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Created by:

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Last updated:

April 9, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course, A brief history of communication: hieroglyphics to emojis, is an introduction to the history of writing, and the key role it plays in human communication.

It tracks this history from the invention of writing around 5500 years ago to the mass popularity of emojis today.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand how different writing systems have developed over time
  • Understand how technology influences what we can do with language, and the form that language takes.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:05:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:03:00
  • Language and everyday technologies 00:05:00
  • A brief history of writing 00:07:00
    • Communicating in symbols and pictures 00:10:00
    • Textspeak and language change 00:10:00
    • Picture-based writing 00:10:00
    • The birth of writing 00:10:00
    • Broadening the reach of language 00:10:00
    • Different types of meaning-making 00:10:00
    • From alphabet to emojis 00:10:00
    • The universality of body language 00:15:00
    • Emojis as a supplement to written language 00:10:00
    • Designing emojis 00:20:00
    • Conclusion 00:10:00

About the instructor

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