Reclaim Hosting

Reclaim HostingReclaim Hosting provides educators and institutions with an easy way to offer their students domains and web hosting that they own and control. The goal of this project is to help make the process of offering a flexible web space and domain name to faculty and students as easy and cheap as possible. What’s more, unlike most commodity hosting, this service is supported by a community of educators and educational technologists. Reclaim marries the combined expertise of understanding educational environments and their technology needs while building an advanced hosting framework based on the Domain of One’s Own project.

Additionally, Reclaim is  rooted in the idea that students, faculty, courses, departments, and/or institutions of higher education that want to experiemnt with web hosting in an educational community can benefit from the work already done, so that together we can create a broader community for integrating the web as platform for teaching and learning in higher education.

A Domain of One’s Own

Virginia WoolfA Domain of One’s Own is a new pilot project from the University of Mary Washington and a collaborative effort between the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and the Office of Information Technology Services. This pilot will give 400 students and faculty their own domain name and web space to install a portfolio of work or map to existing systems. Content from coursework in the pilot will be aggregated here, as well as an exploration of aggregating the work students are creating directly to We believe this pilot project will give students the flexibility to build out their “e-portfolio” using a variety of software and approaches in a space that gives them the power to easily migrate and transport that data when they graduate. Look for continuing updates on this project at as the pilot unfolds.


Digital Storytelling (also affectionately known as ds106) is an open, online course that I’ve been teaching at UMW since Spring 2010. In January 2011 course became freely open to anyone who wanted to take it: the only requirements are a computer, a hardy internet connection, a domain of one’s own, some commodity web hosting, and all the creativity one can muster.

This course requires students to both design and build an online identity (if they don’t have one already) and narrate the process of their learning throughout the fifteen week semester. Given this, everyone is expected to openly frame this process and interact with their classmates throughout the course as well as engage and interact with the world beyond as a necessary part of such a development. In many ways this course is part storytelling workshop, part technology training, and, most importantly, part critical interrogation of the digital landscape that is ever increasingly mediating how we communicate with one another.

University of Mary Washington Blogs

UMW BlogsThis project uses WordPress Multi-Site (an open source semantic publishing platform) to allow students and faculty author online with minimal overhead. This is the second iteration of a multi-user blogging platform (see the ELS Blogs description below for the first) and it is available campus-wide to any UMW faculty, staff or student who wants to use it. It has grown from thirteen hundred student and faculty blogs during the Fall 2007/Spring 2008 semesters to 6800 blogs in Spring 2012. This web-based publishing space offers the UMW academic community a quick and easy authoring solution that is flexible, elegant, and open. Providing a relatively simple process for creating class sites, e-portfolios, and a whole host of other web-based resources.
Link to UMW Blogs.

English, Linguistics, & Speech Blogs

ELS BlogsELS blogs was the first WordPress Multi-User environment tested widely at the University of Mary Washington. With close to 80 blogs over the course of six months for just one academic department. The simplicity for students and faculty to create their own publishing space on the web coupled with the ease-of-use of WordPress made this online publishing platform both attractive and quite successful in its debut. UMW is now introducing a broader WordPress Multi-User solution for the entire campus with the second iteration of this project: UMW Blogs (see description above). ELS Blogs, however, is still up and running and will continue to provide a space for both faculty and students to create a dynamic web authoring space for their academic needs for the foreseeable future. Link to ELS Blogs.