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Our New Class Plan

COVID-19 and moving online

The anxiety regarding the COVID-19 spread is palpable now, but I don’t want you to be worrying too much about your schoolwork on top of the other concerns we are all facing.  Instead, we should take sensible precautions and do our best to move forward with flexibility and compassion.  I am very pleased that Kean University chose to do the right thing in terms of our public health and safety.  By taking our work online together and connecting through digital tools, hopefully, we can get ahead of this pandemic a bit, and we can preserve our resources for those who need it the most.  Alan and I here to support you, however we can. 

A couple of things I want to say first and foremost:

Take care of yourself and your family first. Our class should not be your priority. Everything about this class is flexible. Whatever happens, we will work it out. I think it important to acknowledge that as we are all struggling to cope with the unknown, and as we make new decisions about our daily lives and daily responsibilities, we must be patient and compassionate with each other.  

Although you have heard it before via email, I will say it again…..

I ask of all of you a few things:

1. Please be sure to communicate with Alan & I and your peers in order to address any confusion, as well as preserve our sense of community and support.  

2.  Please be patient, and understand that all your Kean instructors are acclimating just as you are and that there will be bumps in the road as we all settle into this new reality.  We do not know how long we will be working together solely online, but it will be at least until March 30th.

3.  Please be there for each other.  You are a wonderful group of students who have forged understanding on your own terms.  Take the initiative to actively care for each other – so keep in touch even if you are not able to converge in the same room.  Remember, we have our hashtag #netnarr -use it to stay connected!!   

We will also be starting a SLACK channel for your asynchronous chatter – if you can’t use your real office (CAS 314) for a while, then this will be your virtual office to gather, collaborate, and just check in with each other.  Stay tuned for Alan’s next post, which will include instructions on how to get into your SLACK office.

4. Please remember to practice self-care: sleep, nutrition, healthy conversations and reflective time, etc.  And if you feel isolated or feel like cabin fever is setting in, take a walk, go for a bike ride, stretch and move around, etc.  

Our class plan for Thursday, March 19th:

  1. Please read Shosanna Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism:  The Fight For a Human Future at the Frontier of Power (Introduction, Chp. 1: “Home in Exile” & Chapter 2: August 9, 2011 “Setting the Stage for Surveillance Capitalism”). Patricia will lead us through a synthesis of this material on screen.
  2. Blog your reflections on this Zuboff’s writing.
  3. We will be conducting class by google+ video conference. Please plan to be online for class from 4:30 pm – 7:15 pm (our normal class time).   **Please note, we will send an email to everyone’s Kean email account just before class time with the link to join the video conference.
  4. Our “Part 2” of our class time together will consist of watching the “Screening Surveillance” film short called Frames. We will also have our first “speculative fiction response workshop” in order to map the plot of this short film story and think about how the outcome of this narrative might have unfolded in different ways.

Looking forward to class on Thursday as always. This time on screen, but much the same!

Sincerely,

Dr. Zamora

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