The Internet: Salvation or Destruction?

The Internet has fundamentally changed knowledge, economics, and culture in the 21st century. The rise of the Internet has greatly impacted who can access information and how one accesses information. It has changed the way companies and individuals make money. Finally, it has flattened the world by moving ideas around the globe to everyone connected by the Internet. This class will explore these shifts in knowledge, economics, and culture by studying topics such as epistemic inequality, political polarization, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding, the local–global flip, and search engine optimization. This course immerses students in an intensive study of the Internet, a space they may have taken for granted, to enhance their understanding of the global impact of their daily use. Through web-based research and data analysis, students will complete projects centered around how communities with the web “know” differently, how businesses grow via the Internet, and how cultures can be affected by the arrival and growth of the Internet. Students will write analytically and reflectively throughout the course. This course is intended for students in 10th-12th grade, or requires permission from the instructor. (Semester, .5 credit)