In the mid-2000s I made some friends in the world of higher education who were starting to think like the web and to imagine how that might transform an institution that everyone could see needed to change. One of them, Gardner Campbell, invited me to speak at the University of Mary Washington’s Faculty Academy on Instructional Technologies. There I met an inspired team of thinkers and doers who were pioneering the academic use of what we now call cloud technology.
UMW isn’t a wealthy school; there wasn’t a big budget for IT; that was a constraint well embraced. Gardner’s dream team found their way to BlueHost where, for $8/month, they could spin up web servers, wikis, and most importantly the blogs that have become central to the intellectual life of the school. Here’s Jim Groom, aka Mr. Edupunk, reflecting on what UMW Blogs has become.