Created Tuesday 04 January 2022
The class is designed to serve as an introduction to important technical ideas and concepts in IT through the lenses of the past, present and future. It is not only designed to teach you technical specifics, but to provide you with a mental toolbox to be able to understand underlying causes and shapes of IT in general.
Ideally, in-class discussions are the "center" of the course. Most weeks — after my lecture, students will be expected to engage in thoughtful discussion about the week's topic. Most weeks, a small number of students will be "on-call," meaning that they will lead the discussion. Students not on call will be expected to write a short response assignment after the discussion. These will all be "pass-fail" in order to stimulate discussion.
Individual assignments will focus first on general topics, leaning into more technical assignments. As both the primary operating system of the "cloud" as well as presently the only way to have true freedom in computing, the Linux Operating System and related tools will be a big topic for us.
Finally, there will be a culminating group project designed to bring together both the theoretical and the technical. Student groups will be expected to work on and document a solution to an IT opportunity or problem; given the abundance and advancement of development tools, especially so-called "AI," the precise parameters of this assignment may change.
How we communicate
- In Class
- Collaborate if needed
What we do DURING CLASS TIME
In-class time will consist of LECTURES, DISCUSSIONS, and "LABWORK"
Because they're FASCINATING, duh.
And also to prep you for Quizzes and Discussion Work
Okay, fine, these are more fascinating. Led by you!
In Class Time dedicated to supporting Individual and Group Work.
Discussions are usually student-led by an "on-call" student. Thus, each week you will either
- Complete a short response to the weeks topic (approx 500 words or more)
- Have been "on-call" and therefore exempt from the above.
Each student will be on call at least once; students who prefer "on-call" to writing may have the opportunity to lead multiple times.
Take Home Assignments
- Intro assignment (In class, per team)
- Individual Tech assignments (Two or more, per individual)
- Two of these, multiple choice. They will be "take-home" and "open-material" to be completed over a weekend. These are the only assignments that explicitly should not be done in a group. You are on your honor to consult no other live human beings, and the "curve" will incentivize you not to consult with fellow students.
Final Project Presentations
CONTENT: *strongly* subject to change
UNIT I - How we got here
- History of Computing
- The Modern era
- How Software Works
- Algorithms and Milkshakes**
UNIT II - Where are we going?
- Freely Available Information***
- Social Surplus
- Social Media
*and that website that can literally just write papers for you
**and imaginary internet money and overpriced cartoon monkeys
*** no seriously, why not just right click and save the overpriced cartoon monkeys?