Join in With Us: Middlebury College's Demystifying AI Digital Detox 2024

There is more than enough discussions, webinars, flying opinions out there about Artificial Intelligence (we are responsible for our share!). How would you like to be part of an open, do at your own pace experiential, hands on activity?

I’m very excited what I have seen so far from the Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry (DLINQ) at Middlebury College in their newest iteration (the 6th one?) of the Digital Detox series on Demystifying AI

What is a digital detox?

Digital Detox is an initiative that helps participants to reflect on and re-evaluate the role technology plays in their lives, with the aim of reducing the toxicity and harms brought on by technology. Participants receive 2 email newsletters each week during the month of January. The detox newsletters include reflections, helpful resources, and strategies to take action.

The idea of digital detoxes go back to maybe 2017 with efforts by many organizations including Mozilla to help individuals understand data surveillance, tracking, privacy in their online spaces, leading to programs like the Data Detox kit.

A number of educational organizations like Middlebury College carried this out as programs and activities aimed at helping educators grapple with issues of disinformation, environmental impact, self care. The other place Digital Detoxes have had a ongoing run include the program running again in 2023 at Thompson Rivers University led by @bgray

Typically, these have involved over a few weeks publishing of detailed posts with readings, links, and an encouragement of participants to try activities and perhaps convene for webinar style discussions.

Digital Detox 2024: Demystifying AI

What I like about the Demystifying AI Digital Detox is the focus on “doing”:

This Detox will be a little different from previous Detoxes. Rather than writing articles on topics related to generative AI, we will be guiding YOU through activities that help you explore and understand these tools. You’ll be encouraged to try the activities, reflect on them, and share what you did with others.

You can sign up to get updates of the activities or you can just do them from the well designed web site, like the first one on It’s not magic, it’s math aimed at doing more than waffling about “prompt engineering” or listing 100 prompt ideas, is a specific guided activity participants are asked to do, and a place for them to share their results (the first one involved asking a generative AI to write a poem, then a series of followups to refine).

The contributions from others appear at the bottom of the activity, where you can comment on them.

Another notable feature of this Digital Detox is each activity includes " Nope! Options" meaning other things you can explore if you prefer not to use or give your identity/data to a corporate platform.

Participate There/Here?

I’m rather excited about this and am signed up. I am wondering if others here might explore and perhaps share their results, observations here in OEG Connect, by posting a topic or replying in this Open PD area and/or tagging your topics digitaldetox and ai

Who is in with me?