onsdag 7 mars 2012

Our new course on Sustainability and Media

We are in the process of planning a new course, "Sustainability and Media Technology". It will be given right after the summer for the very first time. I'm responsible for planning and giving the course (with plenty of guest lecturers passing by though), but I have to say that Ph.D. student Jorge Zapico has been the most active person in brainstorming ideas about the structure and content of the course, and recently refining them into a "package". His suggestion has, after a recent meeting, basically become the de-facto framework for the course. The course (right now) consists of 10 "topics", or 10 overlapping and interrelated parts:

1) Intro
2) Sustainability 101 (basics)
3) Technology, society and sustainability from a historical perspective
4) Environmental psychology and behavior
5) (Direct) negative impacts of ICT and media
6) (Selected) positive effects of ICT use
7) ICT and social sustainability
8) Rebound effects
9) Images of the future
10) Outro/wrap-up

Another Ph.D. student, Henrik Åhman has also become involved (a little), especially concerning social sustainability and related parts. The course will be given for our 4th year Swedish media technology students (compulsory), but it will be given in English and will thus also be open to our international media management masters students, and perhaps also to others.

The basic set-up of the course will be two lectures + one seminar per week during "period 1" (7.5 hp, i.e. half pace during the first half of the autumn). The fact that it is compulsory for a core of 50-60 Swedish students who have to take the course is both good and bad. Good because it's nice to (hopefully) make an impact on many rather than fewer students. Bad because some course participants will have scant interest in the course or even take to it badly (if it clashes with their world view or if they are "tired" of "environmental mumbo-jumbo"). It might be hard to "sell" the actual course contents to a large part of the course participants (possible critique at its most crude level: "why do we have to take this course, it won't help me get a job when I graduate"). It is of course always nicer to have students in your classroom who have made an active choice to be there, rather than students who are there because they have to.

I have a large course load during the autumn as it is, but I will drop my Social Media course in order to take responsibility for this new course. It seems to be the case that Ph.D. student Pernilla - who was my side-kick in the Social Media course this past autumn - will become responsible for it and with me becoming her side-kick (we will trade places).

I will have plenty to do from the end of August to mid- or the end of October this year as I also have other (teaching) commitments. It will for sure be my busiest time this (calendar) year.

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