EDCI 335 is hosted in a web platform called WordPress, and you are invited to document your learning in WordPress as well. This means that your work would be posted online on a public site. Keep in mind, though, that you are NOT required to post your work publicly. The steps below can help you decide how comfortable you are with sharing publicly.
Please review all 5 steps below to decide on your approach.
Decide if you are comfortable posting your work online.
If not, you can document your learning offline (with technology) by changing the privacy settings on your blog or using Word documents and offline video. We would ask learners to consider using an online blogging tool with no identification/using a pseudonym, so as to develop network literacy, which is important in supporting learners, who are growing up in networked environments, but the preferences of learners will be respected and supported.
If you are comfortable being online, then proceed to step 2.
Would you like to use your real name or use a pseudonym?
You can claim your name online and own your presence by using your full name. With increasing catfishing and identity theft online, it can be helpful to have a presence that may compete with any fake profiles of you that are out there or to have a more dominant presence so posts or pictures of you by others may get drowned out. That said, you may wish to create an identity without your personal information (e.g., West coast teacher). The choice is yours.
With that decision made, proceed to step 3.
Decide if you would like your blog to be hosted outside of Canada or inside of Canada.
We strongly recommend that you create a blog at opened.ca which is built specifically for students and faculty at BC colleges and universities, is hosted within Canada, and is completely free for you to use. We also have created a template for you there, which will make getting started easier. You will not lose access to your site at opened.ca after you finish at UVic, but you are free to export it and publish it on your own space and on your own domain (e.g., http://yourname.ca or http://westcoastteacher.ca) with a web hosting company for a reasonable annual fee. Some of these companies host outside of Canada (e.g., Dreamhost), while others host within Canada (e.g., Canadian Web Hosting).
Be sure you review the resources under the privacy tutorial on this site or talk to your instructor about the implications of your options. You should also review the resources at the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner along with the Cloud Computing Guidelines, which outline how to get consent.
With that decision made, proceed to step 4.
You also have to decide if you want to make your blog public or private.
You can set an entire blog to be private or simply selected posts can be set to private. You can set a password or invite people to gain access. We have provided instructions for adjusting your privacy settings on the tutorial page for opened.ca.
If you choose to make your blog private, we will not be able to syndicate your posts to this site. You will still be able to participate in the course, but please contact your instructor if you choose to make your site only visible to registered users of the network or your site.
And last, but not least…
Finally, you have to think about where you and your content will end up.
The wonderful thing about WordPress is that you can import that exported file into another WordPress instance (it sounds hard, but it isn’t and we’ll show you) or if you want to later set up your own domain and with your own WordPress installation. You may also import it into WordPress.com, but be aware that if you made posts with personal information knowing your site was hosted in Canada at the time and simply contained regular consent, without the specific consent for hosting outside of Canada, which requires you to name each tool, etc., you might not have consent to switch to WordPress.com. We often advise EDCI 335 learners to post as if they will be on the cloud outside of Canada. To be honest, if you have a public blog, your friends and colleagues may be using U.S. cloud-hosted tools like Feedly to curate and read your blog posts or they may repost/quote your content on their U.S. blog. There are many educators who use U.S. software in their teaching and to support their learners. Just be sure to review how to get consent as per page four of the BC OIPC Cloud Computing Guidelines linked here.
Creating a Blog
Once you have done all the reflections on these 5 steps, you can move forward with creating a blog. Please visit our other tutorial blog posts on Creating a Blog on the OpenETC and WordPress Resources. Become familiar with the various additional tutorials we have posted pertaining to Privacy, FIPPA, and Consent, Copyright and Copyleft, Finding Images and Attribution and more on our tutorials menu. When you’re set up and ready, please submit your information to share your learning pathway here.