Owning and Sharing: Like Buying a Coke

We have exactly zero teachers who write about the art of teaching in any consistent form. They think about teaching and talk about it a lot. They are great teachers. But they do not write about it or share their thoughts beyond a meeting or a personal conversation. And while they are all great, they all can learn from one another. We hope to encourage that sharing with our 9 x 9 x 25 event this fall.

The 9 x 9 x 25 is nine weeks, nine writings, and 25 sentences each. The goal is to get as many teachers as are willing to give it a go to start blogs. Our muddy draft is this. Some already have them, but use them for class content curation, and we hope they will use them as they are often great examples of sharing resources. The plan is to place the names and an image of the teachers on our TeLS blog so that they can all be easily accessed and read. We imagine something like this.

draft 9x9

Yesterday, I read Jim Groom’s newest dream and then Tim Owens brilliant as always dream (those two have an uncanny ability to turn dreams into realities) and thought, “Hmmmm.” Perhaps instead of our teachers using wordpress.com or blogger, we can have them, you know, own their own domain. When I look at the Reclaim Hosting site I think, “Hmmm.” Brilliant. It took us SIX years to get our college to install an instance of WP. That is all I am going to say about that.

We have planned on doing some “How to Create a Blog” workshops for those teachers who need the help. I am a little nervous about the differences in management and initial startup of a blog that is hosted. The whole cpanel thing still gets me jumpy. But I am excited because making that initial step towards a domain of one’s own is a more accurate representation of what we are trying to do. The sense of ownership and responsibility is deeper when you have more options to respond to. Of course, it can easily be overwhelming and I do not want to scare too many away.

I keep getting back to the initial goal: sharing. Jim and Tim too had this in mind.

“What we want to do beyond that is use this space to provide support, encouragement, and, ideally, form a community of people that are interested in working collaboratively.”

No kidding, right. Sounds like what happens in school.

I do still struggle and try as I might, I still have this idea, that like my daughter, the web is not “a place” anyway, it is many points of connection and if that is the case, then who cares if the writing is here or over there? Still, if I had the money and I could buy each of our teachers a domain of their own rather than use wp.com, I would buy them all domains in a second. So maybe, like hippiehosting, the next generation with some broader scope may be the perfect thing. In fact, it is just what we need!

Reclaim Hosting provides educators and institutions with an easy way to offer their students domains and web hosting that they own and control.” Ok. I will see if our teachers might be part of the pilot?

That reminds me of the lyrics to this song, only substituting “domain” for “coke.” Maybe that is where Tim and Jim got the idea from? Cuz you know, they just sit around the office listening to 70’s hair tunes on some radio station and sipping sodas.

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4 Responses to Owning and Sharing: Like Buying a Coke

  1. Tim Owens says:

    I love this! And I thought particularly about your group and the struggles with implementing tech at the administrative level as we worked through this. I’d love to work with you to make it happen. I can assure you installing wordpress in cPanel is dead simple (we have a one-click installer where you just fill out some basic info, it grabs all the files, sets up the database, etc). And I’m hoping we can build this not just at the architecture level but also at the community level where we’re all supporting each other and I think that’s where you shine, being a part of a community to help not just your teachers but us all helping each other work through these things. Distributed EdTech. I love it!

    • Todd Conaway (@Todd_Conaway) says:

      So there is like a BIG BLUE W that is the only option to click? 🙂 Part of my fear is my lack of experience. I have four WP sites I manage with Bluehost and that is all I know. But I do know where I can find help if I need it.

      We have several weeks till launch and I would love to use the Reclaim site if that is an option. Will it be available in late August?

      Brilliant ideas and I am excited to see how it works.

      • Tim Owens says:

        I’m shooting to have it all go for launch by August 15th. And see Jim’s latest post. We’re planning a coordinated effort to spread the support and build a community of open learning and sharing with web hosting and domain management. Weekly DTLT Episodes on cPanel and things like that. This semester is going to be nuts!

  2. Pingback: DTLT Today: Episode 104, UMW’s Domain of One’s Own | bavatuesdays