Final Project: App/Device Development

Why develop a mobile app or device for your organization?

Mobile apps and specialized devices are one way forward for organizations that want to have a closer, ongoing bond with their stakeholders. With an installed application or tool that reminds stakeholders of brand elements, notifications, images, products, ideas, and the organization itself, there is a greater chance for engagement, which potentially leads to more productivity, projects, or sales.

Mobile App

Mobile App (Photo credit: mdurwin2)

For the second and final project this semester, you are to develop a 5 minute pitch that introduces a plan for a mobile app or specialized electronic device for your business. It should answer the following questions for stakeholders, build interest and support for the application or product, and stay in keeping with your organizational brand.


You must create a 5 minute video. you can choose to deliver a presentation, slideshow, a talking head shot, screencast, or other imagery. You will be graded on content, quality of format, and variety. 20 points are at stake. The more types of literacy you show, the better. Demonstrate code. Use screenshots. Use audio clips. Play music. We should not wonder what the app or product looks, tastes, or feels like. Demonstrate that.

Have fun. Make it great. Make a portfolio piece. 

You will deliver your presentation by embedding your video in your final post by the start of our final class on December 15th, 2015, and have the questions answered below before class in the body of a post. The content of your post should essentially be the script and illustrations. The result is a single post with a video followed by the content of the video in textual-visual form. If you do this well, you prove the important learning outcome of visual transliteracy, and demonstrate your ability to communicate in audio, video, text, graphics, photography, and drafting.


Questions to consider in proposing your mobile application.

What will your app do, what are its key functions? Does it tell users about news? Share galleries of images? Update progress or scores? What will users be able to do with your app on a walk, in their car, or elsewhere? Keep track of scores? Show how to get around a city? Guide users? What applications inspired your app idea?

What phone or tablet sensors (GPS, camera, mic, speakers, temperature, pressure, speed, etc.) will it use? For example, can users take a photo of something related to your work and share it with other users of the app? Would it be useful for the app to know the local temperature, and somehow make useful insights with that data? Be especially creative here.

What business problems does it solve? Does this app change the focus of your business in any way?

How does it compare to similar apps or products being offered by peer organizations in your industry?

What would it look like? What would the user interface allow you to do most easily? USE INKSCAPE TO ANSWER THIS. Give examples of applications that have a similar navigation style to yours. Visuals will help here. Inkscape could be useful in mocking up the key screens of your app. You may want to make use of Wireframing for your design, and below is an example from Izabela Mendonça Riz via

Mobile wireframing by Izabela Mendonça Riz via

Mobile wireframing by Izabela Mendonça Riz via

Who would be on your development team? How much would it cost to develop, and what would you sell it for?

Does it allow for a social connection? Does it connect to Facebook or Twitter, and if so, why? If it offered to update the status of a user on Facebook, what might the status say? (e.g. John LeMasney just finished his final project on CourseUpdates!)

How does it improve the life of the user?

Have fun. Propose something that would actually be useful. Show me everything you learned, please, to the degree that it applies here.


Assignment 10: Privacy concerns with new media

RFID Chip via

RFID Chip via

Assignment: Privacy

I desperately hope that you enjoyed your thanksgiving week break! Let’s get back to it and finish strong.

Please watch the following two videos below on privacy concerns and technology, then answer the questions following it as the basis for your post this week.

  1. Do you think that we are living in a surveillance state?
  2. What is the concern about Snowden’s revelation about the NSA’s use of PRISM, et al.?
  3. What are some examples of ways in which you are potentially tracked everyday; what kind of trail do you leave?
  4. Do you feel that privacy, as a concept, is coming to an end?
  5. What actions would you have to take to preserve your privacy today?

If you are especially interested in this topic, (and as communicators, technologists and leaders you should be) you might want to watch the rest of the TED collection on this topic.

Assignment 9: Podcasts

Keeping in touch with news about technology

English: RCA 44 Ribbon Microphone -- Creative ...

This week, please listen to the following podcast, then answer the questions below in your post, written in the form of a critique/review of the podcast.

Finally, using,, or whatever digital audio recording method you prefer, please record your critique, put it online, and put a link to your audio at the end of your post. Keep the review short and sweet, not exceeding a minute or two at most. Answers to the questions should be a sentence or two. If you use the WordPress shortcode method, you can include a player right inside your post. This is how I embedded the audio below.

Remember that you can use to store your audio, or you can use Soundcloud to both record and store it. If you have problems or questions, please call me at 609 553 9498.

