Hack Education blogger Audrey Watters attends to the digital on two Middlebury campuses

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Audrey Watters helps workshop participants discover where their data goes on the internet.

Freelance writer and blogger Audrey Watters visited MIIS on October 21, sponsored by the Office of Digital Learning, as part of the launch of MiddCreate. She gave a video-conferenced presentation entitled “Attending to the Digital,” for a bi-coastal audience in Vermont and California. Her perspective on the role of technology in our lives and in society resonated with those on both campuses who are concerned with the digital and its impact on our lives, those who are interested in mindfulness and “attention” as ways of being in the world, and those who just love to play with language in a variety of contexts.

Following the talk, MIIS participants attended a workshop in which Watters led an exercise to examine the many (sometimes unsettling) ways our data—what we read, what we buy, where we are, who we connect with—is captured and used by people and organizations over which we have no control. She then invited the group to reimagine and share possible visions of the internet as a place where individuals might exercise greater control.