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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

EDU106 Portfolio Module

  Goal of the Module You will create a portfolio website that tracks your efforts to make yourself or the world a better place. There are a

4 min read


Goal of the Module

You will create a portfolio website that tracks your efforts to make yourself or the world a better place. There are a number of ideas you can choose from:

  • Learn and teach a classic family recipe.
  • Join an online movement
  • Do a two week long quantified self project (diet,exercise, reading, digital detox)
  • Making a mental health guide
  • tracking a compost project
  • time management
  • Reflection Portfolio
  • and many more


Portfolio Requirements

  • An introduction: covering your so what, why, and how.
  • An About Me page (may include the intro)
  • A digital essay on the topic including an Ignite Talk and Timeline
  • Survey Data: Must include some descriptive statistics and a few charts. People like shiny charts
  • Your chosen pathway (see below)
  • Two backstage posts. As you work on your project publish two blog post explaining what you did, how you did it, what went wrong, or what went well. Basically you are providing us a sneak peak behind the scenes


You will choose one of the following pathways:

  • Podcast
  • Photography
  • Video


  • 60 minutes of content: one 60 min show; two 30 min shoe; 6 ten minute shows, 30 two minute shows, etc.
  • Make a bumper for in between scenes or segments
  • Make an intro bumper
  • If you do not know how to do these things you may check YouTube, come to design studio, preferably both


  • Collection of 7-10 photos that tell a story or share an artistic theme
  • Use a filter
  • Use multiple layers
  • Combine images
  • You will upload each image here on your blog and we will use the url on your portfolio website.
  • You can use for these tasks or any photo editing software of your choice that allows layers
  • If you do not know how to do these things you may check YouTube, come to design studio, preferably both


  • Single video or series of videos. Research shows <7 minutes most effective
  • Must include a bumper or intro
  • Add an audio track, either music or voice over
  • Splice (use two timelines) two different videos
  • Image and text overlays
  • Include a captions file
  • You can apply for a free trial on WeVideo or use video software of your choice
  • If you do not know how to do these things you may check YouTube, come to design studio, preferably both



Week One 2020-11-30 to 2020-12-07



Patricia Carinin Art of Teaching

Teaching Better

Go to our shared Padlet. Add your comments as to what SCSU are doing well and need to do better during 100% remote learning


Define good teaching


Choose a topic and pathway and make a timeline on the choice


Week Two 2020-12-07 to 2020-12-14



David Cormier (2008). Rhizomatic Education : Community as CurriculumBlog Post

Colin Mathews (2016). Unwelcome InnovationInstitute of Higher Education Essay


Work on your portfolio


Plan your Ignite Talk


Week Three 2020-12-14 to 2020-12-19


  • Record your ignite talk
  • Finish your Portfolio
  • Come to Demo Day (Final)


Ignite How To Video


How to Make the Slideshow

Student Examples

Timeline Tutorial 

How to Copy Portfolio Page

Making Survey Questions

How to Analyze Google Forms

How to Add Your Why

How to Record your Ignite Talk

How to Add Video to Glitch

How to Add a Poster to Video

How to Add Images to Glitch

How to Build an Image Grid with Flexbox

How to Do the Survey Section

Greg McVerry

Ten Tips for Online Teaching Online from LRA Coffee Hours #lra2020

Tip 1: Do intro videos and two check in videos twice a year
 Tips 2: Schedule individual sessions ask students to come with a question
 Tip 3:

1 min read

Tip 1: Do intro videos and two check in videos twice a year

Tips 2: Schedule individual sessions ask students to come with a question

Tip 3: Rely on what you know about good teaching

Tip 4: Use synchronous meeting

Tip 5: Use breakout rooms

Tip 6: Simple navigation improves learning

Tip 7: Build in offline activities

Tip 8: Make podcasts for students so they can learn from screen

Tip 9: Use base groups in large online classes

Tip 10: Have students lead content discussions

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

Today's @scsu to-do list. Tip for students plan for remote #highered success by setting daily goals.


2 min read

Looking for a an action packed day today.

