LIBR 287-13
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Children and Digital Technology
Spring 2015 Greensheet

Dr. D. Weissmann
Office location: Online in Blackboard Instant Message (BbIM)
Office Hours: By appointment

Greensheet Links
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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 22nd, 12:01am PST unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open at 12:01am PST on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically. 

There are no mandatory class sessions and all student work can be completed asynchronously.

Course Description

This course asks you to step into the role of an advocate for children. In this role you will investigate information technologies used by or designed for children; you will be asked to interview a person who has a stake in providing children with access to information technologies; you will be asked to write a persuasive memo on a policy that permits or hinders children's use of information technology; and you will be asked to create an engaging presentation introducing a new information technology (app, device or tech program) created for or foreseeably attractive to children. 

In our asynchronous meetings each week we will talk about children and information technology in the larger context of historical trends, current debates, and policies set by schools, libraries, government, industry, and families. 

While this course focuses on issues surrounding information technologies used by or designed for children under the age of 12, this course is appropriate for any student interested in practicing the skills needed to advocate for policies that best serve a culturally and economically diverse population.  We will practice articulating personal philosophies, conducting non-judgmental interviews, assessing trending information technologies, advocacy, and sharing our ideas using both older and trending platforms.

Course Requirements

The tasks for this course have been formulated to simulate activities of an information professional working in an information organization advocating for children.

  • Argue a Policy Position. Identify a policy related to children and information technologies. Research and describe the arguments for and against your chosen policy.  In a 4-6 page memo share your position for the continued use, discontinued use, or modification of this policy.  Support your position with a minimum of 4 resources that will help to explain the policy history, provide contextual information about the policy and academically authoritative support your argument. Peer review of a minimum of 3 classmates' arguments. Write a reflection of your investigative process and any shifts in your understandings.
    •  CC    C and M
    •  SLO  1, 4, 5
  • Assess a Children's Information Technology. Conduct an investigative review of an Information Technology (device, app, or tech program) built for or particularly appealing to children. Assess the value of the Information Technology contextually. Share your review with the class as an engaging presentation. Peer review of a minimum of 3 classmates' presentations. Write a reflection of the presentation, assessment, and reviewing processes.
    •  CC    C, H and M
    •  SLO  1, 3, 4, 5
  • Engage in Weekly Discussions Referencing the Weekly Readings. Respond to one of the weekly discussion board prompts and reply to the responses of 3 classmates.
    •  CC    M
    •  SLO  1, 4
  • Engage with a Small Group of Classmates and Extrapolate on a Topic from our Readings. In small groups, provide the class with an inforgraphic on one of the points of the week’s reading related to an aspect of professional practice sharing at least 3 current resources per person. Write a reflection of the group engagement process and any shifts in your understandings.
    •  CC    H and M
    •  SLO  1, 5
  • Interview a Stakeholder. Conduct an interview with a stakeholder in children's use of information technologies (i.e. parent, pediatrician, teacher, children's librarian, member of a children's advocacy group, policy maker at any level) and present your findings. Write a reflection of the interview process and any shifts in your understandings.
    •  CC    C and M
    •  SLO  1, 2, 5
  • Reflect on Your Shifted Understandings.  Reflect on your processes, assumptions, and shifted understandings developed over the semester.
    •  CC    M
    •  SLO  1

Course Calendar and Course Topics
The course topics serve to provide context, offer theoretical foundations, and highlight current research to support an endeavor to advocate for children. 

  • Week 1 Introduction to our Topic
  • Week 2 Have We Seen These Issues Before?
  • Week 3 Current Debates
  • Week 4 C&IT in Schools
  • Week 5 C&IT for Finding Information
  • Week 6 C&IT Literacies
  • Week 7 Federal Policies
  • Week 8 Federal Policies II
  • Week 9 Industry Practices
  • Week 10 C&IT at Home
  • Week 11 C&IT and Safety
  • Week 12 The Child's Perspective
  • Week 13 Hour of Code
  • Week 14 Presenting Technologies
  • Week 15 Reflecting Back and Thinking Ahead

The course calendar is subject to change with fair notice.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Utilize engaging presentation applications to share ideas and scholarship.
  2. Advocate for policies that best serve a culturally and economically diverse population with regard to the use of information technologies.
  3. Assess trending information technologies.
  4. Conduct a non-judgmental information gathering interview.
  5. Articulate a personal philosophy of best practices with regard to children and information technologies.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. C Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations.
  2. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  3. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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