Do You Need Your Own Digital Space?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lelmXaSibrc[/youtube]

In the above presentation at 2010 OpenEd Conference, Gardner Campbell asks you to “think the unthinkable” about the future of education and in particular takes to task the use of educational technologies designed to mimic the old model of classrooms. He also presents these ideas in his essay, “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” Both of Gardner’s texts are in part inspired by Jim Groom’s “A Domain of One’s Own.” Jim aks the question, why not give everyone their own domain, from which all of a student’s academic endeavours will be aggregated to a variety of places they inhabit during their time in college. It would become a space that a student would be,

…crafting of an identity with a purpose, the conscious consideration and creation of one’s professional/academic identity online: a domain of one’s own!

To Jim and Gardner, the need to stop fashioning for students special spaces for teaching and learning is a principal problem. They wish for educators to start looking to the internet itself as it’s classroom, where you carve out your own space to teach and learn (a bit like what we’ve done here with edtech.dewlines.org).

For this winter session you’ve been given a space to contribute to as an author, but now it’s time to take your work and place it into your own domain. To do this you are going to need to export your posts through the Dashboard’s Tools > Export function which will give you an .XML file that includes all of your work.

After that you will need to create either a free WordPress.com blog, or step-up and buy your own webhosting plan and with WordPress installed. Either is fine, though commercial hosting plans give you a lot more flexibility and control. Here is a link to how to create your on blog with a commercial host, and the WordPress.com option is pretty self explanatory (the site guides you through the process).

So there are two assignments for your last efforts in this class:

1. Create your own blog:

  • Export your posts from this blog and import them into your own blog.
  • Create an “About” page on which you give a brief description of yourself and your professional goals. You are also welcome to create additional pages and include any kinds of materials you’ve created in other courses or on your own.
  • Pick a theme for your blog and customize it. Add any plugins you’d like. Remember, this is now your space, it’s up to you to cultivate it!

2. Make one final post to Edtech.dewlines.org. In this post please include:

  • a link to your blog;
  • a reflection on the texts of Gardner Campbell and Jim Groom by finding an image, audio, and/or video that you speaks to your understanding of their work. Also be sure to quote either or both of them at least once in your reflection;
  • and finally describe what you expected to get out of this class, and if that changed as the course proceeded. What was most important to you? What was least important?

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