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My quick thoughts, back stage, and rants as I try to Teach kids about the Web while learning how to help others build a better Web.

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Greg McVerry

Its Not Social Media or Branding: Its Just You

2 min read

EDU106 is a great class. I work with students on recognizing how literacy shapes our lives. In this week's maker party, which is really a drop in design studio time, I had a wonderful discussion with Joe Freer  about personal brand and identiy.

What I want students to realize: It is isn't about social media marketing or branding its really about living and learning socially.

Its a construction of your digital identity. Personas sprinkled over the web as you leave footprints everywhere.

Basically the easiest way to build a following is to contribute back to a community of people. We will get to it later in the semester but I think Ian O'Byrne wrote a great guide to building digital identies..

Ian is a professor at Charleston College and also a digital coach working with people who want to learn to build up an online presence. 

Basically no matter your field the easiest way to get meaningful engagement is by being part of the audience. Learn together. Whether  you are a gardener, musician, or activist go online and find the placdes people connect to learn.

As you learn new things share your struggles and achievements. As you teach others share what you make openly.

The first step as Doug Belshaw notes, is to get your own domain. From here you take the indieweb model of POSSE publishing on your own site, syndicating elsewehre...more likely everywhere. 

A domain of your own is also fundemental to being open, and more as a philosophy than a product. You are not commodifying yourself but joining a community. Live and learn out loud.

 

Greg McVerry

Hiring with no Resume and Cover Level

1 min read

In our recent conversations around credentialing and the workforce. Bryan Mathhers recently brought up how the cover letter and the resume reinforce privledge and do little to show what you can do.

I thought about this in terms of my ideas around presence rather than simply portfolio assessments. I thought I would give it a try...It is also for an undergraduate postion and many may not have a resume or cover letter (nor the skills to write them yet)... so bonus.

This also goes back to an earlier piece by Alan Levine talking about badges and how hard it was to actually find the evidence that was submitted. More often than not the links to evidence are behind secured log-in or point to a 404 page.

I figure I am hiring a storyteller why not give the freedom to tell a story. 

Anyway here is the final call

 

 

 

Greg McVerry

Excited for #HipHopEd Tonight

2 min read

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKBr_DiD79l/

I am looking forward to lurking on tonight. I learn a lot on this chat as I listen. I am drawn to spaces of literacy scholars where words and meaning are seen first as tools of both agency and oppression. Tonight I will be looking forward to curating inspirational quotes.

Our GearUp work with students of color often revolve around the teaching and learning of digital literacies and pedagogies. We have created digital art, written letters to the next president, examined website credibility and created memes.

It is this last element that has me most interested in today's chat. I use memes as a method to include the basics of HTML. It is a the language of HTML using the discourses of youth. Fun stuff. I encourage everyone tonight to try one.

There is so much talk about the diversity problem in tech. This is not just an industry problem or a pipeline problem. It is a societal problem. We are creating a new era of digital imperialism. The segregation of our digital spaces is often much stronger than the analog world.

There are issues of access. Technology simply does not exist in many our poorest communities. Families are often on shifting data plans and pushing up aganist their limit. Mobile first can not be the only solution. In the suburbs big chains offer free wifi. The same chains like McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts post no loitering signs.

There are issues of equity. Based on recent PEW reports students of color have more screen time than their white peers. Yet the quality of the screen and the activity differs greatly. Yet no where are are computers used more for non-creative activity such as testing and remediation than our schools. I have bumped up against this myself when pushing for greater web literacy in schools. Its ths common reframe, "but have you seen there reing scores? I can't spend time on tech."

Newsflash. Tech is how we read and write. It is literacy. No where is this demonstrated more than in places like . Scholars, musicians, activists and artists gather around a cause and use our words to make the world a better place.

So make a meme tonight with an inspirational quote. Then encourage someone else to do the same. Lift the curtain to how tech and code work.

Greg McVerry

Had our first Maker Party in #EDU106

2 min read

Announcement: Due to Labor Holiday We Will Move Mandatory Class to Wednesday

Every Wednesday in we throw a maker party. Today marked the first event for this semesters class.

EDU106 New Literacies: Digital Texts and Tools is set up for hybrid delivery. It  succeeeds when a community emerges to support each other no matter where we gather.

