COMM 101 - EXPLORING THE DIGITAL FUTURE (5 Cr.)
WINTER QUARTER 2007
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Korolenko
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment
Telecommunications by Lynne Schafer Gross
In The Absence Of The Sacred by Jerry Mander
(For Special Credit)
High-Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll
This course will provide an overview and study of the current and emerging media technologies and what impact these technologies will have on the students and their future. This will be accomplished through a series of lectures, discussions, and a variety of film and video clips and demonstrations. 20% of the course will be devoted to both a historical and technological background of telecommunications, 30% will focus on its current standing and uses, and 50% will focus on the Future - both in terms of new applications and what this means for various job markets.
COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
1. To teach students an understanding of just what is meant by the term digital technology.
2. To enable students to identify a variety of new terms including the following: fiber optics, enabling technology, world wide web, and virtual reality, and head mounted display.
3. To give students a working knowledge of the various applications of digital technology, including an understanding of how to write and produce for the new technologies.
4. To show students where digital technology stands today, and to enable students to discuss new technologies social and economic implications.
5. To teach students an understanding of where the field of digital media may be headed.
6. To give students a clear understanding of the ethical and moral concerns inherent in the new technologies and to enable the students to express those concerns in a concise and intelligent manner during in-class discussions.
7. To have students develop and write a written critique on how one or more of the new technologies might impact them personally either at home or on-the-job.
8. To have students, in teams, develop chosen critiques into case studies to be presented orally to the rest of the class.
THE COURSE ONLINE
Online, the class will be structured like a museum or World's Fair exhibit called The Cybernetic Futurama. Different "corridors" will take students into different areas such as Chat Rooms, A History of the Future, The Lecture Hall, Technology Experts and Futurists, etc. Students will be required to create three brief reports/presentations discussing and detailing the areas covered during the quarter. Students will, for their final, be put into groups and give an Online presentation on one of the following technologies: Multimedia Entertainment, Multimedia Education, Virtual Reality Entertainment, Virtual Reality Education, Interactive Television, and Nanotechnology.
WEEKLY TOPICS AND DISCUSSIONS
Week 1 - INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
ASSIGNMENT First day of class - Read Chapter 1, Growing Up with Technology (pages 11 - 24) in In The Absence of The Sacred and the Prologue and Chapter 1 in Telecommunications
1. What we mean by the "Digital" Future.
2. 1890s - 1990s - H.G. Wells' and Robert Paul's first patented interactive multi-media time machine; Hugo Gernsback and early radio pioneers.
3. Radio enters its Golden Age ("War of
The Worlds" broadcast); Television technology, from Felix the Cat in 1928
4. German radio and television during the 30s and 40s - what their uses might have been, what they still may be; "The Making of Television."
5. The 50s - Technology and the creation of the first true youth culture - "technology favors the young"
6. The 60s: the Space Race pushes us forward
7. The 70s and "Future Shock"
8. The 80s and a restructuring
9. The 90s and the Future begins
ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK TWO - read Chapters 2, 3, 5 & 6 in In The Absence of The Sacred and Chapter 2 and Chapter 11 in Telecommuniciations
Week 2 - MODERN MEDIA'S ROLE IN AMERICAN CULTURE
How Does Modern Media Keep Us Informed (or does it?)
1. Nixon and television
2. TV/LA and new myths
3. The content of our culture
4. The experiences of Radio, Film, and Television (as covered in Jerry Mander book reading assignments)
5. The Medium is The Metaphor - 1984 or Brave New World
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK THREE - Chapter 4 in In The Absence of The Sacred and the first part of Chapter 6 in Telecommunications
Week 3 - PERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
1. Brief history - the real revolution of the 1960's video and computers (both leaping out of the space program).
2. From behemoths to desktops to laptops to palmtops
3. Chip technology d. Mr. Bell's grand machine - from dialing to touch tone, from faxing to cellular phones to videophones.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK FOUR - Chapters 5 and 6 in In the Absence of the Sacred and the first part of Chapter 5(pages 139-152) and the first part of Chapter 14 (pages394-407) in Telecommunications
Week 4 - WORKING IN TODAY'S DIGITAL WORLD
PRESENTATION 1 DUE THIS WEEK
1. Consuming Images and The Digital Revolution
2. Electronic Media Forms
3. Today's Production Equipment and Personal video - from VCRs to disc players to video games (to the beginnings of Virtual Reality and what this may bode)
4. Specialized Communications - for minorities and the disabled
5. New Production Equipment or - everyone going into film or video now has to be computer literate. Film vs. Video - the differences; the merging of film and video through new technology.
