Before reading about Campbell’s ideas on how universities handle internet sharing and technology, and watching his conference on the same concepts, I always saw everything about the Internet as revolutionary. It’s an ever changing world with technology advancing so rapidly so I never stopped to think how much creativity can flow on the internet. In today’s societies we look for the easiest fix to every situation and “template-driven, plug-and-play, turnkey web applications” were the fastest and easiest fixes to get universities professors to try and utilize the web in order to keep up with the increasingly changing times.
I thought Campbell’s concept of every university’s freshman creating their own domain and taking classes to teach them how to utilize that domain was a great idea. The University of Mary Washington is halfway there by allowing the option to each student to have their domain. If the university took the steps to bring Campbell’s vision into full fruition, more creativity would be able to flow through our campus. Only after two weeks of taking ds106, I have already learned so much and it has become clear that I will be learning even more throughout this course.
If this class or one similar to it, was required for every student at UMW, many of us would acquire several useful tools about websites and the Internet in general that could be used in our careers. Ds106 would have been an incredibly useful course for me to have taken before I worked at an internship in Washington D.C. this past summer. Many of the interns’ jobs were to work on editing the organizations website using WordPress, which I had never used before in my life. One intern asked if I could help her with a problem she had with WordPress and I felt so inadequate because I wasn’t even sure what WordPress was at that point. Now that I have worked with and explored the application for the past two weeks, I feel that it would have been fairly easy to help her out. If I could go back in time, I would have taken this class much earlier in my college career.
The idea of everyone having their own domains, including professors and everyone encouraged to speak their mind on their own websites, whether it is criticism or an opinion, is more probable than expecting those types of exchanges face to face. Many people tend to feel safer on the internet and more likely to state their opinion through this medium. Also, in Campbell’s concept of everyone having a personal cyberinfrastructure, there is an exchange of ideas and creativity between professor and students, which is sometimes easier through a computer. It is easier because people would be visually able to see someone’s idea, rather than just hearing about it and attempting to conceptualize it in their own minds.
Campbell’s idea of cyberinfrastructure is fantastic and I believe would create more meaningful dialogue among students after class is over and provide a way for everyone to develop their thoughts more. Maybe one day they will make ds106 a required class at Mary Washington so everyone can see the opportunities of having your own domain can bring.