DT&L: Review This First

How Can We Help?


DT&L: Review This First

You are here:
< All Topics

Stillman’s Mission

… is to enrich each student’s life through an ethics-centered education focusing on transforming concepts into business practice.

Welcome to Disruption, Technology & Law

Welcome to DT&L. This is the first part of our course syllabus. We will meet F2F weekly (MW, 3:30p – 4:45p). All of the materials required this semester are described here or linked from these pages. I will update the syllabus if I add something to the course or if something unexpected intervenes … like a hurricane, blizzard or more quarantines. Actually, it is quite likely that I will update the syllabus given the nature of the subject(s) we will engage. In fact, I have yet to offer this course and not adjust for some development involving our subject matter that demands attention. It is your responsibility to remain current on the course deliverables and schedule by reviewing the entire syllabus regularly for updates. This course is an elective for those students who are pursuing the Minor in Legal Studies and/or a certificate in Information Technology Management. Our course will require masks in class. Please be certain to bring a mask to every class meeting since we will be wearing masks during class.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” (Wayne Gretzky)

This course will help prepare you to introduce Gretzky’s perspective in your personal and professional life. It examines several of the many issues and challenges propelled by technology driven, and other, disruption. It is clear that the established order in business, and society more generally, faces unprecedented change as a result. Since the legal and regulatory environment, broadly defined, is often among the most significant influencer of outcomes in this space we will consider the implications of these disruptive technologies on the law as well. The pace and significance of the change we will examine raise profound questions of ethics that will be at the core of many of our discussions. In the spirit of disruption we have, in past semesters, taken a hybrid (or blended) approach to this learning environment that we will be creating, modifying and consuming over the next several months.

This semester we will use a number of digital platforms to create our learning environment so we will be disrupting what we expect will be a “normal” course experience. We will integrate digital tools and platforms into our work. We will work primarily in the digital platforms that will support the DT&L team including Slack, Zoom (for video meetings) and Blackboard (more on those here). I will use Bb for some shared functions, e.g., grade book, but our use of that platform will be fairly limited.

You should review the entire syllabus, i.e., deliverables, schedule, calendar and other materials, included in this site carefully. You will find answers to most of your questions when you review the rest of the information included on this site. If you have any questions after you’ve reviewed the site and this syllabus, you can DM me in Slack to contact me.

One last thought for now … the nature of this experience will, of necessity, require you to think differently about where you have been, where you are going and how you experience learning. It is important that we not only get our arms around the subject matter but we must also develop strategies for dealing with an unprecedented era of remarkable, and rapid, change. I expect that we will develop a significantly different, more collaborative environment … one that anticipates that we will actively engage in all of its opportunities.

What Should You Expect?

“It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.” (Winston Churchill)

This course attempts to help you address the second part of Winston’s quote. The impact of the development and integration of digital tools is driving a level of change at every level of society, often in ways that are unnoticeable unless you are aware enough to be paying attention. The combinatorial effect of the trends driven by this digital revolution is remarkable, overwhelming and likely unstoppable. We will not try to “predict” the future here. We will learn to identify technologies and the trends facilitated by them so as to better anticipate and forecast future scenarios.

The challenge presented here is not dependent on your ability to memorize facts and regurgitate them in an exam or write a ten page term paper, all assignments where you have already demonstrated success. This course will push you out of whatever comfort zone(s) you have developed over time, immerse you subject matter that will be largely unfamiliar and challenge you to think differently about the future and your place in it.

We will cover an evolving subject matter using technology platforms that may (at least some of them) be unfamiliar. That said, the subject matter of the course is interesting, stimulating and very timely. We will investigate several emerging and disruptive technologies and the legal and regulatory challenges presented by them. We will use a variety of digital platforms to interact with each other and the course materials. I will actively engage you through the use of the Socratic Method, both in class and during our discussions outside class. You will have a better sense of my class sessions after you read my perspective on Teaching and Learning.

Before We Meet

We will meet for the first time on Monday, August 29th at 3:30p in JH112. We will meet F2F unless notified otherwise. Our course will require masks in class. Please be certain to bring a mask to every class meeting since we will be wearing masks during class. Before we meet please visit Before We Begin to complete some housekeeping items that include introducing yourself to your classmates, agreeing to the learning contract and completing your Slack (not Teams) account creation.

You will be joining the DT&L Slack workspace. It includes all of the students, and their work product, who have completed DT&L since 2015. Take a look around after you join the workspace. Be sure to visit the #1-why-dtl channel and post your answers to the questions posed in the channel’s purpose statement located at the top of the channel.

Click here to signup for Slack and complete your Slack profile. You must use your SHU email (firstname.lastname@student.shu.edu) to complete the signup process. Your Slack workspace address is dtl315.slack.com. Please use your full name, e.g., @firstname.lastname, as your screen name when you join the course team and create your Slack profile. Do not use your SHU short name or some variation thereof.

You can access Slack from any browser (mobile or desktop) but the browser version does not include all of the features of the desktop apps. Please download and install the Slack and Zoom app clients to your Mac, PC and mobile devices (iOS and Android versions are available) before we meet for our first class. You will need to keep your Slack access live on all of your devices so that we can fully integrate the platform into our learning environment.

Complete your Slack signup immediately since all of our course communication will be via Slack and I will not use email for our course communication in the future.

