Course Introduction | Introduction to Digital Communications

Welcome to Introduction
to Digital Communication. My name is Dr. Doug
Strahler and I’ll be the individual that
will be leading you through a lot of the
asynchronous components of this course. Just to give you a little
background about myself, I’m a 2005 graduate of
Slippery Rock University. If you don’t know
were Slippery Rock is, it’s about 45 minutes
north of Pittsburgh in western Pennsylvania. While I was at Slippery
Rock, I decided to study communication
with a focus on emerging multimedia and technology. So during my time
there, I really started to look at
web development, stuff along those lines. I then had a passion to
keep learning so I went off Syracuse University to
the Newhouse School, where I received my master’s
degree in new media. What’s new media, you ask? We really started to dive in
to a lot deeper understanding of how the web worked, in
terms of producing websites, dynamic websites, and
some of the topics that we’ll be discussing
over the next few weeks in the semester. Afterwards, I decided
to start a business with two other individuals
doing the entrepreneurship route and really look at producing
websites for brands, clients, as well as some graphic
materials, where I learned a lot about
the industry itself. After a few years of doing
the entrepreneurship route, I decided to move
back to Pittsburgh, where I pursued a degree
at Duquesne University. I wanted to get my doctorate
in instructional technology because one of the things
that I found interesting was this shift towards
higher education and even K through 12 environments
utilizing technology to help learning. And I really wanted
to learn more and apply my skill set,
technology skill set, to that field. During my time there,
I decided to focus on studying how social
media was playing a role in the field
of education and start to see how these Web
2.0 technologies could be used for learning. Upon graduating from
there, I am now a professor of Slippery Rock University. I’ve gone back to where I
received my undergrad degree, where I teach in the
Department of Communication. I’ve also had the opportunity
to come back to the Newhouse School and teach adjunct
some courses, as well, when it comes to the magazine
capstone project, as well as now the Intro to Digital
Communication course. So I really have a
passion about this field because it’s always evolving. Technology is always
changing and it’s kind of fun to look at how
it’s changing and affecting our society. That leads us into
kind of, what topics do we want to discuss over
the next couple weeks? So just to give you kind
of a course overview, we’re going to start
the semester off looking at this idea of media
and digital convergence and how have these technologies
been adapted and re-framed for all the
different industries. So we’re going to
start to see how these convergent devices,
let’s say, the smartphone, have brought together mobile
viewing, as well as website browsing and streaming
of video and audio and how do we utilize those
in our everyday lives, which leads us into this
idea of the digital culture and how has it really
changed our culture. And we’re going to look at
different components of how it’s affected us in
our everyday lives. Next, we’re going to dive
into this idea of Web 2.0 technologies and social media. It’s no longer that we’re
actual individuals that just consume the media. We’ve become media and
content producers, as well. So that’s what we
start to look at is how are we starting
to produce content for these different
devices and environments. Next, what we
start to look in is more about the internet
governance and ethical issues that surround a lot
of these, because it has raised a lot of questions. So it’ll be interesting to look
at things like speech, privacy, stuff along those lines. At midpoint, we’ll kind
of carry over and start to look more focused on industry
like the journalism field, advertising and how these
digital technologies have affected advertising,
and then we’re going to really move forward
and look forward to the future. And that will kind of
open up, as well as close out our semester
when it comes to looking at the future of communication. Now, one of the things
I want you to remember is that we have to cover a lot
over these next couple weeks. So we’re only going to cover
the foundational things, but it’s really going to lead
you into whatever your track is within the program. So keep that in
mind that we may not get to dive in too deep into
some of these different areas as you may like. But that’s what’s
great about it. We’ll have a basic understanding
and you kind of to move forward in your different program. And lastly, what
I want to look at is how do you succeed
in this course. I think a big part
about learning is having fun and being
engaged throughout the course. If you’re not having fun, you’re
not really enjoying the course. I don’t think
you’re going to have an enjoyable experience in this
course or the program at all. So one of the things
that I’m hoping you do is really engage yourself with
the asynchronous materials, because that’s going to
drive our synchronous, our live session discussions
with your live session instructor. And that’s one of
the things that will make this course
a success for you, is if you understand
a lot of the concepts. And the concepts range
from watching some videos about some of the lectures
leading in for that topic, as well as some activities
that are going to engage you. It may be a prompt or
a question that you have to produce a video
response or a textual response. So you start to use
these in different ways. You also have to write
a reflection blog. This is going to
allow us to start to see what you’re learning
and if you’re understanding and being able to apply those
different concepts, as well as a case study. All of you have different
areas of interest and I’m hoping that
you take those passions and funnel them in to see how
digital telecommunications really affects those
different areas. With that being
said, I hope you’re ready to get started with
the course and dive right into week one.

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