Course Syllabus

Course Description

Students will examine the economic, social, and intellectual history of the design and use of technology. The course focuses on the mutual shaping of technology and academic teaching, learning and research—how people and ideas have shaped classroom and research interactions in the past, and how they are transforming knowledge production in the present. By examining the use and design of technologies inside and outside of the university, students reflect on what it means to be human in a world increasingly mediated by technology.

The course also highlights the theoretical and practical possibilities of digital media for teaching, research, reading, writing, activism, collaborative knowledge production, and play. Assignments for the course ask students to leverage new, multimodal approaches for creating scholarship, including a publishable final paper or project that contributes to the discourse around the use of technology in their discipline as well as considers the growth of fields of academic inquiry such as Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and the Digital Humanities. This course includes a two-hour non-credit bearing lab that takes place on the same day as class, directly afterwards.

Course Questions

 We will interrogate approaches to technology and pedagogy that have served to shape and critique our present technological world to explore questions such as

  • What is the history of technology under capitalism? 
  • How have labor and technology shaped the U.S. academy? How has the U.S. academy shaped labor and technology? How have conceptions of teaching,  learning, and academic publishing changed in connection with demands of labor and technology?
  •  What is the role of an educator?  What is an academic product? What could our pedagogies be given the present state of the university?
  • What kind of educational technology world do we want?  What will/should its values and ethics be? In what ways, concrete and theoretical, can we work towards that world? 

Course Materials 

All materials are available electronically. 

Course Policies and Expectations

We invite the participants of this seminar to collaborate in the creation of our learning environment beyond what is dictated by CUNY’s Policy on Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, its Policy on Academic Integrity, and its Policy on Reasonable Accommodations and Academic Adjustments. We will take time during our first meeting together to sketch ideas of how we want to engage one another and what we consider to be preferable/suitable policies on attendance, participation, class etiquette (food in class, laptop/smartphone use, etc.), class communications, and late work. 

Course Assignments

I. Ongoing Engagement via the Course Blog and Forum

Your questions and observations on the texts and activities of the course will help drive our work. Expect to contribute to our blog or forum at least once a week. 

II. Wikipedia Experience and Reflection


As you may know, one current practice of interactive technology in classrooms across the world is to have students edit Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” There is even a non-profit organization, Wiki Education, which runs programs and courses “to build connections between universities and Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in the United States and Canada.”

This assignment will serve as an introduction to the online encyclopedia, its community, and policies, as well as a practical and metacognitive examination of its educational possibilities.

You will undergo two typical experiences of Wikipedia: first, as most first-time editors do, by working on an article of personal interest; next, as many students do, as part of a larger class project where they team-edit an article. These experiences will serve as the basis for a reflection on the merits, challenges, and outcomes of contributing to Wikipedia as a classroom experience. 


  • To connect our theoretical readings to practice
  • To reflect on the design and implementation of interactive technologies in pedagogical settings by contrasting the experience of Wikipedia as an environment of (voluntary) commons-based peer production and Wikipedia as a controlled, managerially-run experience

Part 1:  Working on an article of personal interest

Individually, choose a Wikipedia article on a subject that interests you and contribute to it. Your effort may be extensive or modest (fixing grammar, adding a reference, etc.). Where and how you work on it is up to you, as well as whether you publish your contribution or not. 

Due: October 28th before class via a link in the Forum. Be prepared to share your experiences. 

Part 2: Playing the part of a student in a typical Wikipedia class

Note: The online tools we will be using have been designed by WikiEducation

  1. Join our Wikipedia class Dashboard (a tool to keep track of contributions) at https://dashboard.wikiedu.org/courses/CUNY_Graduate_Center/Interactive_technology_and_Pedagogy_1_(Spring_2019)?enroll=tmkpbwsa  
  2. Complete the following student-training units at https://dashboard.wikiedu.org/training

Units to be completed:

    • Wikipedia policies
    • Sandboxes, talk pages, and watchlists
    • How to edit: Wikicode vs Visual Editor
    • Contributing images and media files
    • Translating articles
    • Adding citations
    • Drafting in the sandbox
    • Drafting in the sandbox (as a group)
    • Moving work out of the sandbox
    • Moving work out of the sandbox (as a group)
    • Plagiarism and copyright violation
  1. As part of your team, you will create a plan of action to contribute to the Wikipedia stub article “Digital Pedagogy” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_pedagogy, put the plan in action, and evaluate the results. You will be expected to work at least partly on wiki to get the full experience of collaborative editing. 

Teams: TBD

Due: October 28th  before class. Be prepared to share your experiences.

