This post by Christian Friedrich (one of my fave ppl in the world to read and converse with) inspired me to write this. Read his post about how his very well-thought-out proposal for #DoOO at his institution went haywire.
This blogpost isn’t a response to it. But an idea that came to me from it and his convo w Laura Gibbs in the comments.
So here is my take. Y’all know why I don’t propose domains over here in Egypt. It’s because some students wouldn’t have credit cards or be able to afford continuing their domain after they leave (and these are among Egypt’s most privileged kids). To me it would be similar to an LMS-tied ePortfolio option, which i can’t believe anyone seriously ever considers.
But what if we flip this a little?
Many ppl who own a domain start out somewhere freely hosted like WordPress.com or a wiki. Eventually the person feels committed to that space and understands the value of owning their domain and they make the switch. Which is not a difficult thing.
So now I am thinking that this is a natural progression and process, and #DoOO kinda skips it for students. Why don’t we give students an extra bit of agency in deciding to own a domain or not? Maybe this already happens and I don’t realize it.
So my idea is this. Students in my classes are asked to create a space on the web as part of my class but which they can also use to do other stuff for digital self-expression that isn’t graded at all. They learn about benefits of owning their domain and possibly get funds for it from the University, knowing they would eventually have to pay for it themselves once they graduate. They may or may not decide they want to pay, ever, so they keep their stuff on WordPress and hopefully WordPress won’t remove stuff even if they close down. Or they may wanna own their domain after graduation. They can educate themselves about corporations and privacy and all that.. And many might still choose to remain on WordPress.com or such. Heck, we all know how Google, Twitter and (worse?) Facebook violate us and use us DAILY and many of us stay. We have agency here. We make informed decisions to stay despite these issues. But we know them. Same can be said of staying on WordPress.com. It’s not like a disaster not to own one’s domain. It’s something that makes sense at some stage of One’s digital existence, but not the FIRST step imho.
Happy to hear other thoughts on this. As long as you don’t assume I know nothing about #DoOO. I know plenty about the philosophy. I just think half that philosophy is met via WordPress.com or such. But I just don’t know how it’s implemented (#DoOO) in each institution and whether they (students or faculty) pass through a free dot com step first before they’re offered a domain.
I’m talking from an Egyptian context but this may make sense in other contexts as well.
Update – i remembered later that Ken Bauer does similar in his classes. His tweet here
— Ken Bauer (@ken_bauer) June 29, 2017