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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

@MsMiller_Mb Talking about any curricular decision based on the bad science of using read alouds to assign levels of ability to students...There is 0% research to support these often racist practices.

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

An Autoethnography on Learning About Autoethnography

I can write this down now. It has been swirling around in my head for a month, the readings mixing with my thoughts and reactions, but I did not know just how to put it down on paper. So much of what I want to say about autoethnography is about me, not it.

Okay maybe I am on the write track. I kinda wanna lose the traditional research headings. Gonna keep them for planning so the semantic sturcutre lies beneath and through whatever blanket of truth I weave.

reflexivity and voice, various vague approaches to autobiographical inquiry, validity and acceptability, defences and criticisms, and a wide range of published personal narratives, the typical product of autoethnography.

keeping with the essence of autoethnography, I finally came to the realization that I could share my experience of learning about autoethnography and, in the text, co-mingle me and it.

Philosophical and theoretical foundations for autobiographical methods

Think we can skip the whole positvist and post modern debate.

feminist researchers “emphasize the subjective, empathetic, process-oriented, and inclusive sides of social life” (Neuman, 1994, p. 72).

Stivers (1993) has stated that a vision of universal truth is really just a dream of power over others and that liberatory, emancipatory projects are better served by alternative knowledge production process.

Taking the question of voice and representation a step further, we could argue that an individual is best situated to describe his or her own experience more accurately than anyone else

The potential power of autoethnography to address unanswered questions and include the new and unique ideas of the researcher is inspiring to me as one who wishes to find my niche and make my own special contribution.

They noted, however, that the term autoethnography has been in use for more than 20 years (originated by Hayano, 1979) and has become the term of choice in describing studies of a personal nature (Ellis, 2004;Ellis & Bochner, 2000).

The basic design of a heuristic research project involves six steps: initial engagement, immersion, incubation, illumination, explication, and culmination in a creative synthesis (Moustakas, 1990)

Although these phases, as described by Moustakas (1990), strike me as quite idealistic and abstract, they do set the tone for a very nontraditional form of study that “engages one‟s total self and evokes a personal and passionate involvement and active participation in the [research] process” (p. 42).

autobiographical research methods have become increasingly known as “autoethnography” and have been promoted, influenced, and developed by Ellis and Bochner (1999, 2000).

Muncey (2005) added some concrete assistance to the question of “how to do” autoethnography. She suggested the use of snapshots, artifacts/documents, metaphor, and psychological and literal journeys as techniques for reflecting on and conveying a “patchwork of feelings, experiences, emotions, and behaviors that portray a more complete view of . . . life” (p. 10).

A third widely discussed approach to the researcher‟s use of self is personal narrative. Personal narrative is often presented as a typical product of autoethnography but is also proposed as a method unto itself.

Autoethnographers tend to vary in their emphasis on auto- (self), -ethno- (the cultural link), and -graphy (the application of a research process) (Ellis & Bochner, 2000, paraphrasing Reed- Danahay, 1997).

Holt (2001) published an autoethnography that is similar in approach to Sparkes‟s (1996), although it deals with a very different topic. Holt told his story about becoming a graduate teaching assistant in a university and using a three-level reflection strategy to refine his teaching methods.

Duncan, autoethnography was a method of inquiry in which the inner dialogue of the researcher was considered valid, that encouraged systematic reflection, offered an organized and traceable means of data analysis and resulted in a scholarly account (p. 3). Rigor in the research process (“-graphy”)

On the other end of the continuum are a number of examples of personal narrative that rely almost exclusively on a highly personal, evocative writing style, focusing on the auto-, omitting any reference to research conventions, and leaving the reader to make his or her own societal or cultural applications. An essay called “A Choice for K‟aila” (Paulette, 1993) is a mother‟s story about her decision not to permit her infant son, with terminal liver disease, to have a liver transplant.

Despite their wide-ranging characteristics, autoethnographic writings all begin with the researcher‟s use of the subjective self. By using self as a source of data, perhaps the only source, autoethnography has been criticized for being self-indulgent, narcissistic, introspective, and individualized (Atkinson, 1997; Sparkes, 2000).

Greg McVerry

Daily Writing Prompt Two:

Writers every where carry a mouth, nose, eyes, ears, tongue, and hand in their toolkits. Draw on sensory writing in our next writing challenge.

Return to a memory, or a previous post, and write with your senses. Show us what you heard, felt, touched, tasted, smelled. Bring us with you, deep inside the writing.

Give us a few more details than a sentence (teachers fault, when you provide no expectations or models it is the logical decision for students to pick path of least resistance)

Greg McVerry

Daily Update for #edu506 @scsu #literacies

Hey #EDU506 I want to pull you away from your Purell bath and provide a quick update. You case studies are due 3/13 Friday and many of

1 min read


I want to pull you away from your Purell bath and provide a quick update.


You case studies are due 3/13 Friday and many of you are feverishly writing. You will get a short three question survey about your performance and your group member performance. Please answer honestly.


I will be launching the next module on dialectical questing today but you do not have to start during spring break. I just wanted to share it in case people want to get a jump start on the activities:


You will also be getting a form from me to self -assess your progress and determine your midterm grade. I will then look at your description of how well you met the objectives, your participation in class, how well you contributed to your group, and see if I agree with your decision.

