We live in a digital culture. Digital content has become essential to our personal, professional, economic, and political interactions—we interact with others via e-mail, text messaging, and social networking sites; we shop and do our jobs over the internet; we learn about politics from surfing the web or voice our opinions by commenting on posts or blogging. The digital technologies that enable these activities provide us with new opportunities, but also shape our experiences in ways that we might not be aware of. New digital information technologies such as the internet, databases, and computer surveillance provide new challenges to our understanding of such things as personal identity, friendship, privacy, authority, and authorship.
In this course, we will explore how digital information technologies—shape our lives and our cultures. We will explore the benefits and the possible dangers of new and emerging digital information technologies. We will approach these and other issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, looking at the insights into our information age that can be provided by such areas of inquiry as history, linguistics, sociology, political theory, information science, and philosophy.
The course will not only critically analyze new digital information technologies, it will use such technologies to deliver the course—providing opportunities for active reflection on the ways in which digital technologies shape learning and social interaction
Sample Topics Covered:
• Intellectual Property and the Open Source Movement
• Surveillance and Privacy
• Information Technology, Democracy, and Regulation
• The Web as a force for Localization and Globalization
• Speech and the Internet
• Expertise in a digital age