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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

Shifting #literacies in Elementary School Writing

2 min read

As I watch my children grow I am amazed at how the web has shifted the way we learn. Yet I am dismayed at how slow our schools have failed to respond.

Technology is not a technology issue but a issue.

My second child, Ben, needed to do research for his podcast "Dog Days

How did he read?

pic of Ben using a reader

I had to leave for work so Ben used an accessibility plugin for Google Chrome to have the website read to him.

How did he write?

On paper. I helped him organize the show into two ideas. He wants bumpers for each section but I explained that is a little much before Dad goes to work.

<h2>How did he Search</h2>

Voice commands are the interface of my children. They don't rely on touch but on voice. Ben knows how to say, "Ok Google how do I spell..."

How did he record?

Ben uses quicktime audio recording a Blue Rhino mic for recording. He wanted to spliuce together two attempts using GarageBand...but again too much for me to teach before school.

DogZone is Ben's site. He learned the inline styling and how to change the CSS to add opacity so people can see my "really cool warefall picture."

This is the type of reading and writing we need to in elementary school. HTML is the new Concepts of the Web. Multimodal authorship provides pathways to meaning for those not always motivated to read and write in print.

Greg McVerry

@swartz19 Every teacher should start blogging, and thosewho have been blogging for some time should learn about the .

Now that you control your data its time to build the community.

Recruiting folks who want to learn more about the and help us build onboarding materials.

Greg McVerry

@magistrareardon I also think search, in the traditional, google search is becoming more and more social. Part of disciplinary literacies requires us to get more embedded in communities.

Greg McVerry

I want the day where we can just focus on all .

Yet we can't. I use the term digital literacies because people need to recognize the web ad they we read and write and not as a tech issue.

Plus using the word fluency makes little sense when it is considered a subset literacy skill. Reading with speed, accuracy, and emotion is the definition most are used to using.

Equating fluency with transfer doesn't work either.

Greg McVerry

@rpondiscio Agree. The role of background knowledge is probably the most stable variable in the entire history of comprehension research when explaining variance in scores.

And as you notes attempt to erase background knowledge from assessments lead to stupid assessments.

Though I am also getting intrigued by exploration into disciplinary literacies and the idea that networking deeper into a community is a route to ensuring content as much as curriculum.

Greg McVerry

I wont be in a place to pay my LRA dues until I teach some summer classes. If folks see any interesting or emails on listserv please forward to me.

I still argue LRA should move to a "member recruitment" model and not a "member benefit" model.

We should allow everyone to see listserv.

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

Should We Share Racially Tinged Memes? #HipHopEd #literacies.

2 min read

We love to laugh at them. Writers parody them in theme songs and television. Yet I wonder are we laughing at the individuals or drawing humor from a deep well of intentional and hidden bias?

I am talking about memes featuring people of color who do not come from affluent backgrounds. They usually act in grandiose ways speaking local dialects that would not be recognized as standard academic English. The most famous being:

This video, with over 62 million views sparked it all for me . I won't lie. I even had the auto-tune version as a ring tone for a minute. This video went so far it served as the inspiration behind the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt theme song.

Then earlier this week we saw the explosion of "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That"

The original video is over three years old, and it took off recently.

Do we have a responsibility to not share these videos?

Laughing at uneducated black people is nothing new.

I just wonder is it as racist now as it was with Mammy Two Shoes?

Are we simply putting a digital jocko to welcome you to our online front doors when we share these memes? The auto-tuned voices no different than the exaggerated white features painted on to dark skin.