Syllabus

ITCP 70020, Spring 2021
ITP Core 2: Interactive Technology and the University: Theory, Design, and Practice

Course Info

ITCP 70020, Spring 2021: ITP Core 2: Interactive Technology and the University: Theory, Design, and Practice
Mondays 4:15-6:15pm via Zoom, with asynchronous weeks noted below

Professors

Lisa Brundage (lisa.brundage@mhc.cuny.edu)
Luke Waltzer (lwaltzer@gc.cuny.edu)

Office Hours by appointment on Zoom

Course Description

The second core course serves as the “content course” for the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate. This course makes it possible for participating doctoral students to build on the theoretical insights gleaned in the first core course by beginning to conceive of and develop an interactive technology project within their own disciplines and areas of interest.

This course will survey interactive technology in educational spaces. We will discuss project planning and execution; hypertext and narrative; visualization and design; modes of learning and the structures that impact them within and outside of the classroom; software development and deployment in educational contexts; the conceptualization and production of educational media products; historical and emerging questions about digital literacy and learning data and the role of educators in its development; and the labor politics of all of the above. We will employ an interdisciplinary perspective on the application of digital media to classroom teaching and scholarly research and presentations, drawing upon the experiences of the faculty members and all the students in the course.

Labs attached to the course and available throughout the Graduate Center community will also support hands-on introductions to key educational uses of new media applications, including online writing and composition tools, electronic archives, experimentation in virtual spaces, and other approaches. Students will learn skills, concepts, and contexts and then will design and prepare a proposal for a multimedia-based project in their discipline, for their final grade. We will emphasize collaboration and minimal viable product as a means to avoid the scope creep endemic to first-time-makers’ projects. Students will be expected to use labs and other support opportunities at the Graduate Center to gain enough competency in an area of technical expertise such that they can develop a proof of concept in their term project, a proposal for a multimedia-based project.

Course Requirements

All students should be members of the CUNY Academic Commons, and should be familiar with Zotero. You will write public blog posts in this course, though if you choose to do so under an alias, that’s fine. One benefit of writing publicly under your real name is that you can begin to establish a public academic identity and to network with others in your field. However, keep in mind that search engines have extended the life of online work; if you are not sure that you want your work for this course to be part of your permanently searchable identity trail on the web, you should strongly consider creating an alias. Whether you engage social media under your real name or whether you construct a new online identity, please consider the ways in which social media can affect your career in both positive and negative ways.

Reading

All readings will be linked from the course site or available via the private group. We will be creating a Zotero group library which will house readings for the course, and to which we will be adding timely pieces.

Assignments

This semester we will be working on three assignments.

Provocations and responses

Students will act as motivators for each class meeting by writing provocations on the blog on the reading/subject of the week, and carrying on a conversation on the blog in advance of class. Since class meets on Mondays, please post your provocations by the end of the day Saturday so that discussion can start Sunday. Motivators will kick off discussion of the week’s readings each week.

Project Abstracts/Short Proposals

Your midterm assignment is to create at least two different project proposals that each have at least two scope variations: one full and one reduced version. Details on the full assignment will be given February 8 and the assignment is due March 25.

Final Project Proposal and Proof of Concept

Your final project is to turn in a proposal for a larger project that includes a proof of concept. Your goal is to convince us that your proposal is relevant and productive AND that you can actually pull it off. You will present your projects at the end of the semester, and the written proposal will be due May 26. No extensions will be granted.

You will be asked to provide regular updates on your project, some written and some oral, including an initial plan on February 22, an elevator pitch on March 22, and an updated proposal on March 25.

Submitting Work

All assignments except provocations and direct responses to them should be submitted via the assignment submission form on the course site. Provocations should be made as blog posts to the course site, and comments should be made directly on those posts.

Grading

Complete the work, and you’ll get an A. We will not grant incompletes.

Labs, Workshops, and Support (Links coming soon)

ITP Lab Schedule
TLC Workshop Schedule
TLC Staff Office Hours
GCDI Workshop Schedule
Digital Fellows Office Hours
Carnegie Ed Tech Fellows Workshops
This semester, students may curate their own program of labs, drawing on workshops offered by multiple programs at the GC, CUNY and beyond. You may also choose to stick to the official ITP labs. Turn in your schedule of labs for approval by March 1 (use the assignment submission form).

Course Schedule

This schedule is a living document, expect it to evolve over the course of the semester.

UNIT ONE: Preparing a Project

FEBRUARY 1: INTRODUCTIONS

Topics: Getting to know each other and planning for the semester.
Tour of the Commons site and how to make and comment on posts
Julie Fuller will stop by.

