Map My Device
The electronic devices we use every day for using and consuming media content are the products of labor that is often invisible or hidden. Working with a group, choose some obsolete (preferably) but interesting media device that you are willing to sacrifice and disassemble it. Learn everything you can about those parts and where they came from, and using some digital tools (Omeka and the Neatline plugin developed at UVA or something similar), tell the story of your device by creating an annotated map and timeline of the significant moments in your device’s history.
Completing this project successfully will involve
- Working well with your team
- Carefully and successfully deconstructing your media object
- Working competently with a digital archive tool (including ontology and presentation)
- Completing primary research into the manufacturing history of your device's pieces
Digital Project Components
A website. The core of this assignment will be a web-based archive telling the story of your chosen device. This archive may be built using some software called Omeka (that is, a subsite within a shared Omeka installation at maps.dgst101.net), or you may wish to use something else like Story Map JS or even ArcGIS.
Data. Omeka+Neatline allows you to create a bibliography-style record for storing metadata about archival items, including some information that locates an item in time and space. With these three pieces in place, Neatline will create a map/timeline hybrid interface. On this interface, you should aim to have at least 12 event-objects represented (about 3 per team member), including as much information as you can find about the location, at least a paragraph of text explaining the story around that particular component's creation event, and some discussion or citation verifying the accuracy of the information you're presenting in this record.
Presentation. At the conclusion of this assignment, each group will give a brief presentation of your findings to the class. (Please upload you presentation to our Slack channel.)
Reflection Report. Provide a short narrative describing how well your group worked together to accomplish your goals. (Please submit this via Canvas, here.)
Obtain a device. One team member may have a device they are willing to sacrifice, or you might need to do some shopping at Goodwill. Any electronic device capable of playing media of some sort is valid for this project. Make sure to take a nice photograph of it in its complete state.
Dissect that device. If you need tools and a place to work, try the ThinkLab! (NB: For some Nintendo devices, you'll need a special bit. I have a few you can borrow.) Initially, your team's goal should be to determine what the device's key components are. And again, document your progress photographically.
- Research those individual components. Divide and conquer!
- Add those components to your database. You're looking for at least 12 good component entries.
- Arrange the look and feel of your website so that it tells the story of your device.
Present your final site to the class. We'll use a modified Pecha Kucha format to get all presentations accomplished on the same day, March 30 or April 2:
- Use exactly 14 slides (including an intro slide with your device name and each of your names)
- Each slide must include at least one image, with sources, citations, or other documentation right on the slide.
- Time your presentation so that each slide lasts exactly 40 seconds.
- Structure your presentation to tell us the origin story of your device.
- The origin story of your device.
- What you learned about your device's components
- How you discovered these things and how you know that the information you found is correct
- How you used your website to convey that information
Friday, March 30:
- Group 1 (CD Player)
- Group 3 (Samsung Galaxy)
- Group 5 (Nintendo Wii)
Monday, April 2:
- Group 2 (iPod)
- Group 4 (Super Nintendo)
- Group 6 (Nook)