Course Description

An overview of twelve aspects of media technologies, including print, photography, motion pictures, advertising and public relations, telegraph and telephone, radio, television, computers, Internet, and globalization. We will examine the technical development of each technology, the function of each, and the impact each had on the cultures adopting it.

Time and Place

Monday, 6:30 PM – 9:20 PM
Kiely Hall, Room 315
Section: MEDST 100–02 (44010)

Instructor

Juan Monroy

Textbooks

The textbooks for this course are available through online retailers, such as Amazon, through Textbookx, and on reserve at Rosenthal Library.

Review Materials

Under each class, I will post on this site the following review materials:

Use these materials to prepare for the exams.

Blackboard

We will not be using Blackboard for this course. Instead, consult the Course Website for the syllabus and Google Classroom for submitting assignments.

G Suite for Education

This course will use G Suite for Education using your QC CAMS account. Below are instructions for how to activate your QC G Suite for Education account and how to join Google Classroom.

About Google accounts

You can have more than one Google account. If you use Gmail, you already have a Google Account: it is likely a personal Google account. Google offers organizations, such as businesses and educational institutions, to establish accounts for its users. Since you’re enrolled at Queens College, you have access to a QC G Suite for Education account.

You cannot access QC G Suite for Education using your personal Gmail or another G Suite account.

You can be logged into both accounts at the same time, but you will likely have to switch between accounts to access your QC G Suite for Education account versus your personal G Suite.

Activate Your QC G Suite for Education account

Information Technology at Queens College offers detailed instructions for activating (or claiming) your QC G Suite for Education account. The process comes down to four steps.

  1. Go to https://accounts.google.com..
  2. Enter your complete Queens College username (e.g., jmonroy100@qc.cuny.edu). Leave the password field blank.
  3. From the QC authentication page, sign in with your QC CAMS account. Use your QC CAMS username (e.g. jmonroy100) and your QC CAMS password. (If you’re having trouble contact the QC CAMS Help Desk at 718–997–4444.)
  4. Accept the terms of service.

Access your QC G Suite for Education account at https://google.com/a/qc.cuny.edu.

Note: Your Google G Suite for Education username is [Your QC CAMS username]@qc.cuny.edu, for example, jmonroy100@qc.cuny.edu.

Join Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a barebones, learning management system that you will use to submit your assignments and I will use to grade your work. We will not be using Blackboard. I will also post announcements to Google Classroom, instead of emailing everyone in class. However, you should use email to contact me, instead of the private commenting system in Google Classroom because it doesn’t work properly.

To add the class:

  1. Go to Google Classroom.
  2. Sign in using your QC CAMS login.
  3. Near the top-left of the browser, click the “+” to “Join class.”
  4. Enter the code I provided at the first meeting (for face-to-face classes) or via email (for online classes).

Download the Google Classroom mobile app for iOS or Android.

Use the QC G Suite Apps

We will be using some QC G Suite applications in this class.

  • Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage platform. Your QC Google Drive offers unlimited storage, compared to 15 GB with your personal Google Drive. Download the Google Drive mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Docs is a cloud-based, word-processing application. It is comparable to Microsoft Word on your personal computer except that all your documents are stored in your Google Drive. Be sure you’re using your QC G Suite account, not your personal Google account. Download the Google Docs mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Hangouts is a video-based, communication platform used for remote office hours. Download the Google Hangouts mobile apps for iOS or Android.

Policies

Professionalism

Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid digital distractions. 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. Seriously, I’m this close to banning all digital devices in class. 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.

Late Work and “Incomplete” Grades

Please submit your work on time. Late quizzes and take-home final exams will not be accepted. In-class exams must be taken at the date and time listed below unless other we make other arrangements. All other work will be penalized as follows.

Fall and Spring Courses
After a 24-hour grace period, 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.
Summer and Winter Courses
After a one-hour grace period, late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction up to 24 hours after the deadline. Late work will not be accepted after 24 hours.

There are 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.

Extra Credit Assignments

There are no opportunities for extra credit. As a matter of fairness, your grade will be based on the work assigned to all students.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. Examples of Academic Dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, obtaining an unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.

Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, information, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student.

For tips and information on how to maintain academic integrity, consult Writing at Queens document, “What is Plagiarism?”.

Computers, Tablets, and Mobile Phones

Please refrain from using your digital devices during class. Also remember to silence your mobile phone, or turn it off to save your battery.

It is particularly rude to use your devices in class because it distracts not only me but also the students around you. And others can see what you’re doing.

Students must surrender mobile phones, tablets, and computers on exam days.

Email

Do not use the commenting system in Google Classroom to communicate with me.

Always use your QC email account (student@qmail.cuny.edu). This is the only way I can communicate with you, other than face-to-face meetings or via video conferencing.

Students with Disabilities

Queens College has a history of commitment to the enhancement of education of students with disabilities. The Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities was established in 1974 to provide equal opportunities for a college education to academically qualified students with physical disabilities. The office offers comprehensive support services to students with various disabilities. Queens College prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and it ensures full access and equal opportunity to qualified students with disabilities to all academic programs and social activities on campus.

To receive these services, a student must first register with the office in Kiely 171. To do so, you must bring proper documentation pertaining to the nature of your disability from a qualified professional. To learn more about CUNY Assistive Technology Services and the office located at Queens College, call (718) 997–3775 or visit Kiely Hall 173. For more information, visit The Office of Special Services.

Help with Writing

One of the most important skills you will learn throughout your education is writing. If you cannot write, you will not succeed at communicating your ideas and will endanger your professional development.

The Writing Center at Queens College offers free assistance to students with writing. Please visit the center at least once for each writing assignment you have for your classes this semester. You can schedule a one-hour session or drop in to consult an on-duty tutor.

