Syllabus

Technological Innovation in Communication 

Spring 2015
Tuesday: 9:00 -10:50
Wednesday: 10: 00-10: 50
Friday: 11: 00-11: 50

Technology and society

This course is an introduction to new media and the ways in which technological innovation impacts our culture. The main focus will be placed on mobile and digital technologies, and how these impact and transform our social practices. Also, we will discuss the role of creativity and innovation management models of media organizations and companies.

The course is divided into three units

  • Analysis of technological change: it aims to provide a broad conceptual framework for thinking on the relationship between communication, technology and culture.
  • Reinvention: it explores the ways in which the emergence of digital technologies, mobile communication and social media has impacted the pre-existing media formats.
  • Innovation: examines the role of innovation through a number of institutions and practices that have been re-imagined in response to the introduction of new communication technologies.

In general aspects, the class will introduce students to:

  • Key issues related to the study of communication technologies.
  • The disruption processes in the media caused by innovation.
  • Key digital platforms (Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, Wikipedia, Twitter, Buzzfeed, Netflix, Spotify, etc.) and the ways in which they reorganize our daily lives.

Course readings seek to introduce fundamental thinkers and debates around these technological and cultural changes. The tasks are designed to introduce a range of research methods, commonly deployed to examine the interface between communication technologies and cultural practices, conceptual models, and methodological exercises used in design and innovation practices.

Assignments

Participation in the online forum: Each weak, students are expected to use the online platform Schoology to share questions, thoughts or insights from the assigned readings. Questions or comments may be short and informal, but are intended to help the instructor to understand better how students relationships with class materials and content. These questions also serve as starting points during lessons.

Autobiographical Essay: Students will prepare a short essay (3 pages) exploring their relationship and practices with the new technologies of communication. There are many valid ways of writing this exercise. It is possible to describe a particular program you use regularly, and how it affects your daily activities. You can describe any activity that is important to you and talk about the range of technologies that you use to perform such activity. In any case, the test will be evaluated based on the ways in which you describe your personal experience to build an argument about the nature of the impact of new communication technologies in everyday life. The more specific you are in pointing out the uses of these new technologies, the better. No need to try to do brainy arguments about “society today” but if necessary discuss how specific aspects impacting on your own experience.

Design Thinking Workshop: Students should actively participate during the class exercise.

Remix video production: Using video (downloaded or copied), students will use techniques such as “cut and paste” or remix (with programs like Final Cut or otherwise), to create a critical or cultural commentary. The project duration will be approximately 1-2 minutes, the length can be extended if this is well justified.

Partial and final exam: Exams will be open notes. The identification of terms and concepts, short answers and open answers will be combined.

Blog (notebook) 10%
Online forum participation 10%
Autobiographical Essay 20%
Design thinking workshop 10%
Remix video production 20%
Final exam 30%

 

Calendar

August 17 – August 21
Unit 1. Communication technology and society
Steve Johnson: Where do good ideas come from (TED talk)
Manuel Castells: Network Society

August 24 – August 28
Documentary: Virtual Revolution: (BBC Documentary)
Sir Ken Robinson: Schools kill creativity (TED talk)
Lawrence Lessig: Laws that choke creativity (TED talk)

August 31 – September 4
Unit II. Digital Culture
Mark Prensky. Digital natives and Digital Immigrants
Zigmunt Bauman – Liquid Modernity

September 7 – September 11
Technological determinism and Digital utopias
Clay, Shirky. Does the Internet Make You Smarter?
Nicolas Carr: Is the Internet making us stupid?

September 14 – September 18
Tech utopia and Tecnodeterminism
TED talk: The New Open Source Economy
The Wealth of Networks: How social production will transform markets and freedom

September 21 – September 25
From mass culture to cultural participation
Tim O’Reilly: What is Web 2.0?
Henry Jenkins: Convergence Culture

September 28 – October 2
Unit III.
Eli Praiser: Filter Bubbles
Chris Anderson (TED talk) How the web promotes global innovation
Malcom Gladwell: Public Spaces, Why the revolution will not be tweeted

October 5 – October 9
Unit IV. The New Digital Media Ecosystem (Ecology)
Transmedia Narratives
The Fantastic Flying Books
A new way of storytelling
New communication paradigms

October 12 – October 16
Big Data
Minority Report (movie)
Wearable revolution (video)
Quantified-self
Internet of Things

October 19 – October 23
Unit V. Ethical implications in the use of new technologies
The problem with internet
Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future (TED talk 19:25)

October 26 – October 30
Facebook and privacy
Is Facebook making us lonely?
Social media dangers [video]

November 2 – November 6
Social problems and technology
Mobile communications habits
Sherry Turkle: Alone together? (TED talk)
From one second to the next. Documentary by Warner Werzog.
I forgot my phone
Look up

November 9 – November 13
Unit VI. Copyright and intellectual property in the Internet
RIP – A remix Manifesto 
November 16 – November 20
Exercise in class – Design methodology for innovation

November 23 – November 27
Exercise in class – Design methodology for innovation

November 30 – December 4
Final exam and final projects

 

Digital Journalism

Spring 2015
Wednesday: 9:00 -10-50
Friday: 9: 00-11: 50

Course Description
The development of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has also impacted the field of journalism. Internet is redefining the practice of journalism, as well as many other tasks carried out by the communications professionals. This course aims to instruct students in the use of digital tools for journalists, news distribution models on the web, and the current ethical, technological, social and cultural debates related news production and information on the Internet.

Course Objective
This course pretends to instruct students in the importance of today’s technological tools and the digital ecosystem of news and information. Furthermore, the course aims to prepare student to generate their own news content publications and understanding the characteristics of news consumption by the digital audiences, the wide variety of digital content, and the multiple platforms for news distribution.

 

Assignments

Blog (250 words p/post) 10%
Infographic 10%
Photo essay 20%
Live tweet event coverage 10%
Video production 20%
Final Exam 30%

 

Calendar

August 17 – August 21
Unit 1. Introduction to Digital Journalism

August 31 – September 4
Online press
Henry Jenkins: Transmedia Journalism in the participatory culture (TED talk)

August 24 – August 28
Unit II. Hypertext, journalistic genres, social bookmarking

September 7 – September 11
RSS: Real Simple Syndication
Social media and journalism: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube

September 14 – September 18
Unit III. Digital newspaper characteristics
Andres Jaspan: A new way to do journalism (TED talk):

September 21 – September 25
Interactivity, multimedia, real time

September 28 – October 2
The new digital news ecosystem (ecology)

October 5 – October 9
Unit IV. Online news sources for journalists
Online information management
Markham Nolan. How to separate fact and fiction online (TED talk)
Bruno Torturra: Got a smartphone? Start broadcasting. (TED talk)

October 12 – October 16
How to search for information online
Official documents
Data bases
Search automation

October 19 – October 23
Unit V. Designing a digital newswebsite
Three little pigs @guardian [video]

October 26 – October 30
Design tools
Content editing

November 2 – November 6
Data visualization. Simon Rogers: Data-journalism (TED talk)
Online audiences

November 9 – November 13
Unit VI. Challenges for journalists in the digital era
Developing the right skills

November 16 – November 20
The future of news: BBC
Online Copyright and CC
Ted Rosienteil: The future of journalism (TED talk)

November 23 – November 27
Data privacy and government surveillance
John Oliver: Government Surveillance (video)

November 30 – December 4
Final exam and final projects