CMST 101: EXPLORING THE DIGITAL FUTURE

INSTRUCTOR: Bruce Wolcott

Instructional designer: Michael Korolenko
EMAIL: Use the Vista course email to contact me first. As a second option,
you can also reach me at: bwolcott@bellevuecollege.edu
OFFICE/PHONE: Emergencies only: Leave messages with the Arts and Humanities office at (425) 564-2341
OFFICE HOURS: Via Vista email
TEXTBOOKS:

DIGITAL FUTURAMA by Michael Korolenko and Bruce Wolcott

IN THE ABSENCE OF THE SACRED by Jerry Mander

(For Special Credit)
High-Tech Heretic by Clifford Stoll

This course will provide an overview and study of the current and emerging media technologies and what impact these technologies will have on the students and their future. This will be accomplished through a series of lectures, discussions, and a variety of film and video clips and demonstrations. 20% of the course will be devoted to both a historical and technological background of telecommunications, 30% will focus on its current standing and uses, and 50% will focus on the Future - both in terms of new applications and what this means for various job markets.

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  1. To teach students an understanding of just what is meant by the term digital technology.
  2. To enable students to identify a variety of new terms including the following: fiber optics, enabling technology, world wide web, and virtual reality, and head mounted display.
  3. To give students a working knowledge of the various applications of digital technology, including an understanding of how to write and produce for the new technologies.
  4. To show students where digital technology stands today, and to enable students to discuss new technologies social and economic implications.
  5. To teach students an understanding of where the field of digital media may be headed.
  6. To give students a clear understanding of the ethical and moral concerns inherent in the new technologies and to enable the students to express those concerns in a concise and intelligent manner during in-class discussions.
  7. To have students develop and write a written critique on how one or more of the new technologies might impact them personally either at home or on-the-job.
  8. To have students, in teams, develop chosen critiques into case studies to be presented orally to the rest of the class.

THE COURSE ONLINE

Online, the class will be structured like a museum or World's Fair exhibit called The Cybernetic Futurama. Different "corridors" will take students into different areas such as Chat Rooms, A History of the Future, The Lecture Hall, Technology Experts and Futurists, etc. Students will be required to create three brief reports/presentations discussing and detailing the areas covered during the quarter. Students will, for their final, be assigned to groups and give an online presentation on one of the following technologies: Multimedia Entertainment, Multimedia Education, Virtual Reality Entertainment, Virtual Reality Education, Interactive Television, and Nanotechnology.

WEEKLY TOPICS AND DISCUSSIONS

Week 1 - INTRODUCTION AND HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

ASSIGNMENT As soon as you log on- Read pages 11 - 24 in In The Absence of The Sacred

  1. What we mean by the "Digital" Future.
  2. 1890s - 1990s - H.G. Wells' and Robert Paul's first patented interactive multi-media time machine; Hugo Gernsback and early radio pioneers.
  3. Radio enters its Golden Age ("War of The Worlds" broadcast); Television technology, from Felix the Cat in 1928 to the New York World's Fair and beyond.
  4. German radio and television during the 30s and 40s - what their uses might have been, what they still may be; "The Making of Television."
  5. The 50s - Technology and the creation of the first true youth culture - "technology favors the young"
  6. The 60s: the Space Race pushes us forward
  7. The 70s and "Future Shock"
  8. The 80s and a restructuring
  9. The 90s and the Future begins

ASSIGNMENT - read chapters 2, & 3 in In The Absence of The Sacred.

Chapter 2 (pages 47-75) and chapter 11 (pages 315-366) in Telecommunications
WEEK 1- MODERN MEDIA'S ROLE IN AMERICAN CULTURE

How Does Modern Media Keep Us Informed (or does it?)

  1. Nixon and television
  2. TV/LA and new myths
  3. The content of our culture
  4. The experiences of Radio, Film, and Television (as covered in Jerry Mander book reading assignments)
  5. The Medium is The Metaphor - 1984 or Brave New World

ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK TWO - Chapter 4 in In The Absence of The Sacred and Chapter 6 in Telecommunications

Week 2 - PERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  1. Brief history - the real revolution of the 1960's video and computers (both leaping out of the space program).
  2. From behemoths to desktops to laptops to palmtops
  3. Chip technology d. Mr. Bell's grand machine - from dialing to touch tone, from faxing to cellular phones to videophones.

