Wednesday, January 23, 2008

digital literacy - spring 2008

(update feb 5: added readings for guest speaker ivan chew)
(update feb 12: added readings for guest speaker bryan alexander)
(update jul 16: see nearly 500 pics on flickr)

as i mentioned yesterday, i'm teaching two courses this spring. my second class meets tuesday and thursday evenings and is called digital literacy.

each semester, USF offers one "davies forum," an honors-level seminar devoted to a timely and important topic of a selected professor's choosing. my proposal titled "digital literacy" was selected for spring 08. in addition to attracting some of USF's smartest and most creative students, davies forum are cool because they come with a healthy budget. as a result, ten guest speakers will visit USF and share their ideas, projects, questions, and curiosities about literacy in a digital age. plus, we'll have at least three field trips. i am supremely excited to teach this course and give lots of thanks to all who contributed to its design.

here's the syllabus (and here it is as a word document).

Davies Forum: Digital Literacy
Professor David Silver
Class Times: Tues, Thurs, 6:15pm - 8:00pm | Cowell 114
Office Hours: Tues, Thurs, 2-3; and by appointment | UC 539

Course Description:
Facebook and Fox News, tivo and TV, youtube and yahoo, books and blogs, ipods, iphones, itunes, ieverything – we are pretty much swimming in information. How do we navigate through it all? How do we find the good stuff? And which kinds of information should we use for which kinds of research and creative projects?

At the same time, information, it seems, is changing before our eyes. Today, in our Web 2.0 world, information is often something we both consume and produce. What does it mean, and what possibilities are opened up, when we can add to and annotate, comment on and contribute?

In Digital Literacy we will explain what literacy means – and can mean – in a digital age, our age. We will read, write, and reflect. We will design, create, and construct. We will participate, contribute, and collaborate.

Learning Goals:
Upon course completion, Davies Scholars will learn:
1. How to navigate, evaluate, cite, and contribute to existing knowledge;
2. How to construct and manage a creative, collaborative, and responsible digital identity; and
3. How to collaborate (preferably effectively and creatively) with others.

Required Texts:
* Jane Jacobs, Death and Life of Great American Cities (Random House, 1961)
* Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (NYU Press, 2006)
* Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Harper, 1994)
* A one-year Flickr pro account subscription, $24.95
* You are required to make, purchase, or barter for a bound, paper-based journal.

(A Note about Reading: The schedule below offers a rough outline of what we will read and discuss throughout the semester. Please, however, be aware that you will be reading much more. Much of your reading (and viewing and listening) for this course will be a product of your own library and online research, tailored toward topics that interest you.)

(A Second Note about Reading: Nearly every Thursday evening we will host guest speakers. In the cases when guest speakers have blogs, you are required to spend a significant time with their blog prior to their campus visit. This does not mean visiting the blog for 2-3 minutes. This means spending a few hours reading the blog, becoming acquainted with some of the blogger’s key themes, following various discussions via readers’ comments, tracing threads through tags, ets.)

Tuesday, January 22: Introductions: Where, Who, What Are We?
Due: Ourselves

Thursday, January 24:
Read: Common Craft, “RSS in Plain English”; Keri Smith, “100 Ideas”; Sherry Turkle, “Can You Hear Me Now?Forbes (May 5, 2007); Wikipedia, “Literacy

Tuesday, January 29:
Due: Your new journal
Read: National Endowment of the Arts, “To Read or Not To Read” (Executive Summary); Matthew Kirschenbaum, "How Reading is Being Reimagined," The Chronicle Review (December 7, 2007); if:book, "reading between the lines?" (blog post + comments)

Thursday, January 31:
Amanda Lenhart, Mary Madden, Alexandra Rankin Macgill, Aaron Smith, “Teens and Social Media: The use of social media gains a greater foothold in teen life as they embrace the conversational nature of interactive online media"; Henry Jenkins, "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century"; Mike Wesch, "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us"

Tuesday, February 5:
Field trip: Haight (Meet at Red Vic to watch Go Organic.)