Communications | Slack & Zoom

We will use Slack as our communications and collaboration platform so Slack is the platform you should use when engaging with DT&L issues. We have used the DT&L Slack workspace since the initial launch of the course in the fall 2015 semester. You have access to all of the content created in the last six years by the more than 120 students who have completed the course since our initial launch. Your content creation may continue after you complete the course. You will notice that there is also a significant number of new posts attributed to DT&L alumni throughout the year. I suggest that you poke around our Slack workspace. You will find materials related to all of the previous DT&L projects. They will provide you with background information that will be of interest, and assistance, when working on your DT&L project this semester.

If you need to discuss something we can meet during my office hours (see your Outlook Calendar for the office hours link), you can DM me in Slack to schedule a meeting if you are not available during my office hours.

You must also connect your Outlook, Zoom and Teams accounts to our Slack workspace in order to integrate the three platforms. This integration will facilitate communication (Slack), scheduling (Outlook Calendar), office hours (Teams) and video meetings (Zoom). Visit the Apps folder in the sidebar in our Slack workspace, click on the Outlook Calendar, Zoom and Microsoft Teams Calls apps and complete the process to connect to and integrate with your accounts.

If you have completed the deliverables described above you found here then you are already part of our Slack workspace.

If you have questions, please post them in the appropriate channel in Slack. Someone on the team will point you to the answer.

Learning Objectives

The course will examine the commercial, legal, ethical, cultural and public policy implications of disruptive technologies and digital transformation. You will

  1. explain the role of the futurist in forecasting the future, while both recognizing and interpreting trends that will influence the future,
  2. learn how to use the processes of strategic forecasting to understand potential vs. anticipated futures,
  3. develop a vision of preferred futures that will provide an action framework intended to influence the its achievement,
  4. use scenario planning in both personal and professional situations to identify opportunities,
  5. distinguish disruptive innovation and digital transformation and investigate their implications and differences,
  6. analyze Jobs To Be Done theory and apply it in both personal and professional situations,
  7. summarize the role of aggregation theory and its effect on the application of antitrust law in a digital economy,
  8. interpret the disruptive role of the interplay of the internet of things, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence,
  9. evaluate the ramifications of disruptive innovation and digital transformation on the future of work.

Required Texts

Please purchase these books as soon as possible.
I decided to add them to the course after the ordering deadlines so, unfortunately, you will not find them in the SHU bookstore. They are available from Amazon (click links) and will be delivered immediately if you choose the Kindle version or in two days for a print version if you have an Amazon Prime account. If you are interested in a Prime student membership yet, you can sign up here.

Additional Materials

The subject matter of this course is regularly evolving. I will undoubtedly add materials as we progress through the semester. I will post links to those materials in advance in the course schedule. Please check the syllabus regularly for updates.


You are already familiar with my expectations about the use of technology in my courses. Your participation in this course will require you to engage with a number of different digital platforms. Our primary communication platforms will be Slack and perhaps others. You will prepare your writing assignments using digital platforms that will allow you to incorporate multimedia that will enhance your text based content. You will use resources as varied as a search engine (GoogleDuckDuckGo or Bing) and also the resources available from our own Walsh Library.

You are responsible for “figuring it out” when it comes to the “how to” aspects of a project. If you don’t know how to do something … use one of the search engines above to “figure it out!”

Many of my students have told me that “figuring it out” was both an unexpected and beneficial experience and a critical learning outcome.

Course Policies

It is your responsibility to become familiar with my Course Policies including in class performance; attendance, preparation & participation; assignments; course communication; assessment and plagiarism. Please review them carefully.

As in the law … ignorance (of the Course Policies) is not an excuse.

Contact Me

Professor John H. Shannon

  • Office: 651 Jubilee Hall
  • Communications: Slack DM (preferred)
  • Office Hours: Mon & Wed, 10a – 1130a (click here to join via Teams); also by appt, all office hours and other meetings will be held via Teams (see your Outlook Calendar for links to office hours) since it is impossible to observe social distancing rules in a small space

We can schedule an alternative meeting time if you are not available during my office hours. As you know, our course communications platform is Teams. Please DM me in Teams with some days/times when you are available and we can schedule a video conference in Teams.

I can be reached via any number of platforms … Slack (preferred), email, voice or video. As a general rule, I am available if I am online. You can DM me in Slack or, if you are already enrolled in one of my courses, post a question to the #1-Course Questions channel in our Slack workspace. I will try to reply to any communications as soon as possible but certainly no more than 24 hours after receipt. If you prefer a video conference (and who doesn’t?) please DM me with some convenient days/times and we’ll set it up.

My office hours are subject to change pretty much every semester so please check your course syllabus for my current office hours (see above). I have, in the past, generally scheduled at least one hour a week using Teams video to accommodate those who have a conflict with my scheduled office hours. Since we are conducting all office hours and other meetings via Teams and if you are unavailable to meet during my scheduled office hours, you can schedule an appointment for a video conference via Teams. I prefer video conferences because they give me more options when answering your questions.

That said, I do try to carve out some space for thoughtful consideration of life. The practical impact of that desire is to keep evenings and weekends clear for family, friends and other forms of social interaction. If you going to ping me late on a Friday then I will get back to you on Monday unless it is an emergency … a REAL emergency.

When communicating with me please include the following information: your name, the question or issue to be resolved, your course/section and any other necessary information.