Week 2

Here is a detailed account of the second week. Keep in mind that all sections of Living the Dreams are synced up for the activities surrounding the New Media readings (Linklider for this week). But the section-specific activities may not be familiar to students in those other sections.

Again, one of the expectations for this class is that you will write a little every day, thereby getting into practice to write a lot by the end of the eight-week term. Sometimes we will need to complete specified tasks frequently; other weeks may include a lot more flexibility. Feel free to work ahead, but be sure to include what’s required by the due dates.

Team Zoetrope  has the following short activity assignments that need to be completed before the end of the week (by Sunday night, 6/22):

I leave it up to you when you complete them, and whether to append your work to one of the specified tasks below or to start a new post. But keep in mind that, since I’m leaving it up to you when to complete each of them, you’ll need to signal to me where I should look — do this by tagging the post that contains the activity with the activity’s category and its name.


Monday, June 16

  1. Compose a blog post with a nugget (i.e. a pertinent passage from a reading that grabs you in some way) from “Man-Computer Symbiosis” and make it as meaningful as possible.  It could be a passage that puzzles you, or intrigues you, or resonates strongly with you. It could be a passage you agree with, or one you disagree with. The idea here is that the passage evokes some kind of response in you, one that makes you want to work with the passage to make it just as meaningful as possible.
  2. To make it meaningful: Either continue using your primary text from Week 1 to flesh out why this nugget is significant, or select a new one and do so.  (NOTE: This week will be spent honing what you will ultimately research and write about for your inquiry project.  So, if you choose a new primary text, be sure to pick something that truly interests you with our New Media theme and you would be fine with researching–in some way–for the course.)  Key question: How does the nugget connect to the text you select, and why is your interpretation of it important?  Write no more more than two paragraphs.
  3. Think about how you’re thinking about the primary text in relation to the nugget.  Pocket this reflection for later use.

Tuesday, June 17

Revise your nugget post (indicate this by writing “EDIT” at the bottom of the original post and have the changes follow.  Keep your original post in tact) and link out to at least three classmates’ posts from June 16. (A key goal here is to continue getting used to linking out to other blog posts, including your own, frequently and robustly.)

Wednesday, June 18

  1. Google Hangout!: VCU cMOOC Live in Concert at the New Media Consortium(4:00-5:15 PM EDT).   Look to the main site for details.
  2. Complete the following concept experience activity:
    • Start with a blank piece of paper (real, or virtual). At the top, write “Analyzing the obvious.” On the next line, write the most obvious thing you can think of regarding your primary text from your June 16 nugget post. Something like “Cats videos are really popular on Youtube” (if your primary text was a cat video on Youtube) or “Google Glass is like science fiction!” (if you’re primary text was Google Glass).  If you get stuck, write down as many obvious things as you can think of. Do this quickly. You’ll find your flow soon. Then pick the one you like best.
    • Now notice the time you start your experience. You don’t need a URL yet, just the time. You’ll find the URL in your history, later.
    • Now pretend that your obvious statement in a form of a research question for your inquiry project.  If this doesn’t make you feel a little silly, then you haven’t chosen a truly obvious thing to analyze.
    • Now start your research on your computer. Your job is to analyze this obvious statement. Here’s where you’ll need to be creative. You’ll need not just to solve problems, but to find problems too. You’re not just looking for answers. You’re looking for better questions. Obvious things can’t be analyzed unless you come up with really good questions. (Note: Steer clear of questions that can be answered with a “yes!” or a “no!”  Words like “significance,” and “impact” are your friends).
    • Try and work on this concept experience for at least over an hour. You can take breaks if you want, but the longer you can work uninterruptedly, the better the chance that the question will become more refined and you’ll have a better understanding of how your interests relate to what’s already out there on the topic.
    • After you’ve finished, look over your history and write an extended and extra-thoughtful, extra-creative blog post that reflects on how you interacted with the computer as you analyzed the obvious research question. Your history will help you. Don’t wait too long to do the blog post–do it while the experience is fresh in your mind.
    • SOME INSPIRATION

Thursday, June 19

Read at least 10 of your classmates’ concept experience posts  and provide thoughtful comments on at least 5.  Key Question: How can others think about their inquiry question either differently or in an even more precise way? This is an early version of the kind of peer feedback (workshopping) that we prefer in this course: it is based on your own curiosity rather than your attempt to guess what your instructor is looking for in assessed writing.

Friday, June 20

  1. Compose a blog post explaining the connections you saw between your thoughts on your own concept experience (on formultive vs. formulated thinking) and other students’ thoughts on theirs. Link to three other blogs and compare yours to theirs. Lastly, think back to your original nugget post and write how you could look at your text differently. Key question: what kinds of questions will be more successful for the answers you wish to seek? Sometimes it’s all about how we ask our question. NOTE: the  Extending my Dream assignment is meant to go along with this post, so I strongly encourage you to combine them.
  2. Start work (if you haven’t already) on the section-specific activities for this week; complete the Dreamers Unite! activity last, but still before the weekend is over. Tweet a link to your inquiry sales pitch when you’re done with that activity to show everyone (be sure to also include #thoughtvectors and #tv005 in the tweet or no one will see it).

Over the Weekend (a big one!):

Read at least these excerpts from Doug Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework” and find a nugget you may want to work with for Monday’s nugget post.

  • Chapter I, “Introduction,” parts A (“General”) and B (“Objective of the Study”)
  • Chapter II, “Conceptual Framework,” parts A (“General”) and B (“The Basic Perspective”)
  • Chapter III, “Examples and Discussion,” part A (“Background”) sections 2 (“Comments Related To Bush’s Article” and 3 (“Some Possibilities with Cards and Relatively Simple Equipment”)
  • Nothing from Chapter IV
  • Chapter V, “Summary” (all)
  • Chapter VI, “Conclusions” (all)
  • and of course, pick your nugget.
  • You should also watch some or all of “The Mother Of All Demos.” There’s a nice set of highlights made by SRI International that’s great as an overview.

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