Part 3: Reflection on parts 1-2, or what is the value of what you have experienced

In at least 1,000 words, please cover the following points:

  • Analyze how the assignments helped you think about themes and ideas of the class. How do the theoretical readings relate to the practical application of working on Wikipedia pages?
  • What did you learn from experiencing Wikipedia these two different ways? Is there an approach that suits you better? Are there aspects to either experience, or both, that you would have designed differently?
  • Review the tools and methods that, in the future, you can use to design and implement interactive technologies in pedagogical settings. What did you learn, from practical to philosophical, from revelations to cautionary tales, that you will take with you going forward?

Due: November 11 by the end of the day as an upload on the Forum

III. Discipline-Specific Literature Review


A 2,000-4,000 word literature review that explores how your specific discipline is, is not, and is moving toward using technology (and specifically interactive technology) to enhance instruction. 


To build the stage for your Final Project, by getting you to think about what kinds of interactive technology projects and publications would contribute to your specific discipline. 

How is your field using technology now in the classroom and in less-formal learning settings? What specific tools and methods have educators with interaction in mind? Who are some practitioners of these tools? What specific concerns must your discipline contend with that are perhaps endemic to its history, methods, and culture?

Use your own disciplines, or one closely allied to your own (e.g. there are many specialties within the field of biology, so you could choose to explore biology generally, or their sub-field specifically).

While a paper is traditional and acceptable, you are encouraged to use multimodal methods to share the information you learn and the arguments you wish to make (though please note, this is no requirement to make arguments). The 2,000-4,000 word requirement is meant to give you a sense of scope for the project, not limit your options in how you create your literature review. Slideshows, videos, infographics, etc. are all welcome.

Due: November 18 by the end of the day as an upload on the Forum

IV. Final Project


One of the most important parts of a graduate student’s work is professionalization. That is, graduate students should think of every assignment as a chance to enter into the academic discourse of their field, as well as that of the larger university community. Since, contemporary academia values the formal creation of knowledge to a never-before-seen degree (e.g. via publishing in peer-reviewed journals), it’s vital that graduate students use their time as they pursue advanced degrees to publish, create, and otherwise join the discourse of their disciplines.

For the final project of ITP 1, therefore, we want you to create a project that investigates how the topics of the course—interactive technology and pedagogy—pertain to your personal interests as a scholar and a future professor/instructor/educator.


The three goals we hope you will accomplish through this project are as follows:

  • To explore, in depth or breadth or both, some aspect of interactive technology and pedagogy as it pertains to your discipline;
  • To use a multimodal approach, leveraging the contemporary approaches of creating scholarship that we have learned about in the course;
  • To create this project with an ultimate goal of publication. That means, among other things, scouting journals, forums, or other academic venues to submit the project to once it is complete.

Not Necessarily a Paper

One hope of this course is that it has opened up for you the possibilities of new forms of scholarship. We encourage you, therefore, to design a project that allows you the chance to explore database creation and curation; data visualization and infographics creation; novel computational methods to examine questions in your field; and so on.

Since we want this assignment to benefit you in your academic career, part of your work will entail researching what journals or other loci for multimodal scholarship exist for your field. You should use criteria such as peer-review and the number of times articles published in this place are referenced to help you in your decision.


  1. Part I: September 23: Ideas, brainstorming, and collaborations, based in part on the start of the Literature Review. Preliminary ideas about a final project. In-class.
  2. Part II: November 4: Quick check-in. Questions and concerns. Initial planning and prototyping (if applicable). In-class and office hours.
  3. Part III: December 2: Final Project Approval and Guidance. Discussion of limiting scope and contributing to field. In-class and office hours.
  4. Part IV: December 16: Final Project Due by the end of the day as an upload on the Forum

Labs, Workshops, and Support

ITP Lab Schedule

TLC Workshop Schedule

TLC Staff Office Hours

GCDI Workshop Schedule

Digital Fellows Office Hours

GC Library Workshop Schedule


Note: Readings are in rough chronological order until the last third of the semester, where they are organized by topic

Day 1: Introduction, Thursday September 5th 
  1. Neil Postman: “Five Things We Need To Know about Technological Change” (Speech to gathering of theologians and religious leaders) http://web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/classes/188/materials/postman.pdf 
Day 2: Effects of The Industrial Revolution, September 9th 
  1. Karl Marx, Capital (1867), Vol. 1, Chapter 15, “Machinery and Modern Industry,” Sections 1-6.  Available online:  https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Capital-Volume-I.pdf
  2. Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935). https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm 
  3. E.P. Thompson, “Time Work-Discipline and Industrial Capitalism” in Past and Present 38 (1967), 56-97. Available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/649749.
  4. Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Railway Journey (1977), Chs. 1 – 4 [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.] 
Day 3:  Pedagogical Approaches and the United States Academy in the first half of the 20th Century, September 16th 
  1. John Dewey, Experience and Education (1938), Chapters 1, 7-8 [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.] Also read the Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_and_Education_(book)
  2. Audrey Watters, “B. F. Skinner: The Most Important Theorist of the 21st Century” http://hackeducation.com/2018/10/18/skinner
  3. Clark Kerr, The Uses of the University, 2001 edition. Ch . 1, 3. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.] 
  4. Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier, Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education (2016). “Chapter 2: The State Expansion of Public Higher Education.” [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]

In Class: Preliminary ideas about a final project.

