Archive for the ‘Class resources’ Category

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A word about copyright

November 26, 2017
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Copyright law can be complex in today’s world but the concept originated in 6th Century Ireland when books were created from vellum.

Some of you have been asking about copyright, in the context of using images for your projects. Copyright is an automatic right and it means that anybody who creates an image or a text that can be copied is the automatic owner of the right to copy that creation. Therefore, if you want to copy something created by somebody else you need their permission first.
Nevertheless, some people are happy to allow others the use of their work, in fact they may want wide exposure and so encourage the use of their creations, so long as the user doesn’t earn any money for it. You may have seen such work listed as Creative Commons – this blog is covered by Creative Commons for example. In addition, many copyright owners do not mind if their work is used in an educational context by students, so long as it is not for profit, or wide circulation.
Copyright provides limited protection because it is not enforced by the state. Any individual who believes their copyright has been infringed has to take a private case to court and prove it – this can be costly and risky.
However, copyright runs out in time. Once an image or text is out of copyright anybody may use it freely.
Copyright originated in Ireland in the 6th Century when a dispute about the ownership of a copied vellum (calfskin) manuscript led to the judgement that ‘To every cow belongs her calf, therefore to every book belongs the copy.’ You can read more about copyright in the wikipedia History of copyright law. For more on copyright law see wikipedia on Copyright.
So, the best guidance is that if you use images from the web be careful that you are not using copyright images unless absolutely necessary. There are many images to choose from that are free of copyright. Also, it is always a good idea to credit anybody else’s work so you cannot be accused of passing it off as your own.
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Group project: #MeToo

October 23, 2017
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Actor Alyssa Milano initiated the phenomenal response to the revelations around Weinstein.

The interweb, internet or web as we know it today is one of the most powerful tools of our time. Infact, when we consider it as a medium it is almost impossible to reflect on how much is has impacted our lives and influenced how we interact, with whom we engage and when. As far back as 1977 Marshall McLuhan declared that ‘the medium is the message’ which has been highlighted in many topical occurrences.

Watch: this two-minute introduction to McLuhan’s basic thesis from the Open University

To explore the mechanisms of this still new medium of the web, we will use the topical #MeToo meme created last month by actor Alyssa Milano following the revelations concerning unacceptable behaviour towards women by Hollywood motion picture producer Harvey Weinstein. His behaviour has resulted in his sacking by the company that carries his name and his expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Closer to home and earlier this year George Hook, radio presenter on Newstalk, was suspended from his job following his comments on a live broadcast concerning the rape of a young woman.

The multiple abuse allegations against Weinstein have led to #MeToo trending as women report that sexual abuse is a common experience in their lives. The hashtag has become a rallying point for those who remained silent, sometimes for years.

Perhaps the darkest aspect to emerge from these revelations is that Weinstein has been behaving in this manner for decades and it was pretty much common knowledge in entertainment circles. Put this together with Hook’s question about ‘women who put[s] themselves in danger’; the American President excusing his lewd and vulgar comments as acceptable ‘locker-room banter’; and the revelations some years ago concerning the former Italian Prime Minister’s ‘bunga bunga parties’; and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that our society supports a culture of men who secretly prey on women.

The #MeToo hashtag is an example of how rapidly a topical incident can trend globally on social media. MeToo was originally founded by US activist Tarana Burke in 2007 when she started the campaign to serve sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities. Now, it has been transformed into a global phenomenon. The aim of this project is to explore how the internet and its components impacted the emergence of the story and its increasing reach.

  1. Track how a local Los Angeles issue became a global phenomenon in a matter of days and present a timeline of its evolution.
  2. Demonstrate how it tapped into, or reflected the zeitgeist.
  3. Explore how it resulted in women around the world saying ‘me too’ and how this has been amplified, why they are doing so and what outcome is expected.
  4. Consider how the zeitgeist could be leveraged to change the latent acceptability of such behavior in society using the medium of the internet and it’s components.

Present your findings in an entertaining, informative and lively manner using whatever medium and format you wish as long as it can be stored for later review (e.g. a talk, short film, narration+visuals). Each team will also present its project live in Second Life. The presentation should be no shorter than five minutes and no longer than ten minutes. You are encouraged to use visual, audio or any other aids to support the presentation during which each member of the team must take part.

Each participant must also describe the progress of the project in a weekly blog post with particular emphasis on their contribution to the project. (What are you bringing to the group and how does it fit into the team’s work?) Discuss the details of the project and also the issues that arise in working collaboratively online. How easy is it meet up virtually and plan the project? What difficulties arise in development? How easy or difficult is communication? What particular problems arise and how do you deal with them? Focus on the experience rather than writing a ‘correct’ post or having an answer for every difficulty.

See page 6 Module assessment for assessment criteria applying to this project.

Important note: If you use images or sound be mindful of copyright, particularly as presentations will be posted to the module blog.

Presentations should be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes in duration.

