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Greg McVerry

I get to teach High School classes!! #GearUpWorks #NHV #connectedlearning

2 min read


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

We held  our first session of Power and Passion-Writing for Change as part of . I am always inspired by the scholars who join us.

This semester Gear Up New Haven is offering after school academic programs on our main campus. New Haven Public Schools has donated the transportation and SCSU has donated the faculty time to run classes in math, English, and the Arts.

As literacy and technology coordinator I curate the learnign opportunities in the literacy strand. Mainly I just show up and learn.

In our first session we completed a challenge in the "Letters to the Next President" series. Specifically we completed a "Do Now" that had students define what it meant to be politically enaged. We recorded our definitions using iPads and I will be remixing these into a video.

Next week we will have two tasks:

Words have power. They are shaped by those with power to mantain a narrative and words provide power to the powerless. In our class this semster we are asking youth, "How will you use your words?"

Greg McVerry

Part 2: Participatory Culture in a Networked Era #digiwrimo

6 min read

Read Bottom Up

The first post in this series is here.

Greg McVerry

Participatory Culture in a Networked Era #digiwrimo

3 min read

Read Bottom Up

Greg McVerry

Live Blog from: Making stuff and sense at #lra15

4 min read

Ian O'Byrne:

We need to open up publishing by connecting to the

 

Christina Cantrill

Has playdough, pipecleaners, and rubber bands for us to make and play

 

 

Phil Nichols

Phil then moves into finding publics as a part of making

There are different ways to finding publics. The more authentic the student driven the audience the more motivation

 

Phil Nichols

For some students doing thing you have to do for school was their only resonation. The audience was still the teacher

 

Greg McVerry

I am using noterlive.com to live blog from session on making

 

Amy Stornaiuolo

Publics as "opportunities" to participate.

making publics is not about the space. are not inherently liberating. Need to account for histories.

the promise of makerspaces has to be read through the history of schools

 

Phil Nichols

making publics is about relevance. Students have to find publics meaningful. Authenticity is not universal

 

Jessica Parker

who are the maker educators?

We have ten years of maker as a label and it was from a corporation and ignored youth culture.

 

Jessica Parker:

The Maker Certificate Program is three mini-courses 50-seat hours. They turn in a maker portfolio. Open to tangible.

We send you a maker kit such as paper circuitry and then ask people to reflect on their making. They define making.

We host our classes in K12 makerspaces.

juxtaposition of rapid prototyping and slow looking.

80% of the attendants were 80% teachers. It was heavily skewed K-8. High school was math, science, digital media, art

40% of the educators were over 40 and 55% had taught more than 11 years, 23% over 20 years.

79% all self reported that their families were makers.

 

Greg McVerry:

this is interesting. Yet if they were reporting as being from a making family was the program already reaching makers

 

Jessica K Parker:

Cardboard and glue gun, and hand tools were in the top four (3d printer) was third. Low barrier of entry.

The teachers are saying it isn't a binary. Making is not low tech or high tech.

teachers self reported that building agency was the greatest benefit of integrating maker education.

26% reported that engagement, fun, and excitement were the greatest benefits.

another theme was valuing process & iteration

@jessicakparker: collaborating, tinkering, reflecting on their work, prototyping were the best benefits noted by teachers.

time, space, money, materials and support were the greatest challenge

This isn't unique to makerspaces. This is true for any initiative.

 

Antero Garcia:

escaping from teacher pd through games and game design

This primarily going to be a story propelled by an engine of teacher inquiry

there are six elements associated wtih but we need a racialized lens to look at it.

two assumptions: there are powerful learning when playing digital games, people can be pretty terrible to each other

think about so I use the metaphor of a table.

this took place in Schools for Community Action

principles: schools need to be student centered, innovative, community collaboration, social justice, and sustainability

teachers called it an escape from PD

I used storium an online storytelling game. Created cards based on different roles of participants.

the PD was in an escape room. You have an hour to get out of the room.

In June they hosted the game jam. Could make traditional or digital games.

Game jamming is a professional practice. At schools its hard. You have to modify to make sure they were over by 5:00pm

Students note that there is space for critical reflection, and student and teacher growth.

The students came together when students were shot. It is really hard to be in a game based environment in this context

how are teachers given the space and time to read the contexts of classrooms and communities?

How is the ecosystem of (de)professionalism being challenged?

 

Christina Cantrill:

As you know we (NWP) are a peer based educator community and we are increasingly working w educators outside of school

NWP came together when teachers realized they had to write themselves. I see this (1970s) as the beginning of making

We jumped in and claimed writing as making.

What are the ways we communicate. We use a broad sense of what is writing.

In thinking about this discussion we wanted to think about you all.

 

Greg McVerry:

Signing off now to go make.

