Milestones/Assignments

Course Milestones (or Assignments) 

Milestones are reports that are written several times throughout the semester and represent your learning in this course. Please note that each milestone must be peer-reviewed before its final submission. The completed “Peer-review Form” must be attached to the milestone submission. Additionally, if you decide to work in groups, you must submit “Justification for Group Work Form” three weeks before the milestone is due. You must also submit the “Team Work Report” with the milestone submission. Milestone 1 is an individual deliverable. For milestone 2, you have a choice to work in pairs. For milestone 3, you can work in groups of 4 max.

Milestone 1: Op/Ed Article (4-6 double-spaced pages, Times New Roman, 12 fonts) 

You will draw on the course readings, class discussions, and where appropriate, your knowledge of digital media, to craft a focused argument in response to one of the following statements:

  • “Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.”
  • “Children are spending so much time engaged in digital electronic activities that they are losing skills and capabilities that are important to succeed in life.”
  • “Cyberspace is open stage for identity play.”
  • “Those who lack digital literacy or new media literacy skills cannot successfully participate in society.”
  • “There is no need for bookstores in the digital age.”

You can also identify and respond to a statement that you find or thought of regarding digital technologies. You can agree with the statement, disagree with it, or take a position in the middle. Your position would need to be well-supported and would need to take account of opposing points of view. What will determine your performance will not be the position you take so much as the sophistication and rigor with which you support it.

Click here to see the evaluation rubric and here for peer review form.

Milestone 2: Digital Technology Review (8-10 double-spaced pages, Times New Roman, 12 fonts) 

Imagine you were hired by a magazine to review two digital media technologies. The review is targeted to teachers, parents, and others who are not familiar with these technologies. You will draw on the course readings, class discussions, and where appropriate, your knowledge of digital media, to craft a review two technologies of your chose. Some questions, you should consider:

  • What is the target audience for each technology?
  • What is the discourse around each technology?
  • Who do different technologies include/exclude?
  • What is the message of each technology?
  • How is the design of each technology? Is the interface easy to interact with? Do they require prior knowledge/experiences? etc.

What will determine your performance will not be the technologies you chose so much as the sophistication and rigor with which you analyze them. You must identify at least five areas to compare and contrast the two technologies. These areas (or dimensions) must be clearly marked in your deliverable.

Click here to see the evaluation rubric and here for peer review form.

Milestone 3: Digital Technology Design (10-15  double-spaced pages, Times New Roman, 12 fonts)

You will draw on the course readings, class discussions, and where appropriate, your knowledge of digital media, to design a piece of technology from scratch or iterate (improve or modify) on an existing technology (you can choose one of the two technologies you reviewed in milestone 2). A successful accomplishment of this milestone requires that you apply what you have learned in this class to create an artifact that transforms the world in some ways. What will determine your performance will not be the technology you design so much as the sophistication and rigor with which you document your design process. Here are some of the questions you should consider:

  • How does the design of the technology map onto the natural human interaction?
  • Do the user need labels, manuels, instructions, to interact and use the technology the way it is intended? Is it intuitive or does it require intentional learning?
  • What is the conceptual model behind the design?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Are there unintended consequences for using the technology?
  • What are the possible course of action and the natural constraints and affordances of the technology?

You must present your design in a PechaKucha format in the end of the semester. PechaKucha is a presentation format that involves presenting your work with 20 images in 20 seconds. For more information, visit: http://www.pecha-kucha.org.

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