CCT205 Course Outline

CCT 205H5
Digital Innovation and Cultural Transformation
Professor Gail Benick and Professor Michael Jones

An examination of the changes and challenges arising from the introduction of digital and computing technologies to modern culture. Topics range from the social and cultural outcomes of the new media, the impact of the digital revolution on privacy; the relevance of virtual environments in education, civic engagement and politics, and the interplay between pre-industrial, industrial and information cultures.
Prerequisites: CCT 100; CCT 101
Course Structure and Class Hours

Lecture (2 hours weekly)
Laboratory Tutorial (1 hour weekly)
As per UTM policies, students are required to attend the lab session at the specific time for which they are registered. Changes of lab session must be made in ROSI.

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Sheridan: Sheldon Levy Centre
Room J102
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Sheridan: Sheldon Levy Centre
Room J316
5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Sheridan Sheldon Levy Centre
Room J 316
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Sheridan Sheldon Levy Centre
Room J316
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Sheridan Sheldon Levy Centre
Room J316

CCIT Program:


Contact Information:
Professor Gail Benick (lectures)
Email: [[mailto:%3C/|]]
Please use CCT 205 Slate email for course related issues.
Tel. 905 845-9430 ext. 8636
Students are encouraged to check Slate between classes for updates on course details. Check Slate in case of bad weather or campus closure.
Office hours: S 319 on Thursdays 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. and by appointment
Professor Michael Jones (labs)
Email: or
Phone: (905) 845-9430 x5555
Office hours: J321, Thursdays 3-4pm and by appointment.

The Network Society. Darin Barney. Polity Press, 2004. Available in the UTM Bookstore


Boler, Megan (2008). Digital Media and Democracy. MIT Press
Bugeja, Michael. (2004). The Interpersonal Divide: The Search for Community in
a Technological Age. Oxford University Press.
Castells, Manuel (1997). The Power of Identity. Oxford: Blackwell.
Castells, Manuel (1996/2000). The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford: Blackwell.
Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and Self-Identity. Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Cambridge: Polity.
Lievrouw, L. & Livingstone, S. (2002). Handbook of New Media. Sage,
Lewis, M. (2002). Next: The Future Just Happened. New York: Norton.
Ludlow, P. Ed. (2001) Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates and Pirate Utopias. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press
Norris, P. (2001). Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Postman, Neil (1993). Technopoly. New York: Vintage.
Rogers, Everett. (2003). Diffusion of Innovations (5th ed.). New York Free Press
Webster, F. ed. (2001) Culture and Politics in the Information Age: A New Politics? London: Routledge.

Marking Scheme

__|| Assignment || Weight || Date || Description ||
Test 1
In lecture, Week 6 (Feb. 12)
Covers all course material up to week 5, including course readings, lectures and labs
Test 2
In lecture, Week 13 (Apr. 9)
Covers all course material from week 6 on, including course readings, lectures and labs
In lecture, Week 11 (Mar. 26)
Journal reflections based on guest lecturers
Individual Research Assignment
In lab, Week 5 (Feb. 5)
Research on a cause or concern of interest, posted to course wiki for review
Group Communication Strategy Assignment
In lab, Week 8 (Mar. 5)
Group forms around common concern, outlines communication strategy (message, target demographics and media used) posted to course wiki for review
Group Cultural Transformation Assignment
In lab, Week 12 (Apr. 2)
Submission of final communications effort on course wiki
|| Feedback and Online Participation || 5% || Ongoing, ending Apr. 2 || Supporting individual and group research work of others on wiki ||

Important Remarks
Plagiarism and Academic Offences
Honesty and fairness are considered fundamental to the University’s mission, and, as a result, all those who violate those principles are dealt with as if they were damaging the integrity of the University itself. When students are suspected of cheating or a similar academic offence, they are typically surprised at how formal and seriously the matter is dealt with – and how severe the consequences can be if it is determined that cheating did occur.
The University of Toronto treats academic offences very seriously. Students should note that copying, plagiarizing, or other forms of academic misconduct will not be tolerated. Any student caught engaging in such activities will be subject to academic discipline ranging from a mark of zero on the assignment, test or examination to dismissal from the university as outlined in the UTM calendar. Any student abating or otherwise assisting in such misconduct will also be subject to academic penalties.
Students are assumed to be informed about plagiarism and are expected to be familiar the handout, titled "Plagiarism and Reference Format". How not to plagiarize, written by Margaret Procter, is a valuable and succinct source of information on the topic.
Please be advised that it is an academic offence for a student knowingly:
· To forge, alter or falsify any document or evidence required by the University
· To use or possess an unauthorized aid or obtain unauthorized assistance on a term test
· To personate another person at an exam, term test or in connection with any other form of academic work
· To represent as one’s own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in connection with any form of academic work (commit plagiarism)
· To submit any academic work containing a purported statement of fact or reference to a source which has been concocted.
Students are also supposed to be familiar, and considered as being familiar, with the Faculty Rules and Regulations, Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters (see 2008-2009 UTM Calendar) and Code of Student Conduct (see 2008-2009 UTM Calendar) , which spell out your rights, your duties and provide all the details on grading regulations and academic offenses at the University of Toronto”.
AccessAbility: The University accommodates students with disabilities who have registered with the AccessAbility Resource Centre. Please let us know in advance, preferably in the first week of class, if you will require any accommodation on these grounds. (2008-09 UTM Calendar Section 6.3 AccessAbility Resource Centre)."
Sheridan CCIT courses accommodate students with disabilities who have registered with the Special Needs Office at Sheridan, the Trafalgar Rd. Campus. Please let the professors know in advance if you will require any accommodation on these grounds.
Academic Skills Centre: The Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre offers both individual appointments and workshops for students having difficulty with reading and writing skills.
Classroom Management: “You are expected to come to class on time, turn off cell phones and pagers, use laptops in class for note-taking only (not for web surfing, email etc.)”. Classes at Sheridan begin on the hour.