Quizzes

For each of the twelve media technologies, you will take a quiz on the lecture and reading materials. Each quiz is due by noon on the day of the relevant class, noted below and on Google Classroom.

  • Due: day of class, 12:00 PM
  • Ten of twelve quizzes are required
  • No late quizzes will be accepted
  • Weight: 30%

Media Technologies and “The Cycle”

At the midterm exam, I will assign you one of five media technologies addressed in The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu.

Write a 1,500-word of summary of how your assigned media technology follows the pattern of what Wu terms “The Cycle.” Your summary should address the timeframe of that technology and also confront at least three of the following steps of the “The Cycle”:

  1. The invention and adoption of the media technology;
  2. The technology’s disruption of an existing, incumbent technology;
  3. The consolidation of number of actors controlling that technology
  4. The division of the media technology industry due to a newer technology or regulatory action;
  5. The reorganization of the media technology industry into another consolidated industry with a few entities controlling it.

Follow these guidelines for formatting and submitting your paper.

Exams

Midterm Exam

The midterm exam is an in-class exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Monday, October 23, in class
  • Weight: 20%

Final Exam

The final exam is an in-class exam, consisting identification and short answer questions. The exam will cover the course material from the second-half of the course.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

  • Monday, December 18, 6:15 – 8:15 PM
  • Weight: 30%

Schedule

August 28 • Welcome

  1. Buy the required textbook:
  2. Activate your G Suite at QC account
  3. Join our course on Google Classroom
    1. Go to Google Classroom
    2. Click on the “+” to join the course
    3. Enter the code: i3rn8f
  4. Download the Google Classroom app for your mobile device and sign in using your QC G Suite account.
  5. Complete the Welcome Survey

September 11 • Early Print

Gutenberg launches a print revolution in Europe that ultimately leads to several other revolutions: the Protestant Reformation, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, the Free Press, and the American and French Revolutions, as well as the Partisan Press.

Assignments

As you await the arrival of your textbooks, I am providing the reading as a PDF. Use your QC Suite login for access.

Review

September 18 • Mass Print

The introduction of steam power to the printing presses at the beginning of the 19th century radically changes the nature of print, its scale, and the content to reach a mass audience like never before possible.

Assignments

As you await the arrival of your textbooks, I am providing the reading as a PDF. Use your QC G Suite login for access.

Review

September 25 • Contemporary Print

Print would serve as a muckraker, a reformer, a war correspondent, a tool of authoritarian governments, the voice of the marginalized, a watchdog, and finally, a way to wrap fish.

Assignments
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 3, “Print Media in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries”
  • Complete Quiz 3 by 12:00 PM
Review

October 2 • Photography

In the nineteenth century, inventors improve how to use chemicals to expose light and record it on various media; thus bringing photography to existence. Since then, photography would move from the portrait studio, to the battlefield, and to our own pockets.

Assignments
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 4, “Photography: Giving Vision to History”
  • Complete Quiz 4 by 12:00 PM
Review

October 16 • Motion Pictures

The development of motion pictures in the nineteenth century has made possible an entire industry and new form of entertainment that has captivated us—in different ways—in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Assignments
  • Kovarik, Chapter 5, “Cinema: The Image Comes Alive”
  • Complete Quiz 5 by 12:00 PM
Review

October 23 • Midterm Exam

We will take our midterm exam today in class.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.

October 30 • Advertising and Public Relations

Advertising and Public Relations rise with print and broadcasting to persuade the public throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century and, of course, using digital technologies in the twenty-first century.

Assignments
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 6, “Advertising, Public Relations, and the Crafted Image”
  • Complete Quiz 6 by 12:00 PM
  • Begin reading The Master Switch
Review

November 6 • Telegraph and Telephone

The telegraph and telephone both emerge in the nineteenth century, inaugurating the electronic communications era, and both building immense corporate, communication empires in the process.

Reading
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 7, The First Electronic Revolution: Telegraph and Telephone"
  • Complete Quiz 7 by 12:00 PM
  • Continue reading The Master Switch
Review

November 13 • Radio

The discovery of electromagnetism in the nineteenth century opened new possibilities: wireless telegraph, wireless telephone, broadcast radio, and even other uses—from Wi-Fi to podcasting.

Assignment
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 8, “The New World of Radio”
  • Complete Quiz 8 by 12:00 PM
  • Continue reading The Master Switch
Review

November 20 • Television

The invention of electronic televisions creates a new communications empire for radio companies in the United States.

Assignments
  • Kovarik, Chapter 9, “Television: A New Window on the World”
  • Complete Quiz 9 by 12:00 PM
  • Conclude reading The Master Switch
Review

November 27 • Computers

The development of digital computers since the mid–20th century had made it possible to expand what we as humans can do.

Assignments
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 10, “Computers”
  • Complete Quiz 10 by 12:00 PM
Review

December 4 • Internet

Digital networks that developed in the post-World War II era and the proliferation of computers offered to extend the possibilities of what humans can do with computers and their networks. But who would control these networks?

Assignments
  • Kovarik, Chapter 11, “Digital Networks”
  • Complete Quiz 11 by 12:00 PM
  • Submit your Media Technologies and The Cycle assignment by 6:00 PM on Google Classroom
Review

December 11 • Media and Globalization

The global digital revolution—made possible by the communications technology and global social networks—has brought us back to rethink how communication can change our world and how we have to protect the freedom to communicate.

Assignments
  • Kovarik, Chapter 12, “Global Culture”
  • Complete Quiz 12 by 12:00 PM
Review

December 18 • Final Exam

We will take our final exam in class, 6:15–8:15 PM.

Use the review guide to prepare for the exam, including surveying the format of the exam.