Thursday, March 29, 2018

How (Not) To Argue on the Internet: Sample Online Assignments

“If you have to insist 
that you've won an internet argument, 
you've probably lost badly."

Danth's Law

Twitter Assignment

This week we finish our section in Intersex and Science, reading selections from Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite. As discussed in class, the book uses a lot of imaginative imagery and metaphors. This visual style of writing has its benefits and difficulties, but is especially well suited to reading in a digital world. Twitter likewise depends on images, gifs, and other visuals.

For your weekly post, you will be posting a string of 5-7 tweets based on the information and ideas of one of the chapters. Each tweet should include an appropriate image. DO NOT simply copy and paste whole paragraphs. Rather, your posts should follow an arc:
introducing the idea in your own words (with image),
offering quotes (with image and citation),
close-read the quotation to unpack the many hidden or metaphoric meanings (with image)
sharing personal reactions (with image),
concluding by talking about the social implications (with image).

Throughout each tweet, use the hash-tags:


Additionally, you must respond to at least one other student's tweet.

Finally, copy and paste your tweets into Canvas as a response. The reason for this is to make sure we have a back-up record of your post just in case a Tweet gets lost or problems arise. No need to include images.


Podcast Assignment

This Wednesday's class will be another online class! Combining the Canvas post (2 points) and the participation for the day (1 point), you will all be creating a "script" for an imaginary podcast episode on misconceptions and problems in how people connect transgender and mental illness, responding to the book Last Time I Wore a Dress --- you only need to have read the prologue and first few chapters in the first PDF but may read the other PDF if you are interested.

The discussion thread will be "the Beyond Male and Female podcast." Each of you will be guest speakers on this discussion thread, although the first person(s) who posts should take on the persona of host/s and give a cute/funny introductory sentence or two. Everyone else should introduce themselves when you add your entry (e.g. "Hey, this is Susan here. I had a though about that..." Every entry should be written as though it was being spoken into a mic.

You are required to post two (2) entries.
One short (one paragraph) entry in that cites Scholinski's book, The Last Time I Wore a Dress.
One regular (two paragraph) entry that adds new information to the conversation which cites outside research from Case Western Reserve University's online library database.

Try to write your responses in ways that responds to the last person(s) as though you are all being broadcast together in one big conversation. Consider using the "yes, however," or "yes, and furthermore..." tactic of responding to another person but also offering your own thoughts.


Tumblr Assignment

This week, we discussed Leelah Alcorns life and death as recorded on her Tumblr, Transgender Queen of Hell. In class on Wednesday, we selected images from her blog and close-read them as representative of her mentality, social and digital contexts, as well as what kept her going and what ultimately failed her.

For this week's post, you will select two of the images from the PDF that were not discussed in class to produce paragraph length close-readings. Screen shots will be useful to help readers see the image you are describing and interpreting.


Youtube Assignment

This week we read and discussed Animorphs #3, reading Tobias the Hawk as metaphorical representative of transgender youth. For Post 7, you will not be posting to Youtube but should write your post as though you are a Youtuber/Vlogger doing a Review of Animorphs #3. Open with a fun title for your channel/video and write in the voice of someone speaking to a camera. Your review should focus on how Animorphs #3 could be used to discuss transgender issues with young people. Focus on one particular element: dysphoria, depression, isolation, being an ally, activism to save other marginalized people, privileges in relation to gender presentation or transition, drag, etc.


#Hashtag Assignment

Over the seminar, we have explored different elements of online life via themes, projects, and methods. In particular, we have learned the value of being pithy in social media, such as through the invention and use of hashtags.

As this is the final Canvas post, to bring the seminar to a close you will write three hashtags of your own (with explanations) based on specific days' discussion over the semester. These hashtags will be due on Monday and discussed as part of our final reflection.

I look forward to reading and discussing your hashtags in class on Monday!

Best wishes,

Dr. B

The format of your three hashtags may be a bit longer than usual hashtags (try to avoid just single words) although they are likely to be just a single sentence.

Hashtags 1-3:

"Write your #Hashtag in bold as a sentence that summarizes some lesson, motto, or rule." #LikeThis

Explanation 1-3:

Under the #hashtag, write in italics a description of what specific day of the seminar this precept reflects or derives from in some way. Name the assigned reading for the day, even if it is incidental to the overall lesson. Mention how this lesson stuck out to you personally as one of your top 3 take-away concepts. If your hashtag is more general, one that covers a whole section or a specific assignment, locate a day that represents this lesson for you. Try to give a medium sized paragraph of at least 5 sentences.



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