DIGITAL STUDIES 101 | dgst101online.slack.com

Here’s what we’ll spend our time doing this term (and space for us to fill with other stuff we decide on together.) This schedule will evolve as the term proceeds. Watch for more details. You can annotate any Medium page. Feel free to make comments or ask questions right on this page (or any other within our course site).

[/] WEEK 1: August 26 — September 1

First, read:

Ray Bradbury, “The Veldt” (About the Book)
Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains

Then, do some stuff:

1) Sign up for Medium (all you’ll need is a free account), create a profile, making sure to upload a picture (either you or something that represents you), and write an initial post, responding to either of the Ray Bradbury stories. Tag your post with #Dgst101. Don’t forget to do this last bit, as it’s one of the main ways, we’ll be able to find each other’s work.
2) Sign up for our Slack channel by going to dgst101online.slack.com/signup, say hello in the #open-forum channel, start getting your bearings, and share a link to your Medium post in the #medium-posts channel.

Note: If you run into trouble with these or any of your digital work this term, you can make an appointment with the Digital Knowledge Center.

[/] WEEK 2: September 2 — September 8

First, read and watch:

Clay Shirky, “Does the Internet Make You Smarter
Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?
“A Vision of Student’s Today”

Then, do some stuff:

1) Search #Dgst101 on Medium. Read a handful of posts by other folks in the class and add comments or annotations.
2) Write a 6-word story and make a short video introducing yourself to us. This can be super simple (shot on your phone, no editing, etc.). Share your six words and video together in the #who-are-we channel in Slack.

  • Don’t tell us your major, unless you have a story about it
  • Don’t tell us what you did over the Summer, unless it involves giant snakes, parachuting, a unicorn, a flash flood, or it was documented in a viral video
  • Don’t tell us where you grew up, unless you’re going to show pictures
  • Do tell us what moves you, what you care most about
  • Do tell us what you hope to get from taking this course, but only if you can do so in a limerick
  • Do tell us where you are
  • Do give us random facts we can come to know you by
  • Do click here and answer the first would you rather question that catches your eye

Hint: To share a video in Slack, go to the #who-are-we channel, click the little + next to the message box, select the video file you created, then add your 6-word story before you hit the upload button.

[/] WEEK 3: September 9 — September 15

First, read:

Preface and Ch. 1 from Small Pieces Loosely Joined

Then, do some stuff:

(1) Publish a post to Medium using #dgst101 with a tentative response to the question, what is the internet? Draw on the various stuff you’ve read so far. Some stuff to consider: where is the internet? what is not the internet? how many internets are there? what is the internet becoming? is the internet alive? what do you love about the internet? what scares you?
(2) Medium likes pictures (makes your posts look snazzy when you share them on Slack or other social media). Add at least one picture to this postand all your other posts. My favorite tool for finding free pictures is Unsplash. Check out their copyright license. I also like Pixabay.
(3) Search #Dgst101 on Medium. Read a handful of posts by a few other folks in the class and add comments or annotations. Respond to comments.
(4) Begin working on Rebuild the Internet due October 13.

[/] WEEK 4: September 16 — September 22

First, watch:

The Social Network ($3.99 on prime) ($3.99 on YouTube)
Wednesday, September 18, 7–9pm: optional live backchannel discussion via #social-network channel in Slack

Then, do some stuff:

The art of the animated GIF
(1) Instructions for making a GIF.
(2) There are also apps and some online tools you can use to make a GIF. Just Google something like “make a GIF.
(3) Publish a response to The Social Network to Medium incorporating at least 5 GIFs (that you made yourself). Don’t forget to tag your post with #Dgst101.
(4) Also, share at least one of your GIFs in the #animated-gif channel in the DGST 101 Slack.

