FYS 100

Internet Issues

Fall, 2002, MW 12-1:15

Office:TR B215

 Dr. Leah McCoy  mccoy@wfu.edu    

This seminar will examine the Internet and its impact on our culture.  Issues will be identified from readings, movies, current media stories, and examination of a wide variety of websites.  Students will be responsible for presenting and discussing internet issues in class and in papers.


Students will study and discuss issues of the internet and society, and will analyze, debate and discuss various viewpoints both orally and in writing.

Students will critically examine a variety of websites and discuss their positive and negative points.

Students will participate in designing, implementing, and reporting a survey research project related to internet use.

Major Topics

  Internet history, Personal Experiences, Searching, Evaluating Sites, Isolation,

                    Copyright, Censorship, Crime, Digital Divide, Education, Research


Various current internet and library resources as listed below.

The Net. (1995). Movie.

You will need to bring your ThinkPad for each class when you are presenting, and at other times as listed below.

Assignments and Evaluation:

1.        Short Papers.You will write 8 short papers (2-3 pages), giving your reaction to the internet issues based on class readings and discussions on that topic.You will explain and support your position clearly.No additional references will be required. The topics are those listed on the schedule below. (5% each)


2.       Webpage.You will create a personal webpage, with at least five elements to represent your autobiography and/or interests. You will display and discuss your site in class.(10% - Two checks at 5% each)

3.       Tech Tip.On an assigned date, you will learn and demonstrate for the class a technical skill that we might find useful.Topics should be based on our ThinkPad and “standard load” and must be approved in advance.Sources include your RTA and the library ITC, as well as your instructor.The presentation should last 5-10 minutes and you should prepare a handout for the class.(5%)


4.       Analysis of Webby Award Site.On an assigned date, you will demonstrate and analyze one site from the Webby Awards for the current year (awarded this past July).Your presentation should include an overview and description of the site, your analysis of why it was selected, and your opinion of whether it was deserved.The presentation will last 10-15 minutes.You will also turn in a 1-2 page paper summarizing your presentation.Note: Some sites may contain inappropriate language, or graphics.Please do not report them.We do not want to be embarrassed.(5%)

The Webby Awards.http://www.webbyawards.com(Awarded Annually in 29 categories, including Activism, Arts, Commerce, Fashion, Games, Government & Law, Health, Living, Music, News, Science, Spirituality, Sports, TV, Travel)

5.       Tech News.On an assigned date, you will report a current technology-related news story to the class.Topic should be relevant to Internet Issues, and care should be taken to NOT repeat a previously-presented topic.You should also check with other news presenters on your date to avoid duplication.You will turn in a one-paragraph summary of the topic.(5%)

6.       Suggested sources include the following news sites' technology pages:

        MSNBC - http://www.msnbc.com/news/TECH_Front.asp

        NY Times - http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html

        Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/technology/

7.       Issues Group Presentation.You will work with a group of 3 (randomly assigned), to report on an Internet Issue.You will be randomly assigned to groups, topics, and presentation dates.Your group will work together to research the topic (at least five sources in addition to those listed below).Your group will prepare a multimedia PowerPoint presentation for the class. It should include 15-20 slides and should include text, graphics, and sound (and a bibliography).You will conduct a class discussion on the topic.You will turn in one copy of a printout of your slides (6 per page). (5%)

8.       Research Group Reports.Our class will conduct an internet research project where we will survey Wake students to answer questions related to internet use.We will discuss the project and decide together exactly what we will study.Your group will be assigned a task for the class research report (Write Survey Questions, Program Survey, Solicit Participants, Produce Excel Results, Produce SPSS Results).You will work together to complete your group's part of the project and report to the class on two dates.(10% - Two reports at 5% each)

9.       Final Paper.You will write a final paper, 3-5 pages, reporting and discussing the research project results. (10%).

10.    Participation.You are expected to be present and involved in each class session.(10%)

My Top Ten Useful Sites

        Google - http://www.google.com/

My recommendation for a multipurpose search engine

        TechTV - http://www.techtv.com/techtv/

Resources from ZDNet TV shows, Screen Savers is my favorite.

        Cnet - http://www.cnet.com/

A good source of tech news, product reviews, pricing, and other information.

        WhatIs - http://whatis.techtarget.com/

A dictionary/encyclopedia of tech terms

        Google groups/ Deja.com - http://groups.google.com/

A search engine for newsgroups, including computer "techies" for tips

        Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/

Online bookstore that also sells almost everything else

        DrudgeReport - http://www.drudgereport.com/

Online news and commentary source, plus links to many other sources

        Wired - http://www.wired.com/

Online version of the print magazine, very relevant

        MSNBC - http://www.msnbc.com/news/

Online news

        NandoTimes - http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/

Online news 






W 8/28


Course Overview



M 9/2

History of the Internet



Useful Sites

Favorite Sites

Favorite Webpage

Paper 1:(Personal

Experiences with 

the Internet)

W 9/4



Evaluating Webpages(Bring ThinkPad)



M 9/9

Library Orientation

(Meet in Library, BringThinkPad)

Paper 2:

(Site Evaluation)

W 9/11

The Net – Part 1



M 9/16

The Net – Part 2



W 9/18

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 1 - 2

Webby11 - 12

TechTips 6

M 9/23

Introduction to DreamWeaver

WebPage Workshop(Bring ThinkPad) 

Paper 3: (Computer 


W 9/25

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 3 - 4


TechTips 7 -8

M 9/30

Research 1 - Planning

Introduction to SPSS(Bring ThinkPad)


W 10/2

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 5

Webby 14 -15 

TechTips 9 -10

  M 10/7

Discussion of Issues Assignments and Research Assignments
Group Meetings


W 10/9

Issues I - Copyright (Napster, Intellectual Property)


Initial Webpage

Presentation GroupA

M 10/14

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 6 -7

Webby1 -2

TechTips 11

W 10/16

Issues II - Censorship/Privacy


Paper 4


Presentation GroupB

M 10/21

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 8 -9


TechTips 12 -13

W 10/23

Issues III - Internet Crime


Paper 5


Presentation GroupC

M 10/28

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 10

Webby4 -5

TechTips 14

W 10/30

Issues IV - The Digital Divide


Paper 6

(Internet Crime)

Presentation GroupD

M 11/4

No Class- Dr. Mac out of town


  W 11/6

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 11


TechTips 15 - 1

M 11/11

Issues V - Education on the Web

   (Note:  new URL)

Paper 7

(The Digital Divide)

Presentation GroupE

W 11/13

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 12 -13


TechTips 2

M 11/18

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 14

Webby8 -9


Paper 8


W 11/20

Personal WebPages - Presentations

Presentation All

M 11/25

News, Webby Sites, Tech Tip


News 15

Webby 10

TechTips 4 - 5

W 11/27

Thanksgiving Break


M 12/2

Future of the Internet



W 12/4

Research III - Reports and Discussion

Presentation - 

All Groups

Friday 12/13

Final Paper Due - NOON

Final Paper