LC

Digital Revolution and Global Economy/ Technology and Economy

advanced-level 4cr

A. PURPOSE

The digital revolution is bringing the world towards a new global future. Innovation fuels entrepreneurship and competition among businesses, new ideas and business models emerge. Advances in bio- and nanotechnology, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and the spread of the internet will help us solve many challenges of civilization such as poverty, disease and pollution.  New technologies can help us build a better, more efficient, peaceful and sustainable society.  Yet not all countries benefit equally from the ongoing revolution, there are dangers associated with universal access to technology, and we are faced with new choices around security, surveillance and intellectual property.   Where is technology taking us?  Will robots replace human jobs and create massive unemployment? What kind of business models are likely to be successful in the future?  The aim of this course is to examine how the world economy, the lives of its participants, and our decisions will change in the global connected world of tomorrow.

B. LEARNING OUTCOMES

In this course you will

  • Examine the impact of the past industrial revolutions on jobs, trade, and the lives of people
  • Explore how the advent of the internet changed the way we communicate, work, rest, produce and trade
  • Discuss the future of major industries and the impact of automation on jobs
  • Understand current trends in technology, communications and globalization
  • Learn about the problems associated with universal access to technology, such as crime, surveillance, cyber attacks and intellectual property protection
  • Assess the potential for innovations to solve world poverty, hunger and climate change challenges
  • Evaluate innovative business models and come up with own ideas
  • Practice applications of economics concepts: opportunity cost, supply and demand, costs and benefits, GDP, economic growth, network externalities
  • Participate in informed intellectual conversations about the global economy and our role in it.

C. LEARNING ACTIVITIES

The course consists of 8 modules.  Students will create a Google account and join a private Google+ community to participate in discussions.  All course study materials are available both on the Google+ discussion site and on the course website at  https://commons.esc.edu/vvernon/courses/technology/   Course assignments consts of 8 discussions, several assignments and a final project.  For the final project students have a choice of creating a new course module, putting together a PowerPoint presentation or writing an expert article on an issue related to the course content.  Proposals for the final project are due at the end of week 8.  Students will take an in class midterm test and will participate in residency activities.

D. METHODS AND CRITERIA FOR EVALUATION

Your work will be evaluated based on participation and quality of their contributions to discussions, effort on assignments and knowledge of the material demonstrated in the final project.  A substantive discussion post is several sentences long, it demonstrates student’s engagement with the material, their ability to think critically, to argue, compare, contrast, generalize and draw conclusions.  Discussion posts are rated on the scale of 1-3 points.  Discussion participants who earn above 100 points earn an A  for discussions.   Final grade is a weighted average of  discussions (40%), written assignments (25%), residency activities (15%), midterm test (10%), final project (10%) .

E. PLAN FOR FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT

Feedback will be provided by email, in person, via Zoom, during residencies, and in the online discussion community.

 

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