Thursday, February 7:
Guest speaker: Mary Madden
Read: Mary Madden, Susannah Fox, Aaron Smith, and Jessica Vitak, "Digital Footprints: Online identity management and search in the age of transparency"; Jeff Howe, "The Hit Factory," Wired (November 2005); Larry Hardesty, "The Tipping Jar: Does Radiohead's Internet release of its latest album tell us anything about the future of the music business?" Technology Review (Jan/Feb 2008)

Tuesday, February 12:
Read: Mark Briggs, “How to Blog,” Journalism 2.0, pp. 52-61; Global Voices, “Introduction to Citizen Media” (also in Spanish and in Bengali); Karen Schneider (a USF graduate!), “How to be ‘famous’ (wink wink, nudge nudge),” Free Range Librarian

Thursday, February 14:
Guest speaker: Ivan Chew
Read: "My Old Katong Final Pt.- Other Lost Landmarks," Times of My Life; Lam Chun See, "What Prompted Me To Start This Blog," Good Morning Yesterday; Ivan Chew, "My father, Basketball, and the late President Chiang Kai-shek"; Taking Up The Challenge, "Talk On Blogging For Seniors

Tuesday, February 19:
Field trip: San Francisco Public Library (Main branch)
Public talk: Sarah Houghton-Jan on the “Future of Libraries” (talk organized by SFPL's Magazines and Newspapers Center)

Thursday, February 21:
Guest speaker: Brewster Kahle
Read: Andrew Richard Albanese, "Scan This Book: An Interview with Open Content Alliance's Brewster Kahle,” Library Journal (August 2007); Kevin Kelly, "Scan this Book!" New York Times Magazine (May 14, 2006); Siva Vaidhyanathan, portions of The Googlization of Everything

Tuesday, February 26
Read: Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (NYU Press, 2006).

Thursday, February 28:
Guest speaker: Bryan Alexander
Read: Christy Dena, "Online Augmentation to Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games," Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (Feb 2008); Steve Himmer, "The Labyrinth Unbound: Weblogs as Literature," in Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs, eds. Laura J. Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, and Jessica Reyman (June 2004); Clay Shirky, "Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags" (spring 2005); and Sean Stacey (aka SpaceBass), "Undefining ARG," posted article to Unfiction (November 10th, 2006)

Tuesday, March 4:
Film Screening: Stop Firestone Campaign (This is part of USF’s Global Women’s Rights Forum and takes place 6-8 pm in Maraschi Room.)

Thursday, March 6:
Read one of the following: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, “CommentPress: New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts”; “Operation Iraqi Quagmire”; McKenzie Wark’s GAMER THEORY

Tuesday, March 11
Read: danah boyd, "Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life." In David Buckingham (Ed.), Youth, Identity, and Digital Media (MIT Press, 2007); Lampe, Cliff, Ellison, Nicole, and Steinfeld, Charles. (2006). A face(book) in the crowd: social searching vs. social browsing. Banff, Alberta, Canada: Proceedings of CSCW 2006; Joan DiMicco, David R Millen. (2007) Identity management: Multiple presentations of Self in Facebook. Note, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Organizational Computing and Goupware Technologies (GROUP 2007), Nov 2007.

Thursday, March 13:
Guest speaker: Fred Stutzman
Read: Fred Stutzman, "Social Network Transitions" and "Situational Relevance in Social Networking Websites," Unit Structures; Louise Story, "The Evolution of Facebook’s Beacon," Bits blog

Tuesday, March 18: Spring Break!
Thursday, March 20: Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 25
Read: Jane Jacobs, "The Uses of Sidewalks: Assimilating Children"; "The Uses of Sidewalks: Safety"; and "The Uses of Sidewalks: Contact" from Death and Life of Great American Cities (Random House, 1961); Eric Klinenberg, "Race, Place, and Vulnerability: Urban Neighborhoods and the Ecology of Support" from Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002), pp. 79- 128; Peirce Lewis, “Axioms of the Landscape: Some Guides to the American Scene,” Journal of Architectural Education (September 1976), pp. 6-9.

Thursday, March 27:
Guest Speaker: Kelly Quinn

WEEK 10:
Tuesday, April 1:
Read: Portions of PostGlobal; Portions of Global Voices

Thursday, April 3:
Guest Speaker: Kevin Epps

WEEK 11:
Tuesday, April 8
Read: Lorraine Johnson, "Wildness," in Tending the Earth: A Gardening Manifesto (Penguin, 2002); Michael Pollan, "The Idea of a Garden," in Second Nature: A Gardener's Education (Grove Press, 2003)
Read/Look: You Grow Girl

Thursday, April 10:
Guest speaker: Gayla Trail

WEEK 12:
Tuesday, April 15
Read: Michael Pollan, “Desire: Sweetness / Plant: Apple,” from The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (Random House, 2002), pp. 1-58; Douglas Rushkoff, "Net Loss" (intended for publication in the cancelled Arthur Vol. 1, No. 26 [March 2007]); Terry Tempest Williams, “Commencement,” from The Open Space of Democracy (Orion Society, 2004), pp. 2-24.

