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Hello world! 26 January 2010

Posted by Kathy E. Gill (@kegill) in Course Notes.

COM 585 : Web Tools for the Digital World

Examines the framework of social media applications, with the goal of helping digital media communications professionals understand the technologies underlying emerging Internet applications.

In order to make sense of the legal, social and policy issues that are created by new technologies, as well as to function as a leader in the field, it is essential to know what they are and understand how they actually work. Students will gain a solid understanding of legacy and emerging technologies and web programming (how to speak the language, not write code), which are essential skills when managing cross-functional teams.

Students will also develop hands-on skills in core technology implementation, such as WordPress (PHP, MySQL, CSS), GoogleMaps and Twitter (API), and Yahoo!Pipes (RSS), and will experiment with emerging technologies such as GoogleWave and HTML 5. You will learn a little about HTML and CSS, but you won’t become “proficient” (not enough time). That said, you will also learn where those two techs “came from” and where they are going. Any code written in class will be written “naked” (plain text editor – no Dreamweaver etc). You will develop *hands-on skills* but the goal is not to turn you into a developer … the goal is for you to understand what’s involved to produce content with these various technologies.

The course is structured like a workshop or seminar: each class member is responsible for formally and informally contributing to discussion of readings, activities and assignments. This is a project-based course, and students may work in teams or solo; bring your pitches. This is not a “web design” or “information architecture” course, although design fundamentals are a core component.

Class Meets Wednesday evenings, 6-10 pm, CMU301; we will also meet one Sunday (substituting for two Wednesday nights).

  1. Wed 31 March
  2. Wed 7 April
  3. Sun 18 April (all day – 9-4)
  4. Wed 28 Apr
  5. Wed 5 May
  6. Wed 12 May
  7. Wed 19 May
  8. Wed 26 May
  9. Wed 2 June

I will use some books from the Safari library (UW Proquest subscription – offsite log-in required).

Required (these should be in your library if you are going to play with code)
* HTML, XHTML, and CSS: Your visual blueprint for designing effective Web pages. Rob Huddleston. Visual. (2008)
* WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide. Jessica Neuman Beck and Matt Beck. Peachpit Press. (2009)

Recommended Books:
* Design of Everyday Things. Don Norman. Currency (1990, paper)
* Designing Interactions. Bill Moggridge. MIT (2007)
* Speaking in Styles: Fundamentals of CSS for Web Designers. Jason Cranford Teague. New Riders (2009)
* WordPress 2.8 Theme Design by Tessa Blakeley Silver (Paperback – Dec. 17, 2009)
* WordPress 2.7 Cookbook. Jean-Baptiste Jung. Packt Publishing (July 15, 2009)

There will also be online tutorials. Shout (or add as a comment) if you have favorites.



1. Arturo Catalán - 12 February 2010


From the southernmost in the world: Chile I congratulate you for the Master of Communication in Digital Media that dictates your university. The academic program is first rate.

A salute from a digital journalist

Arturo Catalán

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