This is an archived course. Visit the most recent syllabus.

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.


This is a hybrid course. Instead of attending class each week, you will need to regularly do each of the four required activities: read the assigned readings from the textbooks, audition recorded lectures posted each Wednesday morning on Google Classroom, complete online quizzes posted each Thursday morning by the dates specified on the course schedule below, and attend in-person classes on the following dates: January 30, February 13, March 6, March 20, March 27 (Midterm Exam), April 17, May 1, May 15, and May 22 (Final Exam)

This is in addition to completing the written assignment, Media Technologies and The Cycle, described below and taking the Midterm Exam and Final Exam.

Time and Place

Select Tuesdays
6:30 PM – 9:20 PM
Kiely Hall, Room 264
Section: MEDST 100–02 (8635)


Juan Monroy

Office Hours

G Building, Room 102-D
Mondays, 5:00 – 6:00 PM

Schedule an Appointment


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.


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 (often referred to as the QC Active Directory) account. Below are instructions for how to activate your QC G Suite for Education account (titled “Step 1” below) and how to join our course on Google Classroom (titled “Step 2” below). New QC students and students enrolled at another CUNY campus will have to take an additional, first step (titled “Step 0” below).

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, businesses and educational institutions G Suite 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.

Step 0: Activate your QC Username

Students New to Queens College, Recently Transferred to QC, or Enrolled at another CUNY Campus.

You must first activate your Queens College username and email account at

The process takes about three (3) business days so please start this process as soon as possible.

Step 1: 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
  2. Log in with your complete Queens College username (e.g.,
  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.

You can access your QC G Suite for Education account at

Your Google G Suite for Education username is [Your QC AD username], for example,

About 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.

Step 2: Join Google Classroom

Google has instructions for joining a course in Google Classroom. The process basically comes down to four steps:

  1. Go to Google Classroom.
  2. Sign in using your QC CAMS login.
  3. 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).

I highly recommend downloading the Google Classroom mobile app for iOS or Android. If you allow push notifications, you will immediately receive important announcements from me and learn when assignments are posted.

Use the QC G Suite for Education Apps

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

  • 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 Meet is a video-based, communication platform used for remote office hours. Download the Google Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android.
  • Google Forms is a survey and data collection platform that we will use for quizzes in some courses. There’s a bug in Forms that requires you to authenticate using your QC G Suite account on a web browser if you navigate to the quiz from the Google Classroom apps. To avoid this bug, I recommend taking the quizzes on a desktop computer.
  • 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.


A majority of access issues can be resolved switching to your Queens College Google account. This article describes how to switch between Google accounts.

Another resolution that always works is to log out of all your Google accounts in your web browser and then logging back into your QC G Suite account at



For in-person classes, regular attendance is required. Attend twelve or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than four classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

For hybrid course, regular attendance is required. Attend seven or more classes and receive five bonus points added to your final grade. Students missing more than three classes will not be permitted to take the final exam.

This policy does not apply to online courses.

Verification of Attendance

You must be present or participating in class during the verification of attendance period. Otherwise, I will report you as not attending and you will be dropped from the class.

The verification period is as follows:

  • fall and spring semesters: the first three weeks of classes
  • summer and winter semesters: the first two days of classes

Academically-related activities include, but are not limited to:

  • physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;
  • submitting an academic assignment;
  • taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;
  • attending a study group that is assigned by the school;
  • participating in an online discussion about academic matter;
  • engaging in an online academically-related activity, or initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course or ask a course-related question.

Note: Logging into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate participation in an academically-related activity by the student.


Digital devices are prohibited in in-person classes. Unfortunately, students in the past have failed to use computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. in a professional, responsible, or productive manner, and, as such, you are not allowed to use these devices in class after the first class session.

You’re welcome to print out the slides ahead of time—they are available on this website—and to take notes on paper. I recommend buying a spiral notebook, some nice pencils, and a portable pencil sharpener to do this.

Further, if I find you engaging in any other disruptive behavior, such as passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, photographing, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.

Late Work

Please submit your work on time. Late quizzes and take-home final exams will not be accepted. In some cases, assignments due at the end of the term 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.
All courses
No work will be accepted after the last class session.

“Incomplete” Grades

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.

No 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.


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

Always use your QC email account ( to email me, and also direct all emails to my account. This is the only way I can communicate with you, other than face-to-face meetings or via video conferencing.

CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity

The CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity, as adopted by the Board, is available to all students. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion.

