Experimenting with Digital Identities: Georgetown Domains and Beyond

For almost a year, CNDLS has been working with UIS and Reclaim Hosting on Georgetown Domains, an effort to give students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to claim a web hosting environment and personal domain name free of cost. Launched this past fall, Domains is part of the larger Domain of One’s Own effort on campuses nationwide aimed at helping students understand, develop, and curate digital identities through their own website. About 250 Georgetown faculty and students are already exploring Domains, including those in the fall 2015 ITEL cohort, “Student-Centered Learning through A Domain of One’s Own.”

CNDLS has partnered with several groups on campus to work on Domains, including The Red House and GU Women Coders (GUWWC), a campus group whose mission is to demystify code, build digital literacy, and raise the odds that women will consider careers in technology. Several Domains were the result of a workshop during a March GUWWC coding party wherein CNDLS staff introduced students, faculty, and staff to the project, sharing step-by-step instructions on building their own website and using WordPress, Omeka, and a slew of other applications meant to make good use out of the university-sponsored web space. During TLISI, CNDLS reached a wider audience with the Domains and Digital Identities Lab and Showcase, a session introducing faculty and staff to three unique Domains created by Erika Bullock (COL ‘17), Nandini Mullaji (SFS ‘17), and Alex Luta (COL ‘16).

Using these events as inspiration, CNDLS hopes to find additional opportunities to support student and faculty experimentation with digital technologies like Domains. At the University of Mary Washington, this type of space exists in their Digital Knowledge Center, which provides peer tutoring on digital projects and assignments, as well as general support for systems like UMW Blogs, akin to Georgetown Commons. Working alongside other studio environments like those provided by Gelardin New Media Center, a Georgetown version of this space would allow students and faculty alike to workshop digital projects while thinking through pedagogical implications with CNDLS team members.

In the meantime, faculty interested in learning more about implementing digital tools in the classroom, including Georgetown Domains, are encouraged to visit Teaching and Learning Technologies or to reach out to CNDLS for recommendations and support. We’re here to help!