Course Technologies

To more effectively consider the core assumptions of this course and to work toward its learning outcomes, our class interactions will take place in various social media environments and will make use of online content generation and sharing software.

These include (but are not necessarily limited to):

Google Apps

Through Idaho State’s affiliation with Google Apps for Education, the school’s faculty, staff, and students have been provided access to Google’s dynamic application suite through our Google accounts. An easy way to access these apps is to log in to your school email (Gmail) account through BengalWeb or The apps suite is available in the toolbar along the top banner of your Gmail page, as shown in this image:

The location of the Google Apps Suite in Gmail.

The location of the Google Apps Suite in Gmail.

We’ll use the following apps regularly throughout the semester:


All email communication from me will come to your Gmail account. If you’re not in the habit of checking this account regularly (as in on a daily basis), you’ll need to get into that habit or have your messages forwarded to an email account that you do check daily. I will hold you responsible for following through with the content of whatever general or individualized messages I send to you via email.

(Follow this link to learn some Gmail basics, including how to label and filter your messages.)

Google Calendar

Course events (activities and assignments) will be scheduled and shared through a Google Calendar I’ve created for the class. I’ll both share the calendar with you and embed it on the course website. You ought to check the calendar frequently to stay apprised of course happenings and to keep yourself on track with the course schedule; you might even consider changing your notification settings on the calendar to remind you of upcoming events.

(Follow this link to learn some Calendar basics, including how to set up reminders.)

Google Plus

I’ve created a course community on Google+ through which we’ll interact in various ways throughout the semester, including for class discussion. You can find that community on the flipside of this link.

(Follow this link to learn some Google+ basics, including how to personalize your profile page.)

Google Drive

I’ll use Google Drive to share course documents and activities with you throughout the semester and you’ll submit your compositions to me the same way. We’ll also use the drive to compose collaborative documents and as a venue for peer review.

(Follow this link for some insight on using Google Drive.)

Beyond Google Apps

Beyond these Google Apps, we’ll also use various social media platforms—like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Storify, Flickr, etc.—to do work for the course. This work will include carrying out and reflecting on different ways of interacting with and sharing literature online.

To help familiarize you with these tools and environments, I’ll post tutorials as needed. Speaking of: if you come across useful tutorials or need a tutorial for a tool, let me know and I’ll post the resources for the class.

Some Advice

I know new technologies may intimidate some of you—and that’s okay. My advice as you approach these tools is that you be patient (with the tools, with yourself, with me and your peers) and that you be willing to ask questions, to take the risks inherent in learning new things (including new technologies), and to share your presence and experience, your struggles and successes with our learning community. I’m convinced that if we all approach the curriculum and our peers with patience and openness, we’ll learn from and with each other and accomplish our course goals—and hopefully have some fun in the process.