For a significant portion of time, school districts in United States lived with crazy domain names. For example, Hamilton City used to have the following domain name:
The reasons for this (I think) were:
- This domain was free (free is always considered good)
- In geeky, folder, index engineering minds this naming convention made a sorta sense (name of district / k12 / state / country)
- Who really checks websites anyway?
Email addresses would be a nightmare (firstname.lastname@example.org) and, really, a little embarrassing to hand out on business cards.
District domain naming conventions obviously missed the point. The reason we have domain names is so that people can remember them (as opposed to a series of IP addresses).
Over the past few years many districts have corrected this issue. Hamilton went with three domain names:
- http://hcsdoh.org (a short domain for email addresses and school portal)
Much easier to remember.
Still, I wonder if there isn’t a lesson here?
When snapping up the old domains, it may have made sense for the time (well, a sort of sense). However, did anyone think to ask what implication it might have 2, 3 , 5 years down the road when “this internet thing” became a bedrock technology in education? Maybe they did. Maybe not.
It’s hard, but we need to do a better job at anticipating future technology trends and their affects on education.
It’s also fun.
This really is a harmless example (domain names). What about the decision to test all students online in 2014/15?