Social Media & the Knowledge Age: CMNS 453

Important links/resources:

Link to the online classroom:  Virtual-U

Download the course syllabus here.

Course Description

This course explores the design and use of social media for communication in the Knowledge Age. The invention of computer networks in the late 1960s and early 1970s gave rise to new ways of communicating, and led to a profound social and economic paradigm shift, transcending the industrial world of machines and factory models to what has been called the age of KNOWLEDGE. Whereas the industrial model was based on human and machine repetition and efficiency, the Knowledge Age is based on human innovation and inventiveness. Collaboration rather than competition, and mental over mechanical skills are the hallmarks of the Knowledge Age, and are said to be reflected in the applications of computer networking and social media to key sectors of our society.

Our course will examine the application of social media such as forums, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other user-generated content sites to online collaboration and knowledge building. Whereas much social media is being used for individual broadcasting or social marketing, the key question in this course is: Do or can social media facilitate collaborative learning and knowledge building in business, education, community and social communication applications? And if so, HOW? Which technologies? What designs? And especially how should discourse be moderated or curated to achieve these goals?