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Looking closely into the Net Mirror

This week we had a great (virtual) class and I can feel the intellectual and creative energy that you all are contributing. I can’t believe we are nearing the end of the semester, and despite the fact that this has been an extraordinarily difficult time, I am starting to realize how much I will miss our weekly connections once the semester comes to a close. But we still have about 3 weeks in which to savor our learning together, and of course, the learning doesn’t end just because the Spring semester is winding down.

Kean University Research Days 2020

As you all know, we were originally slated to design and host an interactive outreach installation at the Kean University Research Days forum on campus. This campus-wide event was obviously canceled due to our quarantine, but at least we were able to summarize our advocacy work with a brief Net Mirror data literacy advocacy video shared here:

Your Final Project

These final three weeks of class will be devoted to developing a “story treatment” and a “story concept” for the final Net Mirror story collection.

We have discussed that the reason why “Screening Surveillance” and “Black Mirror” are so compelling. They often build upon our existing anxieties about technology and push them just a step farther.  In Net Mirror, we take a final turn now to speculative fiction(s) to help synthesize our concerns/wisdom/fears regarding our relationship with technology. We will think through the possible consequences of new technology by creating a collection of stories that push are imagination one step further.

This week we shared with you the first step in this work, by prompting you to create a story treatment. We want you all to brainstorm a near future data surveillance technology based on a present-day experience of your own choice. It should be close enough that it seems like a plausible future. What are the potential social implications and/or ethical issues and/or regulatory challenges with this technology? What are the potential social implications and/or ethical issues and/or regulatory challenges with this technology?

Your to-do list:

When you browse and surf in current streaming services like Netflix, you can check out content by reading a brief “cover page” synopsis of the viewing selection. We invite you now to create a story treatment for our forthcoming Net Mirror Story Collection. In creating your story treatment this week, we have a template for you to work with. Use a blank slide in this presentation (or duplicate an existing one) to create the information for your own Net Mirror episode. Include an image, a title, a plot synopsis, and credit. 

Your blog for this week should include your story treatment (screenshot, embed, or link) and also share a reflection on your initial thoughts regarding the direction(s) your story might go. Next week we will explore our story concepts together in an open writer’s workshop, and also explore a bit of media making by creating some gif files together.

As always, stay safe, and take care,

Dr. Zamora

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