#tic104: Back to the Future

I’m sad to say that the summer session of The Internet Course Paul Bond and I were teaching for the last five weeks has ended. It was a pretty amazing class, and Paul and I remained faithful to our vision of having the students effectively design and run the course. The combination of a condensed semester and small cohort meant we had them running a projet a week for the last four weeks (the first week was dedicated to research).

The course wiki was where the class collaboratively built each of the four projects, and you can find them all here. I wrote about this already on this blog, but I found this particular classes use of the wiki  for their collaborative projects was really effective. So, for the fifth and final week’s project—which we called “Back to thr Future”— each of the students were charged with collecting clips from various television shows and movies to suggest how the future of the internet (and technology more generally) has been framed for us through the culture industry. For example, how are specific topics such as The Internet of Things, Cyborgs, Wearable Technology, Artificial Intelligence, etc. been protrayed in film and television? What’s more, what might it tell us about these possible futures as well as our own moment?

As has been the case for the previous three projects, a wiki page was created, topics were delineated, and film clips were added. The wiki page offers an interesting collection of clips from a variety of films that frame future visions across the spectrum of topics. Interestingly enough, there is no real database for this kind of stuff that we could find. When talking with other folks at DTLT, there was some discussion that we might frame something like thisand open it up for anyone to contribute to.  I think this would be an interesting resource for folks to use and share. How does film and television feed us our future?

Anyway, once everyone added their various clips, each student was charged with creating a video using at least five film and/or TV clips to explain a particualr topic—an adaptation of the video essay assignment we’ve employed for years in ds106. As usual, when you charge students with something difficult, yet fun and creative, they usually rise to the challenge and then some. That’s exactly what happened here. Six video on everything from Cyborgs to Artifical Intelligence to Virtual Reality to Big Data. James Dawson, the capable director of the final week’s project, curated all the videos into one page on the course site, you can find and watch them all there.

Below I want to feature two of the video essays made by members of the class. First is Jessi Clark’s examination of big data using the films 2001: Space Odyssey (1968), 1984 (1984), Fifth Element (1997), Minority Report (2002), and Eagle Eye (2008).

Additionally, check out Steven Hartzell’s discussion of artifical intelligence using the films Blade Runner (1982), Terminator (1984), and Her (2013), as well as the TV series Battlestar Gallactica and Star Trek. 

I have much more to write about this course and how fun it was to teach over the psst five weeks, but if I try and wait until I have time to articulate it all I’m afrtiad thsi post will enver get written. So here it is, and I hope you check out some of the awesome work from this summer’s internauts!

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3 Responses to #tic104: Back to the Future

  1. I’m not going to say anything in this comment. Because I think by now you can read a post like this and auto-generate a Mike comment in your head.

    Remember when I used to talk about many things instead of being the annoying federation guy? SFW ruined my life.

  2. Reverend says:

    Mike,
    I think the SFW is someting I want to explore in the Fall for this class. The wiki was huge, and actually have a use case to wrap my head around that craziness would be what I need, so keep the crazy, obsessed comments coming.

  3. Pingback: Independence Day Virus | bavatuesdays

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