Google +

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We can upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and artifacts here.


Course calendar can be found above and HERE.

Mac Barnett TED talk

Make Cycle 4 & 5

Make Cycle 4 & 5

Make Cycles 4 & 5: Choose Your Own Adventure

For the next four weeks, you’ll be doing your own research around digital culture and digital literacies. You might consider lines of inquiry based on the ideas we’ve talked about already: our digital selves, our quantified selves, hacking, data, analytics, etc. But you should feel free to pursue something we have not talked about yet that is of interest to you. For example, there is a lot written about the rise of “celebrity” culture and its connection to consumers and social media. There is a ton written about gaming literacy (and game design, which I study). And there is certainly a lot going on right now about students’ use of social media in the current gun law debates. Ultimately, you should be interested in what you’re reading and researching. It should not suck do to the work. If it sucks, then you should read something you like better. 😉 

You can start by looking over this resource I created. Click around on some of the links and see if anything grabs your attention. I realize in the past that teachers might have asked you to come of with a “topic” or even a research question. I think it’s more useful to think of starting research by identifying “an area of interest” and then seeing where your reading leads you. Your questions will emerge from the reading and you may even abandon your initial area or plans and end up in another area doing research. This is a normal part of the process.

I would think about Make 4 as dabbling around and reading and then Make 5 as honing in your ideas and research.

I would think of this work as having two possibilities:

  1. Plan A: you research an area of interest in digital culture (the role of YouTube, the Anonymous movement, debates about Twitter and Facebook in our current political climate, gaming culture, gamer gate, the use of Minecraft in schools, Net Neutrality laws, wikileaks, digital activism, electronic art, representations of tech in films or TV, and on and on)
  2. Plan B: you research something not directly related to digital culture (like immigration or DACA or current gun laws or LBGTQ related issues or car culture or whatever), but you think about how those communities or issues are supported (or not) by digital literacies. How are these people, interests, movements leveraging the resources, the power and the problems of the web?

Make Cycle 4 & 5 in a nutshell:

  • Curated Resource Due Sunday, April 8 (see assignment below)
    • 2 sources write-up due Friday, March 9
    • 2 sources write up due Friday, March 16
    • 2 sources write up due Friday, March 30
  • Explain Everything paper due Monday, April 16 (see assignment below)

Make 4 & 5 assignments:

Curated Resource (multiple due dates, but final version due Sunday, April 8):

Over the next four weeks, you’ll keep track of your research: the things you are reading, watching, gathering. You’ll share a Google Doc with us as you find links to articles, videos (Ted talks or films or?), etc that help you understand your area of interest. Under those links, you’ll write a short summary that helps you and others know:

  1. what the text is about (1-2 paragraphs) 
  2. how its helps you with your research (does it provide some background info? Some data? An argument? A good model for how you might write about the ideas?)


You should have multiple links and summaries in the final document that is due April 8. These resources will help you to write the Explain Everything paper that follows. The number of sources really depends on what you’re researching, but I’m asking you to find at least two sources a week for three weeks (6 total). They may not all be connected to the same idea since it is likely your research questions will change as you move through the process; that is a normal part of research.

In the fourth week of this effort, I’ll ask you to write an introduction to the Curated Resource. Think of this as an overall summary of your research process: how you searched, what you learned, what was challenging…along with some synthesis of the sources. Basically, you’ll provide some context for your Curated Resource. This will be close to 2 pages.

Some due dates (all parts below are in one, shared Google Doc):

  • 2 sources due by Friday, March 9
  • 2 sources due by Friday, March 16
  • 2 sources due by Friday, March 30
  • Introduction and overview by Friday, April 6
  • Final Curated Resource due Sunday, April 8

Explain Everything Paper (due Monday, April 16)

For this assignment, you’ll write about your research, explaining everything you’ve learned to us. You might make some arguments (about Immigration, about Net Neutrality….). You’ll explain what others have written about and what your views are now.

You’ll end this paper by thinking about next steps: how might you turn these ideas into a film or Ignite talk. We’ll talk about this in class a lot.

We will negotiate the more specific components of your paper together since I do not think every paper will look the same. It really depends on what you research. We will create a rubric for grading together as a class.