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Geography of the Information Society
Spring 2006

Unique # 36165 (GRG-356T)
Unique # 44743 (STS-331)
Unique # 36540 (URB-354)

8:00-9:30 T-TH, Geography Building, room 424 

Professor Paul Adams

Office hours: T&Th 9:30-10:30 and by appt.
office: GRG-422

Geography of the Information Society is an interdisciplinary course that explores the way information permeates our lives and shapes our visions of who we are and the lives we will live, as well as creating the set of opportunities and constraints with which we will live. The course addresses four major issues:

  1. how the meanings and roles of public and private places are modified by the use of communication technologies;
  2. which cities have emerged as growth nodes for the Information Society and why they have assumed this role;
  3. how information technology affects concepts of the state and nation;
  4. and how globalizing flows of capital and information are incorporated into the activity spaces where people work, learn, socialize and play.

The course progresses through these four basic topics spending roughly 1/4 of the semester on each. Each section involves one or more projects. Projects are "handed in" by posting them online with a link to the student's GRG-356T homepage.  


Readings and computer accounts:

Most readings for the course will be placed on electronic reserve with the Perry Castaneda Library.  Access to your readings.  The password will be given out in class.

In addition, you will need to use Webspace at UT to post webpages with your completed projects. This will provide you with 75 megabytes of disk space. Questions about Webspace can best be solved through the helpdesk. It is a good idea to upload your projects at least 12 hours before they are due so as to discover any problems and give yourself time to deal with them.

Finally, you need access to a computer.  If you don't have one where you live, there are many that are available for your use. Check the list of Campus Computer Labs.  


Skill development:

The course requires the development of technical skills in old and new media. You will gain hands-on experience with Web authoring and graphic techniques, as well as writing and speaking in front of the class. 

You will have to find or purchase web authoring software (like Frontpage, Netscape Composer, or Dreamweaver) as well as image modification software (like Photoshop) and learn how to use these programs. Minimal assistance is given with this technical side of the course, though no previous web authoring or graphic experience is assumed.

Point Distribution:

Basic Class Web Page 30 pts.
Your Places (Proj. 1) 40 pts.
Above & Below (Proj. 2) 40 pts.
Information Economy (Proj. 3) 40 pts.
Midterm Exam 40 pts.
Final Exam 50 pts.
Class Participation 60 pts.
TOTAL 300 pts.


Class Policies:

  • Attendance: It will be impossible to do well in this class without physically attending class and participating in the in-class discussions. You will also receive participation credit for "attending" scheduled online chats in the chat room provided by the library along with the reserve materials.
  • Reading Assignments: Each reading assignment should be completed before the class period in which it is discussed.
  • Class Participation: Your participation grade is based on your contributions to discussions both in class and online discussions (the latter hosted by the library's e-reserves server).
  • Late Assignments: Projects are due at the time specified. The grade will be reduced by 10% each weekday the project is late.  Technical difficulties putting pages online are not an acceptable excuse.
  • Computation of Grades: Grades will be computed on the following scale: A=90% and up, B=80%-89%, C=70%-79%, D=60%-69%.  All fractional scores will be rounded to the nearest integer.
  • Honesty: All work submitted must be your own. You may discuss assignments together, but all that you write should be yours. If you wish to incorporate someone else's ideas, you must acknowledge your source whether or not you quote the material directly. If you have questions about the use of source materials, see me before turning in the assignment. Plagiarism is a serious offense in college. See the Student Judicial Services statement on Academic Integrity. Serious cases of plagiarism will result in failing the course and possibly in expulsion from the University. Do not use editing services other than those provided by the Undergraduate Writing Center or the Learning Skills Center.
  • Please Be Aware of the Public Nature of This Course: Other people will be reading what you write for this course; as it is posted on the Internet it is public communication. We will be sharing work in progress and finished work both in class and online.
If you have any questions, please call Paul Adams at 232-1599 or the TLC office at 232-7345.

This course syllabus and Web page design reflect the efforts of U.T. Professors Lester Faigley and Samuel Wilson, as well as Dr. Adams.