Lesson Plan: PlayStation VR

J Brentlinger

Devices, Lesson Plans

This lesson plan is an easy one to conduct: let your students play with the PlayStation 4 VR suite from the DWRL, and then encourage them to talk about the experience! Sounds simple, right? It is! But the scholarship the lesson produces is anything BUT simple. Interacting with this lesson allows students to engage with many areas of scholarship. Examples include: The following lesson plan uses Isbister’s book as an example. This lesson challenges students to experience something new (Virtual

Wearables Lesson Plan: Yelp

Reinhard Mueller

Devices, Lesson Plans, Locative Media, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

This is a picture of the Yelp logo with a symbolic scale in the background indicating the lawsuits against Yelp. The picture is mostly in red, the scale in the background is in black. The letters and the Yelp logo are mostly in white.

Yelp is a virtual marketplace that has been shaping our spatial orientation for many years, since it was founded in 2004 and has increasingly expanded worldwide since 2009. Despite its vast impact on our daily life, its digital rhetoric has hardly been researched and is usually taken for granted without further critical awareness. In a 2013 survey, the Boston Consulting Group found that only 15% of 4,800 interviewed small business knew that they had a free Yelp profile and that

Managing Attention in the Classroom with Distraction

Jake Cowan

Devices, Tools

Two of the more ubiquitous problems instructors face today are, on the one hand, the pervasive distraction of smartphones, and on the other hand, the inability to gauge a student’s comprehension of classroom material in the moment. Although the latter issue long precedes the emergence of the former, these are not unrelated difficulties. Both are questions of attention, whether won through a students’ interest in and engagement with a classroom discussion, or lost to a quickly silenced ring interrupting conversations and fingers

Lesson Plan: Using Siri to Teach the Ethics of Digital Labor


Devices, Lesson Plans

The rapid rate by which technology replaces and outdates itself has been measured since 1965 by Moore’s Law, which dictates that the amount of transistors within a integrated circut (microchip) doubles approximately every two years. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, has predicted that the viability of his projection will cease in 2025, and since 2012, there has been a consistent slowing down between circuit transistor “doublings”. However, according to research on the physical limits of computation, a predictive model based

Machine as Organism: Technology, Biology, and Collective


Data, Devices, History

      The constant increases in technological capacity, prevalence of automation and machine assistance, and the advancement of bio-tech, artificial intelligence, and medical technologies, expedite the tendency to view the issue of human subjectivity through a dichotomy of man/machine. This framing pre-inscribes a frictional relationship between man and machine, as if machines desire to, and are succeeding in closing the ontological gap between human beings and machines and/or artificial intelligences. The paradoxical novelty that wearable technology presents us (both

Tinkering With Pedagogy: Experimenting With Technology at the DWRL


Accessibility, Devices, Games

At the start of last academic year, the Digital Writing and Research Lab assigned two research imperatives: data visualization and wearable technology. While data visualization is ubiquitous in most forms of media, and serves an already established and crucial role in empirical research and its dissemination, the affective affordances of wearable technology are emergent, and the cultural narratives that surround this category of technology is contingent upon the continuous emergence and advancement of new devices. Recently, the DWRL has obtained

Lesson Plan: Digital Reproduction

J Brentlinger

Devices, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

In 1935 Walter Benjamin wrote, “Around 1900 technical reproduction had reached a standard that not only permitted it to reproduce all transmitted works of art and thus to cause the most profound change in their impact upon the public; it also had captured a place of its own among the artistic processes.” This assignment musses with his assertion by creating a digital, “academic,” work of art. It asks students to produce an audio recording of his article “The Work of

Lesson Plan: Perspective API – Rhetorical Metadata, Pathos, and the Future of Internet Moderators


Assignments, Devices, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Teaching students how to analyze an argument is no simple task, as rhetorical analysis exists on a spectrum of complexity ranging from the most commonly encountered modes of persuasion, to analytical frameworks that push the definition of “rhetorical action” to its limit and beyond. What this disparity demonstrates is that rhetoric is generative, inventional, it stipulates through rhetorical action its own limits, it defines itself through its own capacities. Moving students from summary to analysis in Unit 2, students are

Ethical Design and Time Well Spent

Matt Breece

Accessibility, Devices

Diagonal matrix with rows and columns of mobile phones with different social media icons like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The amount of time we spend engaged with our digital devices, especially our smart phones, doesn’t necessarily make us feel more empowered. The organization Time Well Spent argues that the reason for this isn’t some moral failing on the part of users but rather a question of intentional design: “Many people think our devices are neutral and it’s up to us to choose how to use them. But that’s not all true. Attention companies (like Snapchat, Facebook or Netflix) spend

Invisible Knowledge

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Devices, Digital Archiving, Locative Media, News, Pedagogy, Social Media

Screenshot shows that "trump meme" is the top result.

Since you’re reading this online publication, I imagine that you, like me, leave hundreds of digital traces every day. A lot of these traces are things we can see–things like emails, texts, blog posts, twitter posts, photographs, Youtube comments, or Facebook likes. But today I’m particularly interested in the invisible, unintentional digital traces we leave–things like records of our internet searches and website visits, or the location data that logs our movements and phone calls. There’s knowledge in the invisible