  1. Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think.” The Atlantic Monthly (July 1945).  Available online: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/194507/bush
  2. Rosenzweig, “Wizards, Bureaucrats, Warriors and Hackers: Writing the History of the Internet” American Historical Review (December 1998)  Available online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2649970
  3. Katherine N. Hayles, How We Became Posthuman (1999), Prologue and Chapter 1 [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
Day 5: Counteracting the Establishment, October 7th
  1. June Jordan, “Black Studies: Bringing Back the Person.” (1969) Civil Wars: Observations from the Front Lines of America. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  2. Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970). Chapters 1-4 [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, “Intellectuals and power.” (1980) In Foucault, M. Foucault & D. F. Bouchar (Eds.), Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews (pp. 205-217). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  4. Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier, Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education. (2016). “Chapter 3: Students and Faculty Take Command.” [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  5. Mina Shaughnessy, Errors and Expectations. Chapter 1. (1977) [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
Day 6: Personal Computers, Cyborgs, and the Web, Wednesday October 16th
  1. “The Free Software Definition.” GNU Operating System http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html 
  2. Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto:  Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” (1985) in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, Routledge, 1991, 149-81. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Tim Berners-Lee, “Information Management: A Proposal.” CERN (1989).  Available online:  http://www.w3.org/History/1989/proposal.html
  4. Siva Vaidhyanathan, “Open Source as Culture/Culture as Open Source.”  In The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. pp. 24-31 https://archive.org/details/TheSocialMediaReader
Day 7: Intersectionality, In-Betweenness, and Decolonization, October 21st

Note: bell hooks readings will be split among teams, so each of you will not have to read ALL hooks unless you want to

  1. bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom  (1994).  “Embracing Change: Teaching in a Multicultural World” (35-44); “Theory as Liberatory Practice” (59-75); “Building a Teaching Community” (129-165); “Eros, Eroticism, and the Pedagogical Process” (191-199); http://sites.utexas.edu/lsjcs/files/2018/02/Teaching-to-Transcend.pdf
  2. bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking (2009). “Teaching 2: Democratic Education” (13-18); “Teaching 11: Imagination” (59-62); “Teaching 16: Feminist Revolution” (91-94); “Teaching 17: Black, Female, and Academic” (95-102); “Teaching 29: Moving Past Race and Gender” (169-176). [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Donna Haraway. 1988. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of the Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14.3 (1998): 575–99. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  4. Marcelo Diversi and Claudio Moreira, Betweener Talk: Decolonizing Knowledge Production, Pedagogy, and Praxis. (2009). Chapters 1, 2, 10. https://onesearch.cuny.edu/permalink/f/1tmmn9v/TN_informaworld_s9781315433059
  5. Peter Gallert and Maja van der Velden. “Chapter 1: Reliable Sources for Indigenous Knowledge: Dissecting Wikipedia’s Catch-22.” Embracing Indigenous Knowledge in a New Technology Design Paradigm. Eds. N. Bidwell and H. Winschiers-Theophilus. http://ir.nust.na/bitstream/handle/10628/409/Indigenous%20Knowledge%20for%20Wikipedia.pdf
Day 8: Web 2.0, October 28th

Due Today: Wikipedia Assignment, parts 1 and 2

Readings 1-3 may be found in The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. pp. 155-169 https://archive.org/details/TheSocialMediaReader

  1. Jay Rose, “The People Formerly Known as the Audience.” In The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. pp. 13-15 
  2. Tim O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.” In The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. 
  3. Lawrence Lessig. “Remix: How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law.” In The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. pp. 155-169
    1.  For fun: The law tries to catch up to tech: https://twitter.com/cbsnews/status/983789635406004224?lang=en
  4. “Social Media Timeline Infographic – A Bit Of History…” https://drnm.me/social-media-timeline-infographic/a-bit-of-history/
Day 9: Learning Technologies and the United States Academy at The End of the Millennium, November 4th, Guest Steve Brier

In Class and Office Hours: Quick check-in about Final Project. 

