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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

The AI I Need

1 min read

My desktop is a mess. Bits and scraps of a hundred projects. I want something that guesses where things go based on what I have been doing. Its gotta handle curve balls and quick left turns.

Greg McVerry

Playing with Padding #teachtheweb

1 min read

I have been playing with image classes in Bootstrap. I like the circle images but wanted to see what I could with margins and padding to make new shapes.

It was fun. Above I alternated 50px of top padding and fifty pxels of bottom padding. It made a neat shape. The pictures look cool.

Greg McVerry

Get Involved with @Mozilla in 2017: Looking for Curriculum Help #edtechchat #digped #oer

1 min read


2010-04-22 flickr photo by bgottsab shared under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

As digitally engaged scholars we rely and help build the open web. Over the past year we have been working on Mozilla's Open Leadership Toolkit and after all-hands this past December we have a few modules getting ready for testing.

The first step is a simple Quality Assurance Test.

We need your help.

Here is the information to the two tasks on GitHub.

Awesome Slides

Deep Listening

GitHub not your thing? Do not have an account yet? No worries. 

Basically you make a copy of a Google Sheet by clicking this link. You will then complete a review of:

Awesome Slides

Deep LIstening

You use the spreadsheet as a rubric and rate each criterion on a scale of 1-3.

Just make sure to ping me and I will note in GitHub that you have taken on the issue.

Greg McVerry

Recognizing Many Networks Loosely Joined at #MozAloha

5 min read

Yesterday I got the chance to catch up with the Participation Team as we continue our development of the Leadership Toolkit.

Everyone is off at all-hands in Hawaii. I joined remotely from Connecticut to hack away at some work. It was great to catch up with Mikko, Verena, and Emma. When it comes to developing resources for open pedagogy on a global scale I can't think of anyone more qualified than this team. We were also joined by Jane who helped us shape our pupose and goals


flickr photo shared by bloomgal under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

We began by discussing the futre of our initiative. As someone joining all-hnads remotely I probably missed some contexts but what I got out of Emma's quick overview the Particatipation Team and the Innovation Team have joined under the moniker of "mobilzers." 

Emma highlighted that the focus will shift more to partners who share Mozilla's vision. Think of Mozilla  more of an alliance rather than a single organization.

That makes sense. Its more webby. I am always brought back to Weinbergers 2002 idea of "small pieces loosely joined." I think many networks loosely joined makes sense for Mozilla moving forward. Especially in terms of our goals of mobilzing new contributors to our projects and activists to our causes.


flickr photo shared by cambodia4kidsorg under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

An Alliance 

I like the idea of thinking about the many parts of our communities as an alliance. Open Science, Firefox, WebVR, Open Journalism, the Hive Network, MDN, Campus Clubs and other Moxzilla groups all have unique missions but we share a common goal. 

Then on the next level of the network there are many other organizations who share these same goals. I persoanlly began contributing to Mozliaa when the National Writing Project (a US non-profit) organized a Hakasaurus hackjam at the National Council Teachers of English (a US professional organzation). 

Protecting the web and ensuring a basic level of web literacy is too crucial a cause for any one organization.


flickr photo shared by Ars Electronica under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

Decentralized

We spent much of 2015 and 1016 looking inward as organization. The workflow shifted dramatically and major programs were relaunched. I do fear in the spirit of better and faster a large portion of power was shifted internally and away from the community.

Any networked approach to mobilizing people must remian dectralized moving forward. Yet at the same time we need the systems in place to track our success. This requires an understanding of community building, learning sciences, design based research, social network analysis, and analytics. I am glad tough problems are so much fun.

These can also be draining on the limited resources of MoCo and MoFo. We have to be careful efforts are shared and not simply duplicated. In many ways to reach this vision of greater particiaption Mozilla will need to draw on a diverse set of new contributors working between netowrks. 


flickr photo shared by Marco Arment under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Cross-Pollinators

Emma used the metaphor of a flower to represent the work of our team. In 2015 we were farmers, in 2016 we had the particiatpation buffet, and now in 2017 it looks like the bee will be our metaphor.

This makes sense. A network approach will require cross-pollinators. We need to mobilze and recruit organizations. We need to go back to our communities and bring people along for the ride. I, for an example, am an academic. I need to encourage other schoalrs to contribute while also working with Mozilla to carve out a space for contributors to be recognized for their work.

You maybe a poet or an artist, a designer, a developer, an engineer, or a journalist who share values with Mozilla. Great. Lets empower you within your network so we can create a symbiotic relationship around the web.

What does this Require?

  • Championing Other People
  • Low Barriers of Entry
  • An all of the above platform approach
  • A bunch of other stuff I can't think of. Will you help?

What does this mean for our efforts on the Leadership ToolKit?

  • Hopefully we build somethign that can be used by any networks.

 

  • Networks are the people in them. I do not want to try to build self paced online learning modules. Its bad learning. Instead we are building our modules for live coaching delivery and will help people fork them for synchronous or aynschronous online learning (even self paced online).

 

  • We need to settle on a platform. I don't want to build one more place for Mozilla contributors to have to join. We somehow need a platform that is platform agnostic. For me that is the web. All of our course design should be built on the POSSE model, Publish on Your Own Site, Syndicate Elsehwere. For now this might be Discourse, Twitter, Facebook, or Telgram. We have to let conditions in the nodes decide where learners will share what they make. What we can do is empower the people who use the toolkit to own what they make and control their privacy as they decide where to share it. Personally I believe chat streams enabled with yet to be devloped bots and AI will be the future of distributed learning spaces.

Greg McVerry

Exploring Open Pedagogy with @wiobyrne

2 min read

The past few years at LRA @wiobyrne and I have been exploring Open Pedagogy. We started the Alt. Pub study group trying to push open research and publication.

We have developed and pushed a research agenda around open pedagogy.

The two of us have decided its time to get all our ideas together and focus them on a book. 

We are going to try and make the entire writing process transparent. We will read and annotate online with hypothes.is. We will interview and post podcasts with thought leaders. We will collect our thoughts on random blogs. Our drafts will be made available somewhere with final versions of each chapter published on our blogs.

Will we shop around the book to publishers? Yes, but only to those who will allow a creative commons book to exist in the wild. After all that is part of the main argument. The community supports itself in the wild.

Not sure of the platform we will use for drafting. May go FOSS but may also use a gDocs with an open document. So there is the first dilemma, but unrelated pedagogy (or is it?) can something be open if it lives on a private platform?

 

Greg McVerry

Doing School an #edchat poem

1 min read

Students should do school

Not have it done to them

And the less dough a district has

The more doing schools do

Let’s make the students our Subject

Not the object of our

predicate

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