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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

Hey @scsu #edu106 here is your MidTerm

Reflection Drives Learning

2 min read

You need to create a spreadsheet or document to answer the following questions:

  • Did you post a reflection of your reading by tracing the shape of a TV show (2020-09-06)
  • Did you write a blog post on how shapes affect stories 2020-09-06
  • Did you complete a free choice blog post? 2020-09-06
  • Did you trace the shape of a popular communication tool like email? 2020-09-09
  • Did you take notes on "why we take a selfie?" 2020-09-21
  • Did you post an unselfie? 2020-09-21
  • Did you post your notes on School and Identity readings? 2020-09-28
  • Did your explore your identity as a learner 2020-09-30
  • Did you complete a free choice post? 2020-09-30
  • Did you complete 5 photo challenges? 2020-10-15
  • Did you build a website with a homepage and a second page with photos (part of your final)

You must include a working link to an artifact as Observable Evidence. If you need help linking to artifactsa in Microsoft Teams let me know or drop by Design Studio and we can hack on some solutions.

Then consider the module objectives:

  • Examine the selfie as an artifact of identity
  • Explore learner identities and the impact this has on learning.
  • Explore the impact learning and education have on identities.
  • Annotate a research article for descriptive statistics
  • Students will be able to use and create structured electronic documents.
  • Students will be able to use graphical and multimedia technologies.

Now considering the artifacts you submitted evaluate those against the objectives and then choose your grade.

If we agree that is your midterm. If we do not we will meet until we come upon a grade we agree upon.

How to Submit

You must write a paragraph or two explaining yoru grade choice and how it reflects the mastery of your objectives.

Then include a paragraph or two on what you learned about yourself as a learner and how we learn to learn online. Set some learning goals for the second half of the semster.

h/t and all the imaginary extra credit points you want for using our key vocabulary from the module in your writing:

Bell Curve, Kurtosis, Skewness, D(d)iscourses, remix, creative commons, text structure, narrative, semiotics

Greg McVerry

Five Reasons I chose to Carve a Spoon as My Subjective's Metaphor #OpenPedagogy #digped

My Free Choice Post for #edu522

3 min read

In my previous post I shared pictures of a hand carved spoon I am shaping from wood. I used this tool as a metaphor to explore my goals for . Got me thinking about what would the shape of the sotry be if I stretched the metaphor just a little too far.

Knowledge isn't Spoon Fed

In this class you design your syllabus, well the important parts. I still curate materials and facilitate discussions.

Open pedagogy draws heavily on principles woven into feminism and critical theory. in the sense of striving for the better (hooks, 1994); of seeing growth as a community process rather than a taxonomy of skills aquisition (Weber, 2006).

Many of us gather on a quilt Dave Cormier  (2015) calls "Community is the Curriculum" which we hold together through intentionaly equitable hospitality. In this class I want us to cook together. Bring in our own flavors to a shared table.

Learning is Messy

We often cast learning in such clinical terms. Our students need an "intervention." Growth requires "diagnostic" assessment. A nice easdy picture cleaned with the medical precision of a septic wipe.

Open pedagogy also draws on ideas of rhizomatic learning. We waste so much time and treasur measuring and sorting children. I would rather double down on reinforcing classroom practices that we know have positive impacts.

I believe the space of learning and not the learner is the variable of interest that should draw your focus. What can you do better to let your students make a mess as you create a community of readers and writers?

Learning Takes Deliberate Planning, Action, and Reflection

Open Pedagogy gets driven by those who learn out loud. By that I mean we share our reflections, openly blog throughout the design practice, often create content for the Commons, and encourage our students to do the same.

When you make learning visibile (Hattie) you help students grow. When you encourage students to that from a place they can call their own you help them be.

In this class you control your level of openess and privacy. You can share only in our private Microsoft Teams channels or publicly by publishing on your own website.

Play With Knives

Imagine walking into your principles office and suggesting giving out knives to all the eigh year olds. Think it will fly?

Why not?

I have taught so many children ages 6-10 to play with knives in cub scouts. I am happy my kids can, with supervision, sit outside and play with knives

We shelter our children from too many complex tools and topics. I believe we must engage students in critical issues for change from a Vygotoskian dialectical perspecticve.