Your presentation can be made in the DIT campus or any appropriate venue selected by the group. Presentation date is normal class time on Thursday 6th December.

Reading list:

Explore one of the responses to #MeToo such at #HowIWillChange created by Australian journalist Benjamin Law. The meme #NotAllMen, which predates #MeToo and has been appropriated by various groups for their own ends, is also worth exploring. [accessed 22 October 2017].

Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood’s Oldest Horror Story. Maureen Dowd delves into the story for the New York Times, 14 October 2017. [accessed 22 October 2017].

George Hook should be challenged not silenced. Kitty Holland writes in The Irish Times that difficult as it might be such opinions need to be challenged so that society can improve, 14 September 2017. [accessed 22 October 2017].

Trump recorded having extremely lewd conversations about women in 2005. David Fahrenthold reports for the Washington Post on 8 October 2016. [accessed 22 October 2017].

#MeToo. Wikipedia traces the origin of the trend. [accessed 22 October 2017].

The Woman Who Created #MeToo Long Before Hashtags. Tarana Burke was originally inspired to develop the ‘Me Too’ campaign in the US when she met a thirteen-year-old girl who had been sexually abused in 1997. [accessed 22 October 2017].

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Group project: Digital Skies

April 6, 2017

For this project you are required to create a single artwork as a member of a team – a large-scale group canvas. Each individual team member will research and generate their own images which will be combined by the team into a final composite image for exhibition in Cape Able Gallery. The exhibition will open in late May on a date to be announced.

Digital Skies

Digital Skies: Art and Utopian Thought

For the opening of the exhibition each group give a short talk to present their work, and discuss the experience of working in a team, virtually, collaboratively. This will be followed by a crit.

Each participant must also describe the progress of the project in a weekly blog post with particular emphasis on their contribution to the project. (What are you bringing to the group and how does it fit into the team’s work?) Discuss the details of the project and also the issues that arise in working collaboratively online. How easy is it meet up virtually and plan the project? What difficulties arise in development? How easy or difficult is communication? What particular problems arise and how do you deal with them? Focus on the experience rather than writing a ‘correct’ post or having an answer for every difficulty.

See page 6 Module assessment for assessment criteria applying to this project.

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Group project: Who’s watching you?

October 6, 2016

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For the project you will explore the concept of your digital identity and it’s importance to you and anyone else. In your groups you will research the traces each of you has already left online, your digital footprint: what you are sharing? what can others learn about you? who might be watching you? who owns the information you might have thought was private? And, most importantly, what value might it have to others and what are they doing with it?

The tacit agreement most of us make when we engage online is that our personal details, behaviour, preferences, likes and dislikes and so on will be shared in exchange for the ‘free’ availability of useful or entertaining apps, games, tools, services etc. Most of us share apparently innocuous information online on a daily basis. Taken on their own, these nuggets of personal information seem harmless but, when they are aggregated the result can be a surprisingly comprehensive profile of our behaviour. The corporations engaged in this activity protect themselves by asking us to agree to Terms of Reference when signing up for services but, does anybody read the terms? and if you do read them have you ever decided against proceeding to sign up?

This information is gathered legally and often shared legally. But in addition, there are more sinister operators at work in the so-called ‘dark web’. They will seek to break encrypted information you may reasonably expect to be kept secret: credit card details from legitimate online purchases for example.

In the early incarnation of the world wide web it was often compared with the wild west of the US, a new frontier with little regulation or law enforcement. While that has now changed and much activity is in fact regulated the fact remains that we are in new territory. As major corporations gather information the unexpected consequences of the ‘big data’ phenomenon is only beginning to emerge.

For the project you are to research the digital footprint of your group members. Consider all your online activity, whether through social media, shopping, gaming, correspondence, searching and researching, downloading, communicating and so on. Build a picture of the shadow you are leaving behind, the information that might remain online for others to find. Analyse the impact this may have and envisage a scenario where it might be used by unscrupulous operators to their own benefit.

Present your findings in an entertaining, informative and lively manner using whatever medium and format you wish as long as it can be stored for later review (e.g. a talk, short film, narration+visuals).

Each participant must also describe the progress of the project in a weekly blog post with particular emphasis on their contribution to the project. (What are you bringing to the group and how does it fit into the team’s work?) Discuss the details of the project and also the issues that arise in working collaboratively online. How easy is it meet up virtually and plan the project? What difficulties arise in development? How easy or difficult is communication? What particular problems arise and how do you deal with them? Focus on the experience rather than writing a ‘correct’ post or having an answer for every difficulty.

See page 6 Module assessment for assessment criteria applying to this project.

Important note: If you use images or sound be mindful of copyright, particularly as presentations will be posted to the module blog.

Presentations should be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes in duration.

Your presentation can be made in the DIT campus or any appropriate venue selected by the group. Presentation date is normal class time on Thursday 8th December.

