Week 2 – History and Evolution of the Digital Age


  • Guest Speaker: Jessica Albano, UW Libraries (our course site)
  • Housekeeping
  • Lecture/Reading Discussion
  • Term Project
  • Thoughts on Presentations

Guest Speaker


  • Preliminary Project Ideas
    Summary blog post of the first project assignment. There will be a summary like this for every assignment. By next week, I will have a “page” for each student project in the class.
  • Learning goals summary
  • email
    Please use clear subject lines and include “COM546″ — send to kegill at uw dot edu.
    If you have an urgent question, say so in the subject line. I try to return email within 24 hours M-Th. Please sign the email with your first name. If you have not heard back from me within 48 hours (M-Th), please re-send with a new subject line and/or Tweet me and/or phone me. Cell phone in email footer and distributed first night in class.
  • Gradesheet
    Points are recorded on a gradesheet hosted at GoogleDocs. You should be able to find your points by looking for the last three digits of your UW student number. Generally speaking, I update this every-other-week. The first posting is this week’s.
  • Blogs & Copyright
    If you embed any image in a blog post that is not your personal property, you must identify the source of the material. If the material is copyrighted, you must either remove it or explain why you believe your use entails a “fair use” of the material. These details can appear in the foot of your post under a paragraph entitled “Credits.”
  • Absences
    Reminder of policy on absences
  • Discussion Leaders
    If you have a particular week in mind for being discussion leader, please let me know this week and I will try to accommodate requests. After I assign students to weeks,  you can always swap (you just have to find someone who wants to swap).

Lecture/Reading Discussion

Question Posts

I’m asking you to make two question posts throughout the course of the quarter to help shape our evening’s discussion. Make sure you write open-ended questions — in other words, the questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” or one-word declaration. Questions should be in a stand-alone blog post and not the same week as an essay.

  • What are some examples of Winston’s suppression of radical potential at work today?
  • How do Internet technologies respond to a social need or create new ones?
  • How do the disruptions created by the Internet compare with disruptions that resulted from the telegraph and telephone?
  • How much does the success of a prototype have to do with the effectiveness of an inventor’s or a company’s patent attorneys?
  • Winston quotes the postmaster general in saying that the telegraph, with its ability to transmit knowledge and information, could not, “with safety be left in the hands of private individuals uncontrolled by law.” How does this statement influence your thoughts on regulation of the internet?
Reading Posts

Projects and Presentations

  • Discussion of term project
    • Components of next week’s post:
      * Thesis Statement – brief, should include a research question (what is a thesis statement?)
      * Statement of Intent – this statement should indicate how you envision breaking your subject into past – present – future. A reminder: 2010 is “the future” not “the present” for most of you — ditto 2009 for many.
      * At least one source – APA style with annotation
    • Last Year’s Proposals (all are not equal – the “*” highlights posts – annotations were not required last year)
    • Resource: The Proposal – Identifying A Topic in my Guide to Writing Research Papers
  • Book Review: My goal in asking you to read historical books is to help you with your research.
  • LAB (1):
    * In pairs, share your research idea with one another. For those of you who have more than one idea, pick one for this exercise.
    * Working together, develop at least three possible questions that might inform your research.
    * Working together, develop three different searches (keywords, phrases) for each of you
    * Try the searches on two or three sources using Jessica’s link
    * Find one or two scholarly articles that may be appropriate to your subject. The goal of this assignment is to help you refine your topic by examining the state of research by using information from Jessica’s presentation before you forget it!
    * By midnight Thursday, make a blog post (category: class lab or com546 lab) with an APA citation for the article(s) and a short annotation describing why you think it might be useful (your own words!). See Writing Research Papers: The Bibliography.
  • LAB (2):
    * Working in pairs, search Slideshare.net and find at least one “good” and one “bad” example presentation related to course topics or your research topics. Comment on this post with your examples and an explanation.
  • NOTE: I will group students into “project groups” (for brainstorming, support) after you all finalize your topics next week.

Assignments For Next Week

  • midnight Thursday, make a blog post (category: class lab or com546 lab) with an APA citation for the article(s) and a short annotation describing why you think it might be useful (your own words!).
  • Friday noon: Please complete the technology/media consumption survey
  • Tuesday 19 January at noon: Final project idea (blog post; feedback given and points assigned)
  • Wednesday 20 January at 9 am: Reading post (one due for weeks 2 and 3)

Related MultiMedia

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