Welcome to Chico State and English 130!


Course calendar can be found above and HERE.

Reading Together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. Link here to Perusall.


Make Cycle 1

Make Cycle 1

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. We will spend two weeks in each make cycle focused on an aspect of digital literacies, asking along the way: who constructs our digital selves, how do we work within the space between open and private, how can we hack systems, remix ideas, and use the web to be seen and heard? Each make cycle will have some writing and some making that we will share.

Make Cycle 1–About Me: Self, Selfies and the Quantified Self

Jan 22-Feb 4

In this cycle we will read about selfies, think about constructions of self, write about our quantified selves, and end by composing an artifact that represents your identity. 

We’ll spend some time in this cycle thinking about who and what constructs our identities and how selves are tracked. I’m fascinated by the self tracking trends and wonder what we gain from knowing so much about ourselves? Here’s a quote from one of the articles we’ll read this make cycle:

“Still more [devices] will track focus in the workplace, compliance to prescriptions from physical therapists, exposure to sunlight, and our ability to conceive. The breadth of devices and their utility is so vast that it’s proven difficult to name the trend: Quantified Self, Internet of Things, Everything-Tracking — nothing quite fits. The thesis that unites them, however, is clear: The future will be quantified.”

What do you track? Who tracks you? How can we claim more control over the constructions of our digital identities? We’ll talk and write about these ideas and other ideas that resonate with you over the next two weeks and continuing into the next make cycle.

Due Dates for Make Cycle 1 in a nutshell:

  • Jan 24: Read “Big Mother is Watching You” before class on Wednesday, Jan 24
  • Jan 25 or 26th workshop: Join G+ community in workshop and work on discussion post
  • Jan 26: Write about the article “Big Mother is Watching You” by Friday, Jan 26th in G+ community
  • Jan 29: First assignment due: Quantified Self paper. Share link in G+ community before class on Monday, Jan 29
  • Jan 31: Watch Amber Case’s “We Are All Cyborgs Now & Read “The Selfie & and Self” before class on Wednesday, Jan 31
  • Feb 1st or 2nd workshop: Work on artifact: the Quantified Self paper goes multimodal
  • Feb 4: Artifact for Make 1 Cycle due in team G+ community

Make Cycle 1 Readings:

Make Cycle 1 Writing:

  • Discussion post about reading (due Friday evening, Jan 26 in G+ community)
    • What ideas stood out to you from the Big Mother is Watching You reading? Point to a couple of places in the article that you found intriguing, or strange, or led to questions for you. Then, take a first pass at thinking about what you keep track of: your steps? Your work hours? Your likes on social media? What do you gain from this information about yourself? I would expect this to be a couple of meaty paragraphs. You can use some of this in the paper that’s due Monday.
    • Post in G+ community in the Make Cycle 1: Discussion by Friday night, Jan 26.
  • The Quantified Self Assignment (due Monday, Jan 29 by 3:00pm): We’ll kick off our writing assignments by writing about your quantified self: what do you read, watch, listen to, and compose? What do you keep track of? Your followers? Your likes? Your steps walked? Your workouts? Your heart rate? Your sleep? Your gas mileage? Your hours worked? The number of books read? Your “top 9” instagrams and snapchats? *More extended assignment description below.

Make Cycle 1 Workshops:

  • Week 1 Workshop (Jan 25 or 26th): Join G+ and work on discussion post and assignment due Monday.
  • Week 2 Workshop (Feb 1 or 2): Compose Make Cycle 1 artifacts. Due in G+ Community by Sunday, Feb 4.
    • You could create an infographic with your stats like the Quantify Yourself chart in the article. Piktochart could be a great resource for this. 
    • You could create  a short film: alternating some day-in-the-life style video perhaps with some narrative and images from you. I would keep this under 2-3 minutes. And I would compose a film, not simply talk to a webcam.
    • You could create a collage of yourself, using pop culture, the things you read, watch, listen to, make, etc How is your identity represented by the artifacts and texts you’re surrounded by?
    • Try using art or drawing to represent the ideas we’ve worked with about self/selfies (digital art or actual painting/drawing). What would it look like to string a bunch of your selfies together? What gets left out of the selfie series? What is still hidden and how might to represent that in art forms?
    • Lots of ideas for sharing stories about yourself here too.
    • Other idea? Just run it past your mentor and Dr. Jaxon…
  • **Important: Once you share your Make in G+ (upload photo, link, etc), then tell us about your process of making: what were you going for with your make? what worked out? what was challenging? What do you hope people take away from viewing, reading, hearing your make?

Writing Assignment: The Quantified Self

Share link to Google Doc in G+ community by 3:00pm Monday, Jan 29. Make sure the share settings are set to “anyone can comment.” 

I’m hoping this informal paper provides an opportunity to reflect on your digital self as a base to start from. The article “Big Mother is Watching You” could serve as a kind of “mentor text,” meaning that the tone and structure (more like a blog) could be interesting to riff off of. Notice, for example, how she begins the article by discussing her experience with tracking sleep.

So, one aspect of this paper asks you to think about what you track: Your followers? Your likes? Your steps walked? Your workouts? Your heart rate? Your sleep? Your gas mileage? Your hours worked? The number of books read? Your “top 9” instagrams and snapchats? How do you use this information? You might check out this BlueKai Registry site to see your digital imprint or check out your Activity on Google. You can also see what comes up if you Google your name (try in incognito mode too: every browser has an option for this if you Google “how do I use incognito mode in X browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc))

I’d also like you to write a bit about the things you read, watch, listen to, and compose? If we took a snapshot of your media (TV, films, music, books, magazines, websites, Youtube channels…), what identity might we construct about you? I’m also curious about what you compose? Do you snapchat? Do you share on instagram? Do you text? Do you write blogs, make films, write code, make music, make art? Are you an uploader or a downloader? Do you consume more or compose more?

Finally, tell us a little about how the fall semester went for you? What would we learn from your school data versus your story of your school data? What went well? What was challenging? What are your hopes for your spring college self?

In a nutshell, you should address:

  • Your insights into your quantified self, thinking about what you and others track about yourself
  • Your media consumption and production
  • Your insights into your fall semester experience and hopes for spring

* You can address these sections in any order that makes sense to you