Greg McVerry

Engaging in Discourse About Your Work

6 min read

I have searched high and low for the magic sauce. I haven't found it yet. I want the ingredient that makes community flourish in the online classes I teach.

I blamed the LMS. Studnets just worked through assignments and if you said post and respond twice. That is exactly what they did.

I realized it is in't the LMS that suck it was me.

I tried every configuration of tools to try and crowbar "social" in. No matter the format my class ended up looking like a pinterest board of student assignments. I could have just taught via email.

I realized what my students were missing was a model of federated and distributed discourse. In the class I give no minimums of how many posts and how many replies. It seems contrite. So this iteration I have told my students I expect interaction. They simply will not do well if they just post their completed assignments. Engagement is required...but I did not provide support.

That is the purpose of this post. Look at how social media engagement occurs in the wild

In the tweets below you will find the conversation threads surrounding this post.

Here are my tips to engage with others:

  • Be proud of what you write and make
  • Share it out across networks. It is okay to share posts beyond class
  • Invite discussion (But don't end posts with "What do you think? Just leave a comment." That's cheesy)
  • Share more than a link. Tell my why your post is important. Why should I care.
  • Pictures included with social media increase engagement.

Some people engaged in conversation while others just sent the link out into further discussion.


href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/clmooc?src=hash"> — Stephanie Loomis (@MrsLoomis) August 2, 2015

You want to not simply post your work but live it. Have an emotional attachment to your ideas and your words. Discuss what you write and watch it travel.

I then pinged people in my network I knew who would be either interested or willing to challenge my ideas. Hopefully both.

Some left comments on the blog.

Then some folks really wanted us to annotate the piece.

This brought in the interest of the Hypothesis Team

Some people then shared their own work to back up their claims or challenge my claims.

We discussed research and assessment methods

We debated the boundaries of action, thought, knowledge, and assessment.

We kicked people off the boat

Greg McVerry

The Problem with List Servs and #ConnectedLearning

4 min read

List servs work, and work well. That's there major drawback. It is hard to move academics off of a tool that has functioned long before the Web. 

 Yes it comes with the baggage of bad email practices we suffer through at work: Unecessary reply-alls, threads being hijacked, threads getting too long and complex, people replying to older threads with totally new topics, and different formatting.

This is all before we consider the complexity of different levels of learners steeped within varying discourses and even languages.

Even with these major drawbacks learning gets done.

List servs work because distribution discourse works better than destination discourse.

Instead of trying to get people to come to your site or join your network the content just comes to you. You decide to reply. As Gina Tripani notes email is truly one of the original federated systems.

I want to help move folks off of list servs and on to other more open distribution channels. While it is hard to move people off of tools that work I would like to see groups try new methods.

LRA

As e-editor of the Literacy Research Association we are trying to encourage people to publsih their own content and push through our new websites. Mainly by using the forums. These can be set up just like list servs, your inbox can be flooded as much as you want. So could your RSS feed.

XMCA

The Extended Mind Culture and Activity theory was a MOOC long before that was even a thing. There have been people arguing and seeking consensus over  Russian and German translations of words for over a decade. It is the home of Open scholarship on Cultural Historical Activity Theory, Vygotsky, Hegel, Marx and a wonderful group of scholars.

It is ripe for a tool like Discourse or Known. 

I fall in and out of XMCA. It is a list serv that works too well. So I have to hide it in my email client if inbox zero were ever to be reached. I recently bundled XMCA in Google's new inbox tool which means I can see the messages and quickly dismiss them.

Its when I need to find an idea again that XMCA gets difficult.

It also reads like a Novel. The brilliant thought, often outside of my wheelhouse, makes casual reading impossible. The problem of course is it is email. Searching through email for threads of logic gets hard quick.

Discourse

I have been playing a bit in discourse with and with Mozilla's webmaker (now Mozilla Learning...I think). At first I was hesitant. Not a fan of stackable forums. I like threaded discussions. Showing my age here.

But the social, the tagging, and the categories make it ideal for a complex learning space like XMCA. This would be a little more of a closed off space but would resemble the list serv without all of the baggage (until we discover the new luggage that folks travel with in new spaces).

I threw together a quick example (using recent emails as an example) on my own site (not sure if log-in required).

XMCA is already installed on a university server. Discourse would be no different. Except better.

Known

I am just starting to play with Known but I could easily see it be used for distributed discourse. You can quickly push it out to everywhere.

If Wordpress is chess, than Known is Othello. Both allow for endless learning but one can begin playing Othello almsot immediatley.

Basically as community of academics, in places like XMCA and Listserv, we should encourage people to publish on their own sites and syndicate everything to a common hub or space.

Known would be just one example. This can be done with any blogging plaform. The goal should be to own you own content in a federated web.