Welcome back—a phrase we use every semester and after every break—is now changed to: Welcome back to the community of learning and growing that is Salem College, and to a new era of “distributed learning” in which we reach out to one another in new ways. Physically distant. Salem Strong.
Distributed learning has had many forms across the centuries and decades—from correspondence courses using the Pony Express and later post office trucks to what some today call snail mail—to the many ways we are about to undertake it together. The classroom without walls that is Salem is now wherever you are.
In its juxtaposition of horse and car, the picture reminds us that we have our historic and our present strengths to depend upon.
Going forward, each of you will work together with faculty and staff via email and Google Hangouts, Zoom and discussion boards, Moodle and video. As always, our classrooms will be about more than information that is shared, they will be about the contributions you make to your learning and that of others. Some of you have been deeply engaged in online learning all along. For others, this is a new experience. For all of us, the situation in which we are living is new.
As you jump into this with us, a few messages to keep in mind:
Ask questions. We know you have many questions, and we will be answering as we are able going forward. Please watch for emails from Dean Vinson, Dean Telford, and others that focus on academic matters. And, keep in touch with your faculty and with each other as much as you are able. Watch the website as well.
Of course, we may not know the answer to every question you might have. But be sure to ask—we will make every effort to answer as quickly as possible.
If you have trouble accessing the course materials. Please contact your instructor, your advisor, Dean Vinson, or Dean Telford right away. In the case of graduate students, please reach out to Professor Long or Professor Lister-Sink.
Balance your classwork with new ways of interacting with friends and loved ones. We can learn from one another ways to stay in touch—with hallway Google hangouts or classroom study groups through technology, emails, and chat apps.
And, of course, be well—and I am looking forward to staying in touch.
Dean of the College