Around the start of the 2013 fall semester, students in two JAMS Journalism classes started using our newest technology resource to create project and portfolio websites.
The Digital Media Drive provides JAMS students with free web hosting space that they can use to set up their own self-hosted WordPress websites. This gives students the ability to modify the look and functionality of their sites with WordPress themes and plugins. And, because WordPress is open source, if a student wants to work with the code of his or her site, that student may do so.
While other approaches to online portfolios familiarize students with using a Content Management System, the Digital Media Drive gives JAMS students the same technical foundation used to create many of the world’s most notable websites.
Management of each Digital Media Drive account is done via cPanel, so students get hands-on experience using an industry standard web hosting interface. Purchasing a similar account from a web hosting provider (like Bluehost or Hostgator) can cost anywhere from 100 to 120 dollars a year.
To assist during the job hunt process, JAMS students can continue using their Digital Media Drive accounts and WordPress sites for one semester after graduating from UW-Milwaukee.
If a student wants to keep his or her WordPress site beyond that time, they can export it to their computer. Then, after buying a web hosting account from a reputable provider, the student can import that same site into their newly purchased web space.