Innovations and Social Networking

Innovations in Computing | Embedded Computing | Crowdsourcing | Social Impact of Computing in Society | Problem Solving | Review

Innovations in Computer Science

Computation has changed the way people think, work, live, and play. Could you imagine life without your favorite technology? Where did people get their information before the Internet? How did people communicate with one another before cellphones or email? Computers and the Internet have changed the way we live and work. For most people in the developed world computers are used in some area of our life every day. It has changed the way we communicate and collaborate in our society. Our methods for communicating, collaborating, and problem-solving, and doing business have changed and are changing due to innovations enabled by computing. Many innovations in other fields are fostered by advances in computing. Computational approaches lead to new understandings, new discoveries, and new disciplines. Although these innovations in technology have provided many benefits to society, they have produced some harmful effects as well.

The world was a very different place 12 years ago. A decade ago, you couldn't order an Uber on your phone. You couldn't surf the web on Google Chrome. You couldn't rent a place to stay on demand with Airbnb.

Several incredible products and services have been invented in the last 12 years -- some, in the last five or eight. Thanks to a tweet from Button cofounder Chris Maddern, we were inspired to investigate some of the cool, convenient things the tech world has invented since 2007. Read the complete article by Avery Hartmans: These 18 incredible products didn't exist 10 years ago.

Microsoft's Concept - Future Vision 2020

Produced in 2009

Assignment: Future Vision 2020 Discussion Board

Directions: After watching the Future Vision 2020 video, what are your thoughts on Microsoft's 2020 predictions for technology? Which innovations became a reality, and which do you see as something that will never materialize any time soon. Post your thoughts to the discussion board and then read at least two classmate's posts. Respond to at least two other posts to expand on their thread.

Assignment: Question for Thought 7.1

Directions: Describe (not just list) three different programmed devices you rely on every day. Create a poster with your descriptions of devices, a picture of each of your three devices and an appropriate title. Upload the poster saved as a .pdf. Include your picture citations (MLA format) in the itsLearning textbox.

Assignment: Innovation Current Event

Directions: Use your researching abilities to find an innovation in computer science that is of interest to you to write a short paper. The paper cannot exceed 700 words.

Prepare a paper that includes:

  1. A summary of the innovation and its purpose or function
  2. Explain at least one beneficial and one harmful impact of this topic on society, culture, or ethical concern. What was the effect of others because of it?
  3. How did the topic use (consume, produce, and/or transform) data?
  4. What are the data privacy, data storage, or data security concerns (pick one)?
  5. Cite the sources for your paper using MLA format. Include at least two internal citations in the paper. Remember to include the access date on all online sources.

Embedded Computing
aka "Internet of Things"

When people talk about "the next big thing," they are never thinking big enough. It's not a lack of imagination; it's a lack of observation. Daniel Burrus (Burrus Research) maintains that the future is always within sight, and you don't need to imagine what's already there. An example would be the buzz surrounding the Internet of Things.

"We humans have indeed always been adept at dovetailing our minds and skills to the shape of our current tools and aids. But when those tools and aids start dovetailing back - when our technologies actively, automatically, and continually tailor themselves to us, just as we do to them - then the line between tool and user becomes flimsy indeed." - Andy Clark

What's the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it's built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors. The Internet of Things is mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connected. And it is said that the Internet of Things is going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports "smart."

Global Smart Pole Market Projected to Reach 25.13 billionThe Internet of Things (IoT) is a scenario in which objects, animals or people are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. IoT has evolved from the convergence of wireless technologies, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and the Internet.

But here's what Daniel Burrus of Burrus Research means when he says people don't think big enough. So much of the chatter has been focused on machine-to-machine communication (M2M): devices talking to like devices. But a machine is an instrument, it's a tool, it's something that's physically doing something. When we talk about making machines "smart," we're not referring strictly to M2M. We're talking about sensors.

A sensor is not a machine. It doesn't do anything in the same sense that a machine does. It measures, it evaluates; in short, it gathers data. The Internet of Things really comes together with the connection of sensors and machines. That is to say, the real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it. All the information gathered by all the sensors in the world isn't worth very much if there isn't an infrastructure in place to analyze it in real time.

