Sustainable Web Ecosystem Design

Understand sustainable principles at work between the networked computer and your human brain. For beginner to expert.
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  • Lectures 31
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2013 English

Course Description

In our current media-rich environment a Web site is more than a collection of relative html documents of text and images on a static desktop computer monitor. We now have an unlimited combination of screens, devices, platforms, browsers, locations, versions, users, and exabytes of data with which to interact. Our mediated atmosphere surrounds us all of the time, and in nearly every place. It is an ecosystem that is part human, part hardware, and part software. A unique condition is upon us. 

This class is all about a process of creating Web-based systems (ie, Web sites, content, etc.) that consider each of the parts, the modules, the organisms – binary or otherwise – that make up a balanced, sustainable Web ecosystem. 

Created and taught in a highly approachable, practical style, this class and the companion text book are highly relevant and practically useful for stakeholders, system administrators, developers, designers, content managers, and the anonymous Web user in industry and the same plus faculty, staff, and students of all levels involved in teaching and learning in information technology.

Each Week this course will include:

  1. Video lecture material to introduce each weeks' topics.
  2. A reading assignment from the required textbook.
  3. A discussion question or two to get the students thinking on their own about the topics of the week and how they apply to the students' own experiences, where applicable. This includes contact with the Professor as needed.
  4. A hands-on assignment or quiz for further study of the topics when applicable.
  5. Supplemental resources for further learning on the topics of the week.

What are the requirements?

  • A computer with internet connection to
  • The Textbook: "Sustainable Web Ecosystem Design" by Dr. Greg O'Toole, Ph.D.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the definition of the sustainable Web ecosystem.
  • Understand how to work within the sustainable Web ecosystem model.
  • Understand each of the individual roles the nodes of the sustainable Web ecosystem have, and how they interact with one another.
  • Understand and discuss some of the technical, social, environmental, effects of the sustainable Web ecosystem and why it is important.

Who is the target audience?

  • Faculty, Staff, Students in Information Technology
  • Faculty, Staff, Students in Many Related Disciplines
  • Company and/or Organization Stakeholders
  • Web and/or IT Managers
  • Web Designers
  • Web Developers
  • Web Content Providers and/or Marketers
  • System Administrators
  • Web and/or IT Researchers
  • Web / Internet Hobbyists
  • Beginners to Experts will benefit from this course

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome & Introduction to the Course Topic
Welcome to class!
Contact the Instructor
This lecture describes how to attain your copy of the required text book.
This section describes the basic course format per section and what the student can expect to take away from the course.
Section 2: The Web: Discovering Where We Are Not
Orientation: Getting Started Right
This lecture introduces the basics of the Sustainable Web Ecosystem and the design involved.
The Basic Idea Explained
Section 3: Seeing Where We Need To Be
It From Bit Toward The Anatomy
The Anatomy of Sustainable Web Ecosystem Design
Section 4: Getting There: Landing an Onion on Mars
Explaining The Two Metaphors
Tricky Flight
Section 5: The Necessity of a Sustainable Web Ecosystem
Let's look closer at why we need the sustainable Web ecosystem.
This section discusses the greater context including self, medium, and society.
Section 6: The Real Discovery: The Web is Glial
What Is The Glial Web?
This section discusses what the glial Web is and why it is important.
Section 7: Web User Research
The Roles of Web User Research
Section 8: The Project
The Anatomy of Your Project
Project Management
Section 9: Information Architecture
Project Information Architecture
Section 10: Functionality
The Anatomy of Functionality
Section 11: Image
The Anatomy of the Image
Section 12: Writing
The Anatomy of Web Writing
Section 13: Code
Free/Open Source Software: A Brief History and Concept.
You Won't Get Far Without Good Code
Section 14: Web Hosting and Security
A Sound Web Host
Section 15: Post Launch
You Aren't Done Yet
Section 16: Education
Building and Maintaining Educational Community
Section 17: Policy
Web Policy Topics
Section 18: Philosophy of Technology
Introduction to the Philosophy of Technology
Section 19: Conclusion
Wrap-up and Final Comments
Thank you, Where to From Here?

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Instructor Biography

I am a Lecturer and Sr. Web UI Engineer at the College of Information Sciences & Technology at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, USA where I teach Sustainable Web Ecosystem Design and work in front end, open source web development, research, and education. Additionally, I am a Research Cyberspecialist in the Penn State Earth and Environmental Systems Institute which is part of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the Penn State Institute for Energy and the Environment. I am an affiliated researcher with the Social Science Research Institute and an adjunct faculty in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. Additionally, I am an Assistant Professor at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division in the Web Design and Interactive Media Department where I teach related classes, and have a lot of fun offering seminars on contemporary Web topics. I am a Visiting Lecturer at Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan. After a lively oral defense in Berlin, Germany, I am very proud that my Ph.D. was recently conferred Magna Cum Laude in Media & Communication at European Graduate School in Saas-fee, Switzerland.

In general I am a webmedia technologist working in webmedia consulting, theory, research, development, and education from the PA I-99 Innovation Corridor. For 20+ years I have been working professionally in technical creative media. (Before that time, I started painting still life in first grade.) In 2000 I took an HTML class at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, got instantly hooked on the intersection of computer science, creative expression, and human psychology and never looked back. Parts of my career have been spent as a writer and photojournalist in remote, northwest Montana; as an environmental engineering technical writer for Sunoco, Inc. at the Philadelphia refineries; in related private industry roles in Denver and Chicago; and as a faculty member and Web applications developer for the University of Denver and, now, at Penn State and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division. These days I live valid rooting distance from the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers, and Union. Simultaneously, I am lucky to live on the edge of 2.3 million acres of protected public wilderness: a stone's throw away from some of the best trout streams in the country. I spend my professional time on the following topics: lightweight, scalable, accessible, mobile, usable, creative Web development, research, photography, writing, and user interface engineering. We have arrived at a point where we now need to specify our discourse about "HCI" or human-computer interface, and include the more direct process of "BCI" or brain-computer interface, so my long term interests go a bit further than creating cool web projects for exceptionally cool people. For that reason, I have a more formal biograph on my Website ( If you visit, feel free to take a look around and enjoy the site. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to give me a shout.

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