DigitalAnalogues

The Future = Now x Acceleration

Summer 2012 COM 341 Kickstart

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Welcome to COM 341 Online. For the next 8 weeks, we will be exploring the changing landscape of Communication Technologies. Please take the time now to carefully read through the syllabus completely before you begin.

This addendum will explain the steps you must take early this week to successfully kick-start the class. In addition to Blackboard and your UIS email, there are two things you must do right away to get up and running.

  1.  You must create a unique Weblog (‘Blog) to use in the class. Go to https://en.wordpress.com/signup/ and sign up for the FREE blog service. You need to choose an address for your ‘Blog (what your ‘Blog will be called) and a user name (the name you will use to log into your blog’s control panel.) Signup is quick and easy and only requires an email address. It will ask you if you want paid upgrade service. That is not necessary. The free service is far more than you will need for this class. Take the time to explore the control panel with the new user tour.
  2.  You must also sign up for a free Twitter account at http://twitter.com/ You need only supply a user name (your Twitter handle), email and password. If you already have a Twitter account that you use for your close friends and family, please consider opening a separate account for this class. That way your tweets for class will be more professional and on-point and your personal tweets can be more freewheeling.

Take a moment to think about your ‘Blog address and Twitter names. I want you to have fun and be creative and personal with them, just make sure they are “safe for work.” Past students have continued their ‘Blogs and Twitter accounts in their professional lives. (One recently informed me that she has been hired as the social media director for a non-profit organization in Springfield.

After you have created both your ‘Blog and Twitter accounts, you must email me (at mcava2@uis.edu) and tell me both the exact URL (Web address) of your WordPress ‘Blog (e.g. Mine is: https://digitalanalogues.wordpress.com/) and Twitter account name (e.g. Mine is: Prof_Cavanagh). This is key. Please do both before 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Also, you must subscribe to my ‘Blog and follow me on my Prof_Cavanagh Twitter account. I will follow you back.

Once I have your Twitter user names and ‘Blog URLs, I will email all of you with the list so you can each subscribe to everyone else’s in the class. This is extremely important and key to successfully completing the class. If you have questions about how to do that, please contact me. I can talk you through the process over the phone. (Much more efficient than email.) Subscribing to each other’s ‘Blogs and following each other’s Twitter accounts facilitates more class interaction and camaraderie than the solo experience.

Each week, there will be readings, video links and podcasts uploaded to the Course Materials area of Blackboard. Week One materials will be posted by the end of Monday, and then later in the week materials for the following week will be posted for those who like to get a jump on the following week.

  •  You are to read all the class materials, view the videos (most are 45 – 90 minutes in length) and listen to the podcasts. I will have posted a question or theme for you to consider based on that weeks material.
  • You are to synthesize the material and then write and post a ‘Blog posting (by Thursday) that either answers the question I pose or distills the theme that ties all the weeks material together. Since this is an online class, the responses must be substantial – 650 – 800 words or more. If you write in Microsoft Word first before you post your response, that is an easy way to measure the word count. I encourage you to be creative and find and link to information that supports and enhances your argument.
  •  Don’t forget to check my ‘Blog, too. I will be posting throughout the week as well!
  •  Each week, your ‘Blog postings must be uploaded by Thursday. You will then have until the following Tuesday to read each other’s ‘Blog posts. Start a conversation with your fellow students in the class about your responses by commenting on each other’s posts. Comments are due to be posted on each other’s blogs by Thursday of each week. Communication technologies are constantly in the news nowadays and the landscape is constantly shifting. You can and should comment on at least 3 other classmates’ posts. Don’t forget to comment on mine! The comments should be longer than one sentence or phrase. Make the comment long enough to challenge assumptions and back up what you say.
  •  In between times, we will use our Twitter accounts for occasional “Tweetups” regarding class materials, videos or breaking news events related to the class material. I will provide guidance for Tweetups.

That is enough from me for now. Read the syllabus; establish your WordPress ‘Blogs and Twitter accounts; and get a jump on the reading. I’ll be in touch again to see how you are doing. Don’t forget to call me if you have questions.

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Written by digitalanalogues

June 4, 2012 at 5:54 PM

One Response

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  1. Having never blogged or tweeted before, it wasn’t terribly difficult to create these accounts and get started. It’s good to experience a new media that you often hear about but have never used; you just have to try it to see if it’s right for you.

    returninglearner

    June 5, 2012 at 8:02 PM


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