The Internet is profoundly effecting how we live our lives. It has changed the way we work, play, and interact with other people. In this course, we will examine the personal, academic, media, and business uses of the Internet. We will also look at the mutual interaction of computers and other new technologies, the Internet, society, and the struggles for control/ownership of the World Wide Web and its content. There are (at least) two sides to almost all of the questions we will consider in this course. We will spend much of our class time discussing the issues and exploring different points of view.
No previous technical knowledge is presumed other than your personal experience with computers, the Internet, and mobile phones.
After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:
The knowledge, attitudes, and skills you gain by successfully completing this course can help you in almost any career. However, they have particular relevance in the rapidly-changing field of mass communication. Becoming a life-long learner and analyzing information you receive will be essential to your success as a professional and can also greatly impact your personal life and your life as a citizen of the world. We will utilize the World Wide Web as a learning tool; thus, you will gain experience in furthering your knowledge by using a resource that will be available to you long after you complete this course.
You will be graded on your ability to think critically about the material we cover in class and communicate your thoughts in writing (e.g., through your blog) and in online class discussions. There will not be any mid-term or final exams. I will post grades on Blackboard, which you can check throughout the semester.
In the professional world, if you can’t show up on time and make your deadlines, you won’t keep your job. Assignments must be completed on time in the format specified. The only accepted excuses for late work or missed exams are documented medical emergencies or requests from an academic dean. No exceptions. Plan ahead.
Federal privacy law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student. Thus, in almost all cases I will not discuss your academic progress or other matters with your parents. Please do not have them call me. Regardless of these important legal considerations, it is my general policy to communicate with the students, not their parents, even when a student has signed a consent form. College students are adults and are expected to behave accordingly.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information that needs sharing, or if you need special accommodations in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.
Thanks to Eszter Hargittai and Howard Rheingold who generously allowed me to use and adapt portions of their work, to Naoma Clark who allowed me to adapt her classroom policies, to Jim Sernoe who allowed me to adapt portions of his work for policies and final paper requirements, and to Kimberly Sultze of Saint Michael’s College for sharing her intellectual requirements.