This is an archived course.

Course Description

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 is a detailed examination of the regulation and social impact of emerging technologies such as the Internet and new telephonic and audiovisual media. We will survey the origins of digital communication and the Internet, contemporary Internet technologies and institutions, and the changes to our culture in light of the digital revolution.


Juan Monroy


Office Hours

G Building, Room 103

Monday, 12:00 – 1:00 PM

Course Materials


The following textbooks are available through online retailers, and on reserve at Rosenthal Library. They may not be available at the Queens College Bookstore, Student Union Building, Phone: (718) 997–3573, due my ordering the textbooks very late.

Required course materials qualify for a tax credit. For more information, see, a website published by the National Association of College Stores.

Course Website

There is a course website that will be the primary online presence for this course. Here, you will find important announcements, course schedule, lecture summaries, assignment guidelines, exam study guides, links to relevant resources, and the most current version of the syllabus. Everyone’s blog entries (see Assignments below) will be posted on this website.


We will be using Blackboard for the parts of the course that involve your grade. You will use Blackboard to submit each assignment, except for the blog posts, and you can view your grade in the class for tracking your individual progress.

Course Policies

The requirements for this class are fairly simple: attend class, pay attention in class, complete the assigned readings, and complete every assignment on time and on your own.


Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid distractions, such as web browsing and using your mobile phone. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones tend to perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices. That’s equivalent to a full grade!

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 require you to withdraw from the class.


Attendance at all class session is of paramount importance. I expect you to take responsibility for attending all classes. While there are no formal consequences for missing class, absenteeism almost always results in a lower grade because you will be missing important lecture information, in-class presentations, and announcements.

Reading Assignments

Please complete the required readings before our class session. We will cover material that assumes you have completed the assigned readings. I invite you to re-read certain chapters or articles after the class to reinforce the material covered in our sessions.

Although I understand that textbooks are expensive, you are required to buy the required books as they are a necessary part of your education. The books will be available on reserve at Rosenthal Library. Some books may also be available as a more affordable e-book, and required books now qualify for a tax credit.

Written Assignments

Here’s the deal: If you do your own work, write thoughtful work, properly cite your sources, and submit your work on time, you should do very well in this course.

All written work must be submitted on time. Assignments must be submitted through Blackboard as an electronic file (PDF, RTF, or Microsoft Word) and as a hard copy. Your assignment will not be considered submitted until you have tendered both versions. Please do not email me your assignments.

All written work must be formatted according to the directions specified on the assignment guidelines. In addition, please number your pages, double space your text, and make a cover page that includes your name, the course title, the title of your assignment, and the assignment’s due date. Please print your paper and proofread it for grammatical and typographic errors before submitting it. Excessive errors will result in a lower grade.

You must cite your sources according to the specifications outlined in one of the following guides: * MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009.   * The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2010.  

It is absolutely crucial to properly cite sources for any information you give that is not common knowledge. Not doing so is considered plagiarism and will result receiving a reduced grade, a failing grade for the assignment, or a failing grade for the course, depending on the severity of the offense.

Academic Integrity

Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion, as provided herein.

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. Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any activity that intentionally or unintentionally gives a student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student. Additionally, falsification of records and official documents constitutes academic dishonesty.

All students are invited to read the CUNY policy.

Late Work and “Incomplete” Grades

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.

Email and Mailing List

Please check your QC email account ( on a daily basis, if not more frequently.

This list will be used as a backup to the often unresponsive QC email system. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using your official email address and the mailing list.

Mobile Phones

Please silence and 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.

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.


Profile of an Internet Technology

Write a 1000-word profile of the Internet technology you were assigned in class on September 12. Please use only academic and journalistic sources for your research. Your profile should:

  1. briefly summarize the technology, describing its purpose and primary application;
  2. explain its history, paying particular attention to its origins and evolution;
  3. locate and analyze at least three examples of its use on the Internet;
  4. evaluate this technology based on its ease of use, effectiveness, and possible applications

You will receive two (2) extra-credit points for posting this assignment on the course website, in addition to submitting it on Blackboard and in class, before class on the day it is due.

In-Class Presentation

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 and you will receive three (3) extra credit points for posting a 250-word individualized summary of your presentation by 6:00 PM the day after your presentation.

Response to In-Class Presentations

Immediately before the midterm exam, you will be randomly assigned to a group. Each member of your group will respond to the presentation given in class the previous week by composing a 400- to 500-word response. Your response should address a specific single issue or question raised by the group’s in-class presentation. Please do not summarize the entire book in your response.

Your response must be posted on the course website no later than 12:00 noon on the day it is due.


Midterm Exam

The exam will consist of true/false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and short essay questions. The questions will be based on the material we covered in the first-half of the course, corresponding to the principles of digital communication and the Internet.

Final Exam

The final exam will be a take-home test with three essay questions, each requiring about a 500-word response. The exam will cover class material from the entire semester and will be distributed at our final class session. Your completed exam will be due one week later, uploaded to Blackboard.

Course Schedule

August 29 • Welcome


Buy the required textbooks, download the syllabus, visit the course website, login to Blackboard, browse our ERes site, and subscribe to the email list.

September 12 • Development of the Internet


In today’s class, you will be assigned an Internet technology that will be the subject of your first assignment, due on September 26. Don’t miss this class!


September 19 • Are We Producers or Consumers?


September 26 • The Internet Everywhere


Profile of an Internet Technology is due in class and on Blackboard.


October 3 • Internet Technologies Presentations


Present the Internet technology you profiled in your assignment.

October 17 • The Internet as Public Sphere


October 24 • Our Social Lives


October 31 • Midterm Exam

We will take the midterm exam during our regular class session.

November 7 • Google Everywhere


Group 1 will present in class and Group 3 will respond on the course website by the following week.


Screening * Google: Behind the Screen (IJsbrand van Veelen, Holland, 2006) 47 mins.

November 14 • Internet for Good and for Naught


Group 2 will present in class and Group 4 will respond on the course website by the following week.

Reading * Levinson, Paul. Chapter 11, “The Dark Side of New New Media.” New New Media. 1st ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2009. * Wu, Tim. The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. New York: Vintage, 2011.

November 21 • The Internet Everyday


Group 3 will present in class and Group 5 will respond on the course website by the following week.


November 28 • The Internet as Private Sphere


Group 4 will present in class and Group 1 will respond on the course website by the following week.


December 5 • The Internet and Community


Group 5 will present in class and Group 2 will respond on the course website by the following week.


December 12 • The Internet and The Commons


December 19 • Final Exam

Your final exam must be submitted on Blackboard by December 19, 6:00 PM.