We meet for a face to face class every Monday. There we begin with a maker challenge. For example during the first class we started by using pipe cleaners and come up with something "that meant you."

We will then  discuss the readings and work on our projects.

The students then gather online for the rest of the week. We meet "in the texts" as  we read that module using Hypothes.is. Students then share their writing on a class stream. Throughout the semester they hone blogging and multimodal authoring skills.

On every Wednesday we hold a basic design studio. These are drop in and out class spaces where we gather to share progress and get feedback. 

The Wednesday class is an optional affair I like to call Maker Parties. The stuff we will do this semester is hard. It takes practice and thought. The content we read will spark thoughts and push against perspectives.That does not mean it can not be fun.

Today five people showed up. We had a good time.

Each person who dropped by class left knowing they had completed this week's tasks.  After twenty or thirty minutes of one on one help and feedback everyone was off on their way.

Remember for Next Wednesday you need to:

-Have a blog created

-Share a link to the blog on the class stream.

-Create a Hypothes.is Account

 

 

Greg McVerry

Choosing Course Delivery #OpenEd #EdChat #HigherEd #Literacies #Edtechchat

2 min read

Over the last few years I have explored a variety of tools for open course development. Asa refresher I design my online learing space with three elements: a hub with materials, an individual site for each learner, and a class stream.

I am debating how I want to present my hubs. I orginally created a Wordpress site with multiple courses.

Last year I tried building a class in HTML/CSS and Javascript using a bootsptrap framework. I could host all of this in my GitHub repo.

I am not sure which method I prefer: Wordpress or a blank HTML page as a canvas.

Over the summer I got back to Wordpress course design. I was hired by a client to develop a learning managament system. I went with Wordpress and the Sensei plug-in from Woocommerce. We added a paid theme Guru and topped it off with a Discourse with SSO integration. We also added Buddypress and BadgeOS for good measure. 

The platform came out great.

Yet I am still drawn to trying to develop class Hubs in the most basic HTML possible (while getting some design love). I imagine a future where other professors openly share their coursework. Where a new teacher  can fork a repo rather start from scratch.

Still the Wordpress page looks prettier (for now).

I think for this semester I will keep with the dual approach. EDU106 will remain a hub in Wordpress and EDU307 will go through a round of iterative development.

Greg McVerry

Some recent work on teacher preparation and cooperating teachers/supervisors

1 min read

I asked AERA Division K for help lookign for research. We really cannot dismiss the social when discussin locating on the web. Its a go to:

 

Haigh, M., & Ell, F. (2014). Consensus and dissensus in mentor teachers' judgments of readiness to teach. Teaching and Teacher Education, 40, 10-21.

Haigh, M., Ell, F., & Mackisack, V. (2013). Judging teacher candidates' readiness to teach. Teaching and Teacher Education, 34, 1-11

Borko, H., & Mayfield, V. (1995). The roles of the cooperating teacher and university supervisor in learning to teach. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(5), 501-518.

Perry, R. K. (2016). Influences of co-teaching in student teaching on pre-service teachers' teacher efficacy (Doctoral dissertation, UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC).

Some good starting points would be Alex Cuenca's book on supervision, and recent work done by Diane Yendol-Hoppey, Jenn Jacobs and Rebecca Burns of a meta-analysis of student teaching supervision research. 

Clarke, A., Triggs, V., & Nielsen, W. (2013). Cooperating Teacher Participation in Teacher Education: A Review of the Literature. Review of Educational Research, 84 (2), 163-202. doi:10.3102/0034654313499618

Greg McVerry

What Should @Mozilla Work on Next?

1 min read


flickr photo shared by carolinazuarq under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC )

We were asked in an email newsletter, on a GitHub issue, or a Discourse thread (can't remember), "What Mozilla should work on next."

With the sunsetting of Snag-It for Chrome. I realized something. Firefox needs to have a feature like Snag-It for Chrome built in...or Nimbus the screen-capture tool add-on to add the 20 second gif feature that snag-it had.

I will take either one.

In fact I would be willing to make a reoccuring donation for a parity of feauters (too bad their is no more Popcorn to edit the video right in Firefox..hint..hint...make remix in the DNA of future releases). Still automatic back-up to Google Drive, which Nimble does is a must.