  1. Michael Fabricant and Stephen Brier, Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education. (2016). “Chapter 4: The Making of the Neoliberal Public University.” “Chapter 6: Technology as ‘Magic Bullet’ in an Era of Austerity.” [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  2. Randy Bass, “Engines of Inquiry: Teaching, Technology, and Learner-Centered Approaches to Culture and History.” (1997) [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning, How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (2000) Chs. 1 & 2, 1-50; Ch. 7, 155-89; Ch. 10, 231-47.  http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9853&page=1
  4. How People Learn II (2010): Chapter 8, 163-196 (on technology in the classroom) https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24783/how-people-learn-ii-learners-contexts-and-cultures 
  5. Anne-Marie Womack et. al. Accessible Syllabus https://www.accessiblesyllabus.com/
  6. Martin Weller, “Twenty Years of Edtech.” (2018) https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/7/twenty-years-of-edtech
  7. Digital Divide: https://www.axios.com/the-new-digital-divides-internet-tech-media-25ec5b2b-0196-4a94-8f42-0debdbc7aa70.htm
Day 10:Open/Free Culture and Peer Production and Their Impact on the Intellectual Property and Copyright Regime, November 11th 

Due Today: Wikipedia Assignment, part 3

  1. Lewis Hyde, Common As Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010), 23-38. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  2. Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (2006), “Part One. The Networked Information Economy,” 29-34 and 59-90; Chapter 8, “Cultural Freedom: A Culture Both Plastic and Critical,” 273-300. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.] Also, read the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealth_of_Networks
  3. Aaron Swartz, Guerilla Open Access Manifesto (2008). https://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt
  4. Michael Mandiberg, “Giving Things Away is Hard Work.” In The Social Media Reader (2012), ed. Michael Mandiberg. pp. 187-197 https://archive.org/details/TheSocialMediaReader
  5. Cory Doctorow, Homeland (2013). (Read for form not for content, except you might also want to read Swartz afterword). Download options: https://craphound.com/homeland/download/  HTML version: https://craphound.com/homeland/Cory_Doctorow_-_Homeland.html
Day 11: Teaching and Labor in the Neoliberal Academy, November 18th, Guest Lisa Brundage

Due Today: Discipline-Specific Literature Review

  1. Marc Bousquet, “Introduction: Your Problem Is My Problem.” How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation (2008), pp. 1- 28; 40-54. [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]           
  2. Robin Zheng. “Precarity is a Feminist Issue: Gender and Contingent Labor in the Academy” (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hypa.12401 Robin Zheng   
  3. Lisa Brundage, Karen Gregory, and Emily Sherwood, “Working Nine to Five: What a Way to Make an Academic Living?Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (2018). Ed. Elizabeth Losh and Jacqueline Wernimont. pp. 305-319 https://dhdebates.gc.cuny.edu/projects/bodies-of-information
Day 12: Games and Play, November 25th, Guest Hamad Sindhi
  1. James Gee, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy? (2007) Ch. 1 (Introduction), Ch. 2 (Is Playing Video Games a “Waste of Time”?), Ch. 3 (What Does It Mean to Be a Half Elf), Ch. 4 (Situated Meaning and Learning), Ch. 7 (The Social Mind), Conclusion [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  2. Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken. Introduction, Chapters 1-5, 8, 11, Conclusion [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Aaron Chia Yuan Hung, “A Critique and Defense of Gamification.” https://www.ncolr.org/jiol/issues/pdf/15.1.4.pdf
  4. “The power of play: The effects of Portal 2 and Lumosity on cognitive and noncognitive skills.” Shute et. al. http://myweb.fsu.edu/vshute/pdf/portal1.pdf
  5. Ian Bogost Gamification is bullshit http://bogost.com/writing/blog/gamification_is_bullshit/
  6. Raczkowski, Felix (2013) ‘It’s all fun and games… a history of ideas concerning gamification’, Proceedings from the Digital Games Research Association 2013. http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-library/paper_344.pdf
  7. Joe Bisz, Composition Games, http://joebisz.com/compositiongames/Composition_Games_for_the_Classroom.html
Day 13: Data Visualization, December 2nd 

In Class and Office Hours: Final Project Approval and Guidance.

  1. Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, and Trees [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  2. Heer, Bostock, Ogievetsky. “A Tour through the Visualization Zoo.” [Available as a .pdf on course Group site.]
  3. Lauren Klein The Image of Absence: http://eng318dataasrhetoric2017.web.unc.edu/files/2017/01/American-Literature-2013-Klein-661-88.pdf

Examples of Visualization:

Day 14: Digital Humanities, December 9th 
  1. TBA
Day 15: The Dystopian Future-Present, December 16th

Final Project Due by the end of the day as an upload on the Forum

  1. TBD