Warning: This is an archived course website that is part of my teaching portfolio, so some links may no longer work. Please contact me with any questions about this site.

Welcome to Genres of Professional Practice: The Digital Self!

Welcome to ENGL 5644: The Digital Self. 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: This is my second semester 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 that class session. You’ll see the Week 2 post tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are a few of things you need to do to get started in this class:

  • 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.)
  • 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.)
  • Set up an account on the Blogs@VT website.
  • Buy copies (print or electronic) of the textbooks listed on the Course Policies page.

Finally, I hope you’ll allow me to begin the semester with a confession: I have rewritten the syllabus for this class at least five times in the past month. There is so much I want to do and so little time to do it all! This week, I realized that you might be able to help me solve the problem, so your first assignment is to quickly complete the following two surveys:

Once I see your responses to these two surveys, I will finalize the syllabus and assignment descriptions. By next week, I should be able to provide a clearer picture of where we’re headed this semester, and I think it will be one that better meets your expectations and needs.