Readings

(1) Reading reflections (see details on how these are evaluated) are due are due 9 am the day of class unless otherwise noted.

(2) Students will lead discussion (see details on how discussion leadership is evaluated) related to assigned readings once each quarter, beginning week four.

(3) Students will review a book that provides a historical perspective of a communication technology.

Unless otherwise noted, readings are available in eReserve or are in the required books.

Week 2 – Due 13 January at 9 am
History and Evolution of the Digital Age

  • Everyone: Winston, Media Technology and Society – “Introduction” and “Chapter 1: The Telegraph”
  • Everyone: Lessig – Chapter 2 of “Code” – Four Puzzles From Cyberspace (pdf is of the entire book)

Week 3 – Due 20 January at 9 am
Frameworks and Theories: Thinking About the Internet

Week 4 – Due 27 January at 9 am
Frameworks and Theories: Diffusion and Adoption

  • Everyone: Christensen, “Disruptive Technologies: Catching The Wave” (original HBR article, 1995)
  • Everyone: Chapter 5 from Rogers
  • Discussion Group Group 1 also reads one of these articles:
    (1) “The Medium Is The Message” from Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (1964).
    (2) Williams, F., Strover, S. and Grant, A. E. (1994). Social aspects of new media technologies. In J. Bryant J. & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp. 463-482). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (an example of an APA citation)
    (3) Chapter 6 from Rogers
  • Discussion Group 1 – each group member is encouraged to incorporate additional external resources into the discussion — YouTube clips, current news articles, scholarly references


Week 5 – Due 3 February at 9 am
We’ve Been Down This Road Before: From The Telegraph To The Radio

  • Everyone: “As We May Think,” by Vannevar Bush from The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.
  • Everyone: Winston – Chapters 2 & 3
  • Everyone: Christensen – Whither Moore’s Law (Ch 7)
  • Discussion Group 2 also reads one of these articles:
    (1) “Communication Technologies and Social Control” in A Social History of American Technology by Cowan
    (2) “Lightening Lines and the Birth of Modern Communication, 1838-1900” in Media and the American Mind From Morse to McLuhan by Czitrom
  • Discussion Group 2 – each group member is encouraged to incorporate additional external resources into the discussion — YouTube clips, current news articles, scholarly references


Week 6 – Due 10 February at 9 am
From Mass Communication To Customized Information

  • Everyone: Fidler, Mediamorphasis – “Technologies of the Third Mediamorphosis”
  • Everyone: Benkler, The Trouble With Mass Media (Chapter 6)
  • Discussion Group 3 also reads one of these articles:
    (1) “Principles of New Media” from The Language of New Media by Lev Manovich (2001)
    (2) Nye, D.E. (2006). Technology and the Production of Difference. American Quarterly, 58(3), 597-618,983. Research Library database. (Document ID: 1144471241).
  • Discussion Group 3 – each group member is encouraged to incorporate additional external resources into the discussion — YouTube clips, current news articles, scholarly references

Week 7 – Due 17 February at 9 am
Frameworks and Theories: Computer-Mediated Communication and Hypertext

Week 8 – Due 24 February at 9 am
Thinking About The Future

  • Everyone: “Afterword: Media Monopoly” (1997)
  • Everyone: Archivists struggle to preserve crucial records as paper gives way to pixels, http://chronicle.com/free/99/10/99101501t.htm
  • Everyone: Christensen – Breaking The Wire (Ch 10)
  • Extra-Credit Reading (stand-alone blog post): Social Aspects (see Renee’s post)
  • Extra-Credit Reading (stand-alone blog post): Effects of gratification-opportunities and gratifications-obtained on preferences of instant messaging and e-mail among college students. Telematics and Informatics, May 2009. doi:10.1016/j.tele.2008.06.001
  • Discussion Group 5 also reads one of these articles (offiste, requires UW login to library)
    (1) Diez, E. and McIntosh, B.S. (May 2009). A review of the factors which influence the use and usefulness of information systems. Environmental Monitoring & Software 24(5). doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.10.009
    (2) van de Wijngaert, L. and Bouwman, H. (2009). Would you share? Predicting the potential use of a new technology. Telematics and Informatics. doi:10.1016/j.tele.2008.01.002
    (3) Yung, Y. et al. (2009). Consumer adoption of mobile TV: Examining psychological flow and medianext term content. Computers in Human Behavior 25(1). doi:10.1016/j.chb.2008.07.011
    (4) Riley-Huff, D. A. (2009). Web Services As Public Services: Are We Supporting Our Busiest Service Point? Journal of Academic Librarianship 35(1). doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2008.10.004
  • Discussion Group 5 – each group member is encouraged to incorporate additional external resources into the discussion — YouTube clips, current news articles, scholarly references

Students will prepare a written reading reflection at least three times during the quarter. These mini-essays (approximately 500-600 words) should be posted to the student blog before 9 am the day of class. They should be substantive, be spell-checked, and integrate readings with real life experience/observation. They should be distributed throughout the quarter. Three other weeks, students should post three open-ended discussion questions triggered by the required readings. These posts are due by 9 am the day of class.

