A Domain of My Own

The assigned readings for this week really brought up so many mixed emotions for me. I personally think of myself as a very old fashioned student. While I have adapted and grown in my ability to use technology, it wasn’t my choice to do so; in order to keep up in college I had to. For some people I feel as though this shift in learning could create many a problems while on the other hand, I’m sure many, many students will be thrilled when every university offers free domains to it’s students to make their own.
All three articles were quite similar in the way that they are promoting this idea of giving each and every student their own domain to develop for themselves. It gives them a space to showcase their best work and to gauge their scholarly growth over the entirety of their educations. As an idea I think its a great one; so much of my best papers and discussions etc have been lost into a university’s system staying there forever without a way to get it back and keep it for myself. I think students have the right to their work and with each student having their own domain that could be possible. The more I read about having my own domain I am starting to see how it could potentially be a great way to showcase my talents as a student…even though most of my expertise does not lie in writing or technology.
As I previously stated, I consider myself to be a more old fashioned student where I prefer chalk boards and white boards over power point presentations; taking notes on paper with ink instead of on a lap top or tablet; a test that is printed out and must be taken in class rather than online in a space like moodle. New technology and the push for a shift in pedagogy will soon do away with most things I consider ‘old fashioned.’ I do not necessarily disagree with this; I think it’s incredible honestly! Not every student feels the same way as I do and had I been introduced to this idea five years ago when I was a timid college freshman whom hadn’t yet developed a strong learning style my feelings would one-hundred percent be different. But for those students whom are excited about this opportunity to change the way they work the ‘Domain of One’s Own’ initiative is an exciting way to make that happen. Audrey Watters said it best in her article “The Web We Need to Give Students,” “giving tudents the opportunities to express themselves in a variety of ways beyond the traditional pen and paper, test or essay.” This really resonates for me because its proving that a shift is happening and the more students talk about it the more well-known and demanded it will become.
“Higher education, which should be in the business of thinking the unthinkable,” Gardener Campbell expresses an excellent point in his article “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure” making me think, hmm how is this ‘Domain of One’s Own’ initiative just being brought to the attention of some college students? Certainly in the years to come I think more and more colleges and universities even high schools will be buying up domains and giving them away to students, forcing them to step outside the education comfort zone they’ve all become so accustomed to. Reading these articles has put my rusty old brain in a different gear: one where it is not comfortable. While there is nothing wrong with that, I feel as though this style of learning is going to be the greatest challenge I have faced thus far in my higher education career.
One of the biggest questions having my own domain brings up is how is this going to be different than just the regular old posting in Moodle jazz I’m so used to? Andrew Rikard hit that nail right on the head with his article “Do I Own My Domain if You Grade it?” While reading this article I feel as though a lot of my uncertainties were brought to the forefront. Rikard says “The web is a network for conversations, and if students still see their audience as a teacher with a red pen, then nothing changes.” This alone eases my mind ever so slightly about the educational journey I am about to embark on in this class. Initially my though process was ‘I am in this class 1. Because I have to be and, 2. I just want to build my program, get my degree and move onto grad school: not saying my thinking has completely changed thus far but it has definitely shifted. Everyone says ‘you get out what you put in’ so I am hoping that will all the energy and time I will be putting into this course I will get the opportunity to take away some viable information that will help me to continue to grow as a student.