Due Dates and Lateness
It is important that you submit assignments on the specified due dates. Make sure that you are aware of due dates. Only assignments with a valid official University of Toronto medical certificate will be accepted after the due date.
Work submitted after the due date with no valid medical certificate is not accepted. It will be returned to you without a mark.
Forging medical certificates or falsely claiming illness is a serious matter and will be treated as a case of academic dishonesty. Certificates will be compiled and reviewed to ensure medical excuses are legitimate.
Medical evidence. The student will submit a valid official University of Toronto medical certificate as evidence proving that events beyond his/her control prevented the submission of the assignment on the given due date. There is no penalty, and the late work is accepted until the length of time the evidence warrants. Please contact the professor if you find yourself in this position.
Missed lab activities or random in-class assignments: Lab activities and guest lecture journal assignments cannot be made up. It is your responsibility to attend scheduled classes and to be aware of what is missed should you be unable to attend.
Missed Term Tests
The UTM policy on term tests is presented in the UTM 2008-2009 Calendar. To summarize:
Students who miss a term test will be assigned a mark of zero for that test unless they can document a compelling reason for missing it and present valid documentation, such as a University of Toronto medical certificate. Students in that position must submit a written request to their professor with appropriate documentation. If the request is accepted, the weighting of other graded work will be increased by the amount of the missed test.

Weekly Topical Outline

Guest speakers will be added to this course according to availability. In addition to the textbook readings, online articles and links to important Websites will be made available through WebCT.

Please check WebCT regularly between classes to remain updated on guest speakers, articles, and references links, as well as campus closures and class cancellation due to bad weather. Course housekeeping such as clarification of assignments and readings will be handled through WebCT email to all students, announcements and the discussion board. .
Week One/ January 8
Course syllabus and evaluation strategy
Attributes of the Network Society
Advocates and Critics

Barney, The Network Society, chapter 1
Frank Webster on the information society
Lab assignment introduction, set up on wiki

Week Two/ January 15
Guest Lecture: Mark Kuznicki
Civic Engagement and Participation in a Digital Age
Barney, chapter 2
Principles of Good Research and Citation

Week Three/ January 22

Digital Technology: Systems and Design
Diffusion of Innovation vs Social Shaping of Technology
Network Economy: A New Economy?
Barney, chapter 3, pp. 69 – 90
Manuel Castells on the new economy in the information society
Alinsky’s 12 Rules of Power

Week Four/ January 29
Networks and (Un) Employment
Surveillance and Security Issues
Barney, chapter 3, pp. 90 – 107
Michel Foucault on Panopticism:


Research Support

Week Five/ February 5
Guest lecture: Eric Squair

Digital Advocacy

Individual Research Assignment Due

Week Six/ February 12
Lecture Period
Test 1


Group Formation

Reading Week: February 18 – 22 No Classes

Week Seven/ February 26


New Media, New Politics?
Guest Lecture: Mary-Margaret Jones

Barney, chapter 4, pp. 108 - 132
Planning a Communications Strategy

Week Eight/ March 5

Network Technologies and Democracy
Barney, chapter 4, pp. 132 – 142
Naomi Klein on the new media and politics:
Group Communication Strategy Due

Week Nine/ March 12

Technology and Culture: The Rise of Robots

Feedback on strategy

Week 10/ March 19

Technology, the New Media and Identity
Barney, chapter 5, pp. 143 - 175
Assistance on final project

Week 11/ March 26

Digital Divides
Demographics of internet users
Assistance on final project

Week 12/April 2

Course Summary: The Consequences of Information and Communication Technology

Barney, Conclusion
Final Communications Strategy and Effort Due

Week 13/ April 9
Lecture Period
Test 2