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SPAN 335: Community Activism through Social Media

Fall 2015
TR 12:00PM-1:15PM - Room: Aquia 346
Professor: Dr. Esperanza Román-Mendoza
Telephone: 993-1232

Department of Modern and Classical Languages
George Mason University
Office: Aquia 346
Office hours: TR 1:30-2:30PM and by appointment
Skype: e.roman.mendoza

Spanish 335 is designed to promote students' oral abilities in Spanish as well as their critical understanding of Latin
American culture and society through the discussion and analysis of different social web-based sources. SPAN 335 will
make extensive use of technology to support oral and written activities. Your grade will be determined as follows:
Class participation
Oral class presentations (daily)
Final oral presentation


Wikispaces individual page/FB
Final research project


The aim of this course is to enable you to acquire new vocabulary, grammar structures and pragmatics in order to
improve your conversational skills. Discussions and activities will be based on social activism as portrayed and carried
out in social media (blogs, digital repositories, twitter, YouTube videos, digital newspapers discussions, etc.) and mass
media in Latin America.
 Materials and calendar will be posted on Wikispaces, as well as activities. Please check regularly the course
calendar for specific information on activities and deadlines. (
 Blackboard. Syllabus, announcements and materials will be accessible in the Blackboard course.
 Facebook group. If all students agree to create a Facebook group, we will use it to share news and links.
 Twitter account. This is an online tool in 140 characters. Our hashtag will be #335social
 Please keep track of your login and password information for all these websites on a safe, accessible file.
In-class participation
This is primarily a conversation class and you must be present to participate. Attendance is crucial. No make-up work will
be accepted for lost class time. Late assignments won’t be accepted, unless there is a medical reason or any other
justified emergency. Check our class wiki for course materials, lesson plans and scheduled assignments. The attached
tentative schedule does not contain details, as it is just an overview of the whole course. Short quizzes will be given in
class unannounced.
Oral daily presentations
Students will present a report to the whole class every day about their readings, activities and online exchanges. No
make up for missed classes.
Final oral presentation
Students will prepare a final oral presentation based on the investigative project. More details in class.
Reflective essays
Students will write 4 essays (500 words) on topics related to the discussions and readings. The essay will be written
following a draft-peer review-final version revision process. Topics will be announced in class.
Wikispace individual page
Students will work in class and outside class in several written activities, in addition to the reflective essays. They will be
stored and reviewed on each student’s individual Wikispace page. More details in class.
Research project
Students will prepare a research paper about one specific NGO or activist campaign. To this effect, students will be
assigned an activist/mentor to follow during the length of the curse. Students will interview their activist mentors,

analyze their websites and other social media presence, study their strategies and campaigns. More details in class.
Students will present every day in class the status of their investigations and will keep a journal on the course wiki.
Horario Provisional
Sept. 1

Sept. 3
Sept. 8

En clase
Introducción al curso. Twitter. Wikispaces.
Facebook. GoogleDocs Escribir presentación en
Tema 0: Latinoamérica. Retos y oportunidades


Compilar lista de temas de interés por países
Radio Ambulante.
Leer Lectura 1. (pp. 103-117)
Escribir resumen y una pregunta de discusión en la wiki
Leer Lectura 1. (pp. 118-125)
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Ensayo 1 (borrador)
Leer Lectura 1. (pp. 126-129)
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Ensayo 1 (versión final) Watch Documentary Reportero:
Leer Lectura 1. (pp. 129-146)
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Leer Lectura 2.
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Buscar info sobre Colombia. Actividades
Ensayo 2 (borrador)
Buscar info sobre campañas online de políticos famosos.

Sept. 10

Tema 1: Las condiciones que favorecen el
activismo digital en América Latina.
Tema 2: Barreras al activismo digital I

Sept. 15
Sept. 17

Barreras al activismo digital II
Tema 3: Riesgos y desafíos del activismo digital

Sept. 22

Riesgos para activistas y periodistas.

