Communication Technologies

Dr. Christopher Martin
Department of Communication Studies
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614
Telephone: 319-273-2788
Fax: 319-273-7356

University of Klagenfurt
Room E.1.42

Course Description: Examination of past, current, and emerging technologies and how they affect those who use them.
Emphasis on the variety of social consequences, intended or not, that can result from use and interaction with communications technologies.

Date and Time Topics Relevant Web Links
(1-5 p.m.)
The Post-PC Era
Production, Distribution, Display
The Organization of the Internet
The Effects of the 1996 Telecommunications Act on the U.S. and the World

History of Communication Technologies
The 3 Stages of Development of a Mass Medium
Luddites, Techno-utopians, and Technorealists

The Range of Communication Technologies
The Relevance of Broadband Technology

  • Bluetooth
  • Palm Wireless Personal Area Network (Bluetooth)
  • Nokia
  • Ericsson
  • Motorola
  • The Benton Foundation's Telecommunications Act of 1996 Page
  • History of ARPAnet
  • Hobbes' Internet Timeline
  • Internet Society (ISOC): All About the Internet
  • ARPAnet Maps
  • The Media History Project
  • Technorealism
  • "Demystifying Broadband," Digital Divide Network, 2001
  • "International Issues," Digital Divide Network
  • Thursday
    (2-6 p.m.)
    Media Convergence
    Satellite Communications

    Ownership Issues and Communication Technologies
    Media conglomerates
    Open-source software/Linux

    The Creative Process and Communication Technologies
    Popular Music, Video Games, and Digital Video

  • Intelsat (Commercial Satellite History)
  • SES Americom
  • Vincor Satellite Charts
  • C-Band TV
  • DISH Network
  • Teledesic
  • 50 Years of Cable Technology (Communications Engineering and Design, 1998)
  • Columbia Journalism Review -- Who Owns What
  • Media Giants (Frontline site)
  • The Free Software Story
  • Yahoo! Broadcast
  • D.FILM Digital Film Festival
  • Friday
    Electronic Publications
    Measuring Media Use  -- History and New Technologies

    Communication Technology Laws and Regulations (U.S.)
    Piracy, Copyright Law, Digital Watermarks and Other Anti-Copying Technology
    World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
    Fair Use

    Social and Cultural Consequences
    Journalism and New Technologies

  • Internet Advertising Bureau
  • Jupiter Media Metrix
  • Nielsen//Netratings
  • NUA Internet Surveys
  • Arbitron Webcast Services
  • Nielsen Media Research
  • Arbitron -- Portable People Meter
  • World Intellectual Property Organization
  • U.S. Copyright Office
  • BMI
  • RIAA- Recording Industry Association of America
  • MPAA
  • Fat Chuck' -- Corrupted CDs
  • Andy Patrizio, The DVD Hack: What Next? Wired, 11/4/1999
  • -- Urban Legends and Folklore
  • Christian Science Monitor, "Newest Tool for Social Protest -- The Internet," 6/18/99
  • Independent Media Center (

    Democracy and Communication Technologies
    New Voting Technologies
    Interactive Systems:  Minitel (France), Qube (U.S.) , and the Full Service Network (U.S.)

    Educational Technologies
    Distance Learning
    Teaching with Computers

    The Future of Communication Technologies
    Connectivity versus Surveillance

  • EU Student Vote 9-23 May 2002
  • The Rise of the E-Citizen 
  • Internet Voting:  Bringing Elections to the Desktop
  • Politics Online -- Online FundRaising
  • (official site) | (parody site)
  • Jacob Weisberg, G.W. Bush vs., Slate (Sept. 28, 1999)
  • John McCain
  • Rick Valelly, "Voting Alone: The Case Against Virtual Ballot Boxes" (The New Republic, 9/13-20/1999)
  • "The French Minitel," (D-Lib Magazine, 1995)
  • Alcatel's Webtouch
  • Ken Freed, "When Cable Went Qubist"
  • Iowa Communications Network (ICN)
  • The Internet and Education (2001)
  • Center for Democracy and Technology - Privacy Issues
  • Federal Trade Commission -- Privacy Initiatives

    time to be announced
    Complete Any Unfinished Topics
    Discuss Paper Topics and Assignment

    Term Paper

    The course grade will be based on a term paper, which should be 12-15 pages (12-point font, double spaced), with at least 10 academic citations on the topic.  The paper should be a critical review of a communication technology or issue that connects with at least one of the themes we have covered in the class.

    Sample topics for presentations include:
    Web-based auction services, political campaigns and the web, digital technology and the ease of piracy,  satellite technology and direct broadcasting services, how inexpensive video cameras change the way we document our lives; how the Internet affects human relationships; the impact of telecommuting on work.

    The paper should use a critical approach, with Description, Analysis, Intepretation, and Evaluation.
    Some of the questions you can address in your presentation and paper:

    On the last class meeting, we will discuss paper topics, and I will approve topic ideas.  The papers will be forwarded to me in the U.S. at a later date so that I may grade them.

    Additional Web Resources

              Some Published Resources

    Last update May 17, 2002