“The Personal Web” is becoming one of the developing trends for educational institutions over the next 2 to 3 years. “The Personal Web” represents a collection of technologies that confer the ability to reorganize, configure and manage online content rather than just viewing it. The philosophy: “Use tools that are simple, flexible, open, and your own.”  By using free and simple tools and applications, it is easy to create customized, personal web-based environments that supports one’s social, professional, learning and other activities via highly personalized windows to the networked world.

This can be related to educational institutions. It’s about a departure from the proprietary logic of most web-based content at universities in order to redefine the relationship on the web as a dynamic conversation between people within a community, rather than a consolidated and centralized brochure image of an institution.

There are examples of university members who have been blogging their academic work through university hosted publishing platforms and then exporting all their work into an own domain space. By doing so, one has the opportunity to maintain control over his/her work during his/her college career. For example http://www.godaddy.com/  allows one to use a self-service model for mapping domains. The most important thing here is the fact that students, who post works in an own domain space, can actually call it their own. Bringing everything under one domain can help students to imagine how to frame this all within their own, unified domain, and then hang the other elements of their identity off of this space, such as photos on Flickr, twitter accounts, videos, etc. It can become an aggregation of various, fragmented identities, which they can then further re-imagine, change and configure.

 

Annelies De Leenheer

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