graduates if you took a random sampling of Americans would be about one-third of 1 percent, or 0.0036. The likelihood of four or more of them being college graduates would be only about 4 percent,” (Yang Chapter 3). This further addresses how Yang uses numbers and percentages to clarify his point.

Andrew Yang further demonstrates data and statistics when he talked about the net worth of Americans with a certain degree in education. I noticed a trend that net worth goes up with age, but other factors like gender and race cause uneven distribution. According to the U.S Census, for average Americans with high school diplomas or some college, the median net worth hovers around $36,000, including home equity. Normally it would go up with more education, but with the data provided on the median net worth and assets of people with different backgrounds, “the racial disparities are dramatic, with black and Latino households holding dramatically lower assets across the board and whites and Asians literally having 8 to 12 times higher levels of assets on average” (Yang Chapter 3). The evidence to this is presented from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and led me to interpret the message that Yang is anticipating to the audience.

Yang’s evidence also relates to and even questions our humanity. He talks about how most people don’t even like their jobs, especially right after they graduate. Additionally, he uses numbers and percentages to explain his point, and “According to Gallup, only 13 percent of workers worldwide report being engaged with their jobs. The numbers are a little better in America, with 32 percent saying they were engaged with their work in 2015” (Yang Chapter 7). This changed my perspective on the rarity that you’ll meet someone who actually likes their job. Normally I wouldn’t think that I’d struggle to find work that I am excited about, unless if I have financial goals and pressures to meet. Even though I haven’t graduated college yet, I am already thinking of careers that I’d like to pursue, but now I’m also thinking about the position I’m in versus the position that the rest of the nation is in. Yang also states that “the relationship between humanity and work involves money, but in something of a negative correlation,” and how the jobs and roles that are the most human tend to pay lower than other jobs (Yang Chapter 7). By using statistics and data, Yang is not only able to display a message to the reader, but also changed my own perspective on the bigger things in life.

Week 05 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Lab Reflection

1a.) Questions:

  • How has the United States military influenced the lifestyle of undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?
  • What impact has the United States federal government made on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

In order to answer these questions, I will use the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign digital library. The digital library will allow me to access important documents related to my question while maintaining the social distancing recommended by the CDC. I will use terms such as “war”, “military”, “military service”, and “World War I” to collect this data.

1b.) 4 Screenshots:

This page of the document is important to my question because it exemplifies the existing relationship the military had with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This document was published in 1893. The one concern I have using this source would be its late publication. The year of the publication could make it irrelevant to the question. Overall, one concern that could be brought up from this picture is the reason for the military building pre World War I.

Source: https://digital.library.illinois.edu/items/b7892ff0-7ee5-0135-017e-0050569601ca-d

This picture shows an example of undergraduate students that participated in the first World War. They are seen wearing military uniforms and badges on their left side. This photo was taken to promote the war effort, show support for the United States military, and encourage undergraduates to join.

Source: https://archon.library.illinois.edu/index.php?p=digitallibrary/digitalcontent&id=11064

This source explains that the armory was the building where male students would performed their required two year training at the University of Illinois. This emphasizes the impact the military had on students during World War I and campus layout. The military was important to the campus.

Source: https://archon.library.illinois.edu/index.php?p=digitallibrary/digitalcontent&id=6064

This image shows the previous armory in 1872. This armory was on the second floor of Machinery Hall. This space was also used as a gymnasium for undergraduates. Since this floor was gymnasium as well it could’ve been used to encourage students to join in the military training.

Source: https://archon.library.illinois.edu/index.php?p=digitallibrary/digitalcontent&id=993

1c.) Line of Inquiry

To answer this question, I will continue to research through these databases. I will also look into interviewing my fellow undergraduates who are currently in ROTC and other military programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I could also collect data from undergraduates at ROTC.

Reading Response

Andrew Yang discusses the term “normal” in these chapters as the average. However, this term could be interpreted differently depending on the person. He felt embarrassed about his struggles and setbacks when he heard about the struggles of his Uber driver. For the first example of data, Andrew Yang uses information about the educational attainment of people in the United States. The source of this information was provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. He organizes the data by gender and race. This creates a divide in averages in men and women. There is also a divide in education among Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. Andrew continues the divisions in education by organizing the incomes by education attainment. These education attainments show a divide in income among Americans.

The next set of data and statistics that Andrew Yang discusses is the largest occupational groups in the United States. The total number of workers in the United States is around 140 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He uses another source from the government which promotes the credibility of the data that he is presenting. Andrew Yang assumes that retail workers don’t have degrees. There is some truth to this claim, however, there is no direct statistic regarding the actual educational attainment. Another problem with this retail section is his manipulation of data. Mr. Yang uses the average salary of retail workers which is $22,900. He then uses the median age of the workers which is 39 years old. I do not have the average age of retail workers but the data would not be as alarming to readers if the average had a lower age then the median. He used the median data to emphasize the divide among working-class Americans.

