KSC Open: Domain of One’s Own

The Keene State College Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) project, KSCopen,  provides students with the opportunity to engage with Open Education, Connected Learning and Web Construction. KSC Open empowers students (and others) to use the web as a platform for creative expression, critical thinking, and integrative learning— inviting you to connect your learning in unique ways based on your experiences and interests.

Go to KSCopen.org to learn more, create an account and log in. With KSCopen, we provide Keene State College students with a web domain space that is YOURS. When you set up your domain, choose a name that identifies you (not your course), that way you can use it for much more than one class at KSC. You will be able to create sub-domains for other courses or purposes. 

Think of your site as the framework for capturing your learning, a sort of portfolio but it is much more than that. You can produce material that can by seen by anyone (including potential employers), be edited by you, and exist for as along as you like.  But it isn’t a place for only perfect work to go, instead it can be a place of learning and discovery, a record of the path that you have taken. So try not to become obsessed with making your site absolutely perfect, especially in the beginning. As you learn more, you can experiment with it, and go ahead and make mistakes. Have fun with it! Don’t worry about ‘breaking’ anything. Try not to think that your domain space design has to be completely wonderful before you post or publish anything. You can continue to change it, re-morph it, redesign it. It will grow and evolve, just as you do as a learner.

(See the information under ‘KSC Policy and Commitment to Privacy Protection’ on Canvas for any privacy concerns that you might have.)

If you already have a site such as wordpress.com (or other), you can migrate it to KSCopen. One advantage of this is that you will have much more flexibility with your site design and no ads. Keene State covers the cost of this domain space to you. However, to keep your domain after you graduate, you will need to pay $30 a year (or a little more if you need a lot of memory space). But it will be yours and yours only to use however you like. In class we will go over how to use the c-panel, install wordpress, choose a theme and more.

To do the first week while setting up your site:

Read the ‘What is Connected Learning?’ and ‘Why blogging?’ sections on this site by Laura Gogia (be sure to also check out the short video).  Don’t skip this, it will give you better context and sense of what you will be doing and learning this semester.

Choose a theme.  You can install new themes if you like, there are MANY choices. You can always change your theme later.

Pages.  Create a page called ‘About me’ or ‘Welcome’ or ‘Introduction’ (or something like that), you can set this as your home page or not. Home can also be your most recent post. You can create other pages for interests or information that is more ‘static’ and that you want to appear somewhere on your site.  Add your new pages to a primary menu.

Posts.  Your wordpress-powered domain site contains one “blogroll”, a series of posts in chronological order with the most recent first (but you can edit the dates, or settings, and therefore control the order). The way your posts appear will also depend on the theme that you choose and the settings that you use. Start writing and posting your coursework; also write about anything else that you want to share.

Widgets.  Remove default content and put in the widgets that you like. You can keep building you site with more as you go along.

For More Help:

See the page on Tips for Creating Good Blog Posts which includes information on hyperlinking, embedding and crediting.

Check out our student technology fellow’s blog site for helpful information in setting up your site. Learn more about widgets and plug-ins.  http://emilywhitman.kscopen.org/blog/

You can do more than just write on your site, consider using other types of media. Below are some tools and ideas (not an exhaustive list by any means, let me know of others that you find).  All of these are easy to learn and have free options for using them, but you have to create an account.

Screencasting 

Screencasting is recording an audio track over anything that appears on your computer screen.  Many professors use screencasting for recording lectures over powerpoint slides, or to provide tutorials like explaining something in an excel spreadsheet.  But you can record your voice over anything on your screen including video and pictures.  There are several tools out there for screen casting. Screencast-o-matic is easy to use and one that I have used a lot.

Video

I would be surprised if any of you haven’t heard of youtube and watched plenty of videos there.  But experiment with creating your own videos with your phone or other camera and uploading them to your youtube channel (create with a free account). Then you can embed the video in your blog.  If you want to get fancier, edit your videos in imovie or other movie editor before uploading.  You can also use Vimeo  or other video upload sites.

Presentations

You can use powerpoint, keynote, or similar program, then upload your slides to Slideshare and share the link or embed them in your blog.   Prezi is another presentation tool that can make your presentations more dynamic, creative and interesting. Check it out.

Cartoons

Consider creating cartoons or graphic stories that illustrate some important point you would like to make. You don’t have to be an artist to create cartoons using clip art templates.  Toondoo is a site where you can put your ideas to cartoons by dragging and dropping characters and text boxes. Plus its fun! Check out this excellent example of illustrating natural and sexual selection scientific via a cartoon: Cricket Cartoon.

Podcasting

Podcasting is a great option to consider as well.  You simply need to make a recording and upload it. You can use your smartphone to do it- just create a section on your domain site for your podcasts and consider interviewing guests. Your podcast show could attract a following!