DEDTECH: GMU’s Nada Dabbagh on Integrating PLEs into a Graduate Seminar


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 environements that they control is important.

After that, we jump into the actual environement 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 pedgogy, and vice versa. These are some early experiments in what I hope becomes a more extensive series of talking with faculty and technologits 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 nhow they approaches 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.

Reclaim Hosting

It’s been an exciting past few days as Jim and I launched Reclaim Hosting and began building out the system to support the signups. We sat down today to talk about a bit more about it, including some of the software we’re using, as well as talking more about the idea of Distributed EdTech (#dedtech) and the ability for a community to pool their resources around complex topics and systems like this. It’s also been a blast to just get in front of the camera, fire up the livestream, and start doing DTLT Today again. I think it’s going to be one of many avenues we use going forward not only to narrate our process on the work we’re doing, but also to server as a way to provide professional development for this pilot in the next 6 months.