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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 agency and artistry of meaning makers within and across digital spaces

artistry to meaning making that has more to do with the meaning maker than the technologies

It is a mistake to believe that there is some kind of precise “mathematic” or “formulaic” rendering that is possible. Meaning making is never precise; it is not a form of exact mapping of sounds or meanings onto text.

The skilled readers in our study engaged in a multi-layered inferential reading process that occurred across the three-dimensional spaces of Internet tex(Coiro & Dobler)

That is, the meaning maker is engaged in constructing selves or multiple persona in the company of others or a form of embodiment — a secondary engagement with or participation in the worlds constructed across or within or by layers of text and other media. The term embodiment is used to denote Csordas’ (1999) use of embodiment — “an existential condition” (p. 143).

we control navigation but new skills

Greg McVerry

Working Boundaries: From Student Resistance to Student Agency

Trainor, on the other hand, retains a stronger commitment to critical pedagogy's core concerns and contends that student resistance stems not from instructors' unethical commitment to those concerns but from teachers' inadequate attention to how critical pedagogy positions students as readers and writers. She argues that to avoid generating student resistance, "we need to be more aware of the rhetorical frames our pedagogies provide for students as they structure identity"

he answer to student resistance is to develop strategies that create mutuality between teachers and students and so support students' agency in interpreting texts and developing arguments. The most liberatory teacher, they hold, can inadvertently "reproduce traditional teacher student relations"

I think we need to move the needle away from argument

). The measure of this transformation is how extensively students and teachers share authority in directing classroom discourse and in constructing knowledge within the course

technology complicates this as new modes and tools must be tried....

Discourse seems to be the only path to mutuality in the piece. Little attention paid to the art the students create. I wonder if just being yourself online is a sense of agency or conversely if the low self-efficacy with tech hurts agency enough that we do not see knowledge gains.

Greg McVerry


Barbara J. Walker (2003) THE CULTIVATION OF STUDENT SELF- EFFICACY IN READING AND WRITING, Reading &Writing Quarterly, 19:2, 173-187, DOI: 10.1080/10573560308217

As I try to think about how agentive plays out I am returning to research on agency, efficacy and reading and writing.

Afterall when we talk tech and web with kids we really mean

same students use cognitive and metacognitive strategies to increase their understanding. Students with low self-efficacy are much less likely to use a combination of strategies such as elaboration and relating concepts.

However, according to Schunk (2003), effective learning does not require that efficacy be extremely high— simply that it be high enough to sustain engagement in present and future tasks.

First, successful learning experiences that are somewhat challenging yet can 174 B. J. Walker be accomplished are a significant means to develop self-efficacy (Pajares, 2003).

When this happens, students’ self-efficacy increase because they believe that their effort and strategy deployment produces the success.

In agentive apprenticeship these goals can mean producing change for others while building for yourself

Teachers can make task-specific comments about student success and attribute that success to using strategies that are learnable (Schunk, 2003). Likewise, positive self-attributions after completing challenging tasks influence the self-regulating behaviors of readers and writers.

Feedback and reflection improve learning which improves efficacy which improves learning. How do feedback loops and reflection work in with agentive apprenticeship? Does doing this publicly? Openly? Privately change anything?

When faced with overly challenging tasks, low efficacious students focus on an outcome of the performance (the goal) such as grades rather than learning something (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2003).

Grades have so little to do with learning. In fact agentive apprenticeship may thrive best where exterior and extrninsic awards are minimized.

group (their friends) and intrinsically motivated to save face (Walker, 2000). Using another source of information for developing self-efficacy, students make social comparisons while observing others completing aca- demic tasks (Pajares, 2003);

Learning as social pressure and the desire to fit in may play in agentive apprenticeship even with those with high sefl efficacy. You can see this with tool adoption. though the studies cited were done in in school writing spaces.. Author should have looked for tangential research in third spaces or at least qualified this missing area in the acceptance rejection section of the lit review...

When students choose their books, topic, or response, they expend more effort on these activities.

I taught through "Democracy by Design." My students made a choice along a pre determined path usually to the conclusion I wanted. I Am okay with that. Teacher, student. Adult, child. Network, apprentice. Similar to Amy Burvall's focus on constraint

only seeing a few studies cited repeatedly many fromt he same theoretical lens. Agency and writing isn't my field . Going to need to dig deeper. Need to look at connected learning, should proably read up on Chip Bruce and Dewey and democratic education.