Thursday, April: 17:
Field trip: Stonelake Farm
Guest speaker: Francis Lake
Please note: We will be at Stonelake Farm from Thurs, April 17 to Sunday, April 20.

WEEK 13:
Tuesday, April 22
Read: Amanda Kwan, “Look sharp: Your style could show up on a blog," Seattle Times (July 9, 2007); Fashion Television, "The Sartorialist"
Read lots of: Pike/Pine
Get a feel for: HEL-LOOKS; Face Hunter; and The Sartorialist

Thursday, April 24:
Guest speaker: Jasmine Park

WEEK 14:
Tuesday, April 29
Read: Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (Harper, 1994)

Thursday, May 1:
Guest speaker: Phillip Thurtle
Read: Alan Moore, selections from Promethea (America's Best Comics/Wildstorm, 1999-2005); Lev Manovich, "Image Future," Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal (2006), pp 25-44.

WEEK 15:
Tuesday, May 6: To be determined
Thursday, May 8: To be determined

Projects: 50%
Participation: 50%

Guest Speakers (in order of appearance):
Mary Madden (February 7) is Senior Research Specialist at the Pew Internet and American Life Project where she researches music and the internet, intellectual property issues online, teens and communication technology, and college students and the internet.

Ivan Chew (February 14) heads the Adult & Young People's Services (Public Libraries) of the National Library Board, Singapore. When he's off work, Ivan draws, paints, blogs, runs a mailing list for librarians, and works on original songs for a collaborative online music album.

Brewster Kahle (February 21) serves as founder and digital librarian at the non-profit Internet Archive and helps direct the Open Content Alliance. Brewster’s stated goal is “Universal Access to all Knowledge.”

Bryan Alexander (February 28) is Director of Research at NITLE, where he researches and writes on the critical uses of computers and teaching in terms of the interdisciplinary liberal arts and the contemporary development of cyberculture.

Fred Stutzman
(March 13) is a Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science, and Co-Founder and Developer of claimID.

Kelly Quinn (March 27) is an assistant professor of American Studies at Miami University. Kelly examines the dynamic relationship between people and places, and is keenly interested in the confluence of the arts, humanities, design, and social justice.

Kevin Epps (April 3) is the filmmaker behind Straight Outta Hunters Point (2001) and Rap Dreams (2006). He is currently working on The Black Rock which chronicles the experiences of African-American prisoners at Alcatraz.

Gardener, photographer, graphic designer, and crafty gal Gayla Trail (April 10) is the creator of the thriving online community You Grow Girl and the author of the popular gardening book, You Grow Girl: The Groundbreaking Guide to Gardening.

Francis Lake (April 17) is a manager and caretaker of Stonelake Farm, a small family farm in eastern Humboldt County, where he also runs the farm’s internship and artist residency programs.

Phillip Thurtle (May 1) is an assistant professor of the Comparative History of Ideas program and the History Department at the University of Washington and co-editor, with Robert Mitchell, of Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information and Semiotic Flesh: Information and the Human Body.

Jasmine Park (April 24) is the author of the prominent Seattle fashion blog Pike/Pine and publishes a weekly photo in the Seattle Times.


K.G. Schneider said...

It feels immodest to say "great syllabus" when I'm on it, but it IS a great syllabus! Wish I could take that class. Have fun with it. Go Dons --

david silver said...

hey karen - coming from you, that means a lot. thanks.

Amber said...

I'm excited!

Anonymous said...

Wow,School was never like this when I attended.I hate to date myself but youth truly is wasted on the young.Wish I could take your course, maybe I would stay young forever : ).

david silver said...

amber - me too! i'm excited that we get to work together again before you graduate!

srcsmgrl said...

Funny how I met you (I am sure you don't remember--Terry Brooks class, Winter 2006) at a similar class at the UW where you were a guest speaker. Ours was not near as ambitious, but also exciting.

david silver said...