Sept. 24

Tema 4: Consecuencias del activismo digital

Sept. 29

Tema 5a: Política I

Oct. 1
Oct. 6
Oct. 8
Oct. 13
Oct. 15

Casos prácticos: Colombia
Tema 5b: Política II
Casos prácticos: Ecuador
Tema 6: La educación

Oct. 20
Oct. 22

Casos prácticos: Chile
Tema 7: La distribución de la tierra

Oct. 27
Oct. 29

Casos prácticos: Centroamérica
Tema 8: Ecología

Nov. 3
Nov. 5

Casos prácticos: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Tema 9: Derechos sociales. La mujer

Nov. 10
Nov. 12

Casos prácticos: México
Tema 10: Derechos sociales. Movimientos
Casos prácticos: Tráfico de seres humanos en
Tema 11: Derechos sociales. Desarraigo y
Leer Lectura 8. Podcast: Un mundo ideal.
Preguntas para el protagonista del podcast
Casos prácticos: Latinos en EE.UU.
Buscar info sobre Latinos en EEUU
Presentaciones orales
Ensayo 4 (versión final)
Presentaciones orales

Nov. 17
Nov. 23
Dec. 1
Dec. 8
Dec. 10
Dec. 17

Ensayo 2 (versión final)
Leer Lectura 3.
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Buscar info sobre Chile
Leer Lectura 4.
Resumen y otros problemas similares en Latinoamérica
Ensayo 3 (borrador)
Leer Lectura 5-Análisis de Página Web
Crítica de diseño e impacto
Ensayo 3 (versión final)
Leer Lectura 6.
Resumen y pregunta en la wiki
Buscar info sobre México
Leer Lectura 7. Documental Los invisibles
Resumen. Qué te llamó más la atención.
Ensayo 4 (borrador)


Academic Integrity
Students must be responsible for their own work, and students and faculty must take on the responsibility of dealing
explicitly with violations. The tenet must be a foundation of our university culture. [See].

Honor Code
Students must adhere to the guidelines of the George Mason University Honor Code [See].

MasonLive/Email (GMU Email)
Students are responsible for the content of university communications sent to their George Mason University email
account and are required to activate their account and check it regularly. All communication from the university, college,
school, and program will be sent to students solely through their Mason email account. [See].

Patriot Pass
Once you sign up for your Patriot Pass, your passwords will be synchronized, and you will use your Patriot Pass
username and password to log in to the following systems: Blackboard, University Libraries, MasonLive, myMason,
Patriot Web, Virtual Computing Lab, and WEMS. [See].

University Policies
Students must follow the university policies. [See and].

Responsible Use of Computing
Students must follow the university policy for Responsible Use of Computing. [See].

University Calendar
Check the GMU calendar at

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who seek accommodations in a course must be registered with the George Mason University
Office of Disability Services (ODS) and inform their instructor, in writing, at the beginning of the semester [See].

University Libraries
University Libraries provides resources for distance students. [See].

Writing Center
The George Mason University Writing Center staff provides a variety of resources and services (e.g., tutoring,
workshops, writing guides, handbooks) intended to support students as they work to construct and share knowledge
through writing. [See]. You can now sign up for an Online Writing Lab (OWL) session just
like you sign up for a face-to-face session in the Writing Center, which means YOU set the date and time of the
appointment! Learn more about the Online Writing Lab (OWL) (found under Online Tutoring).

Counseling and Psychological Services
The George Mason University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff consists of professional counseling and
clinical psychologists, social workers, and counselors who offer a wide range of services (e.g., individual and group
counseling, workshops and outreach programs) to enhance students' personal experience and academic performance

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the "Buckley Amendment," is a federal law
that gives protection to student educational records and provides students with certain rights. [See].

First day of classes; last day to submit Domicile Reclassification Application; Payment Due Date; full semester
waitlists removed

August 31

Labor Day, university closed

Sep 7

Last day to add classes—all individualized section forms due
Last day to drop with no tuition penalty

Sep 8

Last day to drop with a 33% tuition penalty

Sep 15

Final Drop Deadline (67% tuition penalty)

Oct. 2

Midterm progress reporting period (100-200 level classes)—grades available via Patriot Web

September 28
October 23

Selective Withdrawal Period (undergraduate students only)

October 5 October 30

Columbus Day recess
(Monday classes/labs meet Tuesday. Tuesday classes do not meet this week)

October 12

Incomplete work from Spring-Summer 2015 due to Instructor

October 30

Incomplete grade changes from Spring-Summer 2015 due to Registrar


Last day of classes

December 12

Exam Period (beginning at 7:30 a.m.)

Wed Dec14 –
Wed Dec 21

Commencement and Degree Conferral Date

December 22