-Early on I had some ideas for the working group that kept festering on my hike yesterday. So did some hacking on Working Group tasks before house woke up.

-Dropped kids off at school and checked the six online classes I teach this semester. Dropped in to share my love of Erik B and Rakim (this week doing best hiphop duos of 90s recommendations welcome)

-Then it will be a morning full of interviewing Southern Connecticut State University students seeking admission into our College of Education programs to become teachers.

-Will hop back into teacher mode and record some videos for where students are getting their roles assigned in our weekly discussions. Then over to show students how to use a wiki to add our book reviews.

-By lunch I transition to camp a free remote technology camp for middle schoolers. Camp starts at 15:00 so want to finalize lesson plans and hire a student worker to help with the work load.

(DM for donation materials all moneys go to getting free computers and training to families in New Haven)

-Then after dinner I have to rectify the books as treasurer for East Haddam Little League...little behind on the books.

Greg McVerry

Please share widely: We are running a FREE Technology Camp For Teens #nhv @ctmirror @nhregister #edtechchat @edcampct #IndieWeb #DigPed

I am reaching out because the Concepts for Adaptive Learning (CfAL) at the Farnam Center (formerly Farnam Neighborhood House) 5 Science Park is launching a

2 min read

I am reaching out because the Concepts for Adaptive Learning (CfAL) at the Farnam Center (formerly Farnam Neighborhood House) 5 Science Park is launching a virtual summer program (Tech4Teens) for teens.

We ask, respectfully, that you share this information across New Haven and within your networks.

Tech4Teens is designed to empower youth to share their passion through technology. The program is open to students 13 and older, ideally those who have completed 7th and/or 8th grades.

Information technology students from Yale and SCSU mentor youth to ensure each student has the support needed to be successful.Dr. J. Gregory McVerry, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Learning, and the Southern Connecticut State  College of Education Associate Fellow for Online Learning has taken the lead in developing the curriculum.

Any students that do not have a working computer will be given a “loaner laptop” before the program starts – which they can return after completing the program and will receive a nicer, refurbished, Chromebook! (Students who do not complete the training can keep the laptop provided to them, … but won’t be able to turn it in for a better, enhanced one.)

Students will have the option to learn how to create websites, videos, podcasts and coding projects – all based on their passion and interests. All student projects are posted on individual websites, … and will be exhibited on community showcases at the end of the program.

Weekly prizes will be awarded. These include such things as cellphone powerbars, wireless earbuds, wireless speakers, and even programmable robots!

Hopefully you will be able to help us promote this program to teens – as well as mention to funders/donors that we’re always looking for financial support.

Tech4Teens is being run completely by volunteers. All donations go back to the teens in the program. In fact, if enough financial support is received, Tech4Teens will purchase new Chromebooks for participants, instead of refurbished ones,.

The program is FREE to all. Space is limited. Register through our website:

Or contact Ms. Jennifer Ricker at 203-691-1078

Greg McVerry

Ideas for Digital #literacies lessons #edu407

Make a Podcast Here is my 2toPonder series and my son's podcast series. Want to make a podcast, just record on your phone or laptop and

2 min read

Make a Podcast

Here is my 2toPonder series and my son's podcast series. Want to make a podcast, just record on your phone or laptop and upload the file somewhere.

Use Paper

In my literacy mantra I made a flip book like explanation. I just stacked my phone camera on a bunch of books.

I also do little clip art talks with paper cut outs

You can do "In Plain English" style videos. I always pre write a script. I like to divide it into three columns, the text, me, and ay actions.


Use a Voice Animation Program

Use a Sock Puppet App

This is one of many sock puppets apps on iOS devices that kids love.

Use a text to Speech App

These are fun as all you have to do is type and it gets converted to text. So many uses in the langauge arts classroom.

I made a video about RSS Planets recently for .

Do a Pecha Flickr

You can make a timeline

TimelineJS is a great tool. You turn a Google spreasheet into an interactive multimedia task.

Use Movie Making Apps

So many choices for movie making apps. Yoiu can make book trailers in iOS, short clips in Animoto or try WeVideo on Chrome.

