I wanted to share my favorite ITGS project ever that my students and I have developed: Design a digital utopia. I used this project as a fun final “capstone” project for the two year course. Government is also the last unit I teach, so it is a way to integrate. The project is a chance to review all the material we have covered at put it together in a futuristic–and inspirational product. A big picture mural of possibilities before we get back down to the nitty-gritty of exam techniques.
In groups of three students worked to design a utopia. A theoretical city or nation-state-city brought about by information technology… Students are encouraged to be creative and bold! The schedule was always a bit rushed, allowing only 3 class days and about a week of development. However students always produced some fun iterations.
Day 1: Discuss & draft the guiding ethical philosophy. Students were instructed to review ethical (Gift of Fire reading and decide what the guiding philosophy of your utopia will be. Then draft a short guiding statement (300-500 words). Things to think about: Government type, Civil Liberties, Domestic Welfare, Innovation, Security, Media, etc…
Then find–or even better make–some cool images to illustrate your Utopia. Build a simple website to house them on. Give it a color scheme, a nice font. Utopias are proud creations! Add some pages… but don’t forget to cite images/sources (Intellectual Property!)
In addition to a guiding philosophy every Utopia should address some of the following government functionals: Administration, Education & Research, Infrastructure, Environment, Homeland Security/Defense, Media & Information. Extra credit was awarded for additional sections such as: Economics & Trade, Culture, Sports, Labor. (I have a rubric that I have momentarily misplaced and will update soon).
Here are a few examples where the websites still work (click the image). I did encourage students to have fun rather than professional so there is a fair bit of internal humor on many of the creations.
The Jungle – (http://www.armijostudio.com/utopia/)
Artujmenistanpla – (http://gplazobel.wix.com/artujmenistanpla)
The interesting thing about Artujmenistanpla is that it included the creators of the site in the pictures in a pretty clever way. Apart from this, this Utopia is one of the only ones that create an e-Government designed to fulfill the necessities of the people of Artujmenistanpla.
The Pleasure Ville – (http://vaib123.wix.com/mysite-1)
So here you can see the ‘The Pleasure Ville’. A wonderful place for you to live. One of the reason for this place to be called utopia is because of its e-waste plans and very smart way of conserving energy. Today e-waste is an huge problem and therefore we have various e-waste plans for the citizens. In addition, the use of solar panels to avoid global warming spice up the situation for the betterment of the ville.
Shalyfin – (http://ariannasss.wix.com/utopia)
Shalyfin is especially unique due to the fact that people communicate through the exposure of their minds to the world due to internet services. There’s is no crime, and therefore no problems since people can see what each other is thinking.
Terranova – (http://candystf.wix.com/terra-nova)
The interesting concept behind Terra Nova is the fact that it sounds like a greatly improved Cuba. This place really sounds amazing when you take out all the corruption and other factors that led to the inefficiency of the completely communist Cuba. This really shows that if we lived in a perfect society, any political regime could really work!
New New York – (http://s15173.wix.com/itgsutopiaproject)
‘New New York’ as the name suggests, this is a perfect place for you to live and explore the new things around you. The city provides you with perfect administration because of the fact that it has e-government. It informs the citizens about the government’s action. For instance whether or not government is able to fulfill the promise made to the citizens. It is under no illusion that this place will be great as the government justifies their actions.