American Cybercultures: Principles of Internet Citizenship

Created by Associate Professor Greg Niemeyer at UC Berkeley

This course educates students in the historical, political, and practical aspects of the Internet in order to transform participants from users to active citizens of the Internet. By drawing on the history of citizenship in the national sense, this course examines how Internet citizenship impacts existing social structures and evaluates whether the hybrid of real and internet citizenship offers conditions for more fair, just and prosperous social structures.

This course is especially useful for people who wish to understand and develop social dynamics online, and for new media developers, artists, writers, coders and hackers who seek to improve the web. A series of “mission-based” learning modules taught through the online classroom arms students with 23 principles of cyberculture that provide a decision framework for effective participation in the internet. Throughout this course, students will study the following skills and concepts:

Navigate a simultaneous presence among networked communities
Explore various ways to act as responsible Internet citizens and create positive societal outcomes
Examine how race, ethnicity and identity affect social acts online
Evaluate whether New Media brings new justice, for whom, and how
Acquire digital media skills in file sharing, image/video upload and editing, web design, app design and Internet storage.