Greg McVerry

“there are always four choices to every decision: the wise choice, the foolish choice, the safe choice and the choice that someone else makes for you.”
― Alicia Gaspar De Alba,

Greg McVerry

Great post from @dajbelshaw RIP Terry Jones

Greg McVerry

Balancing the Journey from Outsider to In When Recentering #OER #OER19

As the Global Open Initiative Foundation begin our efforts to create an #OpenPedagogy network in Ghana have taken off with lightning speed. As an outsider invited into

4 min read

As the Global Open Initiative Foundation begin our efforts to create an network in Ghana have taken off with lightning speed.

As an outsider invited into the group to join the advisory board I often fall to my worries that I am pushing my perspective and goals tool much. Doing the exact opposite of de-colonizing OER.

I want to listen and advise the decision makers not be a space taker.

At the same time many of the decisions and set up had to be fast. This was spring break for students and I had the opportunity to focus on the project.

There are also bandwidth constraints that made it more feasible for me to launch a website for everyone on our Reclaim Hosting account. 

You can have all the right reasons for good intentions and still have bad outcomes. I worry about this, and here some steps we took.

Listen and Listen

I met the group through Sadik and the Virtually Connecting. We may have looked like we rolled out fast this weekend but in reality, we planned this pathway for a long time. Sadik and I brainstormed long into the nights (time zones stink) on a best approach.

Every time I feel a worry that I am becoming the dominant voice I need to sit back and remember to listen.

Take Advantage of Existing Knowledge

The group existed before I joined and have done amazing projects with Wikipedia. This includes documenting corruption in Ghana and editing art history with a feminist lens.

To honor this work we decided to use a wikimedia install as our knowledge base.

Connect to Larger Networks

Another strategy to one person does not become the voice is to simply invite more voices. is about people and pedagogy. Creating the spaces for it to thrive requires strong local networks loosely combined.

At GOIF we have started to grow these connections. Members are encouraged to get involved with other groups. Currently, we have representation with Mozilla, Creative Commons, and the movement.

In fact this Wednesday Global Open Initiative Foundation will host the first Homebrew Website Club in Ghana and the first on the African continent. 

Our members have sought and received travel assistance to get to the Creative Commons Global Summit (flights still needed donate now). 

By connecting to more networks we hope to diversify the leadership opportunities to our members. In turn our members bring the skills home while giving back to others.

Over time we hope members new and old start to take a greater role in shaping Global Open Initiative Foundation.

Using Sustainable Tech

We also tried to choose technology to support the network that doesn't rely on any point of failure, while individual hosting would be better economic realities have us providing server space to members on our shared host.

We wanted:

  • Agnostic Platform
  • Data Ownership
  • FOSS

We chose Known as the online glue to hold the network together. Members will rely on a platform committed to open standards and APIs. 

We can take advantage of cool things like webmentions and other Indieweb tools but more importantly, the tech is sustainable because we focus on the space.

Giving people across the globe a place to live online has to happen before we worry about licensing or archiving. Shape yourself in the open as you learn to shape the world.

For us at the Global Open Initiative Foundation that is the only pathway to ensure voices like mine do not crowd out the future. 

Greg McVerry

My First Meeting of the Global Open Initiative Foundation Advisory Board @goifoundation #oer19 #digped #openpedagogy

I had such a wonderful meeting getting to know the team. The Goal of the Organization We agreed that the mission of GOIF focuses on the spread

2 min read

screenshot of Skype call

I had such a wonderful meeting getting to know the team.

The Goal of the Organization

We agreed that the mission of GOIF focuses on the spread of OER resources across low connectivity areas of Ghana in order to make knowledge accessible across the Global South while growing digital literacies skills of participants.

Supporting Digital Literacies

The team is going to host to biweekly meet ups to help people get started on building their own websites. They are also going to run a satellite event 3/30-3/31 in conjunction with IndieWebCamp New Haven. Finally, GOIF will also join us for femhack, our feminist pedagogy hack-a-thon in November. 

Why Choose our OER Platform?

That is the wrong question. We will not ask participants to JOIN an OER Network. Instead, we want people to BE an OER Network. 

Every participant in the program will get their own website powered by Known's social networking platform. At first, due to funding, we will use one subdomain and then syndicate resources and data people collect to one main website. This may even allow some editorial decision making around the quality of resources.

Basically, as we attract potential educators to our organization we will not start with an OER first lens but a people first lens, "Join our Organization and we will give you a website and free training," and then as people hack away at building their own identities online we will weave in OER.

You have to start with the people and practices before the platforms and products.

Remote Low Connectivity Activities

We talked about how in remote areas we can provide offline activities to build digital literacies skills. In terms of uploading and sharing data I talked about service workers, which Known does not currently support. We did discuss how we can encourage local file editing and how relying on an HTML first approach rather than relying in OER platforms with massive javascript frameworks, will make offline work so much easier

What is Next?

On Friday I will meet with Zita (upper right corner) and we will do a practice install of Known and choose what community plugins to add.

I am so excited for the team. They will do great things in Ghana. I can not wait to learn and listen from such leaders.

Greg McVerry

Anyone else in feel like your work choices are constant decision about what part of your job you won't do well so you can ensure you get other parts of your job done at all? Has the workload always been this grueling or labor practices shifting?


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