Welcome to Writing and Digital Media

[KANSAS-J-0003] Farm House - Wichita?Welcome to English 3844, Writing and Digital Media. This site is the official home for our course. All assignments, weekly and daily activities, and related resources will be posted here. So bookmark it, memorize the URL, or have the address tattooed on your arm—whatever it takes. (Tattoos of web addresses are not actually recommended or advised.)

We will use several other sites for the course. We’ll use Scholar for announcements, grading, and the gradebook, and we’ll use a Google+ community for most of our class discussion and communication. We’ll go over all the details on Thursday the 23rd.

For today, you have two activities to complete:

  1. Respond to the Writing and Digital Media Survey to give me some basic information about your experience with digital media.
  2. Add a comment to this post that introduces yourself, 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 use your first names (or a pseudonym) 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.

Before class on Thursday, please complete the following activities:

  1. 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.) You’ll use your Google login in class Friday.
  2. Buy a copy of Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. We will begin reading from this book next week, so you’ll want to get it ASAP.
  3. Come back to this site and read through the comments on this post to get to know a bit about your classmates. Be prepared to talk about the similarities and differences you see among one another on Thursday. You can also reply if you like. It’s never too early to start connecting.

[Photo: [KANSAS-J-0003] Farm House – Wichita? by waterarchives, on Flickr]


22 comments for “Welcome to Writing and Digital Media

  1. Rachel
    2014/01/21 at 4:07 pm

    I have no idea how much time I spend online, but it would probably be around 3 hours, maybe more. I suppose the activities vary depending on what platform I’m using. I get on Facebook and email when I’m on my computer, but that expands to Instagram and Vine when I’m on my phone. I’m happy with the way I spend my time online. I don’t really have anything in mind that I’d like to change, but I look forward to technology’s advancements in the future.

    • Rachel
      2014/01/21 at 4:10 pm

      I forgot to add Twitter to that list as well. Also, a little bit about me: I’m a sophomore double majoring in media journalism and professional writing. I’m from NoVA and I have a dog named Coco and a cat named Dopey.

  2. Alex Moore
    2014/01/21 at 4:10 pm

    The amount of time I spend online each week varies largely depending on time of year, my workload, and whether I have work to do online. Typically, I spend my time online monitoring my Twitter feed, reading sports articles, searching for new music on hotnewhiphop.com or youtube, checking my email, and doing school work. I enjoy the time I spend online pretty well, but I would like to launch a D.C. sports blog of some kind and to build a personal website.

  3. Jennifer Richman
    2014/01/21 at 4:10 pm

    Hi, My name is Jennifer Richman! I spent approximately 25 hours online per week. While online I read many environmental blogs such as Tree Hugger, I spend a decent amount of time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I sometimes read the Wall Street Journal and follow daily trading stocks. I definitely spend way to much time online on my phone, I wish I would read more articles while riding the bus to class rather than flipping through Instagram but as far as computer usage I am pretty content with my online activities and time management.

  4. Jay
    2014/01/21 at 4:10 pm

    What’s up everybody? My name is Jay Laiche. I’m a junior Professional Writing major and a Communications minor. I’m 20 years old and from Richmond, Virginia. My hobbies include music, hiking, snowboarding, blogging, and more.

    I spend a lot of time online throughout the week. I couldn’t put an amount but I definitely log some hours. I visit Facebook a lot, check my e-mail, browse through youtube, and I also work for an electronic music blog called WhiteRaverRafting.com. I do everything from blogging to creating web graphics to handling social media platforms and more. The website is actually run on an WordPress engine so I’m very familiar with using WP.

    I’m happy with how I use the internet; I use it everyday and would probably go crazy without it. It’s become a great tool for helping one do basically anything you want to do in life.

  5. Joanna Johnson
    2014/01/21 at 4:10 pm

    Hi, my name is Joanna. I spend most of my time on Facebook and Pinterest. I probably spend a total of six hours online each week (give or take). I would like to get more involved with blogging.

