This is the general structure and shape of the open Networked Narratives course that ran from January-May 2017.

Kean University Digital Storytelling poster

This open, experimental (and likely a bit weird course) is based on a Digital Storytelling graduate and undergraduate course being taught Spring 2017 at Kean University by Dr. Mia Zamora (in person) and Alan Levine (via the ethers).

As a Connected Course we invite anyone else interested to follow, participate for as much or as little as possible. If you like getting updated via email or just honestly do not get sufficient email, sign up for our weekly email updates. There might be secret gems planted in the emails.

The overall structure of the course is outlined below; each month will feature a different theme and/or modality for the activities, but threaded across all will be a series of media creation and story making assignments, as well as regular daily doses of smaller creative challenges.

Each week will start with a blog post announcement of all activities and assignments for the week. Kean students will be meeting Wednesdays 4:30PM – 7:15PM ET (check your local time). Some weeks there may be live video sessions or twitter chats from the class, but all activities will be detailed in the weekly announcement.

Got it? Keep on scrolling.

“Alchemist Lab” flickr photo by ilovebutter shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

January: Enter the World of Digital Alchemy

In January we ask you to think about the ancient practice of Alchemy applied in the present with digital tools. What would it mean to you to have that title? And there are many things to get set up for this explanation- accounts, blogs, tools. You will start building your own digital alchemy laboratory.

Week of January 16, 2017 (Kean class meets January 18)

  • Introductions and ice to be broken
  • Walk through of course inspiration and elements
  • What is Digital Alchemy
  • Thoughts on Play and Fun and Games – first daily alchemy together
  • Tools and beakers and lab equipment
    • Create / Use / Dust off Twitter accounts
    • Annotating the Web with
    • Setting up your Digital Alchemy notebook, a blog, and connecting it to the course site.

Week of January 23, 2017 (Kean class meets January 25)

  • Course infrastructure and long view
  • Your Alchemist’s Grade Contract
  • Checkup on blog and account set up
  • Blogging like an Alchemist
  • On Constructive Commenting
  • First twitter chat

“Chaos Room” pixabay image by levelord shared under a CC0 license

February: Studio Visits

In this month, Mia and Alan are going to hop in the Digital Alchemy Hangout Jeep for live video visits to practitioners of networked narratives; we will drive right into their studios to see and learn how they craft stories.

The tours will take place on Monday or Tuesday of each week; we will offer a signup sheet with spaces for 8 budding digital alchemists (Kean students or open participants welcome) to join us. But don’t worry, they will be archived for anyone who wishes to watch the tour later.

The weekly assignments will be related to the kind of storytelling we saw on the tours as well as a few other general media ones to keep your skills fresh.

During the Wednesday class meetings for Kean students, we will run live twitter chats, led by the students, tied into specific segments of that week’s tour.

The exact tour date/times will be posted ASAP. Or sooner.

Week of January 30, 2017 (Kean class February 1): Considering stories in the Digital Age

Studio Visit: Leo Flores (Professor of English University of Puerto Rico: Mayagüez)

  • What makes a story? / The shape of stories
  • Digital + Storytelling = ?
  • Introduction to Eliterature
  • Media Assignments: Telling Stories with Photos

Week of February 6, 2017 (Kean class February 8): What is #Netprov? Telling stories in Networked Spaces

Studio Visit: Mark Marino (Universtory of Southern California and Rob Wittig (University of Minnesota, Duluth)

Week of February 13, 2017 (Kean class February 15): What is Fan Fiction and why is it important? Fansplaining & More

Studio Visit: Co-hosts of the Fansplaining podcastFlourish Klink (Chaotic Good Studios) and Elizabeth Minkel (Author)

  • The world of fan fiction
  • In what ways do we rely on our community and pop culture for inspiration?
  • Media Assignments: Telling Stories with Sound

Week of February 20, 2017 (Kean class February 23): Net Smart and Network Effects

Studio Visit: Howard Rheingold (online community pioneer and artist) & Mamie Rheingold

  • Universes
  • Humanity and the Network Effect
  • Creating your Digital Alchemist Alt-Identity
  • Media Assignments: More Audio Storytelling

“Bus” pixabay photo by MichaelGaida shared under a CC0 license

March: Sharing Communities with Bus Tours

Our travel theme continues in March, but we’re gonna need a bigger bus for all of the Digital Alchemists coming to #NetNarr. Like the Studio Visits in February, each week we will schedule a Google Hangout visit, but this time we are going to (hopefully) different corners of the world to meet other teachers and students.

We will be doing digital alchemy activities together across this space, sharing with each other media and stories which examine what is special, precious about the places we live and also what it’s problems are.

We have not finalized the stops yet, but stay tuned for more details

Week of February 27, 2017 (Kean class March 1): Bus Stop 1 TBA

  • Tour Assignments TBA
  • Media Assignments: Telling Stories in the Web

Week of March 6: Kean Spring Break

Everyone deserves a break! If not use this time to catch up

Week of March 13: (No Kean class March 8): Bus Stop 2 TBA

  • Tour Assignments TBA
  • Media Assignments: Animated GIFs

Week of March 20: (No Kean class March 15): Bus Stop 3 TBA

  • Tour Assignments TBA
  • Media Assignments: Reading Movies

Week of March 27: (No Kean class March 23): Bus Stop 4 TBA

  • Tour Assignments TBA
  • Media Assignments: Making Movies

“Sortie de l’opera en l’an 2000-2” Wikimedia Commons image by Albert Robida shared via Public Domain

April: Arganee: A #Netprov Game to Build a Near Future World

Each week in April we be engaged in collaborative quests toward creating and exploring a world designed by all of our Digital Alchemists. Details TBA. TBA. TBA.

“Magic Sun” pixabay photo by dimitrisvetsikas1969 shared under a CC0 license

April: Weaving It Together

The Digital Alchemy goes into high gear in the first two weeks as we put together all our media skills and experience to create a summative story, and then celebrate everyone’s work.

Featured Image: “File:A wisent skeleton.JPG” Wikimedia Commons photo by KenNet shared under a CC BY-SA license