Weekly Syllabus

Class 1 – August 25, 2021 – Introduction & The Importance of Technology

Introductions, Course Overview, Course, Expectations

What does “Technology and Communications” mean in today’s society?

Screening: The Innovation of Loneliness, Digital Kids, Together But Alone, One Simple Fact – Steve Jobs

Class 2, Network Theory, September 1, 2021 

Required Reading/Listening:

Answer this Question:  Why are networks important elements of digital media?

Networks – The Science-Spanning Disciplines / Anna Nagurney

Audio of her talk: https://bit.ly/annanagurney

“Viral Marketing for the Real World” by Peretti and Watts

Albert-Laslo Barabasi – Taming Complexity

Discussion: Blog-1

Assignment: Blog-1

Toolbox: Napster, Bittorrent, Azureus, Transmission

Assignment: Guide For Exploring Critical Networks

Class 3 – The Public Sphere, Blogs, Linked Information, September 22, 2021

Required Viewing:

Answer this Question:  Why do people create content online? What drives them to post, tag, and follow?

Tim Berners-Lee: The Next Web of Open Linked Data: http://bit.ly/389kvi

Required Reading:

Bill Joy, “Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us”: http://bit.ly/x9RQ

Fred Vogelstein, The Great Wall of Facebook: http://bit.ly/8jH47Z

Nicholas Carr, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, http://bit.ly/3GmukC

Discussion: Blog 1

Discussion: A Week without Google and Facebook

Toolbox: Blogger, WordPress, webhosting, Technorati

Assignment: Spend a week without using any Google and Facebook Products, write down your daily notes, thoughts on what life is like. Is it more difficult? More relaxing? Stressful?

Assignment: Blog 2.

Class 4 – Information Overload and 24/7 Access To Networked Media, September 29, 2021

Question: Are the tools of digital media impeding or expanding our knowledge?

Required Viewing / Reading:

Jeffrey Rosen: “The Web Means the End of Forgetting”, http://nyti.ms/atnScD

Anna Notaro, The Lo(n)g Revolution: The Blogosphere as an Alternative Public Sphere?

Link: https://bit.ly/notaroanna

Tom Owad, Data Mining 111: Finding Subversives

with Amazon Wishlistshttp://bit.ly/TxZPt

Google Opt Out Policy: video link: http://bit.ly/11wcAc

Case study: Google Search, Facebook, Gmail, Google Adsense,

Assignment(s): Blog 3 and If you were to design an ideal search engine, what would it look like? What would it do? Be prepared to discuss in class. (make a sketch or drawing and upload it to the blog)

Class 5 – Crowdsourcing and User Generated Content, October 6, 2021

Question: How is Crowdsourcing changing methods of labor on the Internet?


1. The Rise of Crowdsourcing by Jeff Howe: http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/crowds.html

2. “Crowdsourcing to Get Ideas, and Perhaps Save Money”, NY Times, Constance Gustke, May 11, 2016, http://bit.ly/cwdsource

3. The Blurring Line Between Amateur and Professional, The Atlantic, 2010: http://theatln.tc/1vhGLVv


Class 6 – NFTs, October 13, 2021

Question: What are the effects of NFTs on the Internet? Are they good or bad?

Required Reading:

1. ”The Untold Story of the NFT Boom”, May 12, 2021, Clive Thompson, NY Times, https://nyti.ms/36gmeq6

2. “What Are NFTs And Are They Here To Stay?”, June 30, 2021, Tyler Gallagher, https://bit.ly/3wirWSL .

3. “NFTs Weren’t Supposed to End Like This”, April 2, 2021, Anil Dash, The Atlantic. https://bit.ly/3xkyYYx .

Class 7 – Mobile and Wireless Space, October 20, 2021.

Answer this Question:  What is the biggest impact wireless and mobile media have made to society?

Required Reading:

1. ”Social Impacts The Telephone And The Cell Phone Has Had On Society”, Victor Epand, http://bit.ly/1Peq52

2. “She brought diverse skin tones emoji to the iPhone. Now she’s suing Apple.”, Reed Albergotti, The Washington Post, March 10, 2021. https://wapo.st/3z5RSD4 .

3. WiFi-Hog: From Reaction to Realization

Brucker-Cohen, Jonah, Link: https://bit.ly/2DFzM3v

Slashdot, “Starbucks Clashes With WiFi Hobbyists Over Airwaves”: http://bit.ly/agNKu

Class 8 – Midterm Presentations, October 27, 2021 –  

Students present a project idea that engages critically in the area of technology and communications.

Midterms are on October 27th.. Everyone must be present and ready to present their work. Everyone has 5/8 minutes per presentation.

For your midterm,  please come up with a technological solution to a social problem that you see.

Prepare a slide deck with the following slides:

Remember you should use PowerPoint or Keynote or Google Slides.

Please limit your talk to 5 slides which should contain the following….

Slide 1. Title Slide with Problem Statement: Title of project, your name – Problem Statement: What were you were trying to achieve / discover with your project? Why does the world need your project? What impact do you think it will make?

Slide 2: Details on your Concept

Slide 3: More Details on your Concept

Slide 4. Reasons why we should  believe you that this will be effective?

Slide 5. Last slide with any conclusions you have found as well as  your name / project title / website

Class 9 – Designing With Technology – Part 1, November 3, 2021 

Question: What tools allow you to to design interactive content for the web?

Download Processing for free: https://processing.org/download/

P5JS – Create a simple project using p5.js = http://p5js.org

Required Viewing:

1.Hello Processing: https://hello.processing.org/editor/

Assignment: Create a drawing in Processing or P5.js using code examples from the tutorial

Class 10 –  Designing With Technology – Part 2, November 10, 2021 –

Question: Why are maps important? What societal information can be learned from them?

Mapping Stories

Fundamental map concepts and types. Survey of journalistic map features

Assignment: Create an interactive social map with Google Maps

Readings and Links:  

  1. No street View – Argentina” – https://bit.ly/3jd3VXU
  2. Mapping Stereotypes : https://bit.ly/stereotypesmap
  3. “Reliance on Google Maps Street View Could Create an Urban Digital Divide”, Gregory Scruggs, https://bit.ly/3905jZu
  4. Google My Maps Tutorial: https://bit.ly/mymapstutorials

Class 11 –  Designing With Technology – Part 3, November 17, 2021 

Question: What is your App idea?

Assignment: Design an App prototype using framer.app

Link: http://www.framer.app

Class 12 – No Class Prep for Finals, November 24, 2021

Use the time to prep for your final presentations.

Class 13 – Final Projects Presentations Part 1, December  1, 2021 –

Present your final projects to the class (Apps, Websites, Maps, Whatever you decide on creating) and explain its importance on society at large. 

Students present their concepts.

Class 14  – Final Projects Presentations Part 2, December  8, 2021

Present your final projects to the class (Apps, Websites, Maps, Whatever you decide on creating) and explain its importance on society at large.

Students present their concepts.

Final Papers Due December 15, 2021