In recent years, the web has become a huge outlet for people to express themselves, students especially. With social media sites being their main tool. However, these outlets may not provide the security or stability that a personal domain would. As author Audrey Watters states in her article, ‘The Web We Need to Give Students‘, “Having one’s own domain means that students have much more say over what they present to the world, in terms of their public profiles, professional portfolios, and digital identities. Students have control over the look and feel of their own sites, including what’s shared publicly.” This means that students can control what others see and cannot see, unlike social media where the whole point is to share everything with everyone. With social media, everything you post matters, Students need to be constantly aware of what they’re posting, and who is going to see it. Domains create a space all their own.
A big tool when creating your own domain space is to learn by example. If a student can rely on a teacher or professors own domain, then why not create their own? In the article, ‘A Personal Cyberinfrastructure‘ by Gardner Campbell, “To provide students the guidance they need to reach these goals, faculty and staff must be willing to lead by example— to demonstrate and discuss, as fellow learners, how they have created and connected their own personal cyberinfrastructures.” If instructors could lead by example and provide information of how powerful these domains could be, it would inspire students to try it themselves on a topic that interests them.
“If students experience their domain as a graded extension of the classroom, then their ownership is over ‘assignments.’ How often do traditional ‘assignments’ misrepresent student interests, passion, and rigor?” this a question asked in Andrew Rikard’s article, ‘Do I Own My Domain if You Grade it?’. Which means that typical assignments in the classroom aren’t always suited to each students individual abilities and strengths. If they had the chance to create their own “assignments” as their domain, students who have a hard time with typical learning styles won’t be left behind. The whole idea of students creating their own spaces to express themselves and what topics interest them academically is a great step forward in todays education. Everyone is unique when it comes to interests and learning styles, why not embrace it?
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