​Lab: Life Cycle of a Digital Medium Project

This assignment asks you to trace the life cycle of a digital medium, beginning with the various elements that go into the technology, the manufacturing process, distribution and consumption, and finally, how that medium is recycled or disposed of. This is a mini-research project, so finding out the necessary information for each of these stages will take some time.

Once you get all of the necessary facts, your final project can take many forms. You may turn in a write-up explaining the various stages of your chosen devices or your project might take a visual form like a video, an interactive visualization, or an animated Google Earth flythrough. There is no minimum length for this assignment; what matters is quality and thoroughness of how you explained the life cycle of your medium.

You must cite all of your sources and each phase of the life cycle must be backed up with a reliable source. Please cite all sources using APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

Below is the rubric for this assignment:

  • Shows which elements/minerals go into your chosen device
  • Discusses the social conditions under which those minerals/elements were mined
  • Shows how and where the device is manufactured
  • Discusses the social conditions of labor
  • Shows how your chosen device got to the store, how/why it is purchased
  • Shows how your chosen device is recycled or disposed
  • Uses at least 3 reliable sources
  • Project is well crafted or well edited
  • Offers an interesting and insightful perspective on the life cycle of your technology
  • All elements have been turned in fully and correctly

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