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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.

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

Replied to a post on :

Great post on OER @audreywatters In the end there has to be some kind of platform or if we are going platformless with OER some kind of standard that allows resources to have tagged metadata.

Do you know how good people are at when it comes to tagging?

I agree OER needs something such as GitHub. So I have a challenge to everyone go get three teachers. Tell them to take there three best lessons, convert them to Markdown, and get them up on Github.

Watch heads explode. 

It has taken me a year to get to a point where I am comfortable enough to screw things up on GitHub. You can not ask teachers to open up terminal and expect any contributions.

So I have hopes for — or something similar. I think fedwiki is awesome but it suffers from the same problem as github only worse. Any UX that needs or looks like documentation is a non-starter for norms.

Thus Mike Caulfield’s need to puddle participants at conferences in order to grasp at meaning.

Yet OER does not need to be an act of titling at windmills or involve pink elephants at all.

What OER databases need, and this is something Hannah Kane has written about ( is a content creation first approach. That is something the Mozilla community is focused on. We need a lightweight, dare I say, CMS that has two buttons: publish and remix. 

I am hoping whatever we create will be as platformless as possible but there needs to be some level of discovery, and discovery takes search, and search takes tagging.

. Hopefully much of the sausage making will not be visible.

This vision is what Mike Caulfield brings: curriculum not as a repo but as an organism.

Greg McVerry

Planning the YouthZone for Feminist(Inter)vention Conference on Gender and Technology

3 min read

flickr photo shared by hackNY under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

The Good Fight

Fighting for diversity at Southern Connecticut State Univisity looks a little different than it does at other universities in New Haven.

While debating the use of words like "headmaster" or discussing the balance between free speech, safe spaces, and halloween costumes matters our diversity efforts focus more on the lived experience of those who have long felt the shackles of oppression. 

Our fight for diversity means ensuring the class schedule coincides with city bus routes. Our challenges lie in ensuring a smooth pathway from community colleges to four year insitutions. It means providing greater online classes and child care for single moms with two jobs.

We fight for diversity by working tirelessly with Gear Up students who also want to become first generation college students.

 I do not want to undercut the efforts of other universities nor their student bodies. Its just the fight for diversity looks different at schools of access rather than those of affluence.

I am a firm believer that words do matter. Every student should feel safe. Yet to truly overcome the issues around diversity, wealth, and society we must first focus on educational and economic stability.

Diversity and Technology

For those who follow the tech scene you know that we have a diversity problem. Yet this cannot be solved in Silicon Valley. It must be solved at places like Southern who work closely with New Haven Public Schools. It must be solved by Open Source projects such as Mozilla's efforts to .

It can not be solved in your board room or with the right hire. Equity comes from opportunity. Opportunity comes from education and economic stability.

Thus I am proud to serve on the committee for the 22nd annual Women's Studies Conference: (ter)vention: Women, Community and Technology. I am charged with creating the YouthZone.

Using lessons I borrow from the YouthZone I want to create a space that uses production based learning to empower young women through agency. Together we want to see how young women from Connecticut can change the world.

My original design sketch

GitHub Repo

I have created a github repo for anyone that would like to follow along with our progress. I will probably also mae a gDrive folder with the latest files so those who can't navigate the intracacies of GitHub are not excluded.

I will need the most help with the hackathon. I am a non-technical volunteer for many edtech projects. I can markup pages but I have never really coded. Please feel free to jump in.

Have an idea or question? File an issue. Want to get involved file a pull request or reach out to me on Twitter. I need your help.

The Closing Pitch

We are 100% a self-supported conference. We try to offset fees by finding local donations. If you would like to support our efforts feel free to reach out via email. We need swag, money, and volunteers. Any level of involvement will be greatly appreciated.


Greg McVerry

I can't make what I want . I was trying to make my syllabus using a navigable javascript slide deck. I tried to make:

It looked fantabulous on my desktop display, but when anyone else opened it it looked like crap. The fixed pixels of elements and text spilled out of the divs.

I tried really hard to fix it but it looks like crap. I should have juts used Google Docs for my syllabus.

Greg McVerry

RAGE: My Recruitment Model to #teachtheweb

2 min read

We had a wonderful discussion about onboarding participants today. Gauthamraj posed a question about the difference between Recruitment and Selection. It was a semantic question about words that don't translate well but it sparked a wonderful conversation.

When it comes to participation recruitment is all the rage

  • Respect: You have to respect future contributors as people first. Know their interests and passions. Know what they bring to the table and what they need.
  • Activities: Future contributors will not come to you. You need to run programs that are more social than technical in nature first.
  • Get involved: Again contributors will not come to you. Go to them. What are other allies, spaces, or programs where future contributors hang out? Go there. Recruit.
  • Engage: Once you have found potential contributors find them a task that can be achieved. More importantly you already know what they want to accomplish. Help them first if you want them to help you.

This recruitment model is one I have been using for the last twenty years. It has served me well. Maybe you will find it useful.

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

New paste • Fedora Project Pastebin This looks pretty cool.

Greg McVerry

@humphd @soapdog @chadsansig @flukeout the final:

Many of my students were using the Three things project for their final but I wanted to create another multipage portfolio option. I kept the pic of East Haddam in there for @chadsansig.

I was watching my students yesterday complete the final and thinking about looking for growth. I think for now I am most interested in how far a deviation it is from the template.

I probably should have moved the menu into the main content div and made it a horizontal table but when working with people marking up pages for the first I have learned to try and keep it simple. My stylesheet is already far too long.

I also could not get the JS to work properly as the menu was meant for a single page website that jumped between divs.

Now it is on to finishing my portfolio so my students have a mentor text.

Greg McVerry

Our #EDU106 #MakerMonday Challenge we made memes to #teachtheweb

1 min read

Today we held our second Challenge in . Last Monday we had off. The first challenge (two weeks ago) I collected a bunch of junk from around the school and said make me something.

This week I threw HTML at the class and said make me something. For most of the students they would look behind the curtains of the Web for the first time.

I turned to the classic meme-maker remix from Mozilla Learning Networks. Usually I introduce HTML through x-ray Goggles first but I was excited to play with the new Thimble. I wanted to give the tutorial feature a spin

I find such joy in watching someone markup a page for the first time. For my students they have now played with code (For the purists, yes I called it code. It is empowering. Semantics can come later). They can make something on the web using HTML. They can change the way it looks using CSS. It is awesome!

Anyways here are the cool things we built:

When the professor said Monday's challenge would be so hard we'd wanna throw up after