EDCP 531: Cultural & New Media Studies

Here is my syllabus for EDCP 531. What do you think of the syllabus aesthetic? The markings represent “new media” and the facial expressions represent “culture” which are, of course, in-interaction-with each other. What metaphors come to mind when you think of cultural and new media studies?


Cultural and new media technologies have intensified and transformed the way we communicate, the way we learn, and the way we teach. They have, we might say, transformed the student and transformed the teacher. But what is the nature of these changes?

This course is designed to help graduate students develop a framework for understanding cultural and new media studies. One major effort will be in helping students balance practice with ethical, legal, and theoretical aspects. A second effort is to help students develop a critical cultural and media literacy to grapple with controversial issues. A third effort encourages students to design curriculum and content for teaching media studies and integrating media literacy across the curriculum.

This course focuses on understanding media and associated freedoms of cultural expression and the press for learning, teaching, and public pedagogy. Media studies is a dynamic discipline tailored to exploring youth, culture, and education through concepts or techniques such as articulation, framing, regulation, remediation, representation, and transcoding. In addition to understanding culture, media, and the process of meaning-making, this course focuses on producing media across formats, cultural expression, and civic engagement.

Making minimal distinction among (the) media of, on, and in education, this course provides a survey of cultural and new media studies with an emphasis on media education and literacy. Media education and literacy are among the most relevant challenges to “official” knowledge and represent key movements in the sociology of curriculum. Hence, this course emphasizes the design and production of curriculum and content for teaching media studies and integrating media literacy across the curriculum.

Students will benefit from a multimodal learning environment and creative instructional strategies (e.g., gamestorming, rolestorming, ideation, tinkering, screenplay reading, and producing original social media content). The course is oriented around ethical, legal, and theoretical aspects, with more specialized content derived from games for change, global apps for social justice, hip hop activism, and youth digital media ecologies. Hands-on activities will engage learners in unpacking the complexity of media in contemporary culture and examining how media education is catalyzing the development of young people’s capacities for 21st century skills of digital communication, media literacy, and civic engagement.