Team CURE – Final Update

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Team CURE is proud to announce our project, I am Not a Dot.

I Am Not a Dot is a multi-media platform where users can access not only the statistics and quantitative evidences of why the registry should be eliminated in order to reduce the recidivism rate and to protect the rights of registrants, but also the personal testimonials and stories of the registrants, their families, and other persons concerned.

Read more details in our Case Study.

Or, check out our Final Presentation.

We are also looking for a web programmer to join our team. If you are interested in, please contact notadot[at]curenational.org !

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Thank you for the great semester!

Susanna + Miho

Team CURE Project Update

We didn’t blot any updates for a while, but it doesn’t mean we were lazy – in fact, we had double # of meetings/working times while we were not blogging!

2 weeks ago, CURE was one of the presenters in the class – and we spent a good amount of time preparing for the class activity. First half was led by Galen and Josh from CURE – they gave us talks about their work, their experiences and the advocacy. The second half was led by Susanna and me – more specifically about the project. Class (and participants on Hangout) was divided into 3 groups, brainstorming new ideas for our project. Each group had a theme of different platforms; map, game, or anything else.

Turned out pretty well, not because of the ideas but because of the discussion led from the exercise – that helped us a lot to define our project/product design requirements more in details.

Originally, we were considering three ideas:

1. Map that visualizes the data of residency restrictions , or other restrictions that registrants face in day-to-day life

2. Game that illustrates the difficulty that they face

3. Map that was tied with personal stories of registrants

We revisited these three ideas, and talked a lot about what should be our main focus, and redefined that our product should convey the argument of why the registry should be eliminated, through narrative personal stories and through statistics (quantitative evidence) - while keeping the “map with dots” as a symbol because that’s what people are familiar with when they think of the registry, and that’s what we want to change their perspectives of.

 

We call this idea “Stories Behind The Map” – and we are now designing three different platforms of Storied Behind the Map

1. Website

  • Users see the map with dots
  • Each dot they roll over, they get either: a personal story, or, a quote, or, a key fact (w/link to source/study) debunking the arguments for the registry.
  •  Assuming each user will only click on x dots, show them only stories and facts they haven’t yet seen. (so that we can convey our argument in the most convincing way)

2. Mobile App

  • General feature is same as Website, but additional features unique to the phone app.
  • History View and List of Actions to Take
  • Latest News Notification

3. Infographics

  • This would be one file, conveying the same contents as website (but smaller amount, of course), that can be printed, shared on GOOD.is, Buzzfeed, Twitter and other media easily

 

We will reveal our progress in the presentation on Wednesday, so stay tuned! Here’s a small peak of it …

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Team CURE: Project Update #1

Susanna and I (Miho) are in Team CURE, and we had our first Google hangout meeting today with Josh, Galen and Andrew – it was great to finally talk with them after a bunch of email exchange!

 

CURE works on criminal justice system from the perspective of human rights – and for this CoDesign class, they would like to work on the issue around sexual offenders who are highly marginalized community.

Josh, Galen and Andrew have been very helpful providing Susanna and me a lot of article and other medias – because it is such a new topic for both of us – and we began to have some ideas of projects. All of the ideas cover either/both of two main things.

1. Legal definitions of sexual offenders include a very large spectrum of people – from those who did public urination to those who committed serious rapes – and they will be all put in Registry and usually cannot get out of it.

2. How the Registry affects very  the sexual offenders’s lives after they are released from the prison (restriction on where to live, where to be, activities, etc.) which is very different from any kinds of restrictions on other serious criminals

 

We are gearing towards creating an interactive multimedia that increase the general awareness of people on these two points above. The keywords for us are map, personal stories and statistics. More detailed information would come later. :)

 

We’ve had a very dense (and very fun) talk today, and Susanna and I are now digesting the contents while brainstorming some ideas for DiscoTech workshop. Some ideas we have are

1. Mapping where sexual offenders can’t live/have other restrictions in Boston (with colored pencils etc.)

2. Asking people what alternative laws to be made, and compare the results to the currents ones

3. Illustraton Charrete of laws

4. Question generations for storytelling

5. Roleplay (testify as a sexual offender) and compare with the actual testimonies

6. Reaction recording while people watch videos related

7. Some sort of discussion generating workshop: “can you list what offences will land you on the registry?” “what do you think the restrictions are on offenders?” “what do you think the consequences are of being on the registry?”

and more! These ideas above are mostly what we brainstormed before having the hangout meeting, so later this week, we will have a more detailed/polished workshop idea for DiscoTech.

Introduction – Miho

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I’m Miho – an undergraduate senior in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. My concentration is in biomedical applications and international development, and in the past few years, my interest in product development has been getting bigger. I have taken many CMS classes (once I was a minor candidate …) and I really, really love CMS. I enjoy photography, design projects, reading novels and writing.

 

I’m taking CoDesign this semester finally – I tried to take it last year, but couldn’t because of the schedule conflict – now with more knowledge and interest in media issues after taking Intro to Civic Media with Sasha last semester. I have been an active member in D-lab (a program dedicated for designing appropriate technologies for developing countries), and also leading a community project in Japan for more than a year now, and I’m hoping to utilize the skill I get in CoDesign for both the project and my contribution in D-lab. I’m interested in finding an intersection what kind of media use would be possible in communities with little experience in media. It would be great to see the examples of empowerment and education as well. I’m also interested in seeing how hardware projects can empower people to fight against surveillance and for their own privacy and freedom – interesting exploration can happen in urban communities, I think.

 

Reading through The Day We Fight Back gave me a chance to read more about Aaron Swartz – since there is so much information about this issue, I couldn’t internalize everything but gained more understanding than before for sure. I was browsing through the Twitter #DayWeFightBack which remained very active even until 11PM of the day. I also watched multiple videos uploaded on YouTube today – wow so many – and I finally realized that it is actually happening widely around the Internet. It was good to see some people in protest in videos – my favorite one is this one, where a guy with hand-made “NSA camera” keeps appearing while others are giving a speech. haha

 

However, it is a bit sad that I didn’t hear anyone I met today talking about this movement at MIT which is relatively an Internet-heavy community, and where Aaron Swartz studied. Tech released today was not covering that as well. Though the movement is a big issue among Internet activists, the event may not be very effectively participatory for the others.

 

Lastly, here‘s something I found that would be a nice thing to have done last weekend to prepare for The Day We Fight Back –  DIY projects to fight for online privacy. People would keep finding these solutions no matter how much the government tries to oppress them – I feel like I found some hope.