I understand why TechSmith abandonded Snag-It. It has to be the mopst widely downloaded tools for Chromebooks. That's some bandwidth. Still I think they missed an opportunity here. They could have tried micro-dontations as a revnue platform.

So that's what Firefox developers shoudl build or the folks behind Nimble (dont really care which). 

 

Greg McVerry

Taken Down By the Smallest Bugs

1 min read


flickr photo shared by John Tann under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

I had big plans for these last two days. I was going to catch up on reading and posting to student blogs. More importantly I have blocked out large swaths of time to spend with my family. They deserve a break from 70 hour work weeks as much as me, probably more.

Yet now I find myself utterly useless. I spent 13 hours asleep yesteday. My side burns, my muscles ache, I am always hot, and thinking hurts. Literally.

All because of a bug (well the bacteria floating around its belly).

There is a metaphor here. Being taken down by something smaller than a finger nail. The idea of a "bug" in software. I should be able to connect the dots I just can't.

Greg McVerry

In order to close the budget gap for the Connecticut State College System CSCU president Mark E. Ojakian asked staff to voluntarily use unpaid leave as a kind of a "furlough day."

It is awesome when some who gets:
-335,000 a year in salary
-A free car
-car insurance
-free vehicle repairs

asks someone who makes under 70,000 a year in state salary, has 500 a month in student loans, pays for his own car, and insurance to take unpaid "days off."

Furlough days do not work for faculty. We do not get off time. Students need feedback and classes must still be taught. Faculty positions are not 9-5. Do I furlough the countless hours I spend after my kids go to bed when I record instructional videos? Do I furlough the hours where I sneak out of bed the next day at 5AM to squeeze in another hour or two of work?

I donate hundreds of hours a year beyond what my contract requires and now Ojakian wants more.

He and Malloy need to stop calling this a budget crisis. It has been this way since the day I started at Southern. A crisis can not be permanent by definition, and the budget can't be fixed by me working for free.

I do enough of that already.

How about the family events I miss, like my sons birthday, so I can provide programming on campus on the weekends?

Do I take a furlough day when my reviews are due to journals on tight deadlines?

Do I take furlough days when I finally have time to write and try to get published?

I love how the rich assume that shared sacrifice means just getting a little bit more out of those who can not afford it.

I already donate a large portion of my salary to pay for retirement health benefits I will never see. Literally I have to fork over cash twice a month because the state made promises they could never afford.

No wonder businesses and people want out of Connecticut as quick as possible.

Greg McVerry

Disney: Don't Kill your Chance at a Female Yoda

2 min read

Ahsoka Tano, until Rey appeared, fought as the only female Jedi in the official Star Wars canon. Disney now has the chance in Star Wars "Rebels" to finally answer the question, "Who is the female Yoda?"

The Female Yoda

Yes I know the prequels and the Clone Wars have many female Jedi. Yet look at the make-up of the Council in Attack of the  Clones. Looks like the boardroom of any tech comapny. Only less nerdier.

Yes, yes I know technically there is a "literal" female Yoda, Yaddle, who sat on the council.  She made a brief appearance in AOTC, and rumored to make an appearance in a flim.

Still Ahsoka kicks ass. She brings complexity to the role and her leaving the Order after being falsely accused provides an allegory for the tribulations women face in a patriarchical society.

I know she has to die.

The rule of two demands it. I just don't want it to be soon.

I think Ahsoka should take on the training of Kanan and Ezra. She should get a shot at being a rebel leader and the "Female Yoda." Let her voice be one of reason and of the Force in Rebels.

The last two episodes of the current season are named, "Twilight of the Apprentice." This does not bode well for Ahsoka. It sounds like a final showdown with Vader which has been building all season.

It seems too soon. Disney don't kill off Ahsoka so early in the history of Rebels. Have her rise to the call and become a great teacher.

Make the tension between her and Vader real. Let us see the struggle in Vader as he tries to turn Ahsoka and take her place by his side. Let us see her anger and fear rise as she blames herself for the death of Anakin.

Better yet maybe she escapes, we see a flash of good in Vader, and when Rey goes to see Luke for training his only role, and line, will be to point Rey in Ahsoka's direction.