The third piece of data and statistics discusses truck drivers in the United States. Mr. Yang states that truck driving is the most popular job in 29 of the 50 states. He then discusses the growing automatization of trucks. Andrew Yang that labor costs and fewer accidents would destroy this job market. He also explains that Elon Musk’s Teslas are self-driving. From my experience riding in a Tesla, the self-driving is not complete by itself. Sometimes the automation could turn off and require the driver to take control of the car. This could create the argument that self-driving trucks and cars are more dangerous than the current vehicles we drive today. However, the trial and error that comes with automation could make self-driving cars inevitable. Overall, Andrew Yang sums up the potential decline of truck drivers in the United States.

Week 04 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

  1. Global Leaders: Orange and Blue Engagement (GLOBE) is an organization at the University of Illinois that encourages all international students to become better leaders that they have the potential to be. It’s designed as two groups: Blue members (experienced domestic and international students) and Orange members (new international students). The organization teams them up in small groups to participate with one another in certain activities and events. The sole purpose of GLOBE is to provide domestic and international students a chance to develop their networking skills to prepare them for life after college. It also gives them an opportunity to develop global awareness and learn the importance of cultural diversity. This program works well with the institutional system because there are many international students that attend the University. As related to socio-historical contexts, its function is to integrate international students to the school to address the needs of diversity and cultural competency.
  2. As outlined in the strategic plan of the University of Illinois, “the goal of GLOBE is to provide opportunities for domestic and international students to enhance intercultural communication skills.” The data on the percentage of international students was most likely used to implement this program. Many international students have aspirations to be a part of a prestigious institution, so this could have been a factor in creating a program that enhances these students coming from overseas.
  3. Research: To provide evidence for the needs that the program addresses, I need data that shows what kind of impact a program like this could actually make on international students that would like to further diversify their culture. Both documents demonstrate an international student’s experience with GLOBE and how they’ve established close relationships with friends that they never thought they would.

Document 1: https://dailyillini.com/features/2018/10/16/program-connects-international-and-domestic-students/

Document 2: https://drahcir62.wixsite.com/abelveraportafolio/copy-of-peruvian-sa-uiuc

3 Questions:

How has GLOBE changed your perspective on cultures displayed here vs. the ones that you are used to from your country?

What challenges do international or domestic students face that GLOBE is able to centralize?

Is this program an effective way of growing an international student’s social interaction and involvement?

3 Multiple Choice Questions:

Approximately what percentage of students at the University of Illinois are from another country?

  • 10%
  • 15%
  • 25%
  • 35%
  • 50%
  • 75%
  • 85%

Six semesters after the initiation of GLOBE, how many students apply to the program?

  • 100 to 200
  • 300 to 400
  • 400 to 500
  • 600 to 700
  • 800 to 1000
  • 1000+

How competitive is it to become a member of GLOBE?

  • Not competitive
  • A little competitive
  • 50-50
  • Competitive
  • Very Competitive
  • Extremely Competitive

A barrier this program faces is the number of Blue members, the ones with experience on campus, that they have. These members are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of Orange members, the incoming international students, that they have come into the program. This is what makes the program competitive to get into, but no one has opposed the idea of creating a better cultural diversity to the University of Illinois.

The program needs more Blue students because there are many incoming students that would love to be a part of it, and the Blue students have to accommodate the Orange students. I believe if students are introduced to the program as early as possible, it would immensely help the numbers in the Blue Group.

Reading Response

As diverse concerns spread across UIUC and other college campuses, there were many students and campus groups that used a strategy to display those concerns and make change. Many of these strategies had to overcome barriers, many of them being social and political. The Clabaugh Act was a factor that grew campus antiwar activities, a strategy that pressed for change. The president of the campus SDS “announced a Vietnam War ‘speak out’ to be held at a space identified as a ‘Free Speech Area’ off the quad” to practice these rights (Metz 45). The purpose of the speak out was to coincide with nationwide antiwar rallies, and a barrier that this group had to overcome was debating the student senate request for support in their call for the Clabaugh repeal.

Berkey, a student from California, also came up without a thoughtful strategy to create change from a political perspective. His political action began “with participation in a sit-in at the U.S Attorney’s office in San Fransisco, demanding federal protection for civil rights workers in the South” and used this as a strategy to create change (Metz 46). He eventually became a leader of the Illinois student movement, but a barrier he had to deal with was criticism after admitting that “he had actually missed the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley by a semester” (Metz 46).

Women used student-led uprisings as a strategy to provide them access to higher education. Although it came with barriers, “their presence in public, high politicized settings with a strongly egalitarian ethos opened up unprecedented possibilities for personal freedom” and gained status through male leaders (Evans 338). These women brought social and political messages to the public, which had a very positive effect on personal liberation for young women. Their challenge to patriarchy “broke the rules[…] Parents worried not only for their daughters’ safety but also their reputations,” as a result (Evans 338). As they redefined womanhood by partaking in roles that normally men would take, their expectations were set a lot higher as a barrier to their strategy.

5 Questions

  1. What student-led group in the 1960s proved to be the most effective? Why?
  2. Did your political standpoint change your perspective on these movements? How so?
  3. What student group at UIUC made the most impact on women’s rights?
  4. How much did Freedom of Speech play a factor in students willing to reform their campus in the 1960s?
  5. Although many women have jobs now that back then men would normally have, do women still deal with political barriers?