In this video I sat down with George Mason University professor Nada Dabbagh to discuss her vision for integrating personal learning environments into her graduate seminar EDIT 802: Cognition and Technology. Nada is having the students in this course setup a domain and web hosting so that they can manage and control their own learning space and more. In this video we spend some time talking about her reasons for having them create their own learning environments that they control is important.
After that, we jump into the actual environment her students will be working within to provide them with an overview of cPanel, the web hosting management space they will be using. From there we discuss the difference between using subdirectories versus subdomains for installing open source applications like WordPress, as well as the importance of keeping track of all the passwords for the wide array of applications they will be managing.
This video is not only a resource for Nada’s students, but also frames out some good questions around what a domain and web hosting are, as well as providing some metaphors to help you conceptualize the difference. Additionally, the video works through the idea of giving a complete beginner a sense of how this space might be useful as a teaching and learning tool.
What I love about this video, as well as the Howard Rheingold series I have been working on, is that faculty are willing to broadly share their thinking around how the building the technical environment for their course informs the pedagogy, and vice versa. These are some early experiments in what I hope becomes a more extensive series of talking with faculty and technologists about the process they go through when imagining a course. It would be cool to start getting down a format wherein we can talk with particular educators and technologists about how they approach a particular class and why. Such stuff might be pretty useful for other instructors and technologists who want to get a sense of how the process of designing and customizing learning spaces beyond the LMS works.