In this class we will explore the relationship of open pedagogy, privacy, and strategy exchange amongst our peers as you folks work toward your subjectives.

Know the Right Amount of Pressure

If you look closely at where my spoon is and where I planned it to be you will see they are not alike. I say I am trying to break from my love of symmetrical design, others will call it a lack of skill. Either way, many times when I press too hard the wood cracked.

Learning works this way. We need to rethink assessment and the pressures we put on children. As Sean Michael Morris and Jessie Stommel ask us, "How do we measure the love of learning?"

In this class I hope to leave that question unanswered as we all try a little bit better tomorrow all figuring it out.

Greg McVerry

Three Steps to Surving Your First Online Class #edu307 #edu506

There are three things required for success in online classes: self directed learning- You need to develop a learning plan, schedule, set and meet goals cognitive presence-

1 min read

digital body in fron of binary ticker
There are three things required for success in online classes:

  • self directed learning- You need to develop a learning plan, schedule, set and meet goals
  • cognitive presence- You need to not only complete assignments on time but complete them with the stated objectives in mind. Make sure your artifacts show growth. Utilize evidence from the texts, focus on key concepts and vocabulary.
  • social presence- Learning is social. Self direction works best in a community of folks with similar goals. 

This first week we were just working on the third element. Many people are taking an online  class for the first time as well. It is important we take time to get to know each other. Identify possible study partners, and learn to rely on each other.

img credit: "University of Maryland and Sourcefire Announce New Cybersecurity Partnership" flickr photo by Merrill College of Journalism Press Releases shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Greg McVerry

My #100DaysQuotesofColor Challenge #literacies

After Marcelle Haddix keynote at the Literacy Research Association I examined my last theory of change for a #literacies grant and realized I did not

1 min read

After Marcelle Haddix keynote at the Literacy Research Association I examined my last theory of change for a #literacies grant and realized I did not cite one scholar of color.

I spent the intersession learning and reading about scholars of color in the field of education. While it is a risk of pithy appropriation, rather than deep understanding, decided to do a #100DaysOfQuotesOfColor.

Every day I share a quote from someone I am learning about with an image from an artist who support the Commons.

Long term I am doing a dive into the work of Maisha Winn, @David E. Kirkland, and  others to find the stories of reading and writing that better represent the world than my last attempt:

I love Dewey and Jim Gee but they both have enough citations. there are tangential fields in critical race theory, art history, AND scholars in my own  field whose work I and other have ignored for too long.

Greg McVerry

Imagining the #IndieWeb Version of WikiTribune

Like many I joined WikiTribune, the new social network for news. The service quickly overtook as the primary spam engine of my inbox. Got me

3 min read

Like many I joined WikiTribune, the new social network for news. The service quickly overtook as the primary spam engine of my inbox.

Got me thinking that  Nuzzel, an app that algorithimically surfaces stuff to read by what your followers share on Twitter, already adds a layer of trust. I don't know the 1,000s of  people I follow but I know I felt their work deserved the h/t of a follow.

I have also used Twitter lists, not my own who has time for that, but those made by other people. People I trust.

Still both of these services rely on a third party silo that monetizes and gets value from my trusted network. So this got me thinking about an Version.

Curating Read Posts

Chris Aldrich recently explored the possibilities and demonstrated how folks can follow interesting things he reads using RSS. Not so much a community effort.

For , a community that grew out of a MOOC run by the National Writing Project on Connected Learning, we utilize a web ring. I then made a Public RSS feed using inoreader. Most people in the community blog enough to tag their posts which I use for specific feeds or they have blogs dedicated to just the clmooc community. Have mroe community but still requires one to visit the sie and subscribe to the feeds.

Curating Trust

WikiTribune set out to create a collective community of trusted news. From an perspective trust begins with your own domain. I fully believe people will not spray paint their own front door with bullshit the way we do on social media.

I also believe the use of web rings as an indircator of trust and membership can also provide indicators of credibility.

I spend a lot of time looking at metadata, trust, claims, and evidence....but I always return to people. Trust begins and ends with people.

How Could an IndieWeb "What to Read" Tool Work?

Chris's post and my recent experience with WikiTribune got me thinking about an IndieWeb version. The presmise would have to be publishing what you read or is worthwile reading from your own site. Some folks may use a bookmark, like, or even experimental post types such as a "read" post.

You would then opt-in to "what to read" using your domain. Then you would be asked to enter the url to your feed. work like this already.

All of your posts in the feed would be parsed and then added to a firehose chronological feed. There would also be one generated using th frequency of links and webmentions. So if an article gets shared by n+1 people it gets a bump, if a post getsd a webmention it gets a bump. The feed could then refresh at specific times of the days.

We could also use tags and p-categories to help with topic discovery.

I guess there could be email notifications. I would be fine without them as I would subscribe to "What to Read" in my social reader.

Featured Image: READ flickr photo by adamsaul shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license ;

Also on IndieNews

Greg McVerry

Hey #edu407 Here are some of my screencasts #literacies

How to Work on Your Literary Element Slide Deck You can use this as a guide to create your slide deck. Some Examples (not necessarily a literary

1 min read

How to Work on Your Literary Element Slide Deck

You can use this as a guide to create your slide deck.

Some Examples (not necessarily a literary element but gives you some ideas beyond recording a power point...which is fine to do)

Sock Puppets on Writing Leads and Hooks

This was just an iOS App. You can make it on an iPhone or iPad. We have some if people want to try.

Compare and Contrast text Structure

Problem and Solutions Text Structure

Cause and Effect Text Structure

Use Explain Everything to Identify Characters and Events

This text structure set was recorded using an app on the iPad.

Blogging Basics

Zombies on Creative Commons

You can use stick figures or cut outs and just prop your cell phone up on books. That is how I made these.

Use Animoto to Describe Characters

Animoto is an easy to use app.

Winning the Academic Writing Game: Play the Game

Winning the Academic Writing Game Two: Don't Be Wishy Washy:

Winning the Academic Writing Game Three: Play With Words

Winning the Academic Writing Game Four: The Idea Pocket



Greg McVerry

Planning the first #edu106 module

#edu106 Tell Your Story2019-09-04-2019 until 2019-10-02Goal Build a website to share media you create to tell your story.Objectives: Examine the selfie as an artifact of identityExplore

3 min read

Tell Your Story
2019-09-04-2019 until 2019-10-02

Goal Build a website to share media you create to tell your story.

Examine the selfie as an artifact of identity
Explore learner identities and the impact this has on learning.
Explore the impact learning and education have on identitied.
Annotate a research article for descriptive statistics

Key Vocabulary:
Bell Curve, Kurtosis, Skewness, D(d)iscourses, remix, creative commons

Technology Fluency 1 stuff hit:

3 daily creates a week:

learning activities
shapes of stories
    Think of a story you know well- a novel, a song, a TV show, and see if you can create an diagram showing the shape of that story, and annotate it as well with plot points at key points on the curve. You can do this in graphic software or sketch on a piece of paper and take a digital photo of your curve.

    Write a blog post that describes how that shape influences the effectiveness of the story and tag/label it as storyshape (see what happens with that link as more people publish their posts).
    Now that you’ve considered the shape of a story, meet with a group and choose  other forms of communication you do might have a “shape” – what is the shape of an email message? a syllabus? a lesson plan? a research paper? a conference presentation?

    Think about how you might apply some of the ideas from story shape to these forms of communication. Each person should blog about the communication format before you discuss the shape. Then comment back and forth on each other's post.
Selfies and Identities
     Amber Case’s “We Are All Cyborgs Now” & Read “The Selfie & and Self”
schools and identities
     boyd, d. (2014). It’s Complicated: the social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press. Chapters 1 and 2.
     Donna Alvermann Reading Adolescents Reading Identities
     John Dewey: Chapter 1:The School and Social Progress
    Did you have a good identity as a learner? OR Write a story about two people one who has a positive view of learning and school and one does not. Explore their backstory to explain this world view.
    Complete threee daily creates a week.
Make Cycles
    Every week there will be something for you to create.
         4-11  Make Cycle One: Selfie
         11-18 Make Cycle Two: Build Your Website
         18-25 Make Cycle Three: Timeline
         25-2  Make Cycle Four: Customixe Your Site

Greg McVerry

To Dream Big, Think Small #IndieWeb

I am tired hearing about scale. In such a short time we have warped success to think it means millions overnight and billions in a

2 min read

I am tired hearing about scale. In such a short time we have warped success to think it means millions overnight and billions in a year or two....

Because the web and local media will be saved doing the exact same thing again....

I want to dream big. So I think small.

大阪府立中之島図書館 flickr photo by m-louis shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

A server (or rented host) in every library and patrons can after completing training and signing community code of conduct. Abandoned sites archived. Libraries as local archives...who would have thought.

Reading newspaper flickr photo by zandwacht shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

Or a small local newspaper that provides hosting to subscribers. Give each physical address a domain, let families tell their story. Cash in on local sports coverage. Build in marketplace, do coupon newsletters, local business banners and crawl back classified revenue from facebook. Donate portion to local charities. Reader loyalty rather than data exploitation.

School flickr photo by gayboystpaul2004 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license

A school system where every student can finish the sentence, "My url is..." Students taught to not only read the web but write it as well. A literacy program that involves reading and writing? Good idea.

Those are my dreams.

Greg McVerry

Using Emotion to Teach Writing #EDU407Sum19 #literacies #clmooc

As I completed research for this post the idea that learning fills a desire (Mozère, 2914) hit me (cited below). Many philosophers express learning in

3 min read

woman with painful expression

As I completed research for this post the idea that learning fills a desire (Mozère, 2914) hit me (cited below). Many philosophers express learning in some type of change state. It begins and ends with conflict (Piaget), or consist of even growing from pain. We have always associated learning with excited emotional states. Makes sense writing with emotion is a tool every author should carry.

Cynthia Lewis often notes that schools seek to regulate emotion while we our emotions are really mediated actions rather than a state of being.

When a writer gets stuck, drawing on emotion allows them to draw upon all the embodied experiences of the event.

As Leander notes:

humans are not merely “using” materials in mediated activity; rather, humans and materials enter into affective relationships and intensities, the nature of which is often not prescribed. Foldings of the human and non-human are constant and complicated; people “use” things and things “use” people, and these movements and relations can be rife with affective movements

In a writing classroom the writing becomes both the tool, the expression, and sometimes the emotion itself.

How to Use Emotion In Your Class

First review your responsibilities as a mandatory reporter. When given the freedom to write children can be raw. Let them know the types of writing you must report and always encourage them to feel free to write you if they want to seek help.

Connotative language

Play with connotation. So far we have used figurative (metaphor), connotative (emotion) and literal (observation) types of language. Explore these with students. An activity I did with students had them creat a meaning number line. We put two adjectives or adverbs on a scale and then had students populate it from most positive to most negative.

Read a poem like Chicago by Carl Sanburg. Look to see how the author uses emotion to paint the city in different light. Discuss the connotative nature of the language.

Teach Childreen to Talk About Emotions

A benefit to building a writing space that includes an exploration of emotion is creating a space that allows all children to explore emotion.

When you see children expressing frustration. Explain to them that you can see the source of frustration. Ask them what they can do. Offer journaling as a couping mechanism...Trust me having a student write out frustration is far more valuable than whatever you are currently doing.

Use Children's Books

Ask questions that encourage students to think about a character's emotions. Explore the cuases of the emotions. Ask for what they do when they feel those emotions.

Give students writing prompts about these emotions. Have them connect to their own coping mechanisms. Have students explore author's word choice. Have them choose a book and one emotion for how that story makes them feel.

Use Pictures

Put up a picture. Have students write a story or describe the picture in two different emotions.

Boldt, G., Lewis, C., & Leander, K. M. (2015). Moving, feeling, desiring, teaching. Research in the Teaching of English, 49(4), 430.

Featured Image: Emotions... flickr photo by  JoesSistah shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Greg McVerry

Updated Code of Conduct for Summer Classes #DigPed

  Code of Conduct 1. Purpose A primary goal of #edu407 is is to be inclusive to our community of readers and writers, with the most varied and

8 min read


Code of Conduct

1. Purpose

A primary goal of #edu407 is is to be inclusive to our community of readers and writers, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We invite all those who participate in #edu407  to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

As a college course in children's literacy you promise to participate in your fullest, complete class assignments on time, reflect on your learning, engage in college level writing, and critical analysis in both written and spoken word. You understand that success in this class determines on meeting these basic expectations.

