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.
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?
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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.”
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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
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.
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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