Cloud-based applications are the key to using leveraged data. The Internet of Things doesn't function without cloud-based applications to interpret and transmit the data coming from all these sensors. The cloud is what enables the apps to go to work for you anytime, anywhere.  Daniel Burrus, Burrus Research, The Internet of Things Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes, Wired. Read Daniel Burrus' full article at

Kevin Ashton, cofounder and executive director of the Auto-ID Center at MIT first mentioned the Internet of Things in a presentation he made to Procter & Gamble. Here's how Mr. Ashton explains the potential of the Internet of Things:

"Today computers -- and, therefore, the Internet -- are almost wholly dependent on human beings for information. Nearly all of the roughly 50 petabytes (a petabyte is 1,024 terabytes) of data available on the Internet were first captured and created by human beings by typing, pressing a record button, taking a digital picture or scanning a bar code.

The problem is, people have limited time, attention and accuracy -- all of which means they are not very good at capturing data about things in the real world. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things -- using data they gathered without any help from us -- we would be able to track and count everything and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling and whether they were fresh or past their best."

Dr. John Barrett explains the Internet of Things in his TED talk. Dr. Barrett is Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Group Director of the Centre's Smart Systems Integration Research Group. His research is focused on packaging, miniaturization and embedding of smart systems in materials, objects and structures. He has been active in Irish and European R&D projects in the areas of packaging and systems integration for almost 30 years and has over 100 publications in topics related to his field.

If we investigate the future, one thing is certain: cities become much smarter day after day. They are using information and communications technologies to enhance daily city life. There is an overwhelming trend toward introducing new smart services and opening city data to improve quality of life for citizens - not to mention the many new business opportunities associated with this change. (cite: Idemia)

smart cities

Assignment: How We Have Changed Interviews

Directions: You will interview 5 people to find out at least 5 ways their lives have changes as a result of technology. The 5 people must be at least 25 years old. Summarize your interviews in an essay of about 150 words. Submit your essay directly to the itsLearning textbox. Do not attach a separate document and be sure to proofread before submitting your essay.

Assignment: Computing Timeline Assignment

Directions: Each generation has witness technology in a different shape or form and was impacted by that technology. Create a timeline for each generation representing the technological innovation of the time. A generation is a group of people born and living during a same time period usually between 20 and 25 years, for example the Silent Generation was born between 1925 and 1942. You will create a timeline that shows the evolution of the computer for each generation. View the full assignment in itsLearning.

Crowdsourcing - Leveraging The Mob Effect

Go Fund MeIt's a brave new world, indeed! Data flies around the world at the speed of light and exchanging information and ideas is wise for any enterprise that wants to remain competitive. Crowdsourcing refers to outsourcing a common task to a group of distributed individuals who may not know each other. It is used in many ways and more are coming into use. For example, crowdsourcing allows businesses to use the input of multiple sources, both within the corporation and externally, to develop solutions for strategic issues or to find better ways to complete tasks. This new culture of innovation, supported by crowdfunding for worthwhile projects, allows for idea collaboration and technological innovation for the greater good. Further, our increasingly mobile world population allows for people from anywhere, and with any background, to give their input on a project. In 2018, we saw social fundraising become a key part of how people take action in their communities and across the globe. One of the biggest fundraisers was the We The People Will Fund The Wall which as of January 5, 2019 at 11:15 a.m. had raised $19,079,542 in 19 days by 315,992 people. Crowdsourcing is used in some pretty innovative ways through human computation and citizen science.

define human computationThe Web has made it possible to harness human cognition en masse to achieve new capabilities. Some of these successes are well known; for example Wikipedia has become the go-to place for basic information on all things; Duolingo engages millions of people in real-life translation of text, while simultaneously teaching them to speak foreign languages; and has enabled public-driven scientific discoveries by recasting complex biomedical challenges into popular online puzzle games. These and other early successes hint at the tremendous potential for future crowd-powered capabilities for the benefit of health, education, science, and society. In the process, a new field called Human Computation has emerged to better understand, replicate, and improve upon these successes through scientific research.