[/] WEEK 5: September 23 — September 29

First, read and watch:

Zeynep Tufekci, “We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads
Dorothy Kim, “The Rules of Twitter
Howard Rheingold, “Smart Mobs

Then, do some stuff:

(1) Find at least one other piece (an article, work of art, video, etc.) about social media that you think would be useful for our group to look at. Share a link in the #open-forum with a sentence saying why folks should read it.

Either:
(2) Publish a post to Medium (in any genre: text, video, sound, image). Respond in some way to one or all of the readings for this week. Share a link to your post in the #medium-posts Slack channel. Then highlight and comment on the posts of several of your peers. Look for posts with no comments. And continue the discussions started on your own posts.

Or:
(3) Join a one-hour optional live discussion in the #social-media channel on Slack at 7pm on Thursday, 9/26. We’ll chat about social media broadly, but I’ll throw in some specific questions about Howard Rheingold’s “Smart Mobs,” so make sure you’ve read that one before the discussion.

[/] WEEK 6: September 30 — October 6

First, read and watch:

NPR, “Do You Read Terms Of Service Contracts? Not Many Do, Research Shows”
Inside Edition, “Social Experiment Proves That No One Really Reads Terms and Conditions”
Terms of Service; Didn’t Read
Pick one or two things to read/watch here: Digital Privacy Module
(Optional): Twitter thread about Canvas and data-use / privacy
(Optional): Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, “A Guide for Resisting Edtech: the Case Against Turnitin”

Then, do some stuff:

(1) Read the Medium Terms of Service.
(2) Find and read the terms of service and/or privacy policy for one or more of the following: Canvas, Slack, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever else you’re interested in.
(3) Publish a post to Medium (in any genre: text, video, sound, image). Then highlight and comment on the posts of several of your peers. Look for posts with no comments. And continue the discussions started on your own posts.

Some options for your post this week:
* Respond in some way to one or all of the readings for this week.
* Write a parody Terms of Service or Privacy Policy.
* Follow some or all of the steps here or here. Write a Medium post about what you did, why you did it, and what you discovered along the way.

Note: Rebuild the Internet is due October 13. This is the “midterm assignment” for this course and is meant to be more ambitious, creative, reflective, so make sure you’ve started thinking about what you’ll do (and how you’ll do it). We will have open lab time on campus next week (on Monday from 12–2:30, in case you want to drop by and meet with me and/or collaborate with your peers.

[/] WEEK 7: October 7 — October 13

Monday, October 7, 12–2:30pm in HCC 410: Open Lab Time, where you can come and chat with me and/or collaborate with your peers. If you aren’t available during those hours, remember that you can make an appointment to meet with me during my virtual office hours or get help from the Digital Knowledge Center.

First, read:

Craig Mod, “Books in the Age of the iPad”
Weing, “Pup Ponders the Heat Death of the Universe”

Then, do some stuff:

(1) By end of day on October 13: Publish Rebuild the Internet Assignment
(2) (Optional): If you’ve missed a required post this semester, or if you just have something you can’t not say about Craig Mod or Pup, you can publish a post to Medium (in any genre: text, video, sound, image). Then highlight and comment on the posts of several of your peers.

[/] WEEK 8: October 14 — October 20

This week we’ll be joined by a special guest, Stefanie Chae, who curated the week and will be leading an optional live-chat on Thursday. She’s added an intro video to our #who-are-we channel.

First, watch and read:

Julian Baggini, Ted Talk: Is there a real you?
Gary Vaynerchuk, “How to Tell a Story on Social Media”
Dieneke Boer, “The Construction of an Online Identity
Ruha Benjamin, Podcast: “The New Jim Code? Race and Discriminatory Design

(Optional): Carrie Battan, “The Rise of the ‘Getting Real’ Post on Instagram”
(Optional): Madison Ganda, “Social Media and Self: Influences on the Formation of Identity and Understanding of Self through Social Networking Sites
(Optional): Stefanie Chae, “The greater implication of curating a social media identity through visual communication on an individual’s identity as a whole”

Then, pick two of these three:

(1) Create a thing (or things) that tells a story about you (an Instagram feed, hand drawing, blob of text, photoshopped image, podcast episode, poem, sculpture out of paper, twitter profile and some tweets, one-minute documentary, tiktok, a series of gifs…). Post to the #digital-identity channel.

