How many times have you checked your e-mail already today? Do you have an account on Facebook? Have you ever downloaded an MP3? When you visit your family during the holidays, do slower connection speeds drive you up the wall? How many text messages have you sent or received on your phone since the beginning of the week? When was the last time you purchased music on a physical compact disk?
Today, we are all part of the network. Our lives are more intertwined with new media than ever before. Emerging communication technologies are faster, more powerful, and thoroughly portable.
Though computer literacy no longer guarantees a lucrative job upon graduation, employers are still desperate for technically sophisticated workers. But computer skills are only one aspect of technical literacy. It is also important to cultivate a critically informed stance towards the Internet, personal computers, and other communication technologies that are transforming our understanding of what it means to be human.
This course simultaneously examines both the theory and the practice of new media.
Course requirements and materials
The assigned readings can be found on T-Learn. There are also two required books:
- Malcolm Harris (2011) Share or Die: Youth in Recession. ($15)
- Cory Doctorow (2009) Makers. New York: Tor. ($11)
Because computers are notorious for crashing without warning, it is vital that you regularly back up your digital work. If you have not yet done so, please create a free, personal account on Dropbox. This will give you two gigabytes of universally available storage space.