December, 2011

The end of the semester

December 10th, 2011 December 10th, 2011
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On Tuesday, we did an exercise that was familiar to all of us in Info Age: we got into groups, defined the “Information Age,” and shared what we decided. It was familiar because it was the first thing we did as a class, fifteen weeks ago, when a lot of us didn’t know each other and had no clue what the Information Age was or what defined it. Fifteen weeks ago, Brian Winston wasn’t enough to make us groan and most of us had never made infographics before–never mind full documentaries. So Tuesday was the same, but it was also different. As a class, we acted silly, cracked jokes, and went on tangents, but we did so in a way that furthered the class discussion and got us all involved in the discussion. We all pulled from what stood out the most to us over the course of the semester; for my group, that was the Vannevar Bush article from the beginning of the semester.

Dr. McClurken said in class that he was proud of everything we had done over the course of the semester, and when he stated it all out–shaping the class, student-led discussion both in person and on that crazy website Reddit, and making an infographic and then eventually a documentary (!), I realized that it really was a lot to do in one semester, and that it was such a huge experience–and I’m proud of us too. I’m so grateful that I got to be a part of it, and not only because I got to see an early 20th century bodybuilder and an enormous hockey stick-wielding polar bear, but because I learned so much about not only the history of information technologies, which I expected from the class, but also the world around me today. I’m so glad I took this class!!

Week 15? DS106 Documentary

December 2nd, 2011 December 2nd, 2011
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This week, we continued to work on our final project documentary. As we’ve previously mentioned, we’re doing our project on DS106. This week, Joe and Caitlin interviewed Charlie, Joe drove out to Richmond to interview Tom Woodward and Caitlin and I interviewed Martha Burtiss in DTLT. Our interview with Ms. Burtiss was today, and now I want to take DS106! It sounds like an amazing class. While interviewing Ms. Burtiss, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the early iterations of DS106 and Info Age: despite the differing fields of study, both courses have been interactive, had revolutionary (for me, anyway) levels of student involvement and power (including coming up with assignments!) and ended up being very different than we’d necessarily thought it would be. Like DS106, I think Info Age is going to continue to grow and change as new groups of students take the class and shape it, and might eventually even develop the sort of cult following/online community DS106 is known for.


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