Digital Studies 101

A common resource for Digital Studies at UMW.

Culture Modules

In DGST 101, a “module” is a set of content and tasks that students work on for a period of about two weeks. These modules are organized around digital culture, creativity, and methodologies, and for each, the goal is for students to guide their own learning as they explore the topic or tools. On this page, all “creativity” modules are listed below.

For each module, the title or “more information” button will take you to the longer description of that module, and the green “” button will take students into the Slack channel set up for that module.


Learn about the cultural craze that’s sweeping the nation!

More Information selfies



Wikipedia is one of the largest and most heavily-trafficked websites in the world, and its structure and collaborative model make the world’s knowledge available to anyone. It’s been blamed for killing off encyclopedias, for enabling plagiarists, and for making Internet users intellectually lazy. It has also been called “The greatest work of literature by humans.”

More Information wikipedia


Personal Data Tracking

Our phones track our location and habits. Our watches measur…

More Information data


Digital Privacy

Privacy is increasingly important in a digital environment,…

More Information privacy


Image of a hand holding an iPad with an image displayed on it

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a digital medium that presents inf…

More Information augmented-reality


Activism and Agency

These words with #’s in front of them aren’t just collating social media content around specific interests. Instead, these conversations and their participants come to think of these more like an event or social movement. In cases like “#1reasonwhy”, the hashtag becomes a platform for voices that otherwise might not be heard. For #Ferguson, the hashtag becomes a platform for citizen journalism. In either case, something new seems to be happening around how users leverage different social media platforms to do something that matters. Your job in this module is to learn more about the history of hashtag activism (including any precursors) and think critically about its impact and possible future.

More Information activism


Working for the Web

We use our phones and our devices for social media purposes, but do we ever think about the work that goes into producing our hardware, coding our software, or the work we ourselves do for these companies? From the mines where the metals are retrieved, to the factories that put the phones together, to all of the likes and shares we do each day, do we know how much of our labor goes into our social media and who does it?

More Information labor


Black Boxes and Invisible Fences: Understanding Algorithmic Influence

How we experience the web generally, and social media more specifically, is largely through algorithms. But we don’t often critically examine what is happening under the hood of the web to understand what we see and why.

More Information algorithms


Person using using a braille screen reader.

Digital Accessibility: An Introduction

Accessibility means the ability to obtain, access, use, reach, and understand places, products, information, and more. Digital accessibility specifically addresses users’ equitable access to digital technology and digital content.

More Information digital-accessibility



A ‘meme’ is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. But what is it about memes leads to the level of virality? Why are we so attracted to making and sharing (and sharing and sharing and sharing) memes?

More Information memes



In the early 2000s, the end of the “.com” era saw the rise of “Web 2.0” as a loosely defined trend in online content generation where everyday users — not traditional media producers — created the content that defined digital culture. Blogs more than any other modality came to symbolize the freedom and autonomy made available by new networks and new platforms. In some ways, that role has since been supplanted by social media, but blogging remains an accessible and powerful tool for sharing one’s ideas. In this module, your challenge is to become a blogger.

More Information blogging


Online Hate and Harassment: The Trouble with Trolling

“Don’t Feed the Trolls.” But why? And who gets trolled and why?

More Information trolling


YouTubing was founded in 2005 and quickly became a leading force in the surge of so-called “Web 2.0” culture that hit a peak with Time Magazine naming “You” the 2006 person of the year.

More Information youtube


Cyborgs, Transhumans, and Wearable Technologies

Digital technology is no longer limited to the desktop compu…

More Information cyborgs


Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the increasing number…

More Information IoT


Culture Modules

In DGST 101, a “module” is a set of content and tasks that s…