A Space of One’s Own

The New Media Consortium’s 2009 Horizon Report lists “The Personal Web” as one of the developing trends for educational institutions over the next 2 to 3 years. They define it as follows:

Part of a trend that began with simple innovations like personalized start pages, RSS aggregation, and customizable widgets, the personal web is a term coined to represent a collection of technologies that confer the ability to reorganize, configure and manage online content rather than just viewing it. Using a growing set of free and simple tools and applications, it is easy to create customized, personal web-based environments — a personal web — that explicitly supports one’s social, professional, learning and other activities via highly personalized windows to the networked world.

It might be understood as a philosophy — when it comes to using web-based applications for teaching and learning, use tools that are simple, flexible, open, and your own. What does it mean to tell members of an intellectual community that the work they do online is their own? Moreover, what does it mean to push the members of a university community to take ownership of what they publish? Something that they can take with them when they move to a different institution.

Serena Epstein, a student at the University of Mary Washington, had been blogging her academic work through the university hosted publishing platform over the course of three years for at least five different courses. Recently she exported all of her work from the university hosted blogging system and imported it all into her own domain space that she purchased and hosts for less than $8 per month. In effect, she has maintained control of the work she has done over the course of her college career and has integrated it into her own space effectively taking ownership of her own archive.

Comments (2) to “A Space of One’s Own”

  1. She controlled the work, yes. How did that work begin its life on the university sponsored (not hosted) publishing platform?

  2. […] it was able to feature work from my favorite people like Serena Epstein’s brilliantly framed domain of her own and Brad Efford’s Internment Rap. That’s what it is all about. Research be damned, I […]

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