Use of Student Work

All programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies. For these purposes, samples of student work are occasionally made available to those professionals conducting the review. Anonymity is assured under these circumstances. If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Course Evaluations

During the final four weeks of the semester, you will be asked to complete an evaluation for this course by filling out an online questionnaire. Please remember to participate in these course evaluations. Your comments are highly valued, and these evaluations are an important service to fellow students and to the institution, since your responses will be pooled with those of other students and made available online, in the Queens College Course Information System. Please also note that all responses are completely anonymous; no identifying information is retained once the evaluation has been submitted.

Campus Resources

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should register with and provide documentation to the Office of Special Services, Frese Hall, room 111. The Office of Special Services will provide a letter for you to bring to your instructor indicating the need for accommodation and the nature of it. This should be done during the first week of class. For more information about services available to Queens College students, contact the Office of Special Services (718–997–5870) or visit their website

Technical Support

The Queens College Helpdesk, (718) 997–4444, is located in the I-Building, Room 151 and provides technical support for students who need help with Queens College email, CUNY portal, Blackboard, and CUNYfirst.

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.


This class consists of four components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all four of these.

Attendance and Participation

Please be present in each scheduled in-person class meeting, as noted on this syllabus.

Each class session will be the basis of the material I expect you to know for the exams. We will cover the historical, technological, and economic context relevant to each electronic media technology. Although I will post review questions each week, they serve as poor substitutes for attending and participating in each week’s class.

Audition Recorded Lectures

For each class session, there will be a recorded lecture. We will review the previous two sessions at each in-person class class. Audition each recorded lecture by 5:00 PM on the date specified on the syllabus.


Please read the assigned course material prior to each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule (below) for the required reading assignments.


All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized according to the policy listed below.


Exams comprise half of your course grade and are designed to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.



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, 5:00 PM
  • Ten of twelve quizzes are required
  • No late quizzes will be accepted
  • Weight: 30%

Media Technologies and The Cycle

After midterm exam, begin reading The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu. I will randomly assign you a media technology addressed in this book for your assignment.

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.


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.

  • Tuesday, March 27, in class
  • Weight: 25%

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.

  • Date May 22, in class
  • Weight: 25%


January 30 • Welcome

  1. Buy the required textbook:
  2. Activate your QC G Suite for Education 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: m102qb9
  4. Download the Google Classroom app for your mobile device and sign in using your QC G Suite account.
  5. Complete the Welcome Survey

Did you miss the first day of class? Here’s a video of what you missed.

February 6 • 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.


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


February 13 • 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.


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


February 27 • 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.

  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 3, “Print Media in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries”
  • Audition the Lecture: Contemporary Print
  • Complete Quiz 3 by 5:00 PM

March 6 • 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.

  • Attend class today, 6:30–9:20 PM
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 4, “Photography: Giving Vision to History”
  • Audition the Lecture: Photography
  • Complete Quiz 4 by 5:00 PM

March 13 • 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.


March 20 • 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.

  • Attend class today, 6:30–9:20 PM
  • Kovarik, Chapter 5, “Cinema: The Image Comes Alive”
  • Audition the Lecture: Motion Pictures
  • Complete Quiz 6 by 5:00 PM

March 27 • 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.

April 10 • 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.


April 17 • Radio

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

  • Attend class today, 6:30–9:20 PM
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 8, “The New World of Radio”
  • Read The Master Switch, “Part II: Beneath the Seeing Eye”
  • Audition the Lecture: Radio
  • Complete Quiz 8 by 5:00 PM

April 24 • Television

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

  • Kovarik, Chapter 9, “Television: A New Window on the World”
  • Read The Master Switch, “Part III: The Rebels, The Challengers, The Fall”
  • Audition the Lecture: Television
  • Complete Quiz 9 by 5:00 PM

May 1 • Computers

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

  • Attend class today, 6:30–9:20 PM
  • Read Kovarik, Chapter 10, “Computers”
  • Read The Master Switch, “Part IV: Reborn without a Soul”
  • Audition the Lecture: Computers
  • Complete Quiz 10 by 5:00 PM

May 8 • 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?

  • Kovarik, Chapter 11, “Digital Networks”
  • Read The Master Switch, “Part V: The Internet Against Everyone”
  • Audition the Lecture: Internet
  • Complete Quiz 11 by 5:00 PM

May 15 • 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.


May 22 • Final Exam

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

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