Course Description

TCS 113: Community Networks

This course examines impact and implications of computer-based networks in community, civic and social life. Subjects may include community-access computer sites, neighborhood wireless networks, the digital divide, open-source software, and citizen action.

Can Facebook change the world? Or does it simply enable us to feel better about doing ‘something’ when we post a link or like an article about the world’s problems?  From political upheaval in Egypt and Iran to grassroots movements and organizations in the US like the Tea Party and MoveOn, social media have been celebrated as a tool for people to initiate populist change on a local and national scale.  This course will test this hypothesis through a combination of theory and praxis, engaging in both hands-on application and distanced critique.  Each week we will read a series of case studies and first hand accounts regarding the efficacy of social media in various political engagements and protests over the last decade.  Alongside this, we will be building a social media profile across a broad range of tools and platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wordpress and others. Each student will select a particular issue our community organization and focus their creative output around this particular issue.

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