Course Project: Online Technology Conference

 

The final project is a presentation for an imaginary technology conference called in order to evaluate the impact of technology on culture. Students will pose questions of cultural concern in regard to new or emerging technologies and answer these questions in a multimedia presentation that uses scholarly research. The project will be completed in stages throughout the course and shared with the class in the final week. Students choose a new or emerging technology and ask the following questions about it (from Neil Postman, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century):

 

1. What is the problem for which this technology is the solution?

 

2. Whose problem is it?

 

3. Which people and what institutions might be most seriously harmed by a technological solution?

 

4. What new problems might be created because we have solved this problem?

 

5. What sort of people and institutions might acquire special economic and political power because of technological change?

 

6. What changes in language are being enforced by new technologies, and what is being gained and lost by such changes?

 

Students answer these questions by doing research online.  At least six scholarly sources must be employed to answer the questions.

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