HON 206WI: Honors First Year Seminar

Our Digital Selves

Building and Blending Our Personal, Professional, and Practical Digital Identities

Without question, we live, work, and play in a digital world.

Though a divide still exists in terms of skills and access across demographics, it is reasonable to argue that the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices connected to the Internet as well as broadband in our homes, schools, libraries, and workplaces means that all of us – especially young people coming of age in the present moment – are now blending our personal, professional, and practical digital identities across multiple networks and with a variety of tools.

However, the ability to upload a picture or post on one’s timeline does not, in and of itself, assure us each a place in digital segments of academia, the workplace, or civic life. In fact, a recent Rasmussen College survey showed that 37% of millennial students see the internet as “scary” and are not confident in their digital literacy skills.

This first year seminar will challenge students to critically examine what it means to lead a digital life – personally and academically – and to rethink our understanding of what it means to be mindful, productive, and responsible users of technology.

Specifically, we will engage in a variety of critical topics such as:

  • Reconsidering intellectual property rights in a digital age by exploring legal issues of copyright, fair use, and open source materials, as well as ethical issues of academic integrity (including issues of citation and plagiarism).
  • Deconstructing and reconstituting the sense of self across various digital spaces with critical perspectives on:
    • relationship building (Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together, danah boyd’s It’s Complicated)
    • social and political ideologies (Kovach and Rosenstiel’s Blur, Eli Pariser’s Filter Bubble)
    • intellectual engagement (Nicolas Carr’s The Shallows, Clive Thompson’s Smarter Than You Think)
    • personal habits and responsibility (Soojung-Kim Pang’s The Distraction Addiction, Newport’s Deep Work)
  • Creating, circulating, and curating academic work by rethinking processes and procedures for peer review, social scholarship, and open access.


Badging Pathways

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