So, I’m all done. I turned in my Master’s thesis a couple of weeks ago, and unless it was WAY off, I’m finished with my MA in International Media!
So, I’m finishing up the summer with the kids, hanging out, going to the pool, taking them to museums. But their school starts next week and I’m already getting a little restless. Especially when I hear from others who are starting up classes, buying books, going through syllabi…ah, I really do love school.
Of course, I’m applying or jobs – several applications are out, with more on the way. But I’ve decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time… I’m going to go through some of the courses on MIT’s OpenCourseWare. I’ve been drooling over the course offerings there for years… and honestly, it took me several days to figure out which ones to start with.
In case you don’t know about it, MIT offers almost all of its course syllabi, readings, assignments, and in some cases lecture notes and projects for FREE online! Over 1900 courses are online, and more are added all the time! Now you don’t get credit for doing anything, but it presents an amazing opportunity to explore an area you are interested in with a little more direction than just browsing the library.
So, I’ve decided to try a couple. I’ve found LOTS of courses that I’d like to take “someday,” but two jumped out at me as something I’d like to take NOW. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking the following two course, both from the Media Arts and Sciences Department:
Seminar on Deep Engagement– (MAS 961) Innovation in expression, as realized in media, tangible objects, performance and more, generates new questions and new potentials for human engagement. When and how does expression engage us deeply? Many personal stories confirm the hypothesis that once we experience deep engagement, it is a state we long for, remember, and want to repeat. This class will explore what underlying principles and innovative methods can ensure the development of higher-quality “deep engagement” products (artifacts, experiences, environments, performances, etc.) that appeal to a broad audience and that have lasting value over the long term.
Designing Sociable Media– (MAS 961)This course is about social life in the on-line world. Its focus is on how the design of the interface influences people’s interactions with each other and shapes the cultural mores and structures they develop. We will examine the ways social cues are communicated in the real and the virtual world, discuss the limits imposed upon on-line communities by their mediated nature, and explore directions that virtual societies can take that are impossible for physical ones.
Since I won’t have a professor or classmates to answer to, I’ll be posting my reading reflections and assignments here on the blog. Posting related to these courses will be tagged with MAS961-Engage for the Seminar in Deep Engagement and MAS961-Social for the Designing Social Media class, if you’d like to follow along. Of course, I’ll continue my regular postings on media and communications for social change as well!
I’d love to hear feedback on anything I post from these classes – especially if you have taken one of them or a similar course. I’m hoping to maintain the schedule in each syllabus, but I’m not making any promises.
So, without further adieu, I’m off! I’ve got readings to do!