Tuesday, January 18: Spring 2011 Begins!

SPRING SEMESTER IS HERE! Today is Tuesday of WEEK 1 of class. Go to the website for your course, and then click on the link that says "Week 1 Orientation." That is where you will find the list of assignments that are due this week, including the assignments that are DUE TODAY, Tuesday. Here are the course websites:
Class announcements. There will be class announcements like these every day, Monday through Friday. You can see the announcements each day here, or in Desire2Learn, or at the Ning. For previous announcements, visit the announcements blog. You can also subscribe to the announcements by email!

Returning students. For those of you who were in the class last semester, check out this announcement about changes to the class for this semester and these additional notes for returning students.

Ning blogs and comments. One of your Tuesday assignments is to post an Introduction about yourself in your Ning blog. You'll be doing two more posts at the Ning later this week and then, after the posting assignments for the week are done, you'll have a "Read and Respond" assignment where you'll be assigned to a "blog group" with other people in class so that you can read and respond to each other's posts. Although you do the other assignments for class early, the "Read and Respond" assignment is something you cannot do early, since you need to wait until everybody has had a chance to finish their blog posting assignments for the week. As a result, the "Read and Respond" assignment will be available starting on Friday of this week - I'll let you know more about that later in the week. Of course, please feel free to comment on any blog posts that happen to catch your attention - but the official blog responding assignment won't be ready until Friday.

Working ahead. I would strongly recommend that you work ahead in this class, instead of doing your work on the day that it is due. If you can work just a day or two ahead of the deadlines, you will find the workload for this class much easier to manage.

Storybook assignments. As those of you who are working ahead turn in your Storybook assignments, I will get those back to you either that same day or the next day. You can check here to make sure I have received your assignment: Storybook Stack. The Storybook assignments are the only assignments each week where I record the points you in the Gradebook; there is no quiz and no Declaration. For each Storybook assignment you turn in, you'll get comments back from me by email and that is also when I will record the points for you in the Gradebook. I keep the Storybook Stack list so you will be sure that I received your assignment and not worry about that while you are waiting for me to get back to you.

Contact me if you have questions. For many of you, this may be your first online class, and you may have a lot of questions as you get started. I hope the information that I've provided at the course website will answer most of those questions - but if something is not clear to you, or even if you are just curious about something, please send me an email!

January 18: Rudyard Kipling. Today marks the anniversary of the death in 1936 of the British author Rudyard Kipling, who was born in Mumbai, India in 1865 and who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907, making him the first English-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and also the youngest person to have received a Nobel (he was 42 years old at the time). You can read more about Kipling's life and career in this Wikipedia article. Below is a book cover for an edition of Kipling's famous story about the mongoose Rikki-Tikki-Tavi: