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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

A successful Homebrew Website Club New Haven

2 min read

Creating a learnign space on campus for students and alumni to gather to share their experiences has enriched my online teaching and provided students with an avenue for agency and artisty

On 2019-02-06 the local New Haven Homebrew Website Club met. As part of the global movement we join together to hack on websites. For many of my students this means building a site for the first time. For @SCSU alumni who attend they carry the website they began as students out in the real world and bring examples of how they use their sites in their classrooms.

New Name

At Wednesday's meeting we did decide a few things. Participants do not connect with the Homebrew Website Club. They do not know the history of the computer club once attended by Jobs and Gates and do not really care once they learn. So after some discussion we decided to revert our name back to the Elm City Webmakers. We will still host homebrew websiote club meetings but will brand these gatherings of the Elm City Webmakers.

Great Location

picture of room

Huge shout out to Dean Hegedus for building the active learnign lab where we meet. Today I was joined in person by two people. Natalie Caldwell, a student, and Drew McWeeney, an almuni

Awesome Goals

Natalie began byworking on her WordPress.com site. She wanted to learn how to add Bridgy and then to customize fonts and colors. Natalie even played with a bit of microformats

Drew came to the Elm City Webmaker gathering to work on his Grav site. Drew is working on instructional design for the American Red Cross. After discussing why he was using Grav for whta was a single webpage we decided to roll up opur sleeves and learn to spin up a web page by writing HTML.

Overall a great first meeting this month. I am looking forward to seeing even more people in two weeks.

Greg McVerry

Submitted Application for the @Mozilla Responsible Computer Science Challenge

20 min read

Concept Description:

 

The Computer Science Department, Research Center on Computing and Society, and School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University propose this work to fund the creation of a Virtual Reality recording and editing studio, with accompanying coursework on storytelling and WebVR.

Specifically, this project will fund the creation of the VR lab and openly licensed pedagogical materials other computer science departments could use to learn ethics, WebVR , or both. Through these courses students will create scalable, remixable content around issues of ethics in computer science in order to leave our program understanding of ethics as a first-design principle.

The project will proceed in two stages. The Responsible Computer Science Challenge award will fund the first stage. During the first stage we will develop the animation and WebVR lab as well as the curriculum. Successful results of this stage will lead us to seek follow up funding to design a dual-purpose Virtual Reality live recording studio while maintaining planetarium functionality.

Stage One, funded by the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, is a formative design research project that revolves around the  pedagogical goal of understanding how perspectives, history, and personality shape ethics and technology. We will develop a class cross listed in philosophy and computer science will teach digital storytelling through narratives of ethics and revise computer science classes in web design and security to include WebVR.

SCSU  is uniquely qualified for this award. Our Research Center on Computing and Society, founded and led by Terrell Ward Bynum, has explored the ethics of computer science and technology since 1988. Dr Heidi Lockwood, Professor of Philosophy, will join the project. Dr. Lisa Lancor, Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department will serve as Principal Investigator on the Project. Dr. Greg McVerry, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Learning, and long-time Mozilla contributor, will lead our efforts to facilitate the development of course curricula  that align our long history of exploring ethics and computer science with theories of open pedagogy.

Theoretical Principles

We draw on John Dewey and see digital literacies and ethics in computer science as necessary for efforts in democratic education. The pedagogy used will center around production-based inquiry methods. We will also encourage all participants to reflect openly on a blogging platform. We will encourage further involvement of the larger Mozilla WebVR community in the project

Why WebVR

We believe webVR has the greatest reach and impact when teaching ethics. While the cost of full virtual reality rigs and the computer to power these systems are out of reach for most of the global population, WebVR is accessible to anyone with a phone and Mozilla’s virtual reality web browser.

Open Pedagogy

Every participant will have their own website domain and a  content management system. Our theoretical underpinning is that agency and belief in oneself as a writer is essential in order to engage in the reflective thought required in ethics education. In today’s networked society (Castells & Cardozza, 2006), a new set of skills and practices have emerged, and we must design for diversity and inclusivity by acknowledging computer science has not been a safe space (boyd, 2018) (1,137 characters)

Formative Design

Collect Baseline Data

We will begin with focus group interviews with students who have completed CSC 235 Web and Database Development and ask about how they felt the class integrated lessons of technology and allowed them to develop their own space online. This class will include introductions to building A-Frame as students learn HTML.

We will also collect efficacy data about how participants feel towards storytelling. They will be asked to choose a picutre from a set and explain how the picture represents how they feel about their skill level. 

Develop Learning Interventions

We will then create and file the necessary paperwork for our new and revised courses. These courses will be designed in conjunction with our students and assigned a license that allows for . We will work with Mozillians already creating content on Glitch to develop WebVR tutorials.

Implement Interventions

We will then implement the courses and collect student feedback. The class will be open to SCSU for credit but open to global participants to play and contribute. Data will be triangulated using their blog posts and plus delta charts at multiple time points.

Analyze Data

After the first run of classes we will analyze the data to determine which factors inhibited and which factors supported our pedagogical goals.

Iterate on Learning Interventions

We will then revise the coursework and run the classes again.

Analyze Data

Finally, we will analyze  data one last time using content analysis to identify themes that brought us closer to our pedagogical goals.

 

 

 

Working Open:

 

We will open this project to the wider computer science and WebVR world. In fact, as we write this proposal, we welcome Pull Requests and issues at GitHub

Open Begins on Your Own Domain

As we develop this project, all participants will be encouraged to blog and share their reflections and learnings.  We believe working open involves not only "documenting and sharing your concept with broader audiences",  but inviting  audiences to get involved and help shape both the project and our openly networked space for learning.

To this end, all participants from the PI to each student will be given a url and a blog. We will use a social reader and technologies called to connect learners.

Open Pedagogy

The two courses designed for this class will carry an open license. In fact, they will be built using readily available tools. Members of Mozilla's WebVR community have already expressed interest in both designing and taking the course.

Open Data and Privacy

No participant will be required to share openly and will have full control to license their own content as long as they meet the requirements of any reused code or previously licensed content.( 

 

 

 

Internet Health:

 

In a recent survey on Internet Health, specifically the future of connected devices, Mozilla found that those who identify as ultra nerds are more optimistic about the web than those not always online. This result mirror's danah boyd's twentieth anniversary critique of John Berry Barlow's original manifesto. Ultra-nerds come from a place of privilege, and this usually means white, male, and from the global north. We never designed the web for diversity because the original designers had never felt threatened, were never stalked. This explains why, even today, Amnesty International find female journalists get attacked every ten seconds online

In college I did have a stalker. It was a very scary experience. I come to technology with a different perspective because of that experience. It is not a matter of techno panic but a matter of self-preservation....lots of people in Silicon Valley who have never had a Stalker. They are not thinking like that. If you get more people involved that have had …well…Diversity improves technology in a way that makes regulation less necessary Stacey Higginbotham, This Week in Google.

We seek to improve internet health by ensuring that ethics, especially the areas of diversity and inclusion, gets taught as a principle of first design. WebVR provides a useful avenue for this approach as we can put hypothetical characters in situations that would not be ethical to do to real humans. Furthermore, early research into counseling, PTSD, and autism finds virtual reality may help to improve empathy.

We will utilize a series of case studies as models and encourage students to record and create A-Frame content. The use of a WebVR first approach also allows us to reach a much larger audience with our message of ethics in computer science. While the price point on high end virtual reality rig  the cost makes it inaccessible to almost 100% of the world population. Anyone with a smartphone and a compatible lens can use WebVR.

Our MVP case studies we propose and will develop with our students include:

  • Greening the Web: Do you really need React or Blockchain when HTML will do?
  • Code of Conduct: Better conferences or Kangaroo Court?
  • False Positives: Do Algorithms protect us?
  • HTML First: A Matter of ?

Our students will then work in distributed teams with open participants across the web to create additional case studies.

 

 

 

 

A scan of scholarly articles and a survey of virtual reality and computer science specialists found no evidence of anyone else trying to teach ethics through the use of WebVR. We posted messages to GitHub repos, Telegram, Twitter, and Slack in communities that focus on webVR.

While we did not find anyone currently doing similar work, we did find a large expressed interest from people who want to contribute. In fact, we are already collaborating with the two most popular A-Frame  teachers in the greater Mozilla networks.

However recent outreach on Twitter https://twitter.com/jgmac1106/status/1088453939861712897 lead to emergin connections to other researchers in the State of Connecticut may lead to partnerships on scale up efforts. 

 

 

 

 

Key Personnel

Dr. Lisa Lancor (an 8.3% effort, or 1.0)will enable her to oversee course development and program instruction as well as administration of the project funds. Dr. Lancor will also revise courses following their operation and analyze data collected.

Co-PI Greg McVerry (a 9.4% effort, or 1.13 Academic Months). He  will act as a pedagogy and instructional design expert helping to design courses. Dr. McVerry will also coordinate with third party developers creating learning tools. He will also devote 0.5 Summer Months above and beyond his normal duties to the project, for an additional 4.2% effort

Additional salary support for Co-PI Heidi Lockwood (a 2.7% effort, or 0.3 Summer Month) 4% of time will provide assistance in applying the philosophy of ethics to our course design.

Other Personnel

Student 1 $15 per hour for 20 hr/wk. This student will help to record and edit instructional videos, data collection, provide four hours of open online office hours for help, and spend four hours documenting the program through our website and social media.

Student 2 will be paid $12 per hour for 10 hr/wk  He or she will handle  office logistics and filing of university required paperwork. They will provide technical assistance in the lab during class time. 

Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits for are protected under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Dr. Lancor  64.70% rate on summer work; Dr. McVerry 83.47% rate on course release and 49.72% rate on summer; Dr. Lockwood  72.73% on summer work. Students do not receive fringe during the academic year.

Materials and Supplies

Insta360 Pro II Spherical VR 360 8K Camera, Extra Battery & Charger Kit, $6,000

 Audio recording equipment $4,000

3 Garmin VIRB 360 Action Camera $2,100

Audio remixing and studio equipment, $2,900

5 high-end desktops or laptops $20,0000

Other

  • Professional Installation, 2000 for the set-up of the audio recording studio
  • Developer, Malcom Blaney,¬†[FJ1]¬† at $75 for 65 hours.; Create a ledger and micropub client for issuing and recording webmention badges. and HTML.
  • Developer, Grant Richardson, $9,000 at $75 for 120 hours; Create a lightweight blogging CMS using nodejs. Include webmentions, indieauth, and micropub endpoints. Create a microformats parser for tracking class participation.¬†

Indirect Costs: SCSU maintains a negotiated indirect cost agreement with DHHS. Copies of SCSU’s NICRA are available upon request.

 

 

Risks:

 

As a university sponsored project, all research activity funded by this grant will require approval from the SCSU  Institutional Review Board and any consent and assent from participants.

Humane Tech isn't Engineered

Mindsets do not shift easily. Many developers look to engineer their way to the perfect social solution. This world belief that "Code can save the world, but only I can write it" traces its roots, as Sara Wachter-Boettcher (2017) points out, back to bias engineered into computer science since the 1950's when  identified loner men as the most apt for programming and then built assessments to identify these types of employees. Yet  of bias of perfection, impostor syndrome to explicit bias around competition, verbal discourse, and neurodiversity have weeded their way through all of our history (Banaji & Greenwald, 2017).

We cannot code our way to better community. While what we engineer reflects our bias, engineering alone can never overcome perspectives and pasts. Instead we must carve anew; placing our principles before our pull  requests. To overcome the risk of settled mindsets we will first put a focus on listening to voices who tech does not serve or has not served safely.

We will then root the story of ethics in Computer Science into the narratives of at-risk populations. We will study the shape of the story and come to understand how the prescriptive technologies (Ursula, 2004) control the shape of stories we tell. We will then create narratives through the webVR case studies.

This does introduce the risk of too many possibilities. Amy Burvall notes that constraints lead to greater creativity. We will mitigate this risk by first focusing on creating webVR using A-Frame technologies as a proof of concept before scaling up to a full virtual reality recording studio.

However, we will provide everyone with a Domain  of their own and a blog to ensure they own their stories.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Our use of webVR and A-Frame will require computer science engineers to study digital storytelling and narratology while English and education majors study computer science. The populations served by many community colleges and state universities in the United States have multiple jobs and families to raise. Adding additional domains of knowledge to already crowded curriculum can add stress to the lives of students.

To mitigate these risks, we will add additional scaffolds, a network of open participants, bi-monthly face to face meetings, and on-demand video tutorials.  We will also stress importance of community in Open Pedagogy and encourage participants to rely on each other and the knowledge we create and curate together.

Open and Privacy

Online communication, such as tweets, blog posts, and comments are generally out in the open and technically ‚Äúpublic‚ÄĚ and available for researchers to analyze and quote. Internet researchers have, however, documented how a particular communication may be technically public but viewed by the individual who posted it as meant for a more limited or private context.

Even if an individual feels that they have ‚Äúpublished‚ÄĚ in public or have consented to be part of research, they might still feel like trust has been violated if their words are taken up and re-framed in a way that they feel is out of context or misrepresented. While this study will seek IRB approval, we also have stringent rules around users:

·       We will analyze and publish data that is de-identified or aggregated in ways that cannot be traced back to an individual.

  • Any identifiable quotes or descriptions of activities will not be used in a research publication or presentation without the permission of the individual. This includes anonymized or pseudonymized quotes, because they can be linked back through a search engine to an individual public posting.

Participants may also be contacted and recruited to participate in surveys and interviews for specific research studies. In these cases, we will offer a clear explanation of the consent and privacy procedures, how the data will be used, and what benefit the research will provide to the individual and the community. We will also allow interviewees the opportunity to review transcripts and quotes.

No student will be required to join the study. In fact, someone beside the class instructor will collect permissions and the teaching professor will not know who agreed to be included until grades are submitted.  Participants may be asked to complete an additional consent form that will be reviewed and approved by our Institutional Review Board..

 

 

Student Audience:

 

At Southern Connecticut State University, we design for a future where there is no separate tech industry, for we embrace the truth of the present that every industry is now a tech industry. Therefore, our entry level class in the program will be offered to all students as part of our Liberal Education Program. This class will focus on the structure of storytelling, character development, and storytelling.

We will fork and also participate in the online class . This distributed learning community is the longest continuously running MOOC  and will connect our Southern students to open web advocates from across the globe. These students will be invited to join our efforts at developing ethical case studies using traditional new media.

All of our Computer Science undergraduate and graduate students take a class in computer ethics. All the case studies developed as part of this grant will be deployed in this class to be used by all of our computer science classes.

We will also revise our graduate level ethical hacking class to include case studies specifically around the ethics of privacy and security. Every computer science graduate class offers this program.

We will also develop and propose a new class on learning A-Frame and WebVR. While students will not complete case studies in this class, they will take storyboards and scripts students wrote in DS106, apply greater disciplinary and tier-three academic language, then develop the webVR files using the editing studio funded by this grant.

 

All the material we create from this class, including participant blogs, will be made openly available on the Glitch platform and GitHub. We have already started to work with collaborators who have created A-Frame tutorials and host these files on Glitch as well. Participants will maintain the right to license their content  however they choose.

This strategy of providing locally curated content that we also open to the web at large will lead to the greatest number of students to be involved in the grant. Working openly also provides a greater voice for our students to get involved in the design of the classes and the projects. The SCSU computer science club has expressed an interest and reported to the department they would like instruction in virtual reality. Any student member can join the steering committee simply by showing up to a meeting or filing a pull request on the team repo.

We also hope computer science, philosophy, business or education schools take up and use the case studies developed by our students. While we believe the learning and knowledge students gain by creating, editing and animating their videos will lead to greater knowledge growth, we will also develop the curriculum for programs that would just like to utilize our series of case studies.

The tutorials on A-Frame and WebVR that we will develop in conjunction with the Mozilla Virtual Reality community will also reach thousands. Having  tutorials framed around e ethics will further reinforce the concept that diversity and inclusion need to be a first design principle.

While traditional instructional design places a priority on learning objectives, ethics in computer science can never work this way. Inclusion should never be a rubric. No one should get a ‚Äú2.7 proficient in diversity‚ÄĚ score. Creating a culture of ethics as a first principle of design requires us to reshape society and not learners.

As Gary Stager points out (2005 pg 3), a focus on instructionalism, the measurable objective, direct instruction, forced response assessment, in education using the web leads to "delivering re-purposed content to students via the Internet. Communication, collaboration, community and construction are afterthoughts graded onto modern correspondence courses."

This data fetishization is a symptom of society rooted in the same problem that lead to the lack of ethics in computer science. Being inclusive doesn't exist on a Likert scale; it develops on a human scale

Therefore, rather than specific learner objectives, we will work with participants to set their "subjectives" (Cormier, 2015) and let them determine the goals in a class that is

¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Collaborative¬†‚Äď everyone, including the instructor, learns together and takes responsibility for everyone else‚Äôs learning.

·       Documented - the processes of learning are more important that the specifics of the knowledge constructed. The learning process, therefore, is documented in the...

·       Open - by exposing learning to colleagues and the public, students take the first steps in taking control of their digital identity and expanding their horizons as connected learners-John Becker, 2016.

Community we create will teach more about ethics than specific content. By utilizing case studies, we can connect with multiple perspectives and allow for growth and self-remediation yet we must live these lessons to the spaces and tools we build.

 

 

Measuring Success:

 

Measuring Success

Space as Variable of Interest

As our focus is more on measuring success in our spaces of learning, we will ask learners to plot how they feel the class supports learners in growing on the following scales:

  • Lead
    • Learn
    • Teach
    • Innovate
    • Evangelize
    • Organize
  • Communicate
    • Inquiry
    • Identify
    • Position
    • Empathize
    • Engage
  • Think
    • Question
    • Reflect
    • Analyze
    • Decide
    • Change
  • Create
    • Build
    • Test
    • Iterate
    • Differentiate
    • Scale

 

We will  will create a simple web app for participants to record not where they feel the majority of students engage with the participatory learning environments. After each class students, will simply click on across each of the four scales. We will use this data to iterate on how we meet our pedagogical goals.

Curating Evidence of Success

Each week all participants will be asked to select a picture and write a brief not explaining how the picture captures how they feel. Using content analysis and semiotic analysis we will explore the visual metaphors participants choose. This will provide evidence of knowledge growth from participants. This task is also designed to reinforce visual thinking in the creation of case studies.

Parsing for Growth

Because A-Frame is written in declarative HTML, we will be able to track knowledge growth by using HTML parsers and a type of metadata called microformats. These will be included in both the case study templates, student blogs, and the A-Frame starter kits.

We will also be able to track the number of changes students make using the history available to us in both Git and Glitch.

Webmention badges

We will also create a platform to issue badges. These have been piloted and successfully deployed. All class instructional pages will accept webmentions. Students will apply for a badge by writing a post in reply to the course explaining how they met criteria. If they met the criteria a webmention badge will be sent in reply to the application and to the student’s badge display page.

Circuit of Reflective Inquiry

Ethics requires a study of self and society through a process of self-remediation and democratic education. As we try to measure success of these efforts in Computer Science, we attempt to use multiple pieces of evidence that still put agency in the learner to focus on their subjectives. In this approach we hope to measure growth through Gee's circuit of reflective action:

We formulate a goal (and the goal could be answering a question) and then we take an action in the world. We see how the world responds to the action, ask ourselves whether this response was good or not for the accomplishment of our goal, and then, if need be, act again on better information or a redefined goal. The circuit of reflective action is an interactive conversation with the world.

Greg McVerry

Building Open Source Source Communities Through Blogging

3 min read

Open source does not mean working open. Open source refers to a small sliver of our work and refers to the license we assign to content we create.

Working openly builds open source conent but places an emphasis on learning out loud, reflecting on growth and sharing our triumphs.

When we work openly we build better open source software and open source comunities. In fcat five key benefits should drive every open source community to encourage members to blog.

Share your Story

Truth and reflection sell. In fact never sit through any seminar on SEO or social media (trutfhully skip all things SEO) that does not begin with this mantra. Good content is all that matters.

Every open source community has a mission. Never keep quiet about your mission and values.

A blog builds open source communities.

Recruitment and Retention

When you tell your story you attract other people who first want to listen, maybe tell a friend or better yet get involved. So much energy in open source community gets spent on thinking about how do we track contribution? How do we get more people involved in open source? Anyone know any designers?

Platform after platform gets built by community after community without realizing the web provided all the tools we need for recruitment and retention. Blogging begets blogging.

You also get metrics on contributions that go beyond the core commit. We know  other layers of the onion [1] surrond  core community members that contribute most of the code. Event planners, bug filers, and even the feature request as an issue crowd all support

The contributions nontechnical members make support the community as a whole and drawing in contributors, both those take push code or content, requires blogging.

Keep it DRY

Most commit messages are awful. Usually commiters leave a brief word or two and fail to capture changes in the code base let alone the decisions behind choices.

In many open source communities we often fall down repeated rabbit holes. When core committers also blog we reduce the risk of "repeating yourself" over and over again.

When someone may ask about a decision a blog post, which in open source communities averages 11 times the median length of a commit message will not only explain more to our members but it helps sustain our collective mission.

Build a Better Web

 No one gets into open source to save moeny....Well if they do they won't be around long. We choose open because we know it leads to a better web and a better web leads to a better world.

Blogging can make it all happen. Every time you encourage a community member to capture their journey with open source you help build a better web making it more enjoyable and inclusive for all.

Have Fun

Most importantly blog because you enjoy open source. You may not enjoy writing. Even the best bloggers struggle with crafting words just as you struggle with code. Always boils down to text structure. Some  languages are simply more declarative than others.

Let blogging declare you. Let it parse your history as an open source community. The average blog post in open source communities is only 150 words. And who says you have to use word? Photo blogs or video blogs (vlogs) can provide avenues of intention any day.

150 words, one picture, or two minutes of audio or video. You can do this. Your community can do this. Simply set a goal. Could be every day, once a week, before every pull request or commit. You decide. Just have fun.

Greg McVerry

4 Reasons @GetClassicPress Should Add Native Microformats Support

4 min read

Now that phase one of Gutenberg has dropped the interest in grows by the day. So many WordPress developers fear the loss of control they will face under the new regime of 5.0. Many just don't want to do the work of all that refactoring.

and should join forces.

wonder twin powers activate

The WordPress community has discussed the inclusion of microformats into ClassicPress core. I wanted to share our thinking

1. The Philosophical Right Choice

So many altruistic efforts fail under the premise of building platforms, data, and systems free of bias. They will all fail. Technology can never be free of bias. When you choose a stack, a language, or metadata you make a philosophical and political choice.

Microformats make sense for the web and for ClassicPress. A few properties in your HTML and you are  done. More importantly keeping the web in semantic HTML helps to ensure it stays open in the future.

One plain text file and you can be online. Let's not lose that. Sustainability, energy consumption, the web affects it all. Microformats gives us the ability to keep websites light weight while providing the plumbing for some really cool things.

Choosing to exclude, or to rely on JSON-LD alone, is also a choice. When people say, "That is what Google and Yoast want..." Ask yourself,  "Do you want to design ClassicPress for your goals or Google's?"

"Do you want good content or some companies SEO tricks to drive discovery?"

It is always a philosophical choice. How will you choose?

Morgan

2. Empower the Web as THE Social Network

Scroll through the history of blogging research. Up until 2004 the research framed the blogger, the learner, and  the networks being sources of agency and power. Then from that time on the research became about SEO and dominating places others owned.

Is the web you want to build with ClassicPress? The project will fail if the old value proposition of syndication and exposure are used. 

ClassicPress needs a better social web to survive. 

Have you tried webmentions yet? No this W3C approved standard brings social to your website as you publish a  reply on your website  to a post from a friend and your reply shows up on their site as a comment. Microformats make webmentions useful. and possible.

What social reader will ClassicPress use? It won't be WordPress or anything connected to JetPack. Microformats empowers a new generation, using webmentions, and some other open protocols micropub (writing API) and microsub (reading API) to create a way to . 

Adding native microformats support will provide ClassicPress with an abundance of already built community tools. Don't repeat our mistakes or waste limited open source resources.

Use what people already built.

trippy dots floating in air

3. Committed Community to help ClassicPress

We have come to love the IndieWeb's focus on personal goals to sustain open source communities (everyone uses open APIs and majority open source their work). Building for yourself does help to sustain when your values align with others in your network. No white papers, no committees, just  code. 

We want the same for ClassicPress.

Having members loosely organized but bound by a sense of duty to the web  works and our community wants to build the future with ClassicPress.  We have an install base in the thousands with hundreds of active members using IndieWeb WordPress every day. The WordPress IRC/Slack channel never stops.

ClassicPress may see a huge influx of users, much larger than your targeted business audience, when the second phase of Gutnberg drops and theme developers and users need to decide to update or move on.

Many will move on. We need to get ready. Let's work together. 

All we need to make it happen is native microformats2 support.

turtles flipping each other over

4. Compatible with other Metadata 

No one is asking ClassicPress not to use JSON-LD, a commitment to open standards and APIs all we need. In fact SemPress, the most widely used IndieWeb theme, already includes support for mf2 and JSON-LD.

We just need to add a few properties to rendered HTML...and whizbang...it just works.

we are so compatible

Greg McVerry

Following People or Feeds in the #IndieWeb #mb #DoOO #edtechchat #literacies

2 min read

I am scrolling through history (h/t to Kevin Marks for reminding of the ccurated posts by danah boyd) as we discuss how best to follow people in social readers on the IndieWeb.

Tantek Çelik has suggested nobody ever on the history of the web wants to follow feeds. danah seemed  to agree in 2004.

Tantek suggested a one button push follow that people have come to love on social media. In fact I have been documenting dicoverability and following on Tumblr and it is amazing.

The problem is the firehose. Social media silos use proprietary data and algorithms to reduce the chronologocal feeds. Tumblr and facebook decide what I see.

On Twitter I could never follow the chrnologogical feed of the thousands I follow. A follow on Twitter is a h/t nothing more. Instead as a human I have to curate my feed using Tweetedeck into 37 different feeds (columns by hashtag).

On Slack, IRC, Telegram, we have channels.

Nobody wants to follow my firehose,or Aaron Parecki's or Chris Aldrich's ....your phone might explode. Between the three of us you may get over 100 updates each day...and that is a low estimate.

What can be done for following and discovering of people? Can we follow people and not feeds while avoiding the firehose? Well bunch of ideas floating around chat:

  • leveraging topical webrings
  • creating h-card directories of people to follow on websites
  • creating a public h-card directory
  • encouraging the use of p-category with key topics/tag in an h-card.
  • adding preffered feeds in your h-card.
  • adding logic to social readers so if you follow someone and they have a feed the same name as a channel you get auto subscribed.

I get not liking feeds. I threw out my RSS feeds after a decade. It just got unmanageable, broken links, impoprted OPML files. So I started rebuiling feeds more my social reader. So much work. I got about half way through, my channels...and then stop...keep meaning to go back....but you know....

Grooming feeds, a crappy experience since 2004.

 

Greg McVerry

Disney: Don't Kill your Chance at a Female Yoda

2 min read

Ahsoka Tano, until Rey appeared, fought as the only female Jedi in the official Star Wars canon. Disney now has the chance in Star Wars "Rebels" to finally answer the question, "Who is the female Yoda?"

The Female Yoda

Yes I know the prequels and the Clone Wars have many female Jedi. Yet look at the make-up of the Council in Attack of the  Clones. Looks like the boardroom of any tech comapny. Only less nerdier.

Yes, yes I know technically there is a "literal" female Yoda, Yaddle, who sat on the council.  She made a brief appearance in AOTC, and rumored to make an appearance in a flim.

Still Ahsoka kicks ass. She brings complexity to the role and her leaving the Order after being falsely accused provides an allegory for the tribulations women face in a patriarchical society.

I know she has to die.

The rule of two demands it. I just don't want it to be soon.

I think Ahsoka should take on the training of Kanan and Ezra. She should get a shot at being a rebel leader and the "Female Yoda." Let her voice be one of reason and of the Force in Rebels.

The last two episodes of the current season are named, "Twilight of the Apprentice." This does not bode well for Ahsoka. It sounds like a final showdown with Vader which has been building all season.

It seems too soon. Disney don't kill off Ahsoka so early in the history of Rebels. Have her rise to the call and become a great teacher.

Make the tension between her and Vader real. Let us see the struggle in Vader as he tries to turn Ahsoka and take her place by his side. Let us see her anger and fear rise as she blames herself for the death of Anakin.

Better yet maybe she escapes, we see a flash of good in Vader, and when Rey goes to see Luke for training his only role, and line, will be to point Rey in Ahsoka's direction. 

 

Greg McVerry

How the @GitHub Update Could Be a Game Changer For #GAFE Teachers

2 min read

GitHub made a recent update to their web interface that now makes me believe it is a place every educator belongs.


flickr photo shared by Bernie Goldbach under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

You can now create and drag and drop files into your repos. Think of a repo as a cabinet,that holds both files and folders. Attached to your "cabinet" is a clipboard where people record issues they  have. A repo uses the same feature in GitHub.

Teachers. I know you love Google. I do to. My journey to the open web began through Google Apps.

GitHub is a little different. It is yours.

Here is mine.

Teachers, all the  work you do in Google Apps does it belong to you? When you leave your district they can and will take away your GAFE rights.

What happens to everything you built? Do you take it with you? Did you copy everything over to a personal account or is this act banned by district policy?

Maybe its time to be building into Git, even if your bring it to GAFE later. I never recommended GitHub for most educators. It was simply too hard to use.

The metaphors in design are confusing and unrelated (pull request, branch, fork, commit), but most discouraging was having to use "Terminal."

I know, most of you have no idea what "Terminal" is, and the need no longer exists.  GitHub now allows you to drag and drop files and add new files from their web interface.

The metaphors still suck but they are rooted in a long history of programming. It will be a discourse teachers might just have to pick up. 

Even with having to learn the affordances of the tools and discourses of the communities teachers should start using GitHub.

Why not own what you make?

I do hope you use a license that lets other teachers remix what you made , but you don't have to, and that is the whole point.

Take control of your content.

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

Reflections as a Participant Leader at #mozfest

8 min read

Amira opened up the Mozilla Foundation comparing the MozFest journey to a magical carpet ride. What a journey. So many of us took flight and explored a confernece built on making, hacking, and playing.


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

Yet in almost all instances magic is an illusion.


flickr photo shared by Mozillafestival under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

 

The woven threads wisping through the air of Ravensbourne College do not just stay afloat like some kind of strange indoor blimp.


flickr photo shared by Mozillafestival under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Instead the efforts of hundreds of contributors breathing life into MozFest lift us into the air. They hold up the values of the Manifesto and their voices will unleash the next wave of Open.


flickr photo shared by Mozillafestival under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Developers, designers, analytics folks, artists, activists, and even the misiter of fun made sure magic enveloped everyone at Mozfest.


flickr photo shared by Mozillafestival under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

That's how I see our role as participation leaders. We spread the wizadry so the burdens and joys of a magic carpet ride on the  Open Web will not be an illusion. The Participation Leaders (read more on our Planet) are members of the newly formed Participation Team. Our goal is to increase community involvement across all of the channels of Mozilla.

As a Participant Leader I attended my first mozfest. So I wanted to take some time and reflect on what I thought we could do to help spread a little more magic. These reflections cut across MozFest and the Participation team.

Getting Remote Right

A huge hat tip to the team behind and the remote challenges. Fuzzy nailed the live stuff, Hannah and Natalie did awesome design work, and Andre worked hard on localization. I have attended the last Mozfest as a remote attendee. In terms of Participation remote is huge.

The challenges were awesome. Everyone did a great job on the design. What remote attendees don't want, however, is  to sit alone and hack at something. We do that every other day for Mozilla. Make us feel special as remote attendees.

We want to be there. Stream all plenary addresses. Encourage crowdsourced streaming. I periscoped and live blogged many sessions. I got personal thanks from many remote attendees. As remotees we want to see as much live as possible.

Have online and synchronous remote challenges. One idea, and I steal this from Maha Bali and the Virtually Connecting Crew, is to team up an on the ground participant and a remote participant. They can then host an open session that anyone around the world can join.

Pathways

We got pathways wrong. Having fifty pathways isn't choice it is a maze. Designing your own direction is at the heart of Teaching Like Mozilla... but if I need an atlas and a tour guide it is too difficult.

I should be able to count the pathways on one or two hands.

People also come to with their destination in mind. If you are into , or , or Mozilla Learning Networks you want to hang out there. Over the past year or two as a participant you have been getting help from, reading about, or building with the facilitators in that space. maybe the only time to work face to face.

I understand we do need to get people out of their spaces. I love having the hackspaces in each Space at mozfest. I would just suggest that if VPs, project managers, or community leaders are going to hack away at something you head to a different space.

Many of the spaces alternated from looking like lounges or board rooms. Neither are inviting if we want to increase participation

Maybe the answer is to fool around with the session types. You have your Mothership activities, like plenaries where everyone gathers, orbit sessions centered around spaces, and exploration sessions that get people out of their spaces and checking out other teams.

This can be done by changing up the session times. Have one hour, two hour, and four hour sessions. This will lead to a reduced number of sessions, but it seemed many people wanted to keep working long past the end. There would be a call to head to a hackspace but with coffee that good along the way few would make it.

If session time varied 1 hour sessions in a space would be limited and people would check out other places. In other words if a Space as three avilable rooms butif  rooms are doing two hour and four sessions then by default many participants will head to another space.

Participation Team Notes

  • Onboarding is vastly different across the Globe. In North America and in Western Europe most people come to Mozilla through an existing partner. Across the rest of the globe people come to Mozilla through Mozilla. We need to think about and plan for these pathways.
  • The Tech Speaker series is critically important. Many people on the Participation Team noted how the opportunity made them more confident and want to get involved in Mozilla. The tech speaker series was standing room only. We should double down on story telling in every modality.
  • Everyone is trying to figure out GitHub. I am seeing curriculum development occur both on the MoFo side and and the MoCo side. We want to lift the same carpet but may be blowing in different directions. This is my first time working on another team. The workflow is vastly different then what I was used to in old webmaker/Mozilla Learning Networks. Lets build the same system. The Participation Leaders can help be that bridge.

    Maybe the idea of simplifying git hub for community contribution is the wrong problem to solve. For many teachers and activist curriculum and lesson plans might be the first contribution they make. Some of the best lessons I have ever written were on the back of cocktail napkins. We need to have as many channels open for people to share curriculum.

    Our job as Participant Leaders should be to curate this material and recognize future contributors who might need a little cultivation (such as learning Git).

    I see having someone get to a point where they are actively contributing to Git as a key indicator of leadership growth. Anyone willing to fight their way through that pain in the ass process is pretty committed. If you can get Git simplifed awesome. Just make sure the curriculum writing process is the same across all of Mozilla

  • Maybe the Participation Space should be a distributed space. The Participation Leaders talked about this a lot. Many of us had teams we are already committed to. Some wanted to hang with the FirefoxOS teams, others were involved in Mozilla Reps, some like me wanted to hang with Mozilla Learning Networks.

    Many of our sessions overlapped or sounded very similar to sessions in other spaces. The goals of the Participation Team are the same for every team. We want greater contribution and leadership in each space

    What if Participation Leaders were embedded in their space? This would allow us to greater track the contributions and recognize future leaders. We could even offer similar sessions simultaneously across all the spaces. Then in the afternoon in the Participation space we could gather for training.

    We could even offer an exclusive "golden ticket" session for other people. So if we noticed in our embedded space that there was someone going the extra mile we can say, "Hey there is this super duper double top secret sessions to thank leaders in each space. You should go."

  • The Gear Store matters. Its hard, as a New Englander full of false bravado and¬† self-import it to admit, but the swag matters. I have never been one for branding. Like many of my "too cool for school New York city types" the labels did not matter to me. They matter for the rest of the world.

    I saw people trading all kinds of weird stuff for hard to get stickers or t-shirts. While it takes staff and commitment I think an effort should be made to beef up the Gear Store. I wonder though if it can't be community driven.

    What if there was a site where community artists could submit designs that could be added to stickers, t-shirts, and mugs? Mozilla just takes a 30% cutoff of gross proceeds.

  • The Museum Matters. We tried to build a Museum in the Participation space. There were some awesome older artifacts. These were cannibalized at the end of the conference. Recognizing how much people care about gear also means preserving this history. Build a traveling museum exhibit that can be easily shipped.

Greg McVerry

22nd Women’s Studies Conference “#FeministIn(ter)ventions: Women, Community, Technology #edtechchat #literacies #clmooc

6 min read

Asking for a quick favor. We are working feverishly on the (ter)ventions conference. As a steering committee we just released the RFP.  Please spread the word.
 
 
The 22nd Women’s Studies Conference
“#FeministIn(ter)ventions:
Women, Community, Technology‚ÄĚ
 
To be held on the campus of Southern Connecticut State University
Friday and Saturday, April 15th and 16th, 2016
 
Submission Deadline:                                            By December 4th, 2015
 
INVITATION FOR PROPOSALS ON INTERDISCIPLINARY SCHOLARLY AND CREATIVE WORK
 
The 22nd SCSU Women’s Studies conference aims to provide a critical site of collective inquiry into the intersections of women (and girls), community, and technology.  In what ways have women and girls worked with technology, broadly defined, for the advancement of communities and/or shaping and building movements?  We invite proposals that investigate the past, present, and future of the intersections of women, community, and technology and showcase feminist in(ter)ventions with technology.  How have women and girls participated (or not) in the fields of technology?  In what ways does this inquiry intersect with the studies of gender, race, class, and sexuality?
 
We, too, invite you to submit proposals that consider some of the following inquireis on women, community, and technology.  In what ways have feminist practices and women’s movements impacted women’s place in the world of technology?  How might the interplay between women, community, and technology have shifted feminist discourses?  What are some of the global movements that underscore feminist interventions and inventions of technology?  What lessons may we glean from women in communities throughout the world utilizing media and technology in fighting against war and destruction? What are some of the best practices of feminist in(ter)ventions for sustainable communities?
 
 
PROPOSAL FORMAT: Faculty, students, staff, administrators, and community activists from all disciplines and fields are invited to submit proposals for individual papers, complete sessions, panels, or round tables.  Poster sessions, performance pieces, video recordings, and other creative works are also encouraged.  For individual papers, please submit a one-page abstract.  For complete panels, submit a one-page abstract for each presentation plus an overview on the relationship among individual components.  For the poster sessions and artwork, submit a one-page overview.  All proposals must include speaker’s/speakers’ name(s), affiliation(s), and contact information (address, E-mail, & telephone number).  Please also indicate preference for Friday afternoon, Saturday morning or Saturday afternoon; all attempts will be made to honor schedule requests.
 
PANELS: Each 75-minute session usually includes three presenters and a session moderator, but individual presenters may request an entire session for a more substantial paper or presentation. Presenters are encouraged, though not required, to form their own panels.  The conference committee will group individual proposals into panels and assign a moderator.   Please indicate in your contact information if you are willing to serve as a moderator.
 
POSTERS, ART DISPLAYS, AND SLIDE PRESENTATIONS: A poster presentation consists of an exhibit of materials that report research activities or informational resources in visual & summary form.  An art display consists of a depiction of feminist and Indigenous concerns in an artistic medium.  Both types of presentations provide a unique platform that facilitates personal discussion of work with interested colleagues & allows meeting attendees to browse through highlights of current research.  Please indicate in your proposal your anticipated needs in terms of space, etc.
 
In keeping with the conference theme, suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
Women & the Media
Girls Who Code
Black Girls Code
Feminist Apps
Feminist Ethics & Technology
Feminism, Environment, and Technology
Women, Sustainability, and Technology
Gender, Class, and Technology
Gender, Sexuality, and Technology
Gender and Healthcare Technology
Feminist Values and STEM
Gender and STEM Ethnics
Women in STEM
Women in the History of STEM
Women Making History & STEM
Reproductive Technologies and Feminist Concerns
Feminist Pedagogy and Technology
Teaching with Social Media/Technology
Women, Technology, and Academia
Feminist Knowledge and Media Technology
Digital Humanities
Gender and Social Media/Technology
Girlhood in the Age of Social Media
Community (Re-)Building and Technology
Women’s Leadership, Media, and Technology
Women’s Labor & Technology
Women, Movements, and Technology
Spirituality and Technology
Religion, Gender, and STEM
Representation of Women & Social Media
Gender, Sexual Violence, and Technology
Anti-Sexual Violence and Media Technology
Cyber Bullying
First Amendment Rights & Emerging Technologies
Women Bloggers
Women Making Social Media
Feminist Social Media
Feminist Blogging
Black Twitter Feminism
Gender, Race, and Social Media
Online ‚ÄúMommy‚ÄĚ Communities
Social Media and Movements
Women in the Global South & Technology
Indigenous Women & Technology
 
We also invite your ideas and suggestions.  Conference sessions will juxtapose global, comparative, intersectional, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational perspectives for the collective re-thinking of women, community, and technology. Expect serious fun through meals and performance, with women, girls and their allies speaking of their struggles and power.
 
Submission Deadline:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†‚ÄčDecember 4th, 2015
 
Please submit proposals and supporting materials to:
 
Women’s Studies Conference Committee
Women’s Studies Program, EN B 229
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
 
Or via E-mail to:
womenstudies@southernct.edu, with attention to Conference Committee.  If you have any questions, please call the Women’s Studies office at (203) 392-6133.
Please include name, affiliation, E-mail, standard mailing address, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page, with a second page for identification information. Panel Proposals are welcome.
 
The Women’s Studies Conference at SCSU is self-supporting; all presenters can pre-register at the discounted presenter’s fee.  The fee includes all costs for supporting materials, entrance to keynote events, and all meals and beverage breaks.