Kairos 17.3

Homepage Textual Description

Between the main paragraphs on this page lies a stylized board game path, repeating the colors gray, red, brown, and green. Each square in the path has a word or picture inside. They are: Start, an ear, an eye, a brain, an open mouth, a nose, a hand pointing a finger, and Finish. The board game path is wrapped around a pair of black dice showing sixes up and threes on the side, as well as two playing cards, a jack and an ace.

Infographic Syllabus

The syllabus is divided into four quadrants: Reading, Learning, Writing, and Making. The top left quadrant, Reading, shows an open book divided into sections labelled with author last names. The total reading is 284 pages. The top right quadrant, Learning, lists the Course Strands in a series of connected circles: research, arrangement and argumentation, collaboration, documentation and mechanics, copyright, play, digital literacy. The bottom right quadrant, Writing, says "about 25–30 pages of text (relax ... it won't be all at once). The writing assignments include: learning record part A, unit 1, unit 2, learning record parts B1 & C1, unit 3, and learning record parts B2 & C2. The bottom left quadrant, Making, shows a puzzle piece for unit 1: an alternate reality game. It shows a small stylized infographic for unit 2: an infographic, and it shows several objects clustered around a question mark, including a computer, a camera, a cell phone, and headphones for unit 3: a digital argument. Centered between the quadrants is the title "Writing in Digital Environments" in stylized text with objects clustered around the edges: a CD, a computer, a cell phone, a camera, headphones, a Nintendo controller, an old tv, a camcorder, an iPhone, and a joystick.

Interactive Course Syllabus

The course syllabus is made up of color-contrasting concentric circles. The colors repeat: navy, blue, olive, green, and dust yellow. Around the top right of the circles, the course strands are listed: digital literacy, research, arrangement and argumentation, collaboration, documentation and mechanics, copyright, and play. Users can roll over each circle to see the assignments for the week.

Each week's assignment is as follows:

Week Assignments
Week 1:
  • Class Introduction/Learning Record Online introduction
  • Post first observation to your Learning Record
  • Post questions about LR on main wiki page
  • Read excerpt from Plato’s Phaedrus, Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Massage”
Week 2:
  • Questions regarding LRO Part A due
  • Battle Lines study information
  • Play Battle Lines
  • Read Barthes’ “Rhetoric of the Image” & Ehses’ “Representing Macbeth . . .”
Week 3:
  • Play Battle Lines
  • Read Lanham’s “The Implication . . .”
Week 5:
  • Play Battle Lines
Week 6:
  • Play Battle Lines
  • Read McCloud’s Chs. 2 & 3.
Week 7:
  • Sketchnotes/Research
  • Read Kress & Van Leeuwen “Colour . . .”
  • Copyright discussion
  • Watch Lessig video, take sketchnotes
Week 8:
  • Sketchnotes to infographics
  • Read Bernhardt’s “Seeing the Text” & Solomon’s “The Power of Punctuation”
  • Logics of text/Logics of images
  • Rough sketch of image due
Week 9:
  • Spring Break
  • Due Sunday, 3/18: Unit 1
Week 10:
  • Discuss Unit 2
  • Creative Commons resources
  • Due Sunday, 3/25: Parts B1 & C1 of LR
Week 11:
  • Audacity discussion
  • Workshop
  • Read Bogost, “The Rhetoric of Video Games” & Gee’s “Learning & Games”
Week 12:
  • Discussion of video games
  • Read Manovich’s “The Language of Cultural Interfaces”
  • Choosing a venue/interface logics
  • Read Fogg’s “Persuasive Technology”
Week 13:
  • Workshop projects
  • Project proposals due
Week 14:
  • Workshop projects
  • Draft of project due (e.g., storyboard, textual description, mock-up, etc.)
Week 15: Workshop projects
Week 16:
  • Workshop projects
  • Unit 2 Due; Final LRO Questions
Week 17: No Class (Finals)
Week 18: Final Learning Record Part B2 & C2 due

Interactive UT Map

This image appears on the right side of the screen and is a map of an area of the UT campus with some buildings missing from the map. On the left side of the screen, these missing buildings appear under the various headings describing the game's narrative. When users drag and drop each image on the left to its correct location on the map to the right, the page redirects to a description of the clue that corresponds with that section of the narrative.

Fake Email Received by Students

This is relatively simple image of a Gmail inbox. It has some read and some unread emails.

Hacked Friends of Texas Page

This screenshot of a webpage shows a letter written from a graduate student named Amanda. The webpage's banner indicates that it has some affiliation with the Friends of Texas. Amanda's letter suggests that the readers should somehow make use of the symbols pictured at the bottom of the page to move to the next clue in the Battle Lines game.