*Don’t feel like you have to make this fully public. For example, if you want to think through how we construct selves on Instagram, create a real account, temporarily edit your own, or even just mock-up a hypothetical account.

**If you have questions, slack me (Stefanie Chae) or visit the Digital Knowledge Center (tell them Stef sent you).

(2) Join a live discussion on Slack in the #digital-identity channel on Thursday, October 17th at 7pm. We’ll chat with Stef., watch the “Is there a real you?” TedTalk together, and think through some questions raised by this week’s stuff!

(3) Write something! Publish a post to Medium: What is digital identity? Why do you make the choices you do when putting yourself online (or not putting yourself online)? Respond to anything you watched or read this week. Comment on the posts of several of your peers.

[/] WEEK 9: October 21 — October 27

We’ll take a bit of a breather this week from required reading, viewing, and blogging, so you can take time to think about and work on your midterm self-reflection. But there’s some recommended reading that might help as you think about how to evaluate your work for the course.

First, read some or all of this stuff:

Nancy Chick, “Metacognition”
Audrey Watters, “The Web We Need to Give Students”
Alfie Kohn, “The Case Against Grades”

Then, write your self-reflection:

Click this link to write a self-reflection by the end of the day on Friday, October 25

[/] WEEK 10: October 28 — November 3

First, submit to our course publication:

If you haven’t yet, submit one (or two) revised post(s) to our course publication. Feel free to use your rebuild the internet post and/or whatever else. Anything that appears in our course publication will have a broader audience, so keep that in mind as you pick what piece(s) of your work to feature. If you don’t have access to our course publication yet, make sure you’ve submitted your midterm self-reflection. I’ve added everyone who submitted their self-reflection as a writer.

Read, watch, and play some stuff:

Ted Trautman, “Excavating the Video-Game Industry’s Past
Play LIMBO for at least an hour (it’s on multiple platforms for $4 to $10)
Kevin Wong, “The Most Depressing Theories On What Limbo Means” (lots of spoilers, so you may want to play the whole game first)

Then, either:

Watch and add annotations to both of these videos:
Gaming Can Make a Better World
LIMBO Gameplay Walkthrough (play first cause spoilers, then analyze)

Start by clicking on the link and logging in via Google. You’ll have to create a quick account in the tool we’re using to collaboratively annotate. Then, you can add comments as you’re watching. If you run into trouble, click the big pink “help” button in the lower right and search “commenting on a video” or something else. (I’m experimenting with this platform to see how it works for online classes, so feel free to add feedback about the tool to the #open-forum channel on Slack).

Or:

Join a one-hour optional live discussion in the #gaming channel on Slack at 7pm on Sunday, 11/3. We’ll chat about gaming more broadly, but we’ll focus on LIMBO, so make sure you’ve played before the discussion. And feel free to continue playing as we’re chatting :)

[/] WEEK 11: November 4 — November 10

First, read and watch:

Veli-Matti Karhulahti, “Defining the Videogame
New York Times #Gamergate Retrospective
Anita Sarkeesian, “Body Language & the Male Gaze

Then, do some stuff:

(1) Make a Game. An interactive or collaborative narrative. Even just a simple prototype for a game. Use ink, Construct, Sploder, Scratch, Twine, PuzzleScript. Or draw the game out on paper. Or use Twitter to make one like A Dreadful Start. Or use hyperlinks in a series of Medium posts. Link to your game in a Medium post. Here are some more ideas for how to get started. And some more resources.
(2) Publish a post to Medium using #Dgst101 with a link to your game, screen shots, a narrative of your construction process, and/or an invitation to potential players.
(3) Spread the word and get folks to play your game.
(4) Search #Dgst101 and play the games of your peers. Comment. Root each other on. Share your high scores.