6. Digital video and a new era
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK FIVE - Study On Site Glossary for Multimedia terms
Week 5 - MULTIMEDIA
1. What it used to mean, what it means today, what it may mean for the future.
2. Multimedia today - and the future promise.
3. Interactive Networks and New Revenues - PC's from Print To MTV?
4. Today's Products and Specifications.
5. Writing and Creating for Multimedia - or non-linear (digital) thinking.
ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK 6 - STUDY INTERNET TERMS (see Glossary) and read second part of Chapter 5 (pages 152-163) in Telecommunications
Week 6 - COMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTERS, AND NETWORKS
or - The Transformation of Our Civilization Through The Fusion of Computing and Communications Technologies.
1. Computers, Networks, and Education.
2. The Technologically Advanced Family
4. Data Banks.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK SEVEN - Chapters 7 & 8 in In The Absence of The Sacred and second part of Chapter 14 (pages 407-416) in Telecommunications
Week 7 - HDTV and THE "TELECOMPUTER"
PRESENTATION 2 DUE THIS WEEK
1. High Stakes in HDTV
2. HDTV in
3. Life After Television?
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK 8 Second part of Chapter 6 (pages 189-195) in Telecommunications
Week 8 - NEW DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT
1. If you thought video games were something . . .
2. Computer Animation - 3D and otherwise.
3. Morphing, surfing, and other digital trends.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK 9 - Chapters 9 & 10 in In the Absence of the Sacred
Week 9 - LOOKING GLASS WORLDS AND THE USES OF VIRTUAL REALITY
1. From medicine to "travel" to "lighting" a set to . . .
2. . . . shopping malls?
3. Human/Computer Interface.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK 10 - Epilogue (pages 377-395) in In The Absence of The Sacred
and Epilogue in Telecommunications
Week 10 - THE FUTURE ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
FINAL INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION GIVEN
1. Will the written word become superfluous? (some like Professor Donald A. Norman think so).
2. Brave New Worlds of entertainment or - are you ready for "Feelie" Movies?
3. The coming era of the nanocomputer and nanotechnology. Is this the beginning of a "Postindustrial" society?
Week 11 - FINAL EXAM AND PRESENT FINAL GROUP PRESENTATIONS
Extra Credit piece due this week
There will be three individual presentations. All three are to be typed, double spaced, and submitted as Word documents, except for the second one which may also be submitted as an html file.
1. An essay no more than three pages long on what would have happened if the computer revolution took place at the same time as the industrial revolution.
2. A presentation no more than three pages long, using both text and visuals, on how a technology related to what we are studying in class this quarter will impact on you personally and professionally.
3. A one page essay describing how one of the following subjects we have studied in class will affect you twenty-five years from now--Artifical Intelligence, Computer Networking, Nanotechnology, Virtual Reality.
Students will also be required to work in teams towards presenting group projects online. Students must also be prepared to discuss all reading assignments in assigned texts, reserved articles, and hand-outs.
There will be a final online test consisting of multiple choice questions.
For special credit and by permission of the instructor, students can read High Tech-Heretic and give a presentation on the book, critiquing what the author has to say, and stating whether you agree or disagree with the authors' views and why or why not.
Just as in a classroom, disruptions and impoliteness are not tolerated, neither will they be tolerated within the confines of our online "classroom." Students are to show respect towards each other and their instructor, which includes respect and tolerance for each others ideas. Any sort of disrespect will, at the very least, impact negatively on your class participation grade.