Beginning this week marked the movement from in-person classes into online classes. This is due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus that began in China in December and now has spread across the globe. Currently, I have moved from college back home to take part in online classes and self-isolation. Each class has many new assignments that have not existed before, seemingly to be more busywork in some classes. Communication has taken place through Zoom, Twitch, youtube, email, and discussion boards.
For this digital studies class, this week the assignments started with a Twitch stream, which takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each stream is between 30 – 45 minutes. Each day I had tuned into the 10 am session, however, I watched slack for people’s responses during the 11 am session.
Monday’s stream was basically a set up for the rest of our online experience. Things that took place for this stream included talk of rearranging the schedule as well as the big digital archeology project. Ultimately these all became individual assignments rather than group projects. The biggest change came with the digital archeology project which turned into a “Plan B” project. Basically it is an individualized project that no longer requires the taking apart of a device. Nonetheless, it is optional for many people in the class who were really looking forward to the experience. Another thing we focused on was some discussion questions about everyone’s well being and access to the internet and devices to complete their school work. Later that a list of assignments coming up included a survey for classmates to fill out, these basically covered the discussion questions.
The next stream talked about a podcast transcript called “Mr.Daisey and the Apple Factory”. Which showed surprising information on how phones are made and the negative impacts that workers like Mr. Daisey faced in the factory. In our stream discussion, people spoke of how attention-grabbing and how terrible the story caused them to feel as they read the story. Some peers even compared it to the same emotions that the ‘Phone Story’ gave them from a few weeks back. When the class was then to listen to the followup episode “Retraction,” many were surprised to find out that all that Mr.Daisey had spoken of was all a fib. Some classmates felt they couldn’t take the writer seriously and wished the truth was said the first time. Many people realize factory workers are not always put into the best conditions or circumstances. Still, the first podcast had audiences visualize Apples as a complete monster when in reality this was not at all the case.
Finally, on Friday’s stream, we had a shorter conversation about the audio from the “Retraction” podcast and how it seemed to impact the effect of how it was received. Overall it was seen in a more serious tone and felt as if the person was getting caught up in his own lies. The main focus of the discussion involved the silence of that podcast. I felt that the silence was a period that the speaker was thinking of a lie and almost as if anything after that silence would be nothing but false claims. Hearing the audio captured the lies and hiccups that the transcript could not capture in the same way. Others in the class seemed to have similar views about the audio and the silence. This led the discussion down the path of talking about all types of silence. We talked about how silence could have different effects or meanings. The podcast case was an attempt to cover-up a lie or a trip up on one’s own story. Others could, in fact, create a serious or tension among the audience as the film or audio takes place. An example that professor Whalen had used originated from Star Wars: The Last Jedi– which captured a lightspeed scene that silence, in this case, left tension build-up in the crowds. Both situations had one similar effect on the audience. It made them think about another point of view.
Over the Weekend
This weekend my goal is to come up with a game plan for the archeology project, Plan B. Starting by picking a topic and even getting to work on the product.