#16: Helping Students Build a Presence Online

To what extent should we give students the opportunity to create their own presence and, dare we say it, brand online?

On the college level, that’s being done with the project “Domain of One’s Own” which was started at Mary Washington University a few years ago and now has expanded to many other universities. The idea, in a nutshell, is that the school provides every student with a personal space on the web, hosted by the school, and administered by the student. It’s a way of teaching both digital literacy and digital citizenship in an age when being online is more and more a requirement for learning, for business, or just about anything else.

But what if we moved the idea of a Domain of One’s Own down to the high school level? Can we wait until college to provide students with a space online? That’s the question that Bruce and Will discuss in this podcast. Specifically, they talk about a must read post by Martha Burtis, one of the originators of DOOO. You’d be well served to check it out before listening to this episode. (You might also check out Audrey Watters’ great riff on the project as well.)

What are the tensions between having students publish their work online and making sure they act responsibly and safely? To what extent do teachers and leaders have presences online that they can use as models? What are some first steps that schools and individual teachers can take to begin to help students build their “findability” online?

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