Digi Notes - September 2018

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

Defend Puerto Rico Exhibit at CCCADI

Photo: Ford Foundation

Photo: Ford Foundation

This summer, an exhibit at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), called Defend Puerto Rico, highlighted emerging media works from artists from across the Puerto Rican diaspora. 

Out of necessity and frustration, the artists—who came from New York, California, and Florida, among other places—decided to travel to the island together, where they formed the Defend Puerto Rico Project (DefendPR), a transmedia collective with a mission to diversify, complicate, and enrich coverage of the Puerto Rican diasporic experience. Over the course of six trips together, DefendPR created a body of new work that took advantage of traditional and emerging media formats and technologies—like 360° video and augmented reality experiences—to illustrate experiences of Puerto Ricans across the diaspora.

Examples of their work can be found on the #DefendPR website, including this 360 video of a song performed in a gallery. If you click on the video you can drag the camera around to see the different performers. 

Can you think of a way we might use 360 video or other new forms of media to add to the #DefendPR campaign or tell the story of our community? Are there ways you could use the media on the #DefendPR website to inspire your students about what they might want to defend or protect? 

Votive Objects and the Everyday - The Lab for Teen Thinkers @ Bard Graduate Center

I found out about The Lab for Teen Thinkers summer project from DreamYard Teaching Artist alum - Carla Repice. She has been developing programs at the Bard Graduate Center and this one is a great example of a project that uses both physical objects and digital media. (Check out the photos on their website and you may see some other DY teaching alum!)

From Carla's Facebook post about the project: 

In July, my teens at Bard Graduate Center chose a votive object from their everyday life to research. They wrote academic essays, created poetry and podcasts, and the stories about these objects take us from a rosary inside a desk drawer to a Siberian labor camp; we learn about migration and family separation, memories of childhood, and how religious objects become decorative. The power of objects is real.

This is a wonderful example of a project that is well-documented digitally. For each "votive" object the participants explored, there are images taken both in a studio and in the object's original context, as well as a short podcast interview about the significance of the object. All the documentation is then pulled together into a simple website where you can see the artist's information and browse the work easily.  

How would you like to see our young people's artwork and stories documented digitally? We've used tumblr over the past few years to build simple websites like these. Let me know if you are interested in documenting your students' work to create an online gallery!

Good Stories

Indigenous peoples are decolonizing virtual worlds - High Country News

“Hunter of the Altered Game” by Ray Caplin, 2015 - Courtesy of AbTec’s Illustrating the Future Imaginary project

“Hunter of the Altered Game” by Ray Caplin, 2015 - Courtesy of AbTec’s Illustrating the Future Imaginary project

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Digitally Engaged Learning conference in Toronto, Ontario. One of the most inspiring aspects of the conference was the centering of indigenous cultures and ways of knowing. The opening keynote was presented by Skawennati and Jason Edward Lewis who lead Aboriginal Terrorities in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and its Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Skawennati and Lewis both make art, run workshops, and archive indigenous contemporary artwork online in an effort to develop "multiple visions of Indigenous peoples tomorrow in order to better understand where we need to go today."

Here is an article that explains how Skawennati and Lewis are working to increase participation by and representation of indigenous peoples in the digital realm, including in video games, virtual worlds, and digital art. 


Broken Nerd - 3D Printing Props and Cosplay

I recently came across the YouTube channel of The Broken Nerd. Also known as Darrell, he creates amazing replications of superhero props like lightsabers from Star Wars or a sai from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sharing his video might be a fun way to show young people the possibilities with 3D printing if they are into cosplay or superhero movies. He makes it look easy - but I'm sure it's not! 

Against the Clock - Fact Mag

Against the Clock is a fun web series showcasing beat makers at work. Each artist is given 10 minutes to make a beat live in front of the camera. It's super fun to watch them layer sounds using different kinds of technology to create harmonies and textures. These videos are a great way to show students how artists use technology in different ways to create the sounds they want to share with the world. 

You can access the videos here: http://www.factmag.com/category/facttv/against-the-clock/