Use an Animation App

There are so many choices on different platforms for animation apps. The key is to remember to enhance your pedagogical goal. What is the animation giving you that just talking to the camera wouldn't? Time is precious.

Use Poetry


More poetry ideas

Make a Website

From a fake Facebook page, movie posters, poems to a Star Wars crawler. You can use ELA content to master the basics of how we read, write, and participate online.

Check out this collection of activities


Greg McVerry

I just proposed a session on webmention badges and gamification for #IndieWeb Online West #OpenBadges

Let's talk linking and learning in networked speaces.

1 min read

IndieWeb West, a remote conference rapidly approaches, and I just proposed a session on webmention badges.

For the last two years a group of us have explored how we could created a simple badging system using webmentions. One link, verifying that a second link contains evidence that meets specific criteria.

That's it. Two permalinks talking and veryifying each other. I want to continue this work at the IndieWeb summit.

At the same time we see new community members drawn to the old idea of indiemark, whihch was a way to self assess how far your personal site has come. I wonder if we can gamify this a bit more with automate badges.

Same with the test suites, what if stuff like awarded a badge when people past a test? These could stack until a person earns an "IndieWeb" button to display on theior site. The button could then link to a record of the test result.

Some background:


Greg McVerry

Stuff I Reposted or Liked in the Last 24 Hours #IndieWeb

In a great #IndieWeb chat this morning we were discussing the ethical implications of reactions from the Buddhist perspective of trishna, or the craving of

3 min read

In a great chat this morning we were discussing the ethical implications of reactions from the Buddhist perspective of trishna, or the craving of attention, and how this relates to the UX around reactions.

So I took a look at my likes and reposts for the last 24 hours

I do not do reactions from my own website. Too much work for a quick ephemeral nod.

If someone wrote something I will need later or I feel should shape my thinking I bookmark the artifact.

If I want to engage with them I send a reply.

If I want to thank someone I keep a manually h/t on the post which I can then search for the plain text.


Reposted and Liked:

Reposted and Liked:




Reposted and Liked:




I give out likes and reposts like I do stickers and candy in the classroom. Are these the deepest forms of learning and classroom management techniques? No. They are shallow and have an immediate but dwindling efficacy.

Still I keep stickers in my teacher toolkit, and reactions  will probably stay the same. I use reactions as signs of encouragement for writers young and old. I may use reactions more frequently as students or new community members get onboarded.

I use reactions to save time. Every writer deserves great feedback but no teacher can provide in-depth feedback all the time. And sometimes people just need a sticker and smile. A reaction can provide that.

I treat my online space and classrooms the same. As communities. I think one can be quite intentional in how we live in these spaces.

While the UX and monetization clearly do not align with Buddhist principle  that craving and attachment cause suffering.

I do not think we must design a complex world without this simple experience in order to live the right path. Through careful thinking  we can use reactions as creative judgements which help show the simple truth that lay below our complex veils.

I know reactions are designed to cause sensation, and no scientist or Buddhist would claim reality gets defined by sensation...But dopamine is fun.

So that's the rub, not sure, and its a question I have explored for decades, if I am willing to give up the self. Everything is great in moderation, especially moderation. I love the works of William Blake and philosophies of Jung.

Yet I dabble in ideas of collective expression. My instructional design gets guided by the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. And I do believe paths of true enlightenment would require detachment from all physicality, but that isn't where I am in my phase of life to explore. Wonder if I ever will be.

So for now I will go with a more Deweyian, rather than Perician pragmatism and roll with reactions as part of good teaching and community building.

If I ever do walk away from all craving and physcical possession, when it does happen, I will make sure to give myself a thumbs up.


Greg McVerry

How I Help Address CAEP Cross Cutting Theme of Technology @scsu

How We are Shaping the College of Education into a Center or #EdTech Teachign and Research

2 min read

How does the EPP collaborate with partners to provide expertise on new technology in  professional development for teachers in partner schools? For advanced-level specialists?
We host and organize a free 2 day professional seminar for building personal websites in NYC and New Haven: 

We run programs with community leaders in the non profit field working to address inequity in literacy:

We ran a Interdisciplinary Geographic Information Systems institute
I and Regine served on the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Council for Reading and recommended greater digital literacy.
The university also funded my start up ReVIEW Talent Feedback System which is used by districts all over CT for video based calibration training.