Srcsmgrl - you know, we've been conversing for a few years now via our blogs and comments and i never knew how we met. i knew you were in seattle, i knew you were in ballard, and i knew you were a librarian, but i never knew we met face to face.

i enjoyed being a small part of terry's class and got a lot of ideas from his class to bring towards mine. i just added a lot of funky stuff. =)

srcsmgrl said...

I am sure that Terry would be flattered to hear that. I loved all the classes he taught--but that one was like dessert. Yours sounds even cooler--my ambitious side wants to try to read the articles you have assigned your students, but my practical side knows I don't have enough hours in the day to do it. Can you recommend one or two to me that would really hit the spot?

The Sheck said...

David Silver, what an amazing class! My students loved the excerpt from Jenkins' book last semester: it's on the roster for my fall course. You are doing some awesome stuff and I am so excited that you are inviting librarians to talk to your group! Keep us posted.
May our paths cross soon!

Anonymous said...

Your colleagues also benefit from these posts not only because we get important information about what others in the dept are teaching, but also because the links to readings allow us to grapple with some of the course materials. Surely you should lead a Faculty Development lunch session on teaching, collegiality & blogging, accompanied perhaps by Brother Robertson and myself...

david silver said...

srcsmgrl - one or two?!? impossible! seriously, in my mind, all of the readings are pretty much connected and build upon and converse with each other. they are inseparable! why don't you try to read at least one reading each week? some of the readings are very short and totally inspirational: consider reading "100 ideas" this week.

sheck! which excerpt/chapter from jenkins did you assign? yeah, i figure that librarians have a lot to say and teach and learn and contribute when it comes to literacy and digital literacy. =) there's a lot of USF librarians working on this class, too.

david silver said...

andrew - thanks.

i love the idea of a faculty development session on teaching, collegiality, and blogging with you and michael, especially if it includes a free lunch. =)

Tíscar said...

Thank you for the recommended readings. I usually teach Digital Literacy to primary and secondary school teachers. Greetings from Madrid.

david silver said...

thank you, tiscar, for your comment, and please say hello to madrid for me! i am curious to see what a digital literacy syllabus for primary and secondary levels looks like.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Boy Silver. I suggested to some pals that we try to read along as the semester moves. The readings draw; they do not repel! Mr. Seniority is pleased. (Mr. Seniority is not like you and me. He has *seniority.*)

Riven Homewood said...

What an incredible course! I wish I worked on the main campus so I could attend the accompanying lecture series. David, I hope you will come to my noon faculty tech talk about SecondLife.

david silver said...

riven - i'll be there for the second life talk! CIT has put together an excellent set of lunch-time talks and yours is one of them that i signed up for.

as for attending the digital literacy talks, i hope you will be able to make one of them! it would make for an interesting cross-campus conversation.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

I'm Raymond, an Information/Library Science student in Los Angeles. Will any of these "Digital Literacy" meetings be recorded and archived? (Or uploaded into YouTube or something like that?) Got a hunch my classmates (and maybe some co-workers) would be VERY interested. I would REALLY appreciate a response via email and THANK YOU in advance! :)

Los Angeles, CA

david silver said...

raymond - we have begun to archive the talks. it's still a works in progress but i think it offers an interesting glimpse into the talks.

Jaime said...

Gayla Trail and Karen Schneider in one class? It's like you're in my brain. Amazing ideas- do you lecture?

Jaime Hammond

Anonymous said...

hey jaime - thanks!

i agree, having Gayla Trail and Karen Schneider on the same syllabus makes me happy. so do topics as seemingly diverse as farming and facebook.

when you ask do i lecture, i assume you are asking whether i lecture in the class, right? in general, no - class is run as a seminar with seven students and i sharing our ideas and insights with one another. the only time formal lectures come into play is with the guest lecturers.

Jaime said...

Hi David,
No, I meant at conferences! I was just fascinated by your approach to digital literacy. Email me if you want!

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Anonymous said...

dpanupam - thank you! i am happy to hear that you found the syllabus enriching.

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When asked what I ran, I guess you ask me, gave a lecture in the classroom, is not it? Generally, no - run as a seminar class with seven students, and I will share ideas and opinions with each other one-off lectures kanssa.Ainoa image is with the speakers.

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