Getting your gear in order
In most courses, students are not expected to start working until the first day of class, but this is not most courses. It is an expedition; and before one starts down the trail it’s essential that you have the gear you need, you know how it all works, and you check your maps one more time. For this intellectual expedition masquerading as a college course, you will be using some new tools, and navigation — at least the first few kilometers — will be a little more complicated than finding the right room in the right building.
Orientation (centering your compass)
Let’s have a look around, right here. This is the blog on the website — it is from here that regular bulletins concerning the expedition will be sent forth. Whenever I post here — and you can post here also — the post will go directly to the blog category on Discourse. I will also copy the link into the #news channel on Discord. If you have notifications for Discord set, then you will know right away that there’s a new post. There will always be a post before the beginning of a new unit: that’s what you’re reading now, the post before the first unit: Community.
So here’s what you need to know, and what you need to do!
First, the map. We will be using three applications as the platform, the space, for this course expedition. The website at billnew.net, were most of the information is stored; the discussion forum at discourse.billnew.net where most of the work will get done; and the chat/voice/video facilities of Discord where most of the comm(unification) will happen. We will also meet once weekly on Zoom, on the first day of each curricular unit. You can think of this as camp, the resting spots between legs of the expedition. You will be moving back and forth between these four spaces over the course of each of the five curricular segment of the expeditionary course. It won’t take long for you to get the lay of the land, if you open your eyes here at the beginning.
Second, we will meet at Camp 1 this coming Tuesday, September 1, at 9:30am, Central Standard Time. Here are the directions. You might want to check out your schedule for the rest of the week while you’re visiting the calendar.
Third, Take a tour of Discourse and start your personal profile.
Four, send me a personal message on Discord and tell me anything that you think I should know about you that you don’t want to share with everyone. This will be the start of an ongoing private conversation.
Five, and maybe most important (to me)! Listen to the first installment of THIS IS NOT A LECTURE, where you will get a better sense of what this course will be about.