Greg McVerry

Knowledge Building: Theory, Pedagogy, and Technology

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology. In K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (pp. 97-118). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Accordingly, it involves students not only developing knowledge-building competencies but also coming to see themselves and their work as part of the civilization-wide effort to advance knowledge frontiers.

  • Knowledge advancement as a community rather than individual achievement
  • Knowledge advancement as idea improvement rather than as progress toward true or warranted belief
  • Knowledge of in contrast to knowledge about
  • Discourse as collaborative problem solving rather than as argumentation
  • Constructive use of authoritative information
  • Understanding as an emergent

Knowledge building pedagogy is based on the premise that authentic creative knowledge work can take place in school classrooms

One component of knowledge building is the creation of “epistemic artifacts,” tools that serve in the further advancement of knowledge (Sterelny, 2005).

In knowledge building, idea improvement is an explicit principle, something that guides the efforts of students and teachers rather than something that remains implicit in inquiry and learning activities

From a pragmatic standpoint, a more useful distinction is between knowledge about and knowledge of something. Knowledge about sky-diving, for instance, would consist of all the declarative knowledge you can retrieve when prompted to state what you know about sky-diving. Such knowledge could be conveniently and adequately represented in a concept net. Knowledge of sky-diving, however, implies an ability to do or to participate in the activity of sky-diving

The strong version asserts that the state of public knowledge in a community only exists in the discourse of that community, and the progress of knowledge just is the progress of knowledge-building discourse.

New conceptual structures, like crystals and ant colonies, emerge through the interaction of simpler elements that do not singly or in combination represent the new concept (Sawyer, 2003). This became evident with the rise of connectionism in the late 1980s (Bereiter, 1991). Connectionist models of learning and development characteristically generate progress from a conceptually impoverished to a conceptually richer system, sometimes by a process analogous to learning from experience and sometimes only by internal self-organization. Connectionist models are examples of the larger class of dynamic systems models, all of which attempt to deal in some rigorous way with emergent phenomena

There is no way to create higher-level organizations of information, to comment simultaneously on a number of messages, or to make a connection between a message in one thread and a message in another. Thus the possibilities for knowledge building discourse are extremely limited. In fact, our experience is that threaded discussion militates against deepening inquiry; instead, it is much more suited to rapid question-answer and assertionresponse exchanges. Although communities based on shared interests do develop in some threaded discussion forums, this technology provides little means for a group to organize its efforts around a common goal.

“epistemic agency” (Scardamalia, 2000). Although among philosophers this term denotes responsibility for one’s beliefs (Reed, 2001), we use the term more broadly: epistemic agency refers to the amount of individual or collective control people have over the whole range of components of knowledge building—goals, strategies, resources, evaluation of results, and so on

Greg McVerry

Multimodal texts and tools in preservice methods courses: From consumption to design

Raúl Alberto  MoraRaúl Alberto Mora

One common trend in blended learning is the emphasis on the use of technological devices and
tools. However, without a strong refection on the epistemological features of technology use, all
that is left are functional solutions, aimed at solving simple, short-term problems. Practitioners
and scholars interested in blended learning must think deeply about how technology in their
teaching practices addresses contextualized realities. For the past four years, the author has
explored multimodal design with preservice and in-service teachers as a possible route toward
an epistemological stance in blended learning. This chapter presents the outcome of those
conceptual and practical experiences with multimodality and show how multimodal video essays
are a powerful option to engage novice and experienced teachers in deeper discussions about
the kind of literacies our students use in their daily lives and how they are affecting teaching
today. The chapter will first define the idea of multimodality and some key considerations that
need to be part of multimodal design and the use of digital multimodal tools. Then, the author
will summarize the experience and how the conceptual introduction to multimodality took place
as a precursor to the creation of video essays. The final section of this chapter explores how
these videos lent themselves to produce powerful texts that helped these students find their
voice and a sense of agency, along with a set of considerations for teachers and teacher
educators interested in composing digital multimodal texts.

Greg McVerry

If Freire Made a MOOC: Open Education as Resistance | Hybrid Pedagogy

Thesis #1: A course is a conversation, not a static reservoir or receptacle for content.

Thesis #2: Education cannot be compulsory. The work of learning starts with agency.

Thesis #3: Best practices are snake oil.

Thesis #4: Outcomes should give way to epiphanies.

Thesis #5: Learning should not be structured to conform to assessment mechanisms

Thesis #6: In education, we rise and fall together.

Greg McVerry

Education Week

Amazing power of and . Low income students given time to write before test improve their scores

This is why blogging improves your life. 

Greg McVerry

Deck CSS Grid template by Hi. Creative Agency

I think I found the slidedeck I was looking for


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