TT track, new class and more mobile tech

January 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Hi all!!!!! It’s the start of the Winter 2014 semester here at Eastern Michigan University. This is my second year on the TT (WOOT!). Hence the reason I’ve been MIA. Well I’m back and happy to report things are wonderful at EMU (Go Eagles!). I’ve developed a new course on mobile technology called: Mobile Technology in Developing Worlds. So far so good! Below is a course description:

Course Description and Objectives

          As more countries are caught up in the globalization wave, mobile technologies have emerged as a powerful tool in closing the information gap and as a source of poverty reduction in developing nations, as well as tool used by citizen journalists to bring down authoritarian regimes. This course will look at how mobile technologies are being used internationally. Specifically focused on the Middle East and developing Asia, this course will help student understand the “benefits” to certain types of technology such as its ability to help alleviate poverty and how it is moving traditional societies into modernity. In addition, the course will examine how the introduction of these new technologies is changing the Asian family, especially examining the role of gender.  In the book Factory Girls, young Chinese girls and women are using the cell phone to start and end relationships, as well as, show their upgraded status as main sources of family income.  The course will examine how these types of technologies are making “waves” in the structures of these families.
          In the broadest sense, development communication is the proliferation of media related technologies that can aid in improving socio-economic development.  It is also important to understand how cellular technology is diffused throughout developing nations because it is considered to be a gateway to newer technologies like the Internet (Kalba 2008).  However, part of making mobile technologies work (theoretically and practically) is the ability of practitioners to incorporate local models with new media and focus on improving the lives of people in developing countries.  This is a multi-disciplinary course; which examines theories from Communication, Anthropology, and Women and Gender Studies.  Students from these disciplines can appreciate how mobile technologies are impact these societies at several levels, including economically, politically, and socially.
          This course will begin with a brief historical overview of development communication, particularly in regards to how media and modernity are broadly juxtaposed with traditional societies. Readings presented are current up to date materials (2009 to present) in order to provide a more focused look at how mobile technologies can impact developing societies.  In addition, literature will be reviewed based on specific countries in South and East Asia and the Middle East, recognizing that each country has unique political, cultural, and religious stances when it comes to their specific uses of mobile technologies. 
          The goal of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of mobile technologies and its role in development and to showcase how new media technology is an ever changing and fast growing area with major impact on the rest of the world politically, economically, and even at the societal levels. 




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