Gardner Campbell: “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure” reflection

In Gardner Campbell’s article “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure” Campbell discusses the need for technology in the classroom, and more explicitly the need for each student to have their own web servers. He believes that students need to learn how to build a cyberinfrastructure, in order to “acquire crucial technical skills for their digital lives” that would allow them to “engage in work that provides richly teachable moments ranging from multimodal writing to information science, knowledge management, bibliographic instruction, and social networking.” Campbell’s thoughts on how to begin incorporating technology into the classroom, can be seen through the activities and expectation of our Digital Storytelling course.

Campbell thinks that the best way to begin incorporating technology into the classroom is to give each freshman a domain when they first enter the university. They will learn how to use it and apply different tools to it through several seminars and classes. By the end of their college career they will have a site they created on their own, hosting the work they have completed in their four years. I think this is I really good idea in order to begin incorporating the tools and knowledge needed to make your own domain. This article gives credit to UMW instructors and in the Keynote given by Wesch, he mentions how UMW is on top of the blogging game, however I am a junior, who has taken a variety of upper and lower classes, and I have never been asked to do any of these things in my classes. The most technology my classes have incorporated is using powerpoint or excel to make graphs. Digital Storytelling is the first course I have taken that has required me to use technology to convey my points, feelings, and work. And that is expected from an online class about digital technology, but why aren’t other teachers trying out and using this technology to engage students?

Campbell also talks about how something that once was difficult becomes an everyday thing, such as powerpoint and putting grades in online where students can access them and their work with a click of a button. However, some of my teachers do not even touch Canvas, they do not like the idea of putting grades in their and that is where we get a conflict of new ideas and old minds. We need to be open to new and evolving ways. UMW has changed several things this summer by incorporating a single sign-in page and MyUMW which allows you to access a lot more things easier. In all UMW has a long way to go in order to become a school that teaches their students about technology and engaged them in new and creative ways, but they are taking small steps towards being more technologically friendly.

As I develop my own personal Cyberinfrastructure I am going to try to remember and really learn how I am doing everything and what the process entails so that I can leave this course with the knowledge of how to make my own domain, blog, GIF, and use certain technology. These things will not only make me a better student and citizen, but will look good to companies I am looking to work for as business change to social networking. Digital Storytelling has already gave me knowledge in several different areas such as blogging, domains, Flickr, Vimeo, and Twitter that will help me throughout my life as our world becomes more and more revolved around technology.


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