Open Thinkering


A Week of Divesting: Domains [incl. a competition!]

This blog post involves a competition to win the domain names and It’s free to enter, but you have to comment and make a promise! If you’re not interested in the story behind the competition, simply scroll down to the section in bold at the end for what to do.

Hot Air Balloons
Image by a4gpa @ Flickr


Every now and then I decide to buy a domain name. It’s usually related to some project or other I’m thinking of undertaking. Sometimes the project doesn’t take off (e.g. whereas other times it does (e.g. Unfortunately, the two domain names I’m proudest of coming up with are currently lying dormant. That’s causing me increasing angst as I wonder what to do so as not to squander them. I’ve decided, therefore, to donate them to a worthy cause. 🙂

The stories behind the domains

In 2007 I was growing frustrated at ‘only’ being a teacher of History and ICT. I wanted to do something like what I’ll be doing from this academic year onwards as Director of E-Learning. Unfortunately, such positions were still very much in their infancy and it wasn’t clear that schools in the state sector would create such positions. Consequently, I started creating a consultancy and training company. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much further than the business cards and website.

The domain name for this business, however, I thought was clever as it was based on what I consider to be quite a valuable domain: This is the first domain name that’s up for grabs. All you need to do is to add a comment to this post explaining what you would do with it. The other thing that you must promise is that it will be beneficial to the educational community in some way and not be for-profit.

The second domain name also has a backstory. In January 2008 I went to the Headteacher of the school where I was teaching History and ICT explaining that we needed a position akin to a Director of E-Learning. The Head agreed that we needed something like that, but that the position I was proposing was a little ahead of its time, shall we say, at that particular school. To cut a long story short, I became E-Learning Staff Tutor for the academic year 2008/09.

Reflecting on this position during the summer holiday of 2008 I realised that whilst a physical presence was necessary in terms of a noticeboard and things in staff pigeonholes, having a central digital place would also be important. I had a think, realised that for various reasons it should be separate from the staff website, and started a blog entitled ‘Elearnr’ (like Flickr – without the ‘e’) powered by Edublogs.

After a while, as it was used increasingly by staff, I realised that was available. This not only shortened the URL but solved some of the frustration I’d experienced with Edublogs introducing advertising. This, then, is the second domain that’s available. It’s currently got guides and useful links relating to e-learning on it. If you’re fortunate enough to secure the domain name, feel free to keep or dispose of this content!

What to do to enter the competition:

Want to enter the competition to win one or both domain names? Here’s what to do:

  1. Decide which domain name you’d like (or both!)

  2. Explain what you’d do with the domain in the comments section to this blog post.

  3. Add the following to the bottom of your comment: ‘I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.’

Be as creative and detailed as you can and may the best entry win! Entries close on Sunday 6th September 2009 at 12pm British Summer Time* and the winners will be announced in a blog post on the same day. If you know someone who may be interested, why not tweet or blog about it, or send them an email? 😀

* Find out what time this is in your part of the world here.

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6 thoughts on “A Week of Divesting: Domains [incl. a competition!]

  1. Love the idea Doug
    I would be interested in the domain name

    My idea would be to create a magazine style site that reviews and recommends applications of technology for the purpose of teaching and learning.

    It would be a space for leading practitioners to demonstrate task based learning projects that have successfully incorporated technology, and give step by step guides to how teachers can adapt these ideas to design their own task based projects.

    The emphasis will be to move away from explicitly discussing the technology being used, but instead to encourage the teacher to consider the desired learning outcomes or content knowledge and outline a variety of approaches to developing technological knowledge.

    The overall aim would be to cater for a wide range of abilities and begin drafting a framework for how we can all develop our TPCK ‘technological pedagogical content knowledge’ (Mischra & Koeler 2006)

    It would be a central place for sharing all the wonderful ideas I get on Twitter, and make them available to the lay technological user, whom has reached the stage of opening a Google reader account and subscribing to this site. These users often have different Internet habits (especially compared to me) so their contact time will not really suit a platform such as Twitter at the moment.

    My particular interest would steer towards building cross curricula links with the Modern Language department and developing an international outlook supported by effective use of technology.

    The main focus will always be you “the PLN” on Twitter, so my proposed idea is open for critique.

    ‘I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.’


    Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record. 108(6), 1017-1054.

  2. As I mentioned to you on Twitter, I think it’s a shame that the fantastic content that you produced for might disappear (depending on who the site is transferred to, and how they intend to use it). You may have originally created the site to support staff in your previous school, but it’s also very useful to others in different schools.

    With that in mind, I would be happy to take over the domain and site for you, ensuring that your material stays online, to support teachers now and in the future.

    ‘I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.’


  3. Doug,

    I’m impressed by your efforts. My attempts to de-clutter usually end up with me saying, “I can’t believe I kept that for eight years and _now_ I need it.”

    If you can’t find a taker for I’d be happy to take it over, keep the content and, hopefully, add to it as I do my blog ( or my tweets (

    Good luck,


    P.S. Of course, ‘I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.’

  4. Hi Doug

    I would be interested in the domain. My blog has been on Edublogs for over 3 years now. I have been looking for an opportunity to develop it further and this could be it.

    I am passionate about how technology can support good teaching and inspire great learning opportunities – although the domain will change, the purposes of my blog will remain the same.

    I will continue to:

    > Document the innovative use of online learning tools in the classroom.
    > Explore ways to use games based learning.
    > Offer support and guidance on the best ways to implement educational technology.
    > Chart the progress of multi-touch devices and the ways they may impact on learning.
    > Explore my ideas for using wider edtech to support learning.
    > Continue to explain what it takes to drive educational change on a classroom and institutional level to a wide community of educators.

    I know that you bought those two domains with the same purpose and motivation in mind. I can guarantee I will be able to continue in the same vein.

    I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.

  5. Doug,

    This is my entry for the domain.

    Last year I started compiling elearning tips on a blog at school – While I didn’t achieve my original target of one a week, I do have a plan for one a fortnight this year, with the first three already written. As the time available to me for 1:1s has dropped from four hours to one per fortnight this year these are going to be even more important in getting elearning ideas shared around the staff.

    While a few of these will be specific to olchfa, many will be of use to the wider education community as a whole, and it is to this end that I propose to use – posting these tips and guides on a regular basis.

    I hereby promise that I shall use the domain in a way beneficial to the educational community and not for financial gain.

  6. I think that all the above entrants should win – give them a WordPress login for the site. Each can then login to share their latest e-learning thoughts and proposals.

    After all – all these proposals are very much headed in the same direction. Plus others could also chip in too.

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