Reclaim Open Interview about ds106 with Anya Kamenetz

Yesterday Martha Burtis, Alan Levine, and I sat down virtually with Anya Kamenetz for an interview about ds106. The interview will be the basis of a piece Anya will writing about ds106 as part of the Reclaim Open Innovation contest it was awarded in early September.

It was a fun discussion that covered a lot of ground. I particularly enjoyed when we talked about how having your own domain and web host might actually be important. I found Martha’s discussion of the metaphysical power of naming a space online you control and manage really compelling. I mean is mine, I named it. I brought it into being and have filled it with thoughts for almost eight years now. I’ve isnpired life into a virtual void. This process has been unbelievably important to me as an edtech professional, a writer, and a thinker. The fact that ds106 uses this reality as a departure point for everyone who takes the course is really cool, it’s hard not to fall in love with this class-cum-community again and again.

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6 Responses to Reclaim Open Interview about ds106 with Anya Kamenetz

  1. Sandy Brown Jensen says:

    I agree that the “a virtual room of one’s own” theme was/is compelling. I also enjoyed the mutaul recounting of the origins of DS 106 because the retelling of the Myth of Origin is something just about every culture, community, and tribal entity does to bind The People into a developing shared culture, and it’s fascinating to see that archetypal narrative move being done by The Founders/Elders of the DS 106 tribe.

  2. I added the video into Vialogues, hoping to open it up to others to comment and add thoughts.

    • Reverend says:

      I loved what you did with that video, and I am trying to make some time to actually get in there and comment alongside yours. Thanks for that, it’s awesome!

  3. Lanny Arvan says:

    A few thoughts from a visitor who doesn’t come this way very often.

    I too have been blogging for a little more than eight years and agree that it has been very helpful in my development (or in easing my decline, take your pick). But I don’t have a custom domain. The value of that, to me, is ephemeral. Obviously, it is very important to you. Can both views fruitfully co-exist?

    My experience with using blogs in teaching is that that most students haven’t blogged before and essentially all of them haven’t blogged as an important part of their coursework. It may be quite different at UMW. But given the situation here, many of the students are apprehensive at first. Some students drop the class when they find out about the blogging requirement. Others are very cautious at first and reluctant to write about themselves. So I’m sensitive to this getting started issue. My method is tuned, in part, to get them over the initial hump. It seems you’re more geared to create lifelong learning habits. Can one do both?

    My last point is about the innovator or early adopter versus the rest of the population. It’s an issue that has vexed me for the last year or two – many of things I believe about how we should go about things will work if I’m the teacher but might not translate well when others do it. The leading edge wants to move forward. What about the middle? Is it being pulled along?

    Thanks for having a look at my babblings.

    • Reverend says:

      Hey Lanny,

      Thanks for stopping by these parts. I think the focus we have on the domain is not so much it can’t be done without it, but rather the possibilities the process of installing applications, managing their own web host, and naming their own space might prove powerful. Part of this whole thing for us is giving students at UMW a deeper look at the platform that has so deeply informed the culture over the past twenty years.

      We actually do have a pretty significant blog culture at UMW, more than half the student body, and even more faculty, use blogs over the course of the year for teaching, learning, study abroad, clubs, etc. UMW Blogs the platform we have been supporting here for more than 6 years, and Domain of One’s own really builds off of that historical momentum. Something like Domain of one’s own couldn’t emerge from a vacuum, and I think sometimes the importance of a community figure out how to use these tools over time gets lost in the discussion of Domain of One’s own as “tool.”

      As for bleeding edge, middle, and those being dragged along, I am pretty confident the tools and environments have become simple and compelling enough that they can be used by just about anyone. Whether or not they want to has to do with demonstrating their value. This seems to be happening more an more extrinsically these days thanks to, ironically, MOOCs and the like. Online learning has reached an interesting “tipping point” (pardon my French), which has been a boon to faculty and students alike being interested in new ways of teaching and learning online. There is probably no better time to start having those very discussions, we are no longer convincing people that a blog is relevant, it’s apparent to just about anyone that what a blog was 8 years ago is what the web is now.

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