  • There should be at least one reflection post and one question post during weeks 2-3
  • There should be at least one reflection post and one question post one during weeks 4-6
  • There should be at least one reflection post and one question post during weeks 7-8

MODIFICATION – 20 January

  • Only two question posts required. Students who complete three question posts will receive extra credit. Remember, question posts are, however, contributed on a reading where you do not provide an essay.

Examples and assessment criteria

Criteria: Does the reflection go beyond a summary to link the article(s) to course material and/or student research or work experience? Is the material posted in a timely manner and free of grammatical errors? In the discussion question post, are there three open-ended questions? [Reminder: an open-ended question cannot be answered with a one-word, yes-or-no answer.]

To conform with the blogging genre, remember to categorize the blog post “reading reflection” or “com546 reading reflection.”

Discussion Groups:
1. Brian, Jeff, Renee, Suna
2. Christy, Harry, Filiz, Rubi, Ziwen
3. Chris, Pei-Chieh, Rebekkah, Ross, Yun Li
4. Chao-Wei, Vera, Paolo, Peter
5. Jen, Matthew, Michael, Xiaoqy, Yu-Hsuan

Each student will lead discussion one class session during the quarter. Discussion leaders are assigned an article in the reading list and should (1) link the article to personal experience, their research project, and/or current business practices as well as (2) link it to the general class reading, comparing and contrasting viewpoints. Students are encouraged to also find external material related to their individual interests.

Because of the size of the class, there will be more than one presentation each evening. Students will be divided into five work teams; one member of the team will lead discussion each of these weeks. Discussion leaders will rotate, sharing their knowledge with the other four teams.

Each presentation and question session will be about 10 minutes. It’s much harder to give an effective short presentation than a long one. See these two examples!

Excerpt from remarks by Andor C. Klay upon receiving the Abraham Lincoln Award of the American Hungarian Federation, Nov. 24:

[Tividar Kohanyi, editor of the largest American newspaper in Hungarian language asked President William Howard Taft to speak at a banquet:]

”Just a brief one, Mr. President, since we can imagine how busy you must be – perhaps five minutes.” The President smiled and declined: ”Do you realize my friends, that to prepare even a five-minute speech would take several hours to plan, to draft, to rewrite, to pass through channels for clearances? I’m afraid that I just haven’t got the time.”

Kohanyi pressed: ”Well, as far as that goes, we would be delighted to have you speak for an hour.” The monumental body of the heaviest statesman of his time straightened up: ”Gentlemen, I am ready, now!”

***
If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.
As quoted in The Wilson Era; Years of War and After, 1917–1923 (1946) by Josephus Daniels, p. 624. Referenced in Bartleby.com

The discussion leaders will provide a written analysis on the student blog prior to class, thus contributing to the public discussion of issues raised by this course. In asynchronous communication — and to practice one of the technologies we are discussing — students are encouraged to comment on these posts. For students who are not comfortable speaking up in class, providing written comment is another form of class participation.

Discussion leaders should also prepare a Powerpoint presentation that is uploaded to Slideshare.net. This slide deck should contain no more than five content slides (plus a title slide and a credit slide). After leading discussion, students will post a reflection within two days after class.

Examples and assessment criteria

Criteria: Does the pre-class analysis contain a proper citation (so that others may find the article)? Is the analysis written clearly and succinctly and meet the guidelines in this section? In the presentation, does the discussion leader go beyond a summary to link the article to course material and/or their research or work experience? Is the material posted in a timely manner and free of grammatical errors? How creatively does the student explore the topic?

These discussion leadership opportunities will occur Weeks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Book Reviews
In 800-1,000 words, complete a critical review of a book of your choice (from the list). These books are selected to provide students with a historical perspective of a social aspect of communication technology. What will determine your grade will not be the position you take (to endorse or criticize the book). What is more important is the rigor (evidence) with which you support your opinion.

Book reviews are submitted on the student blog, thus contributing to the public discussion of issues raised by the books. If you would like to create an alternative review, such as a video review on YouTube, talk to (pitch) me!

Due 27 January @ 5 pm; posted to your course blog.
All book reviews.

Examples and assessment criteria

Select from one of these:

  • The Cluetrain Manifesto (1999), C. Locke et al (Amazon, online)
  • Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (2000), L. Lessig (Amazon)
  • A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Vol 1 – Tower of Babel through 1933, E. Barnouw. (GoogleBooks)
  • Neuromancer (1984), W. Gibson
  • Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies (2001), A. Oram (Amazon)
  • Rainbows End (2006), V. Vinge
  • Telephone: The First One Hundred Years (1975 or 1976), J. Brooks
  • The Transparent Society (1998), D. Brin
  • The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers (1998 or 2007), T. Standage (Amazon)
  • Added Six Degrees by Duncan J. Watts (2003 HB/2004 PB)
  • Added We The Media by Dan Gillmor (2004)

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