Why a Domain of One’s Own?

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In the first class,I spoke a bit about how you will be creating a website and picking your own domain name and even using your own web hosting account. We looked at how students from past classes used their sites to build a variety of things – photo blogs, portfolios, and more.

I also alluded to the opportunities for control over your work and content these kind of space provide compared to mega-corporate social media companies we all use “for free.” We choose to give away our content, comments, and time again and again to these behemoths and don’t necessarily think about what they are doing with the massive amounts of data which they are keeping…forever??

So “A Domain of One’s Own” was an idea of Jim Groom an educational technologist frustrated by the corporate data gathering and administrative controlled tools to support teaching – think Blackboard. We use it here at CUNY for online and hybrid courses. You are asked to do work in these spaces you are only able to do exactly what the professor allows. And at the end of the semester what happens? The administrators delete your access to the class. And is it actually deleted? All your work? Have you ever asked that question?

Well Jim and many others have being concerned about the web-based tools affects higher education on the whole and students in particular. And many years ago Jim imagined how wonderful it might be if when you first started at a school as a freshman you would be given a domain to use as a space as part of your academic career, class-to-class, year-to-year. And when you were done, well you’d have all this effort and energy that you might continue to reflect on and curate and make possibly part of your future professional practice.

Audrey Watters has been following work of Jim and the Domain of One’s Own project for some time. She’s a writer and follows the field of educational technology as her “beat.” Watch or Read her presentation Beneath the Cobblestones… A Domain of One’s Own. And in a post reflect on a couple things she describes that were meaningful to you and why.

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