The advent of digital communication has ushered in a revolution in virtually every aspect of modern life. The digital revolution has transformed point-to-point and mass communication, specifically how we form and participate in social networks, how traditional media is exchanged and consumed, and how media industries operate in the marketplace.
This course examines the cultural impact of new digital technologies such as the Internet and new telephonic and audiovisual media. We will survey the origins of digital communication and the Internet and engage closely with contemporary scholarship on digital technologies, the Internet, the institutions that control these technologies.
By appointment only.
The following books are required for this course:
And this single book is recommended:
In addition to the textbook readings, there are reserve readings available as PDFs from the course schedule.
We will not be using Blackboard for this course.
If you don’t use it already, I highly recommend using Dropbox to exchange files with me. You can sign up for free and receive two (2) gigabytes of cloud-based storage. This is an invaluable tool for accessing all of your files anywhere without having to carry a USB flash drive. I hate those things.
This class consists of four components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all four of these.
Each class will form the basis of the material I expect you to know for the exams. We will discuss the historical, technological, and economic context relevant to digital media. Moreover, our class will be driven by discussion.
Please read the assigned course material prior to each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule for the required reading assignments.
All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After five calendar days, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.
Exams comprise half of your course grade and are written to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.
Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid distractions, such as web surfing and using your mobile phone. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices. On a personal note, it’s very difficult to stay motivated as a teacher if I see students seemingly disinterested in their own education. If I find you engaging in disruptive behavior, such as watching online videos, passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.
Please submit your work on time. Late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After one calendar week, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.
There will be no incomplete grades for this class except in the case of a documented emergency in the final weeks of the semester. If you experience such an emergency, please contact me immediately, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work before the beginning of the following semester.
But aside from these circumstances, no late work will be accepted and no “incomplete” grades will be granted. If you have difficulty keeping up with coursework, consider giving yourself extra time to complete assignments, reducing your overall course load, and/or taking this class at a later semester.
Please silence or turn off the radio in your mobile phone (power down the phone or set to “Airplane” mode). Not only do ringing phones disrupt class, most phones will also interfere with the media equipment in the room. Also, please refrain from using your phone during class.
Please check your Fordham University email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) on a daily basis, if not more frequently. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using your official email address.
Please note that I am not allowed to discuss your grade from an account that is not your official email account.
“A University, by its nature, strives to foster and recognize originality of thought. Originality can only be recognized, however, when people acknowledge the sources of ideas or works that are not their own. Therefore, students must maintain the highest standards with regards to honesty, effort and performance. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: plagiarism, cheating on exams, false authorship, and destruction of library materials needed for a course. This policy gives definitions and instances of violations of academic integrity, the procedures used to arrive at a judgment, possible sanctions, and the process of appeal. This policy will be enforced rigorously and without discrimination. Please refer to your Student Handbook for a full discussion of the Policy on Academic Integrity.”
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, all students, with or without disabilities, are entitled to equal access to the programs and activities of Fordham University. If you believe that you have a disabling condition that may interfere with your ability to participate in the activities, coursework, or assessment of the object of this course, you may be entitled to accommodations. Please schedule an appointment to speak with someone at the Office of Disability Services (Rose Hill - O’Hare Hall, Lower Level, x0655 or at Lincoln Center – Room 207, x6282).
Write a 1,000-word profile of the Internet technology you were assigned in class on September 10. Please use only academic and journalistic sources for your research. Your profile should:
In addition, give a five-minute presentation about your Internet technology to the class.
Immediately before the midterm exam, you will be randomly assigned to a group. Your group will present on one of the books that we will read in the second half of the class. Your presentation is intended to help students digest the reading and its relevance to our course. You presentation should include a summary of the author’s argument, three discussion questions for the class, and a close examination of a case study or example that they author discussed.
In-class presentations should last about 25–30 minutes.
Write a paper, exactly 2,013 words in length, comparing the visions of new media held by at least two authors we covered in the second half of course. Your paper should engage no fewer than three major aspects of new media that you can discuss in your paper.
The exam will consist of five identification questions, each requiring about a 50-word response, and three short essay questions, requiring a 200-word response. The questions will be based on the material we covered in the first six weeks of the class.
Much like the midterm exam, the final exam will five identification questions, each requiring about a 50-word response, and three short essay questions, requiring a 200-word response. The exam will cover the material from the second half of the course.
In today’s class, you will be assigned an Internet technology that will be the subject of your first assignment, due on October 1. Don’t miss this class!
We will assign groups for the In-Class Presentation assignments.
Your Profile of an Internet Technology paper and presentation is due today in class.
We will take our midterm exam in class.
Your Final Paper is due Friday, December 6.
Our final exam will be held during the “V” Block, on Wednesday, December 11, from 1:30 – 3:30 PM.