Audrey Watters. "The Web We Need to Give Students" "Students have little agency when it comes to education technology - much like they have little agency in education itself" "Giving students their own digital domain..gives them the ability to work on the Web and with the Web..it allows them to demonstrate their learning to others beyond the classroom walls..it puts them in a much better position to control their work, their data, their identity online."
Audrey Watters. "Why a Domain of One's Own Matters" "We've lost control of our personal data, it's too easy for misinformation to spread on the Web, political advertising online needs transparency and understanding. These are trends that should concern us as citizens, no doubt, But they're expressly trends that should concern us as educators."
Gardner Campbell. "A Personal CyberInfrastructure" "Sometimes, however, progress means looping back to earlier ideas whose vitality and importance were unrecognized or under explored at the time, and bringing those ideas back into play in a new context." "And few people understood how to bring students into this world, aside from assigning them email addresses during orientation."
Gardner Campbell. "A Personal Cyberinfrastructure Revisited" "But an infrastructure that actually reveals something about the way one makes meaning in the world. The network one builds for oneself...the web one builds within the web becomes meaningful as an artifact." "The kind of music we're making with our ideas. The computer is an instrument whose music are ideas."
A domain of one's own is a website given to or brought by a student to incorporate active learning in a constructivist approach. Learning by doing and playing around with your "own" site. I put "own" in quotations because I feel like its more renting because payments are scheduled either monthly or yearly to sites like GoDaddy or HostGator. I don't think you can really pay a site off, unless you become a power company like Google or Facebook. Nowadays, you have to buy hosting in addition to the domain as well adding up to renting this SPACE in the online realm. If you can buy the same domain through all these sites then who do they pay? Who REALLY controls all this online real estate?
Hosting sites like WordPress, that also cost a monthly fee, is different than building your site from scratch because with all the templates and widgets/plugins already added you don't really learn how your actions (code, etc) affects appearance. It reminds me of when Campbell talks about progress in the "A Personal Cyberinfrastructure" reading. We think all these templates/themes, etc that do all the work for us is progress, but what if WordPress were to happen to shutdown? How would you recuperate your site from scratch to make it look like it did? If sites are like an artifact, as Campbell says, how can we really know how we want our art to look when it's already done for us?
I think our instructor adopted this model and allowed us to use hosting like WordPress because it allows us to immerse ourselves in learning how to be a digital citizen and how to control our work without having to be skillful in coding. Allowing us to be control our digital citizenship and our work even after the course, while not having to be a digital 'maker'.