What is meant by a story?
A story is a recounting of a sequence of events. It may or may not be in chronological order and it may or may not use “I.” In the case of Project 3, I am expecting you to place yourself in the story somehow. I am also expecting that you will make meaning of the events you recount. At the end of a story we often ask “so what?”; an effective story has a meaning or a point to it. However, that point is most effectively presented implicitly rather than explicitly. That means that, after I read your narrative, I have an answer to the “so what?” question without you explicitly stating “This is the point of my story.” Catherine Ramsdell offers a really good discussion of narrative in her piece “Storytelling, Narration, and the ‘Who I Am’ Story.” Please do read it carefully.
What is meant by technology?
In this project, let’s let “technology” mean digital and/or communication technologies. This will include everything from computers to electronic toys to video games to software and apps to cell phones. Even the software and apps we use for this class would count.
Should I stick with one experience or talk about a few? How many pieces of technology should I talk about?How many questions should I respond to?
This is a short paper; it’s the shortest one so far. Also, in order to do a good job on this project, you’ll need to go fairly deep into a particular experience of technology literacy. You don’t have a lot of time or room, so consider the best ways to make meaning with the space you have. Maybe you’ll need to keep your discussion to one or two related experiences with technology. Maybe you’ll need to talk about one technology only. Maybe you can only respond to one or two of the questions I posed for you on the assignment sheet. A good thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to dig deeply into one thing than to give a shallow treatment to a large number of things.
Does it need to connect to a specific culture?
No. This story is about you and your life experiences. Thus it is implicitly about your culture and your cultural experiences. Keep your audience in mind when you write; you’re writing to an audience of peers, so they will understand some of the things you refer to, but other things you will need to explain.
I’ve read your questions about Project 1, and I’ve provided some answers to the most common questions below.
How do I choose an artifact?
First of all, you will want to pick something that’s interesting enough to you that you can write about it for several pages, and something you won’t mind doing a bit of research about. Second, it’s important to be as specific as you can; as I mentioned in the assignment sheet, don’t just choose “cell phone” as there are endless varieties of these. Pick a specific model of cell phone to analyze, such as an iPhone 4S. Third, I recommend choosing an object that you have access to. You’ll have a much easier time writing about, say, a Kindle Fire if you actually own one and can spend some time playing with it while you’re writing.
What counts as an artifact?
Well, in the definition that we’re using, an artifact is something that is made by human beings. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a tangible object; it can be something like Twitter, or Siri, or OSX Lion—all of these things have in fact been made by humans.
How many sources do we need?
I think that to do a good job on this project, you’ll need to find at least two or three sources. Remember that you’ll need to give background and/or history of your artifact in addition to analysis. However, I’m not going to weight research very heavily in this project. Think of this project as a warm-up for the upcoming major research paper, Project 2. Your sources should be relatively diverse, and you have a lot of latitude. Check out websites, newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, videos, et cetera.
What format should we use?
We’re going to MLA format in this class. We’ll go more in depth with MLA citation and bibliographies in Project 2. For now, check out the Purdue OWL for help formatting your projects.
If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Hi! My name is Julie Platt. You can call me Julie or Ms. Platt. I’m a PhD candidate in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. I’m originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and I’ve lived in Michigan for five years.
I think that writing is difficult, and that anyone who says any differently has the wrong idea. However, writing is the one activity that distinguishes humans from other animals. Writing allows us to make sense of our world and of each other, and therefore I believe it is the most important human invention.
My favorite thing about computers is how much they reflect who WE are—what we value, what we don’t value, what we need, what we want.
If I could switch places with somebody for a day, it would probably be with Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter, because I’d like to know what it’s like to work at Twitter!
And now, my tech abilities…
I’m familiar with the Microsoft Office suite, Photoshop, iMovie, and I’m learning Final Cut Pro. I’m also pretty good with Wordpress. I’m a pro with social media like Twitter.
Aside from the typical papers and PowerPoint presentations, I’ve made websites, videos, podcasts, and Photoshop projects.
My comfort level with online work is a 10! (I live on the Internet).
My biggest technology-related concern with this class: Since everyone has varied levels of technology literacy, I’m concerned about being able to meet everyone’s needs.
What do I hope to get out of this class? This is my first time teaching a course that is completely online (I have previously taught hybrid courses) and I’m hoping to learn lots!