bavaness,  onlinepivot,  OU

The advantage of your own platform in a crisis

I joked with Bryan Mathers that we are living in the action movie version of ed tech, where this kind of thing happens, and he drew me this.

So here’s my Covid-19 conspiracy theory – Jim Groom started it all to demonstrate how useful it is to own your own domain and tools. And also to relaunch DS106 Radio.

Allow me to elaborate. Organisations, particularly higher education ones can be slow to react. Someone commented once that the OU was like the army or the health care system, it took its time but when all those elements aligned it was powerful, robust and effective. The OU, like every other HEI, has been dealing with the very immediate issues of the Covid-19 crisis, and doing it very well. This is where those industrial systems pay off.

However, like many of my fellow academics, I’ve been receiving individual requests to help. This is difficult to manage, but also something we definitely want to do. And this is where having your own platform comes in useful. It is another instance of the principle I outlined with Guerrilla Research, namely that of not needing permission. By having a blog, Twitter and other tools (I have a licence for clickmeeting, but could be Zoom) you can effect some form of Guerrilla Support without needing to seek permission to use official tools, to check server loads, ask for IT set up or removal of existing access limits. You can just do stuff like impromptu drop-in sessions or gather resources, offer advice, etc.

When the OU and other HEIs can focus beyond the immediate pivot and get their responses together it will be better than anything those of us with individual can do. But in the interim, a quick, agile response is facilitated by having your own domain and identity. So, yeah, thanks Jim.


  • Jim Groom

    I need to start a radio of one’s own, cause that has been absolute gold during these strange days. I agree with you regarding enterprise tech being crucial, but there are always communities that need something outside what’s provided, that’s why Domains could never be a solution for this pivot, but a welcome alternative for those who figure out something they can’t do as a result of some of the larger, locked-down enterprise tech.

    But the radio? That is just a totally different form all together. Both online and not in some weird way—but I can’t be objective on that presently given I am obsessed 🙂

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