Digital Technology and Cultures Courses

Offered: Fall Quarter 2020

Examine how digital technologies are changing how we interact, work, and live. In this course, you will learn the basic critical vocabulary used to analyze how digital technologies intersect with and transform the human experience. You will also begin learning key digital skills, such as how to create a portfolio using Weebly.

                                                                                                           

Offered: Fall Quarter 2020

Learn the fundamentals of how computers and programming work by exploring the building blocks of digital technology. From the logic of code to computational thinking, you’ll use simple “maker” projects and system design to learn through exploration. You’ll also study the history of computing to discover the forces that have defined it both professionally and culturally. 

We use technology to record and transmit cultural knowledge, memory, and imagination through space and time. In this course, we will explore how changes in textual materials and technologies emerge from and shape a specific cultural moment. Some text technologies we may explore are cave painting, tattoos, graffiti, codices, machine-made books, typography, photography, film, graphic design, and digital media.

 

How do we use digital media to influence and persuade citizens and consumers? Digital rhetoric is the study of how digital technologies shape methods of persuasion. In this course, you will analyze arguments that exist in digital media, such as video games, search engines, webpage designs, and digital images. You will also learn how to produce your own rhetorically informed digital media and apply a strategic message plan.

How does the study of digital cultures relate to the intellectual traditions of the humanities and social sciences? In this course, you will become familiar with the philosophical arguments underpinning current debates about digital technology. You will examine how different disciplines explain culture and technology.

                                       

 

                                         

In this course, students learn to apply computational thinking and key concepts to programming in Python. Topics include variables, data structures, loops, conditionals, logical flow, and object-oriented programming. Students reflect upon the application of programming strategies for a range of purposes (web development, data visualization, and game development) and produce a fully-functioning game with scoring. Students will collaborate online to troubleshoot shared problems and are encouraged to work synchronously on weekly exercises for mutual aid.

Analyze the impacts of digital technologies on notions of identity. You’ll examine how technologies constrain or open up ways of defining and representing yourself. We’ll cover topics like anonymous online discussion, video game avatars, digital counterpublics, and the quantified self. In a final project, you will collaboratively construct an identity and then analyze its form and possible meanings. This course is a hybrid course, with most course content delivered online along with face-to-face evening classes every two weeks.

How has the spread of digital technologies affected globalization? In this course, you will examine the various aspects of cultural globalization. We will look at how globalization manifests itself in our daily lives. Course topics include branding and advertising, consumer culture, social media, news cycles, social justice and activism, sustainability, and identity.

 
 
 

A multimodal story uses a combination of text, images, video, audio, graphics and interactivity in a format that allows each medium to contribute without redundancy. In this course, you will explore multimodal stories in a variety of formats, and learn to create both linear and non-linear story “packages.” The course is project-based, and each week you’ll work on one step in the development of a midterm and final project. You’ll also learn to analyze multimodal stories carefully and gain awareness of the expressive and informational strengths of each medium.

Investigate how various power structures (political, institutional, local, and global) have used digital technologies to assert and maintain authority. You’ll also examine how digital technologies can be leveraged for social change. Topics include guerilla media art installations, social protest, feminist game design, and disruptive digital technologies and spaces. This course has an e-service learning component. This course is a hybrid course, with most course content delivered online along with face-to-face evening classes every two weeks.

The senior capstone course synthesizes the knowledge and skills gained in the program. In this course, you will examine what you have learned and what you plan to do with your new skills and knowledge. In this class, you will learn about various career pathways and revise your program portfolio. Your final portfolio will provide evidence of your communication and technical skills and give you samples of work that you can showcase to future employers.