READING ASSIGNMENTS-
Chapters 5 and 6 in In The Absence of the Sacred
Chapters 5 and 14 Telecommunications

PROJECT 1 ASSIGNED: DUE NEXT WEEK

Week 3: WORKING IN TODAY'S DIGITAL WORLD
  1. Consuming Images and The Digital Revolution
  2. Electronic Media Forms
  3. Today's Production Equipment and Personal video - from VCRs to disc players to video games (to the beginnings of Virtual Reality and what this may bode)
  4. Specialized Communications - for minorities and the disabled
  5. New Production Equipment or - everyone going into film or video now has to be computer literate. Film vs. Video - the differences; the merging of film and video through new technology.
  6. Digital video and a new era

ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK THREE - Review materials on Multimedia in the online installation from ArtMuseum.Net

Week 4 - MULTIMEDIA

PROJECT 1 DUE THIS WEEK

  1. What it used to mean, what it means today, what it may mean for the future.
  2. Multimedia today - and the future promise.
  3. Interactive Networks and New Revenues - PC's from Print To MTV?
  4. Today's Products and Specifications.
  5. Writing and Creating for Multimedia - or non-linear (digital) thinking.

ASSIGNMENT - INTERNET TERMS IN GLOSSARY

PROJECT 2 ASSIGNED: DUE NEXT WEEK

WEEK 5 - COMMUNICATIONS, COMPUTERS, AND NETWORKS

or - The Transformation of Our Civilization Through The Fusion of Computing and Communications Technologies.

  1. Computers, Networks, and Education.
  2. The Technologically Advanced Family
  3. Building America's Infostructure: Public Policy In The New Information Age.
  4. Data Banks.

ASSIGNMENTS FOR WEEK SIX - Chapters 7, 8, and 10 in In The Absence of The Sacred

Week 6 - HDTV and THE "TELECOMPUTER"

PROJECT 2 DUE THIS WEEK

  1. High Stakes in HDTV
  2. HDTV in Hollywood
  3. Life After Television?

ASSIGNMENTS - Second part of Chapter 6 (pages 183-187) in Telecommunications

WEEK 7 - NEW DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT

PROJECT 3 ASSIGNED: DUE NEXT WEEK

  1. If you thought video games were something . . .
  2. Computer Animation - 3D and otherwise.
  3. Morphing, surfing, and other digital trends.

ASSIGNMENTS Chapter 9 In The Absence of The Sacred

Weeks 8 - LOOKING GLASS WORLDS AND THE USES OF VIRTUAL REALITY. OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS.

PROJECT 3 DUE THIS WEEK

  1. From medicine to "travel" to "lighting" a set to . . .
  2. . . . shopping malls?
  3. Human/Computer Interface.

ASSIGNMENTS - Epilogue in In The Absence of The Sacred and Epilogue in Telecommunications

WEEK 9 - THE FUTURE ISN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE
  1. Will the written word become superfluous? (some like Professor Donald A. Norman think so).
  2. Brave New Worlds of entertainment or - are you ready for "Feelie" Movies?
  3. The coming era of the nanocomputer and nanotechnology. Is this the beginning of a "Postindustrial" society?
Week 10 - PRESENT FINAL GROUP PRESENTATIONS

Extra Credit piece on High-Tech Heretic also due this week


MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS

There will be three individual presentations, each worth 100 points. Topics for these projects will be provided during the quarter.

Students will also be required to work in teams towards giving a final online presentation worth 100 points.

Students must also be prepared to discuss all reading assignments in assigned texts, reserved articles, and hand-outs and provide input to ongoing class discussions as specified by the instructor - for a total class participation score of 100 points.

Finally, a 100 point online multiple choice final exam will be given at the end of the quarter.

EXTRA CREDIT

For special credit and by permission of the instructor, students can read the book High-Tech Heretic, and give a presentation on the book, with both a critique and a statement on why they or agree or disagree with author Clifford Stoll.

GRADING will be as follows:

  • The three individual presentations will each count 100 points.
  • Class participation, as specified by the instructor will be worth 100 points.
  • The Final Team Project will be worth 100 points
  • A final online examination will be worth 100 points.
Together these projects will be worth a total of 600 points.

If you add your six grades together and divide by six, you'll come up with your grade average (a C being 70 and above, a B being 80 and above, etc.).

MEETINGS WITH THE INSTRUCTOR will be by appointment only.