2. Your Control Your Data

You have the right in this  class to work from your own domain where you publish your data. This might be a blogger account, a wix page, or a WordPress blog but this LMS can't collect your data. You have the right to delete your data at any time.

You may also choose to use tools provided by the University such as Blackboard. As a faculty member I can make no promises as to how this data is collected and used by the University. As a tuition paying learner you should be aware the university is collecting large amounts of data through our Learning Management System.  I make no claims about the security nor learner control of this data.

3. Right to Privacy

While this class is built on and encourages open pedagogy you will never be required to share any task or assignment. You may password protect your blog or website and share the password with just the class or just with me. Anything posted to Blackboard is considered private only to class.

While many of us syndicate to social media you are never required to join any network beyond our private chat rooms. If an assignment revolves around social media a transcript or video can be provided to anyone who does not wish to join or interact with social media silos.

At the end of class you may delete your blog and your stream account. I can make no promises about the learner data in Blackboard after completion of the class.

4. Public, Private, and Open

What does public and "in the open" mean?

Online communication, such as tweets, blog posts, and comments are generally out in the open and technically “public” 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 “published” 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.

Think about each other when sharing information. Critical feedback helps us grow but keep that to our private stream. Use our public comments on each others blogs to encourage growth of the learner and the community.

If someone posts to Blackboard and not their public blog that is considered 100% private and can not be quoted or summarized in public posts without author permission.

Even if your data is technically public I will always ask for approval before direct quoting or including any artifact you make in class as part of a study,

5. Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all community members:

  • Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this community.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Provide feedback to your peers
  • Answer questions when you can and help point people in the right direction when you can't

6. Unacceptable Behavior

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our community:

  • Violence, threats of violence or violent language directed against another person.
  • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory jokes and language.
  • Posting or displaying sexually explicit or violent material.
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information ("doxing").
  • Personal insults, particularly those related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.
  • Inappropriate photography or recording.
  • Incessentaly correcting graamer
  • Inappropriate physical contact. You should have someone’s consent before touching them.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.
  • Sustained disruption of community events, including talks and presentations.

7. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any community member will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the course instructor may refer you to proper university channels and it can threaten your standing in the program.

8. No Notification Policy

When in class I would never ask you not to have a laptop or cell phone. That contains way more computing power than we took to the moon. I do ask for attention. So do a lot of companies who drill into your brain through notifications.

There is also replicable evidence from learning sciences that using paper and not computer notes leads to greater knowledge gains.

I ask that when in class you globally turn off notifications. When working online dedicate yourself to class. Shut down any sms notifications, close all social media tabs not related to class, and learn.

Notifications work like drugs. Literally. Brain scientists work for companies and study how to make you click more. Stay attention sober during class.

8. No Driving

You are expressively forbidden to complete any activity or interact with any other person in this class while operating a vehicle. Doing so puts others at risks and therefore falls under unacceptable behavior. Plus its illegal (in Connecticut), so there is that too.

9. Video Data

If this class involves video projects you will never be required to show your face. If you do a group project all group members must consent before a video upload. Any group member has the right of refusal. You can email if your would like to ask for a video removal without letting your other group members know.

10. Reporting Guidelines

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify me at

Additionally, I am available to help community members engage with university and  local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior feel safe.

I am also a mandatory reporter and any mention in class of self-harm, hurting others, or reports of abuse must be reported. In a class where we write reflections and fictions often based in reality the line for a mandatory reporter can be blurred. I will always default

11. Addressing Grievances

If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify mcverryj1@southernj1  with a concise description of your grievance. Your grievance will be handled in accordance with our existing governing policies.

As a  social justice university we will prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. I reserve the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

12. Scope

We expect all students  to abide by this Code of Conduct in online and in-person–as well as in all one-on-one communications pertaining to class business.

This code of conduct and its related procedures also applies to unacceptable behavior occurring outside the scope of community activities when such behavior has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of community members.

13. Contact info

14. License and attribution

This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Portions of text derived from the Django Code of Conduct and the Geek Feminism Anti-Harassment Policy.

Portions of this text were derived from  XOXO a CC-BY license

Retrieved on November 22, 2016 from



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