Reading and watching list:

Fake It – to control your digital identity In a 2013 TEDx Oxford presentation Danish journalist Pernille Tranberg, who wrote the book Fake It – Your Guide to Digital Self-defense with the German journalist Steffan Heuer, explains what happens with your data, what it can cost you now and in years to come.

The Power of Privacy In this 2016 film by The Guardian, Aleks Krotoski travels the world to undergo challenges that explore our digital life in the 21st century. Watch her be stalked and hacked, fight to get leaked documents back, dive into open data and live in a futuristic home that monitors her every move.

Is someone watching you online? The security risks of the Internet of Things is outlined in this 2016 article from The Conversation by Patryk Szewczyk and Nikolai Hampton.

Who’s watching me on the internet? Technology Correspondent for the BBC, Rory Cellan-Jones writes about our digital footprint and explains data trails in iWonder 2016.

Mockumentary made by Limerick School of Art and Design students in 2014 on how NOT to do a group project. (Only to be used for light relief.)

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Group project: 21st Century workplace

March 10, 2016

future workplace

The project is to predict and describe the workplace in 2050. You will need to imagine how you will be working by the middle of the 21st Century. Will people still gather in physical offices or is it more likely that we will stay at home and work online? How will technological developments influence the way in which we work? What kinds of jobs will still need people to meet in a physical location?

Each team will be required to describe an imagined workplace in 2050 in a ten minute presentation in SL. The presentation should be supported with visuals as appropriate and each team member must present part of the project.

The presentation should also discuss the experience of the team members working collaboratively online. Describe the issues that arose during the preparation of the presentation: how easy it was to meet up online? what difficulties arose around clear communication and arriving at agreement? how did you plan? how did you resolve problems?

See page 6 Module assessment for assessment criteria applying to this project.

Project presentations will be made on Thursday 12th May 2016 at 8.00 pm.

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Group project: Building in SL

October 30, 2015

The project is to explore SL to find an interesting building. By ‘interesting’ we mean:

  1. the design (interior or exterior);
  2. the purpose (what use the building has been designed for);
  3. the actual use of the building (it may be that it ends up having a different use than the original purpose);
  4. the type of people who visit, own or use the building; etc etc.

For the project each pair of students will visit at least five possible buildings before selecting one to work with. The building must be open to the public (or, in the case of a private dwelling, permission should be sought from the owner) and freely accessible. The rationale for selection is to be developed and a presentation made to support your choice. The presentation should describe the building drawing attention to the key aspects that make it interesting. It should also describe the building in context:

  1. how it fits into the immediate environment;
  2. its fitness for purpose;
  3. the use to which it is being put;
  4. the origin of the building;
  5. how and why it was built;
  6. whether or not it is considered a success by its owner, builder, users, neighbours etc.

The presentation should also give the audience a flavour of the building.

The presentation can be made in or near the building or in any other appropriate venue selected by the group/pair. It should last between 5 and 10 minutes. Presentation date is normal class time on Thursday 10th December.

Each participant should also describe the progress of the project in a weekly blog post. Discuss the details of the project and also the issues that arise in working collaboratively online. How easy is it meet up virtually and plan the project? What difficulties arise in development? How easy or difficult is communication? What particular problems arise and how do you deal with them?

See page 6 Module assessment for assessment criteria applying to this project.

Important note: If you use images or sound be mindful of copyright, particularly as presentations will be posted to the module blog.

Central station, Amsterdam

Central station, Amsterdam

Mocha cathedral

Mocha cathedral

Falling Water

Falling Water

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Group Project: Going Global

February 12, 2015

Coined in the 1960s by Canadian intellectual Marshall McLuhan the term ‘global village‘ is becoming a reality in today’s society. This is seen in how news spreads, the connections people make, working patterns and day to day life – shopping, socialising, communicating etc. The world of online digital communication in the form of the web, social media, virtual worlds and so on is becoming an integral part of the professional experience. No longer restricted by physical geography professional collaboration crosses cultural boundaries and time zones. The ability to work effectively in this environment is essential for those joining the 21st Century workforce. Familiarity with the legal frameworks, social conventions and etiquette that frame this online environment is a prerequisite to success.

For the project each student group will explore this theme by identifying a cause or charity anywhere in the world, and taking it global. Use the social media platforms of your choice to raise the profile of your cause or charity beyond the local boundaries. Groups will present their projects on either 30th April class or 7th May class. The presentation will be in the form of a Pecha Kucha and will highlight your work, your group dynamic, and the impact; and describe the challenges encountered as you worked with the cause or charity. 20 images x 20 secs each.

For tips, examples and resources, see Catherine Cronin’s blog.

In summary: working in your group, design a campaign to manage your digital footprint; and at the same time work with your group to raise the profile of a cause or charity beyond local or geographical boundaries using social media and online platforms. At the end of the campaign, design a PK presentation to showcase all you did and your experience. Emphasis is on the experience rather than the result. But results will be noticed too.

Important note: If you use images or sound be mindful of copyright, particularly as presentations will be posted to the module blog.

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If you haven’t already done so, read this book.

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