Digi Notes - March 2017

Digi Notes is a monthly digital learning newsletter put together by our Director of Digital Learning, Hillary Kolos. Each Digi Notes offers examples of digital learning-focused program examples, articles, and resources.

IRL (in real life) Examples:

Maker @ DreamYard Prep

A quick shout-out to the Maker classes at DreamYard Prep who hosted an impressive sharing a few weeks ago! The students (as well as their teachers and teaching artist, Dan Schermele) took it to the next level with projects that included interactive musical instrument and prototypes for re-envisioned public spaces across the Bronx.

Congratulations DYP Makers!!

How Augmented Reality Is Fighting Cultural Erasure in East Harlem - Creators

Still of Mi Querido Barrio Augmented Reality tour (credit: Beverly Bryan, Creators)

Still of Mi Querido Barrio Augmented Reality tour (credit: Beverly Bryan, Creators)

Check out this article on an augment reality tour - called Mi Querido Barrio (My Beloved Community) - in East Harlem that helps residents and visitors learn about the art and culture of the neighborhood - particularly aspects that are now gone because of cultural erasure. Augmented reality is a kind of technology that allows you to enhance a real-world experience by adding layers of media (images, videos, etc). In this case, people can use their mobile devices to take a picture of a place in El Barrio and then view and listen to media related to its history.

Culture and history are vital, though often invisible, parts of any community, but the Mi Querido Barrio (My Beloved Community) augmented reality tour, presented by New York City's Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), showcases the many different ways AR can make visible the unseen.

The art project uses a mobile app called Blippar which can be used to trigger an image, video or web link to pop up when someone takes a picture of a specific place or image. As you go on the tour, it's not just a passive experience. The project also includes interactive elements that allow tour goers to submit their thoughts:

Markers launch pop-ups that ask questions about users’ own experiences with loss and allows them to submit responses. The brochure reads, “In times when the deaths of black people have become a spectacle in the digital era, [Nine Nights] utilizes augmented reality to provide the viewers with a more private and intimate space to mourn.”

You can find out more about how to take the tour yourself here.

The Digital Culture Shift: From Scale to Power, report from Center for Media Justice

Last year, The Center for Media Justice released a powerful report called The Digital Culture Shift: From Scale to Power, How the Internet Shapes Social Change and How Social Change Is Shaping the Internet. The report is based off interviews with over 20 movement leaders from a range of organizations. It outlines the opportunities of our current age:

As Black communities rise up to resist systemic violence of brutal policing, we must also address the crisis of misrepresentation. The good news is that in a digital age, there exists an opportunity to use technology to disrupt concentrations of racial and economic power that shape public narratives. Missing that opportunity could cement these hierarchies of power and privilege for generations to come.

The report also asks questions about how technology can resist or exacerbate current inequality - or do both at the same time:

More than ever before, social movements in the digital age are using technology to achieve greater scale and impact. But, is the Internet building power for social change? Or helping maintain the status quo?

Several findings are included in the report that make it clear we cannot leave the "battle for digital rights" to the side. We must add it to the already long list of battles we currently fight together:

A clear theme emerged throughout these interviews: Battles for digital rights and access are certainly important, but often feel secondary to what are typically perceived as more pressing social movements such as immigrant rights and racial justice. Most people acknowledge that this is a flawed way of looking at things, and 98 percent of respondents ultimately suggested that social justice movements need a both/and approach — one that builds momentum through online organizing around distinct social justice campaigns, while at the same time connecting that tactical work to the broader fights for universal Internet access and fair public protections online.

You can download a PDF of the report directly here.

Good Stories:

Ten Tech Issues That Will Impact Social Justice in 2017 - Ford Foundation

(Credit: Ford Foundation)

(Credit: Ford Foundation)

Ford Foundation Tech Fellow, Wilneida Negrón, writes in this blog post about some of the bigger issues impacting communities, governments, and individuals in the coming year. Sometimes we glaze over when we see words like "algorithm", "surveillance", and "regulation" - but these ten tech issues affect everyone, especially marginalized communities. Whether it's how we communicate and share ideas online, what laws keep business from controlling our data or online access, or what information the government can gather about us via our phones - take a few minutes to brief yourself on these pressing issues.

Why the Internet Didn’t Kill Zines - NYTimes Magazine

(Credit: Marenforme.com, 3 Dot Zine by Devin Morris)

(Credit: Marenforme.com, 3 Dot Zine by Devin Morris)

 As a child of the 80's/90's, I grew up a fan of DIY publications called "zines" which are basically home-made magazines. Usually, they were made after-hours at copy shops (anyone remember Kinko's??), but now zines have a whole new life on the internet. The movement to create online/offline zines is especially taking off with young women of color. This article by Jenna Wortham (check out her podcast Still Processing too!) shares how young people online are using zines to create a space for interaction, inspiration, and to break free from the constraints of sharing your thoughts or images on popular platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

W.E.B. Du Bois: Author, activist, sociologist... and infographic designer?

(Credit: Fast Co. Design)

(Credit: Fast Co. Design)

Yes! Among many, many other talents, did you know that W.E.B. Du Bois hand-drew amazing infographics to visualize his research on African-American life? Who needs Photoshop anyway?


New Facebook Feature: Town Hall

FB TownHall

I know, I know... Facebook is the worst sometimes. But if (like me) you use it to keep on top of the latest news or cat GIFs - you might be interested in a new feature called: Town Hall. If you hand over your address, Facebook will now tell you who all your representatives are at the city, state, and federal levels. This makes it easier to follow what your reps are up to and to reach out to them to give them a piece of your mind. More details on accessing this new feature are in this article.

Online Self Defense Course - Lebanon Public Library, NH

This one comes from our friend Chrystian Rodriguez over at Hive NYC. Check out the link and description below to learn more about a free and simple online digital privacy class from a library in New Hampshire:

I'd like to pass along a helpful and in-depth guide developed by the Lebanon Public Library in New Hampshire. The Online Self Defense Course aids the development of best practices for online privacy through analysis and action steps.

Our online self-defense course is designed to teach online security to everyday users.  It starts with basics like anti-virus and good passwords and progresses all the way to using the TOR browser.  We are currently working on getting all of the information from our classes online.

The course is organized as degrees of martial arts belts, that would advance readers to be a black belt, ready to support others in protecting themselves from surveillance and data theft.

- White Belt - Online Self Defense: Basics of Protecting Yourself
- Yellow Belt - Online Self Defense: Safer Web Browsing
- Green Belt - Defeating Online Surveillance
- Brown Belt - Encryption & Pass Keys
- Black Belt - Threat Modeling & Segregating Online Identities

A Seat at the Table Syllabus - Elle.com Scholars

(Credit: Elle.com)

(Credit: Elle.com)

Last but DEFINITELY not least, is an amazing digital resource - the A Seat at the Table Syllabus. This digital magazine was put together by scholars at Elle.com to accompany the brilliance that is Solange's latest album, A Seat at the Table. The creators pulled together lyrics, images, interviews, and reading lists to bring the album to life. Check it out, share it with your friends, nieces and nephews, and dream up what kinds of syllabi we can collaborate on here at DY in the future.