Digital Essays

These essays are to be posted to WordPress by the deadline listed in the course schedule. For advice on how to use WordPress see this page.

During the semester you will post to three digital essays to the collaborative course blog responding to a prompt (listed below) on the course material from the three main sections of the course: History, Social Justice Design, and Specialized Topics. These are digital essays, thus you are expected to make use of the unique potential of digital texts, including hyperlinking to or embedding images, websites, and videos that relate to the materials and your analysis. You should make sure to explain in your post what that visual cultural production is, who produced it (proper citations, remember?), and how it relates to the prompt and the rest of your post. In other words, integrate that visual cultural production into your post and analyze it, the same way you would cite and analyze a sentence from a scholarly article.

In your essays, you are not simply summarizing the course readings; you should critically analyze them. Make note of both what authors are arguing and how they are making their points. Consider how they are useful and what their limitations might be. You also must ensure that you answer all aspects of the writing prompt (below). These will be graded for attentiveness to assignment instructions and requirements, clarity, grammar, and use of course materials. You are required to submit your essay by the deadline listed below. You are required to properly cite the literature you use in your blog posts and include a bibliography at the end using APA style ( For more instruction on citation see this page.

Note: this blog is public (though I will moderate comments) and will continue to exist after this class is over (though, once grades are finalized you are able to edit or remove your posts). Do not post any personal information, language, photos, or other materials you do not want employers (current or future), friends, family, professors, and acquaintances to associate with you. You are not required to post using your legal name, as long as you send me your selected user name separately so that I may give you credit for your work.

Instructions for blog comments are here.

Essay 1: Mobile and AR History (10% of grade)

Using the collaborative timeline in the Google Doc produced in class on 1/29 (linked below) construct a brief history of mobile technologies that culminates in explaining the appeal of Augmented Reality technology. In doing so, relate the history you construct to the Liao and Humphreys reading from January 28th. In the process, be sure to explain the authors’ arguments about Augmented Reality in your own words. Follow all instructions above for digital essays. This essay, not counting works cited, must be a minimum of 800 words. When you post this assignment to the blog, change the category of your post to: Digital Essay 1.

Link to collaborative timeline:

Essay 2: Social Justice Application/Technology Review (5% of grade)

Find an application or technology designed for social justice (you can choose from the list we discussed on 2/4). Explain what the app is and what social justice issue it addresses. Using the Light and Luckin reading, discuss how successfully you think the app address its social justice issue. In addition using readings from 2/18 and 2/25 (at least one from each course day), briefly discuss any privacy or accessibility concerns in the design of the app. This should be a minimum of 500 words, include APA citations, and posted to the WordPress. Categorize the post as Digital Essay 2.

Essay 3: Politics/Gaming Essay (10% of grade)

Discuss how mobile technologies have shaped politics or gaming. In doing so, explain the arguments of at least two authors from 3/25 (if you choose politics) or 4/1 (if you choose gaming) in your own words and make connections between them (either explain how their arguments are similar or different). Follow all instructions above for digital essays. This essay, not counting works cited, must be a minimum of 800 words. When you post this assignment to the blog, change the category of your post to Digital Essay 3.

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