  6. Catie
    2014/01/21 at 4:11 pm

    Hi, I’m Catie and I’m a communication major. I would say I spend an average of about 4 hours throughout the day online, so roughly 28 hours a week. I typically use Facebook, Twitter, Netlix, email, or just websites for something I needed to look up/was interested in. I’m pretty much happy with the way I spend my time online; I definitely don’t think it consumes my life or anything like that.

  7. Taylor
    2014/01/21 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t know how much time I spend online. I tend to pick up my phone and get on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. whenever I need to kill time. There’s a distinct possibility I would pin dozens of different things in the same 75 minutes block twice a week last year. Those blocks might have been when I was in my bio lecture. I also let Buzzfeed distract me frequently, it’s a great way to spend time when procrastinating. I guess I’m happy with the time I spend online, at least I’m not really sure how I would want to change it.

  8. Kat
    2014/01/21 at 4:12 pm

    Hi, I’m Kat, and I’m taking this class to pursue a Professional Writing minor. I would say I spend about 8-12 hours online every week. I typically use Netflix, BuzzFeed, Facebook, Scholar, email accounts, various online shopping sites, and some blogs. At this point I would say I am happy with the way I spend my time online.

  9. Erin
    2014/01/21 at 4:12 pm

    I spend a lot of time on the internet because I always check it when I am bored. Since I can access the internet at any time with my iphone I always use facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest, and linkedin. It is also very convenient because I am able to check my email wherever I am. I am satisfied with the way I spend my time on the internet because I do not think I overuse it and am able to be without my phone for an extensive time. I definitely think it will be cool to learn how to use websites using HTML and CSS this semester.

  10. Megan
    2014/01/21 at 4:12 pm

    I’m approximately 10-15 hours online in a week. I spend my time on twitter, pinterest, tumblr, email, and video streaming sites like netflix or project free tv. I don’t feel like I spend an excessive amount of time online–which I’m pretty content with–but I’d love to try (and be proficient at) creating and maintaining a website/blog.

  11. Kevin
    2014/01/21 at 4:12 pm

    I typically spend about five hours per day online. Usually when I’m online i check my email and Facebook, check various sports websites, read the daily news, go on YouTube, and watch movies. I’m currently happy with the way I spend my time on the internet. If I could change one thing about my online habits it would be stop using it as a means of procrastination when i have work that needs to get done.

  12. Christopher
    2014/01/21 at 4:13 pm

    Since I am in CS, I am online almost all day. If I am doing something else during the day, I am usually on my phone. I use the internet for programming support (StackOverflow), facebook, Netflix, news and etc. I am mostly happy with how I spend my time online, but would like to cut down on Netflix/Hulu/Youtube in the near future to focus on more important things. Also, reddit is the devil spawn so I need to stop using it. I just need to find the strength.

  13. Hannah
    2014/01/21 at 4:13 pm

    I probably spend around 10 hours each week surfing online between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. I am almost always connected to these sites, checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the sites that are installed on my smartphone. I probably spend too much time on social media, and I think it is a negative thing when it contributes to procrastination.

  14. Sara
    2014/01/21 at 4:14 pm

    Hey guys! I am Sara, and I’m from Manasquan, New Jersey. I live near the beach so I love to go there every day in the summer (visits in the winter are cool too). I love to cook, see live music, and hang out with my friends and family. I would say the amount of time I spend online boarders on excessive. I frequently use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and online forums to check out what my favorite band is up to. I feel that I could spend my time online more efficiently, because sometimes I will be online and end up staying awake way past the time I was planning on. However, I did just get a kindle so I have been reading more. If anyone has any suggestions of cool blogs, tumblrs, etc. to read I’d love to check them out.

