A Domain of My Own

Influenced by the Domain of One’s Own movement, I’ve decided to set up camp at Reclaim Hosting to try and claim and build an online space of my own. What do I want here? I’m not sure, but I do know what the feeling in my stomach tells me:

I like what Jim Groom has to say, about pretty much everything; the same goes for Audrey Watters. I need to have a virtual compass and an inhabited map. I’m not sure how much of my online identity I can control, but I intend to be informed about it, right down to the last term of service.

I’ve been teaching online for over 10 years and it is far past the point for me to jettison the LMS. The fact that I haven’t already done so leaves me morally queasy, as the LMS I’ve been involved with (D2L by virtue of a system contract) is an entirely task-oriented pedagogy that cultivates submissiveness. There’s also the problem of student work doubling as data and capital for companies like Turnitin. I know there are teachers out there who are better at their trade than me; they are legion. In order to improve, I cannot work with a tool that cultivates both lazy learning and lazy teaching, that promotes consumption rather than the production of knowledge.

Is this a manifesto? No. I’ll leave that to Twitter. It is a personal challenge. My hope is to pace the possibilities of this domain and explore it as a new home for my digital pedagogy, much like I’ve done with my Commons-in-a-Box installation. Maybe a combination of these two projects will result in a student-managed, student-governed learning space that finally produces the type of portfolio or project that will make a transcript request from an employer or admissions office feel meaningless.

I don’t know what my posts here will include, or if anyone out there exists as an audience. That’s part of the question I’m asking–does providing my students an online space such as this result in more opportunity for meaningful connection? For numbing anonymity and yet another ghostship website? Something else?

If you ever want to join me here, comment. Do you want to post? Consider this an extension of my hospitality.