Human Computation refers to the science that underlies online crowd-powered systems and was the topic of a recent visioning activity in which a representative cross-section of researchers, industry practitioners, visionaries, funding agency representatives, and policy makers came together to understand what makes crowd-powered systems successful. Teams of experts considered past, present, and future human computation systems to explore which kinds of crowd-powered systems have the greatest potential for societal impact and which kinds of research will best enable the efficient development of new crowd-powered systems to achieve this impact. This report summarizes the products and findings of those activities as well as the unconventional process and activities employed by the workshop, which were informed by human computation research. A U.S. Research Roadmap for Human Computation, Pietro Michelucci, Lea Shanley, Janis Dickinson, Haym Hirsh

Citizen Science

The World Wide Web has turned the wisdom of the crowd into a valuable, on-demand resource. Now scientists are asking how best to put crowdsourced cognition to work. On way that scientists are putting us to work is through citizen science.

Citizen Science is the collection and analysis of data relating to the natural world by members of the general public, typically as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists. A citizen scientist is an individual who voluntarily contributes his or her time, effort, and resources toward scientific research in collaboration with professional scientists or alone. These individuals don't necessarily have a formal science background. However, with training, citizen scientists can provide a wealth of data over longer periods of time and they could be anywhere in the world creating more data from a variety of locations. Citizen scientists are being used on projects because they can record local data to be included in global databases. If you would like more information on becoming a citizen scientist yourself, visit Citizen Science Alliance.

An example of citizen science would be a website that collects information about species found near local water sources. Individual citizens provide data to scientists by reporting species that they observe in their local area. Projects that are good for citizen scientists would be ones where specialized equipment, such as a telescopes or fish finder, would not be required and can be based on facts versus personal opinion. Counting trees in a a particular area would be a good example of a project for citizen scientists.

Assignment: Question for Thougth 7.2

Directions: Answer the questions below and respond with a short summary (~150 words). Paste your response directly into the itsLearning textbox. Do not attached a separate document and be sure to proofread your response before submitting.

Social Impact of Computing in Society

In the United States, a survey found that the majority of the United States lower income cities do not have broadband connect. To bridge the gap, former President Barak Obama introduced the Connecting America: National Broadband Plan, a Federal Communications Commission plan to improve Internet access in the United States unveiled in March 2010. It required that the FCC draft a plan to include a detailed strategy for achieving affordable access to robust broadband by 2020.

Featured in the plan is a Consumer Broadband Test that reports a user's Internet download and upload speeds, latency and jitter. The government then uses these resources to analyze the nation's broadband quality and to plan future locations that need improvements. While access to the Internet is important, it is only the starting point, which is where mobile technology comes in. Why? Governmental and non-governmental organizations are using phones in place of physical infrastructure. Unlike the Internet, mobile is not hampered by slow broadband speeds or electricity shortages, and can be used by those who cannot read or write. New mobile platforms are simple and portable which require only simple text messaging capability to be used as a tool for a host of activities.

Even in places that lack electricity, the number of mobile phone networks in many low- and middle-income countries surpasses other infrastructure such as paved roads and electricity. Mobile phones are the first telecommunications technology in history to have more users in the developing rather than developed world.

As we have seen, innovation and impact of online access varies in different countries and in different socioeconomic groups resulting in a digital divide. A digital divide is an economic and social inequality according to categories of persons in a given population in their access to, use of, or knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICT). It includes individuals, families, businesses and geographic areas at different socio-economic levels with regard to accessing the Internet. Georgia Virtual School

Assignment: Equal Access Discussion Board

Directions: Some sections of society such as older people, economically disadvantaged, people with disabilities or people in certain geographical or economic/political locations may not be able to access technologies such as the Internet. Should the state intervene and supply training and hardware so everyone has an opportunity to "get online"? Is it a right (like access to electricity) that everyone should have access to a computer and the internet? Give reasons to support your answers. Submit a well-constructed paragraph of ~150 words to itsLearning.

Harmful and Beneficial Effects of Computing on Society

As you can probably imagine, there are both positive and negative impacts of computing on society. Mr. John Barrett spoke of both benefits and harmful effects during his Internet of Things Ted Talk.

harmful table

The last couple of lines were intentionally left blank on the table. What are some other positive and negative impacts of computers that you can think of?

