Digital Fieldwork 1

Creative Commons Licence Katharine Dwyer

Feb 5th 3-4pm GMT
Get tooled up to undertake some exploratory digital fieldwork.

Facilitators: Matt Lingard, David White

The Digital Fieldwork Activities

Below are a  number of experiential online digital activities which are designed to give you an insight into the pros and cons of some of the more ‘open’ forms of digital practice. It’s best to think of these activities as a form of online fieldwork you will be reporting back on. Just pick one of the activities and play with it over the next few weeks (feel free to make it work for you). Most of the activities are designed to be undertaken for a few minutes each day or every so often.  Pick an activity that makes you a little anxious (in a good way) but don’t push it too far if you aren’t happy.

Reporting back could be as simple as a couple of sentences and maybe a link in the comments on this page or you might want to write something longer and link to it from a comment (you could also post on the #teachcomUAL if that seem appropriate).

Part of the value of the Digital Fieldwork is in sharing your thoughts and reflections.  We will be reviewing the activities and your experiences in the next Digital Fieldwork session on the 26th Feb.

2min intro to Digital Fieldwork Activities

Reflecting on the process is as important as reporting on what you achieved (or didn’t achieve). Do take note of how the activity made you feel in terms of your learning, and your identity (individual and/or group). Consider how your students might respond to these activities and what learning or ‘becoming’ might result from taking part.


1. Appear online (easy-ish)

If you don’t have any kind of online presence then now is your chance to get started in a thoughtful way. Review the options (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogging etc) and start up a profile. Be aware of how the process makes you feel and the basis (pragmatic and emotional) for your choices. It’s worth noting that students have to go through a similar process when deciding how to appear as a proto-professional in their discipline area.

Aspects to consider:

  1. Will this be a personal, professional or a hybrid profile?
  2. How will you decide which online space is best for you?
  3. Who are you trying to connect with and on what basis?
  4. Where are you going to post your thoughts on the process?

Intro for activities two and three

2. Make, curate and share (easy-ish)

Create a short series of artifacts which explore the idea of ‘digital craft’ (see “Magic box: craft and the computer‘ from David Crow). These could be ‘born digital’ artifacts, analogue artifacts which have been captured to share digitally or hybrid artifacts which cross the digital/analogue boundary. They might explore a theme or tell a story.

Curate your artifacts in an open digital space (for example, Instagram, a blog, Padlet, Flickr etc) with appropriate commentary then see if you can get people to engage with the work. – Post a link to your work into the comments below.

Aspects to consider:

  1. What artifacts are you going to create and how do they explore the ides of digital craft?
  2. Where are you going to curate your artifacts openly online?
  3. How can you promote the work online?

3. Contribute to discourse/knowledge

A: Get involved in a ‘public’ dialogue and capture the process. This could be commenting on lively blog posts, contributing to a Twitter hashtag discussion (a bit tricky) (e.g. https://lthechat.com/ or https://tillison.co.uk/blog/complete-twitter-chat-hours-directory/ for a range (check the chats are still current))

B: …or journalistic sites such as the comments in an online newspaper. (easy-ish)

C: …or create or edit a Wikipedia article or articles and document the process.(link to getting started in wikipedia material: http://www.artandfeminism.org/editing-kit/) (quite difficult)

Aspects to consider:

  1. How will you capture the process?
  2. Do you want to post as yourself or under an alias?
  3. Where are you going to post your thoughts on the process? (could be in the comments below)

    Intro to activities four, five and six

4. Try on a new identity

Create an ‘alternate’ identity in a Social Media platform and post/engage via this identity for a week or more. Capture the process and your reflections on the process. (technically quite easy if you have a spare/alternate email address)

Aspects to consider:

  1. What platform(s) will this work well in?
  2. How will you capture the process?
  3. How often will you post/engage to make this process meaningful?
  4. Where are you going to post your thoughts on the process? (could be in the comments below)

5. Fake-out a Social Media platform

Social Media platforms such as Facebook are based on gathering and trading data. They want to connect you to people/products/companies/ideas which you are likely to engage with. One way to make this process more visible is to create an alternate profile which is very different to your ‘real’ persona and see what the Social Media platform throws at you. For example, a colleague has a set up a profile of a 109 year old woman (who is now 117) in Facebook. (technically quite easy if you have a spare/alternate email address)

Aspects to consider:

  1. What platform(s) will this work well in?
  2. How will you capture the process?
  3. How often are you going to engage in this between now and reporting back?
  4. Where are you going to post your thoughts on the process? (could be in the comments below)

6. Expand your horizons

Actively follow and engage with individuals or groups in Social Media that you would not normally connect with. This is likely to be people from different fields of study or with differing interests, perspectives or politics. Capture the process and your reflections on the process.(technically quite easy if you already use social media – you might want to combine this with ‘Try on an new identity’ to keep your ‘real’ digital profile tidy)

Aspects to consider

  1. Will you use an existing profile, or create a new one?
  2. What platform(s) will this work well in?
  3. How will you capture the process?
  4. How often are you going to engage with this to get the most out of it?
  5. Where are you going to post your thoughts on the process? (could be in the comments below)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.