Welcome to ENGL 4814: Writing for the Web. 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 plan to use Virginia Tech’s Scholar site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. And given that this class is about writing for the web, it seems appropriate that you should help me build this website as the semester progresses. (We’ll talk more about that goal soon.)
A bit about me: This is my first semester at Virginia Tech, and I couldn’t be happier to be 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 have been building websites since 1999, and I do some web consulting for small businesses and nonprofit groups that need help getting (or getting up to date) online. 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.
After I gather your input in class on Tuesday, I will finalize the syllabus and add it to the website before our next class. In the meantime, please complete the following tasks before you come to class on Thursday:
- Read pages 1–60 in the HTML & CSS book, and come to class with any questions you have about the reading.
- 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.)
- Create a Dropbox account, if you don’t have one already. (Again, we’ll talk about how to use Dropbox effectively as the semester progresses.)
- Bring an electronic copy of your current résumé to class on Thursday.
Finally, a quick note about this website. Throughout the semester, we’ll be holding class discussions on this website. 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 question: What is one specific thing you want to learn to do in ENGL 4814? 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 the same 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.