[/] WEEK 12: November 11 — November 17

First, read and watch:

Daniel Miessler, “The Internet, the Deep Web, the Dark Web”
Juan Sanchez and Garth Griffin, “Who’s Afraid of the Dark? Hype Versus Reality on the Dark Web”
Kris Shaffer, “Visualizing the network that connects mainstream and extremist news”
The WIRED Guide to Your Personal Data (and Who Is Using It)
(Optional): “The Dark Web: What is it exactly and how do you get there?”

Then, do some stuff:

Either:
(1) Join a one-hour optional live discussion in the #darkweb channel on Slack at 1pm on Thursday, 11/14. We’ll chat about the concept of the deep Web, the dark Web, and also about how our data moves about the Web.

Or:
(2) Publish a post to Medium (in any genre: text, video, sound, image). Then highlight and comment on the posts of several of your peers. Look for posts with no comments. And continue the discussions started on your own posts.

And:
(3) Begin thinking about the final project which has a deceptively simple prompt, do something on the Web about the Web. You can work on your own or with a group. Next week, you’ll join the #finalproject Slack channel (and/or a live chat) to begin brainstorming or refining your ideas. Feel free to get a head start.

[/] WEEK 13: November 18 — November 24

First, read; then, do some stuff:

Click here for all the instructions you’ll need for this week: What’s Behind Door Number 10101? (The instructions are longer than usual, so I didn’t want to clutter up our schedule.)

[/] WEEK 14: November 25 — December 1

Online Relationships / Catfishing (Thanksgiving Holiday)

First, read:

Alan Levine, “Facebook as Catfish Paradise: Its Community Standards Wears the Cone of Shame”
Alec Couros, “Identity, Love, and Catfishing”

Then, do some stuff:

Jump into the #finalproject Slack channel and pitch your ideas, ask questions, give each other feedback, refine your approach. Remember, the instructions are deceptively simple, and you can work on your own or with a group: do something on the Web about the Web.

No other work to do this week. Feel free to continue working on whatever you were up to last week or write an optional Medium post about either of the readings for this week (especially if you’ve missed one or more posts throughout the semester). Happy Thanksgiving!

[/] WEEK 15: December 2 — December 8

First, work on your final project:

The final project is due December 8 (see below). If necessary, use the #finalproject Slack channel to confer with your peers as you’re working.

Then, look forward to next week:

Next week, we’ll do final self-reflections. Those are required. We’ll also have a few more optional activities, including one last optional live-chat about Blade Runner. You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon for $3.99.

December 8: Final Project. Work as an individual or group with a deceptively simple prompt: do something on the web about the web. Publish a Medium post with your project, a link to your project, or pictures of your project. Also, document your process (with a short video, text, and/or a series of images).

[/] WEEK 16: December 9 — December 15

First, a few optional activities this week:

Either:
Join an optional live backchannel of Blade Runner in the #blade-runner channel on Slack. You can rent it on YouTube or Amazon for $3.99. We’ll hit play at 8pm Eastern on Tuesday, December 10.

And/or:
If you’ve missed a required post this semester, or if you just have something you can’t not say about Blade Runner, watch the film on your own and publish a post to Medium (in any genre: text, video, sound, image, series of GIFs). Then, highlight and comment on the posts of several of your peers.

And/or:
Add comments to both of these two clips from Blade Runner: Deckard vs. Pris and Tears in the Rain. If you didn’t annotate clips during Week 10, start by clicking on the link and logging in via Google. Then, you can add comments as you’re watching. If you run into trouble, click the big pink “help” button in the lower right and search “commenting on a video” or something else.

Then, complete your Final Self-reflection:

December 13: Final Self-reflection, in place of a final exam

Note: Hopefully, by this point, you feel able to fairly evaluate your work for the course, but don’t hesitate to reach out to me (via DM on Slack) if you have concerns.