Assignments:

By Friday, February 5th

  • Write a blog post with your introductory project ideas (don’t forget to categorize)
  • Read each other’s blog posts
  • Submit via Doodle Poll with date you’d like to sign up for as class motivator
  • Make sure you’re part of the course in Slack and on the Commons (join on our Group page)

FEBRUARY 8: CONTEXTS AND PRACTICALITIES, AND HOW TO GET THINGS DONE

Guest Speaker: Inés Vañó García

Topics: In this class we will explore ways of thinking through and analyzing a project before it begins, and discuss issues that can arise along the path of the project. Context: Thinking about the What, Where, When, Why and How before you begin a project. The four B’s (build, buy, borrow, beg). Which one is the right fit for your software project? When starting any media or digital project this is often the first consideration. Do you build it yourself, buy it off the shelf, use free and open source software (borrow) or use some of the free web services out there (beg)?

We will also discuss collaboration, scope creep, and minimal viable products. “Less is more” is both an aesthetic principle of modernism and a functional spec of agile development–as well as a politically-charged phrase when applied to publicly-funded activities. Agile development has a long history. Most importantly, we talk about how not to do all the work while crying.

Reading:

NO CLASS FEBRUARY 15 (LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY)

FEBRUARY 22: PRELIMINARY PROJECT PLANNING

Topics: Taking advantage of the early semester 1+ week break, we’ll aim to do some initial thinking/writing about your proposed projects and discuss them in class. Specifics of this assignment will be posted ahead of the February 8th class.

UNIT TWO: Digital Pedagogy and the University

MARCH 1: TEACHING, LEARNING, TECHNOLOGY

Guest Speaker: Dr. Maura Smale
Labs Schedule Due

Topics: This session will explore the evolving roles of technology in teaching and learning. What pedagogical opportunities does the integration of technology into the classroom make possible? What challenges does technology create for the student, the instructor, the institution? How do we understand the politics of educational technology that is both a field of inquiry and an industry? How do we locate our own values within all of this?

Readings:

MARCH 8: NETWORKED LEARNING–ASYNCHRONOUS WEEK

Topics: The most powerful affordance of the Web is in its capacity to create and facilitate networks that were previously unrealizable. Over the past two decades we’ve learned much about both the promise and limitations of the Web as a social and intellectual phenomenon. We’ll explore those dynamics in this week’s class.

Readings:

MARCH 15: TEACHING AND THE PANDEMIC

Examining how the pandemic is naturalizing elements of technology into our teaching and learning

Readings:

MARCH 22: PROJECT UPDATES — ELEVATOR PITCHES

See Instructions

Project abstracts due THURSDAY March 25

MARCH 27-APRIL 4 SPRING BREAK

APRIL 5: OPEN ACCESS, OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (FUTURE OF THE TEXTBOOK), AND IMAGES

Topics: Debates access to and use of information — text, images, video, etc. — have always been important in higher education. Where do these debates stand now, and how are they manifest in different academic spaces?

Readings:

UNIT THREE: Literacies, Ethics, and Algorithms

April 12: SCIENTIFIC LITERACY AND PEDAGOGY

Guest Speaker: Dr Kelly O’Donnell

Readings:

APRIL 19: DIGITAL LITERACY: WRITING AND READING THE INTERNET–ASYNCHRONOUS WEEK

Topics: Over the past generation, the Internet has revolutionized the ways that we find, engage with, and marshall information as we build knowledge. The American educational system, from k through college, has been slow to acknowledge the curricular implications of such broad transformations, oftentimes outsourcing instruction about literacy to publishing companies or leaving that work to the librarians. This week we will critically explore what kinds of conversations about literacy are happening in our schools.

Readings:

APRIL 26: DIGITAL ETHICS: PRIVACY, TRANSPARENCY, AND OTHER CONCERNS

Topics: As digital technologies and the internet continue to develop and change our lives inside and outside of the classroom, conversations about approaches to research and teaching now necessarily include digital ethics. We will discuss access to digital technologies and support in using them, the implications of corporate development of digital technologies and the internet, and privacy and data transparency considerations for ourselves and our students.

Readings:

UNIT FOUR: Making in the Academy

MAY 3: MAKING, PLAY, AND PHYSICAL COMPUTING IN THE CLASSROOM

Topics: What opportunities do play and making open up in the classroom? We’ll explore how to harness consumer technology for a range of pedagogical purposes, and also think through the political implications of doing so.

Guest Speaker: Ryan Seslow

Readings:

MAY 10: FAILURE

Topics: All successful digital projects have moved through moments of failure and frustration. Such experiences are common in the classroom as well. In this session we’ll explore how to anticipate failure and how to lower its costs.

Readings:

MAY 17: STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

MAY 24: STUDENT PRESENTATIONS

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