  15. Pierce Sprague
    2014/01/21 at 4:14 pm

    Not including scholarly activities, I spend around 18 hours online per week. I only have an antenna for my television (four channels, whoopee!), so I use the internet for any television programs I’d want to watch. I also peruse sporting websites (Bleacher Report, Deadspin) and music sites (Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum), but otherwise am relatively internet free. On buses or car rides or waiting in lines or sitting in an empty classroom an hour before I was supposed to be there, I’m the typical Facebook/Twitter feed browser, but I’m not the addict I used to be. I’ve cleaned up. It’s under control. Really.
    I want to increase the amount of time I spend blogging. I used to be a relatively avid blogger, aeons ago, but I’ve fallen out of the habit recently. I like the idea of contributing my own somethings to the internet world, artistically, musically, and personality…ly…
    It worked.

  16. Nenna Onwuka
    2014/01/21 at 4:15 pm

    My name is Nenna Onwuka and I am a senior majoring in professional writing.

    Since I use Scholar and check my email…and go on Facebook a lot…. I am embarrassed to say that I spend about 20 hours a week online. I check my email, go onto Facebook, watch Beynoce’s video album on Youtube, and pin arts and craft ideas on Pinterest. I am not too happy with the amount of time I spend online and I would actually like to delete my Facebook in a few weeks.

  17. Ryan
    2014/01/21 at 4:16 pm

    My name is Ryan and I would say that I spend around ten hours per week online when classes are in session and a bit less during breaks. Generally, I don’t spend that much time on social media sites because I can only roll my eyes at ridiculous status updates so many times before I get a headache. I do spend a lot of time reading a variety of articles, watching generally pointless Youtube videos, and doing research for classes. I would like to think that I spend my time online wisely, but then I consider the overwhelming amount of knowledge available and feel slightly less sure of those ten hours per week.

  18. Sara
    2014/01/21 at 4:16 pm

    My name is Sara and I am a junior English major with a dual concentration in Professional Writing and Literature. My time online greatly varies depending on how much other work I have to get done, but I would say that I spend an average of 10 hours a week online. I usually am on email when I am online, and I also live by my Google Calendar. I do have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but I am bad about checking them and I rarely to never update them. I also have a Pinterest account that I used to use way too much, but I haven’t used it as much lately. I feel like I am constantly on Google, but usually I’m not searching anything important. I like the way I use the internet; I feel like I am connected but I don’t feel like I have to spend all of my time on the internet.

  19. Matt
    2014/01/21 at 4:19 pm

    Hi ya’ll! I’m excited to meet those of you I haven’t met yet and to talk with those of you I am already familiar with. I am a junior Chemical Engineering major with a minor in Professional Writing. I am also active with The Marching Virginians and Hokies Pep Band.

    I usually spend 2-3 hours online a day (~20 hours a week). I am typically on Facebook, YouTube, or a sports website looking at my Hokies or Philly Eagles teams. I may even post on The Key Play from time to time. I am also a huge Spotify user since I love music so much. I find myself refreshing the page on Facebook sometimes when I am bored and have nothing to do. I should probably find more entertaining things to do than refreshing Facebook.

    I am excited to work with you guys this semester!

  20. Taylor T.
    2014/01/21 at 4:19 pm

    Hi everyone! I’m Taylor and I am currently a junior majoring in multimedia communication and double minoring in English and Spanish. It is hard to approximate how much time I spend online each week, because I check quick updates on my phone a lot more than my laptop. However, if I had to guess I would say at least 20 hours a week. I use Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Gmail. I have a Twitter, but I normally don’t post tweets. Lately, I have spent a lot of time on Netflix. It is so addicting! I am happy with the way I spend my time online, but I think I need to put my phone down more often. I have noticed that I will use my phone during family events or dinners. Instead, I need to live in the moment!

  21. Samantha
    2014/01/23 at 3:42 pm

    Hi, my name is Samantha. I’m a Professional Writing Major. When I’m online, I like to use Twitter, Tumblr and Netflix. I’m happy with how I spend my time online, but I probably shouldn’t be using Tumblr as much as I do; I don’t even want to think about the hours I’ve wasted scrolling past gifs and puns. That being said, I spend too many hours online at home and at my internship; I don’t even want to calculate the amount per week. My internship alone is 16 hours.

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