Getting Started

Welcome to The Internet! I'm looking forward to working with you all, as we explore the technical, social, and ethical implications of working online. Class starts on Monday, June 26, and this is a fast-paced, condensed course, so we're going to hit the ground running. Be sure you have the textbooks in hand before class starts. 

As we're gearing up, feel free to peruse the course website beforehand, especially the syllabus ― and maybe even start working ahead! All the assignments and deadlines are posted on this course website already. In fact, with the exception of your interactions with each other, you could complete almost all of the course assignments as soon as you you have time.

The absolute first thing you should do (once you've got the textbooks and have read the syllabus) is join the class discussion forum, Slack. You will receive an email before the course begins with instructions for joining. If you did not receive that email, contact me immediately ( Then get setup to use it for the course (instructions can be found on the Activities page).

Slack will be our "classroom" for the course: where we communicate with each other, where you share your work with each other, and the best and fastest way to get in touch with me during the course. It is also where I will make announcements to the class, and where you can ask each other questions as you work. This will be much faster than email, and help us foster more of a community than an email list or threaded discussion forum would. It's also something that many internet-based companies use to coordinate their teams, both in-person teams and remote, so it will also be a helpful tool to learn in the course of this class.

Once you've got Slack setup, take a look at the Schedule and get started on Week 1's assignments.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with me any time you have a question or run into a problem! I highly encourage you to ask any questions that aren't private in the appropriate channel in Slack, where one of your classmates may beat me to the answer, and where everyone will be able to see the answer to inform their own work. Feel free to tag me (@kris) to make sure I see it right away, and don't hesitate to send me a private message, if it's something you're not comfortable discussing in front of everyone.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to meeting you all and working with you this summer!

-Kris Shaffer, Ph.D., UMW Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies & Department of Computer Science

P.S. I prefer to be called Kris, rather than Dr. or Professor Shaffer. :)