Welcome to ENGL 3844: Writing and Digital Media. This website will function as the online headquarters for our class this semester. Each week, I will post an update to the website with details about coming week, deadline reminders, links to helpful resources, etc… I will use Virginia Tech’s Scholar site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. You should bookmark this site on your laptop, your tablet, your phone, etc. — whatever you use to get online.
A bit about me: I’m starting my second year at Virginia Tech, and I love it here. My research focuses on how people use rhetoric in online environments, and all of the classes I teach have something to do with technology. I love experimenting with new digital tools, and it blows my mind to think about what we can do with technology that we couldn’t do 20 (or 10, or even 5) years ago. When I’m not staring at a computer screen, I love to cook, read, and spend time with my wife, a brilliant freelance writer, and our two daughters.
Each week (typically no later than Thursday evening), I will add a post to this website that explains what we will be doing in class the following week, and what you need to do to prepare for those class sessions. I’ll show you the Week 2 post next time we meet, but here are a few things you need to do to before class on Wednesday:
- Create a Twitter account, if you don’t have one already. (We’ll talk about using Twitter in the coming weeks, but for now, you just need to create an account, add a photo, and customize your profile.)
- Set up an account on the Blogs@VT website. We’ll discuss the blogging assignment in class on Wednesday.
- Get familiar with your Google Drive account, which is connected to your vt.edu email address. (If you forgot your password for your VT Google Apps account, follow these instructions.)
- Buy a copy of Toward a Composition Made Whole, by Jody Shipka. We will begin reading from this book next week, so you’ll want to get it ASAP.
Finally, a quick note about this website. Throughout the semester, we’ll be holding class discussions online. To help you get comfortable with that process, please add a comment to this post that introduces yourself, links to your Twitter profile, and answers the following questions: Approximately how much time do you spend online each week? What types of activities do you typically do when you’re online (email, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc.)? Are you happy with the way you spend your time online, or is there something you would like to change (quantity, quality) about your online activities?
Before you post, a couple of warnings: (1) Your classmates will see what you write, so don’t include anything intended just for me. (2) This website is public, so we will stick to using first names only. Also, please be sure to use your vt.edu email address every time you post to the class website. Once I “approve” your first comment on the site, you will be able to post comments for the rest of the semester without waiting for me to approve them.