Assignment: Does Artificial Intelligence Need A Code Of Ethics?

Directions: Computer scientists are racing ahead in perfecting machines that learn, respond, make decisions. Once you've built a computer able to make up its own mind, draw conclusions without a human master, what should you worry about? Some of the scientists who know this world best are also warning...a Code of Ethics is needed. This hour, On Point: Artificial Intelligence: Exciting...scary...or both? --Ray Suarez

Do you worry about or welcome a world where our machines don't need us? After listening to the podcast, do you think that artifical intelligence needs a code of ethics? Why or why not? Post your thoughts to a thread on the discussion board and respond to at least two classmates to continue the discussion.

Assignment: Harmful and Beneficial Effects of Computing on Society

Directions: Download the two worksheets from itsLearning titled "Harmful Effects of Computing" and "Benefits of Computing". You will choose one harmful effect of computing and a benefit of computing to debate. You will research and find examples and facts to support your position. You will anticipate what your opponent would say as a rebuttal and then respond to this rebuttal. Complete both worksheets and submit both when finished.

Social Media

What are some of the ways you use the Internet? This open network of the Internet encourages communication and collaboration between people all over the globe. It provides tools that allow people to create, collaborate, communicate and gain new knowledge.

These are a few of the ways people use the Internet:

No matter what the activity, everyone communicates on the Internet using the Internet Protocols established. They govern the way people connect and communicate on the Internet. Social media, interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation or sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks, has allowed for mass cultural exchange and intercultural communication.

Assignment: Social Media Venn Diagram

Directions: Information and communication technology has changed rapidly over the past 20 years with a key development being social media. Read the article What Is the Real Impact of Social Media by Maryanne Gaitho. According to Gaitho, there are seven ways the impact of social media is felt by individuals and social groups. Pick 3 of those ways and create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast. Submit your Venn diagram to the itsLearning assignment.

Problem Solving

Computer science is the study of problems, problem-solving, and the solutions that come out of the problem-solving process. Given a problem, a computer scientist's goal is to develop an algorithm, a step-by-step list of instructions for solving any instance of the problem that might arise. In computability theory and computational complexity theory, an undecidable problem is a decision problem for which it is known to be impossible to construct a single algorithm that always leads to a correct yes-or-no answer. A decision problem is any arbitrary yes-or-no question on an infinite set of inputs. Wikipedia

Assignment: How Technologists Untangle Complexity summary

Directions: In this fun and engaging talk, Jill Huchital at TEDxBrown University describes how engineers face a complex problem and the tools they need to work toward simple solutions. Watch the video by Jill Huchital and write a summary (~100 words) of at least two things that you found interesting about problem solving and can relate to in society. Post your summary directly to the itsLearning textbox. Do not attach a separate document and be sure to proofread before submitting your summary.


Computers have changed the way people work, live, and play. They have changed the way we communicate, collaborate and gain knowledge. Current innovations such as mobile devices, instant messaging, videoconferencing, email and text messaging make it easy for people to communicate anywhere in the world. Computer innovations have beneficial and harmful effects to society. Former President Obama worked towards efforts to bridge the digital divide by passing the National Broadband Plan, a Federal Communications Commission plan to improve Internet access in the United States by 2020. Computing affects every area in our society. Computing innovations in the healthcare and science field are helping people with disabilities and other health problems. Georgia Virtual Learning

Flash Card Deck created by Shannon Anderson-Rush with GoConqr


If you are having problems viewing this page, opening videos, or accessing the URLs, the direct links are posted below. All assignments are submitted in itsLearning. If you have having problems, contact Mrs. Rush through the itsLearning email client.

The Internet of Things is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes:

Connecting America: National Broadband Plan:



Mr. Greekson graphic:

Zombie graphic:

The Internet of Things graphic:

The Emerging Science of Human Computation:

These 18 incredible products didn't exist 10 years ago:

Global Smart Pole:

IOT Enabling Connected Living in Smart Cities with Akamanta:

Transcript of this lesson