(Here’s where to post the outcome of your “SCOT a bike” assignment. Once you’ve uploaded your video to Youtube, put the link in a comment on this post, along with your brief write-up. Your comment will not show up right away because I need to approve each comment individually.)
Due: Feb 9th by 10pm
Using what you’ve learned about the Social Construction of Technology as a theory of technological change, make a meaningful alteration to a bicycle that shows SCOT at work—with you and your group as the “relevant social group” of users making a technological change, and creating a new technology that’s more appropriate to your needs and interests.
Document your process and outcomes in writing and also do a short (no more than 5 minute) video in which you explain the ultimate success or failure of your modification—in other words, did SCOT work in your case? Did you come up with a new, socially-constructed technology that’s attuned to the needs of a certain group of users? Who are those users and how do they differ from others? What else does your modification need to be successful and potentially become widespread?
The written portion will be a short collective essay of no more than 500 words (one essay per group) that you will post on www.digitalhistorylab.com (as a comment on the “SCOT a bike” post). At the end of the essay, post a link to your video, which should be hosted as a public video on YouTube. Try to make sure that the video tells us something more than the essay—use the format of the video to explain things visually and kinetically in ways that might not be possible to do in text. For instance, your video might show us your modification without using words, or might include diagram overlays of your invention if you are unable to actually fabricate the parts for it.
In addition to coming up with some sort of (hopefully ingenious) modification, your goal in this assignment is to better understand SCOT—how it works, and when the theory is and isn’t applicable—through doing a hands-on task. In your essay, explain the thought processes behind your experiments with SCOT, how this changes your understanding of what we’ve talked about in class, and what you learn along the way.
Be sure to cite your sources—remember that you need to give credit where credit is due for ideas as well as words.