All About Android

“ALL ABOUT ANDROID 240 DISTRACTED BY THE NIB Hosted by Jason Howell, Florence Ion, Ron Richards New Google+, Blackberry Priv, Pushbullet, YouTube Music. Records live every Tuesday at 8:00pm Eastern / 5:00pm Pacific / 4:00 UTC.” – All About Android 240 Distracted By the Nib | TWiT from

Click the play button below to listen now.

  1. What is this show about?
  2. Who are the hosts, and what are they known for?
  3. What was the most interesting story for you in the show?
  4. Of what value is this show to organizations?
  5. Would you listen to the show again?
  6. If you were to make a podcast, what might the content be about?

Assignment 8: When Patents Attack! (This American Life)

English: Logo from the radio program This Amer...

Logo from This American Life, via

Assignment (edited):

Please listen to the following radio show, produced by WBEZ Chicago‘s and Public Radio International’s This American Life, on the topic of software patents, and answer the questions below in your weekly post. This assignment is ready to complete, all edits are final. (part one is optional, and can be heard at

In addition to using the template to help you to make a great response, also please note your understanding of copyright, creative commons, patents, public domain, the TEACH act, the DMCA, and open source licensing methods.

  1. Were the interviewers performing an illegal act since they were interviewing the patent holder for a podcast?
  2. Why did the patent holders not have a definitive number for licensing the patent?
  3. Why are patent lawsuits on the rise?
  4. Is Nathan Myhrvold a “Patent Troll”? What is a Patent Troll, in the common understanding?
  5. Why are the offices of Software Rights Archive, Bullet Proof Technology of Texas, Jellyfish Technology of Texas and others empty?
  6. What was Peter Detkin‘s inspiration for the coining of the phrase “Patent Troll” as a fitting metaphor?
  7. Do you believe that Chris Crawford does not know what an apostrophe s means?
  8. Why is Nick Desaulniers worried about starting a new business saving lives?
  9. How might patents (and their trolls) negatively affect your ability to innovate in your work?


Assignment 7: Social Media Dashboards

A segment of a social network

Choose 2 social network dashboard solutions

from the ones that we reviewed, set up accounts in them, and then add RSS feeds, social networks, or other curated content to them. Note that RSS feeds are often advertised, but you might also search on the phrase “name of site rss feed” to discover them. e.g. Search for New York Times RSS Feed

Then answer the following questions with help from our template:

  1. What insights did you gain about your personal or organizational brand from the dashboard. What are you able to more easily discern?
  2. What is the business benefit of tools like these? How can you help to define or shape brand with these tools?
  3. Do some simple google searches on yourself, your organization, and your industry. If you knew nothing about these topics, and had only the search results to go on, what would you find from these results? How does your determination change from the social media dashboards’ curated search engine?

Assignment 6: Codecademy and The Machine is Us/ing Us

Code monkey by John LeMasney via

Code monkey by John LeMasney via

This week, I’d like you to do three things:

  1. Watch this great video (above) on the way that we are using the Internet, and the way it using us.
  2. Go to Codecademy, create an account, and start the Javascript class.
  3. Finish the first two Javascript lessons “Getting started with Programming” and “Choose your own adventure”.

And now, this week’s questions, in conjunction with the template:

  1. In what way might a knowledge of coding benefit you in your work/organization/role?
  2. In the video from Michael Wesch above, he describes how the way that we are going to have to rethink a few things. Choose one of the things he lists (besides copyright) and give us an example of how that thing has already started to change. Then, explain how copyright is changing in the context of code and media.
  3. How many people do you know who know how to code? In what way do they benefit from that knowledge? Are there downsides to knowing how to code?
  4. Please add a link to your codecademy profile so that we can follow your progress. Mine is at

Please be as thorough as always. Include images, screenshots, video, and quotes to support your ideas. Celebrate exemplars. Use headings, tags, and other structure to add readability to your posts. If you have not yet updated your profile with a picture, your full name, and a short bio, please do it before next Tuesday. If you have any troubles, please call me.

Incredibly important: Virtual meeting next week (10/20)

Hi all. Check your email!

I will be in Wisconsin at a funeral next Tuesday during our class time. In the interest of both keeping our classes going and introducing you to an incredibly important technology set, I am going to meet with you by Google Hangouts.

Here is Google’s explainer video about Hangouts:

A Google account is required, and we will have to accept the ability to chat with each other, and you will need a phone or laptop with at video capability. Your phone will be easiest, but the desktop will be most comfortable and stable. You should be on WiFi if by phone and plugged in if by laptop/desktop.

Here is a more detailed overview by Paul Charron:

Since I do not want you to figure this all out on the day of class or, worse, during class, I would like to do a one-minute test with you each individually to make sure you understand and allow the connection.

Please use my personal scheduling tool at to arrange a time for a one-minute test. Attendance is mandatory, as per a typical class.