Amanda's First Tweet

This image shows a tweet from @amananadaTX, or the graduate student Amanda. The words are a puzzle and include extra letters and numbers in a basic message, which reads "Sort the Sense From the Nonsense" once those letters are removed. Amanda uses a Battle Lines hashtag. The tweet has been retweeted three times and marked as a favorite by two people.

Hints Given Via Tweets

Here, one can see a variety of tweets from Amanda that helped the students move forward in game play. The first tweet reads "Michael sure got mad when I misrepresented Ferguson, huh? I tried a better paraphrase in my response." The second and third tweets have extra numbers and letters added to the words. After removing the extra numbers and letters, the tweets say "Three friends. Three fragments. Three fixes."

Janis Joplin -- Cass Gilbert Poster

This poster image shows a photograph of Cass Gilbert and another of Janis Joplin wearing sunglasses. There are QR codes overlain on the sunglasses. The poster headline reads "Janis Joplin with Special Guest Cass Gilbert." There are also a variety of University of Texas buildings pictured, with some of them having been stretched and manipulated to fill the poster space.

A Message Leading Students to the Capitol Library

This is another image of the hacked website used by Amanda. The banner indicates that the website is associated with the Friends of Texas. The message appearing on it congratulates students for their hard work and suggests that they visit the library at the Texas Capitol building. There is a Twitter feed appearing in the right sidebar.

Student collage

This image contrasts an area high up on a cliff and an area at the bottom of the cliff. At the bottom of the cliff are crowds of people who appear similar to paper cutouts. The people are all different colors and are grouped by color. There is a stack of books next to the cliff which people are climbing. At the top of the cliff there are a very few people who appear to have climbed successfully and who are mostly of the same color. At the top of the cliff you can also see a building that looks like the US or Texas Capitol building.

Student collage

This collage shows an image of a man asking "what's democracy?" with a young woman responding that "democracy is the freedom to elect our own dictators." A variety of other images accentuate the collage: an American flag, a sign saying "VOTE," a picture of Barack Obama with "Progress" written below it, and a road sign that shows the intersection of Church St. and State St.

Student collage

This image shows crowds of people, some protesting, some in a classroom, some relaxing on a university campus. It also includes a photograph of a ballot with a pen putting an x in one of the squares, as well as the facade of what looks like a university building, a line drawing of a ballot box, and a stack of books.

Student collage

In this image, the word "Democracy" is repeated four times in the background, from the top of the image to the bottom of the image. Overlain on the words is an image that resembles a flower or a rose window, with each petal a different color. At the bottom of the image, there is a stack of books, and crowd of people, a sign that says "This is What Democracy Looks Like", a line drawing of a monster, and a man using a jeweler's eyepiece.

Instructions for the Declamation

This is another image of Amanda's hacked webpage. It is affiliated with the Friends of Texas and has a Twitter feed in the right sidebar. There is a letter that congratulates the viewer on his or her progress and directs the reader to the next level. It also gives a due date for completion of the next level.

One of the Student Declamations

This video begins with electronic music and images of public schools. Then, there is a nuclear explosion on screen and the sounds of an explosion. What follows is a quick montage of sad people. The text on screen indicates that we need to invest in the economy in order to have a better economic future. The rest of the video switches between text on screen that changes colors quickly, and images of students, teachers, and related materials that cycle through quickly. The text argues that we need to give better rewards to good teachers, fire bad teachers, allow teachers more flexibility, and limit the government's role in education.

Podcast Image

This black-and-white line drawing depicts a longhorn bull approaching a phonograph. the bull has long horns and its neck is outstretched toward the phonograph so that its nose is almost touching the phonograph horn. There are small tufts of grass underneath the bull's hooves.

Video: “The Good, the Bad, and the Friendly”

This video opens on a woman—presumably Amanda—staring at a plaque honoring William Battle. A man, James, enters and tries to approach her, but she runs off before he can make contact. Amanda has dropped a letter on the ground. There is a voiceover of the letter, which compliments the Friends of Texas and indicates that Amanda will be leaving forever. It ends with a vehement "paraphrase this!" When James looks up, there is a man in a Texas orange shirt and a cowboy hat standing in the doorway. The man flips a coin, nods, and walks out the door. Text on screen thanks players for participating.

Student Collage Made for Level 3

This collage includes cartoons and photographs to make an argument entitled "Democracy and Equality." Various images suggest that there is "right way" and "wrong way" to educate and point to arguments about the cost and purposes of education, the benefits of education to society, and methods for achieving social equality through education.

Screenshot From a Student's Declamation Blog

This screenshot of a student's blog shows three posts that the student has made: one about the Battle/Ferguson controversy, one about Rick Perry's argument for $10,000 college degrees, and one about an NPR broadcast on the cost of college. The blog's title is "Empower the Students," and the blog theme makes it appear that the posts are written on notebook paper.