How do partners collaborate with the EPP to provide expertise on new technology to candidates in coursework, fieldwork, or clinical practice?
EDU106 we piloted a tool and helped develop software for Mozilla:
We taught the GearUp kids EDU106 where our candidates worked as mentors
We taught GearUp kids through Elm City Webmakers
Candidates are involved our efforts to build an OER network in Ghana

We have submitted over 3 million dollars in federal IES grant application to study the role of digital reading and writing.
Every student in EDU 307 online must design and teach a screeencast mini lesson, and then a module about a children's literacy genre:

Graduate students took part in designing microcredentials using the W3c recommendation of webmentions: Class feeds:

Greg McVerry

#EDU106 Student Artifacts and Comments--Needed to do this as feeling blue we missed #edu106 Ignite Talk and portfolio day at @scsu favortie days of semester

Class Description EDU106 New Literacies: Digital Text and Tools for Lifelong Learning s a technology fluency class I teach at Southern Connecticut State University. We learn

5 min read

Class Description

EDU106 New Literacies: Digital Text and Tools for Lifelong Learning s a technology fluency class I teach at Southern Connecticut State University. We learn a crazy amounts of tech but the class is really one of philosophy of self and growth. The class gets broken into four components

  • Tell Your Story
  • Learn Something
  • Teach Something
  • Do Something

Due to covid19 outbreak and this hybrid class moving online I removed the "do something" requirement and had students publish their teach something units as a portfolio.

Tell You Story

In tell your story we trace the shapes of stories. We started with Kobe Bryant's "Love of Basketball" and then looked at the shape of well written emails. Then we looked at the shape of both qualitative and quantitative research articles and learned how to use these shapes to be active readers and notetakers.

On the technology front we explored the selfie as an artifact of self and wrote About Me pages while learning HTML basics. We then did a photo challenge to practice basics of photo editing. Tell Your Story culminated in an unselfie project.

Learn Something

In Learn Something students focused on collaborative essay writing as we practiced our research writing skills. In small groups the class learned how to write a single case study using basic matrix analysis. They had to choose a community and analyze it from a lens.

We integrated digital texts and tools as students were tasked to go out and learn anything they wanted but to post reflections on what they learned. First students had to bookmark sources and explain why they chose these as both credible and relevant sources. Basically everyone wrote their own textbook. Next students had to create a podcast and post five episodes reflecting on what they learned.

The outbreak happened just as we finished up our "Learn Something" units. Instead of a community the students had to switch it up and study an online community. I decided to remove the "do something unit" and move into teach something. One outcome of the being locked down was seeing intergnerational learning happening. Daughters working with dads, and sisters with brothers. Family, especially heirloom recipes have always been a feature of this class.

Teach Something

In the final unit students first explored what good teaching looks like and they wrote posts giving advice to SCSU on how they should improve their teaching. We then explored effective screencasts. Students practiced video editing as they had to post a screencast or video teaching something and then an Ignite Talk. An ignite talk is a presentation where 20 image driven slides auto advance every 20 seconds.

For the portfolio final students choose one of four pathways: video, photo, podcasting, or web design and then they had to put together a portfolio of blog posts and videos to teach the rest of the class something.

They also had to create and analyze a survey for basic descriptive stastics. Students learned how to write survey questions, the different types of data, and how to use google forms to make spreadsheets and charts.

Then students had to either use the websites we started in class or choose their own place to publish a portfolio (Blackboard, WordPress, Tumblr). Tumblr was the CMS of choice this year.

Student Portfolio Sites

Some students chose to openly share their portfolios with the world. We learn about the differences between privacy and open and all students are allowed to publish and license their content in anyway they see fit.

Chris's Dungeons and Dragons

Shaoshi's Penny Boarding

Lily on Baking

Low Carb Baking with Maria

Student Comments

Sharing comments that were pubslihed openly on student blogs.

I wanted to wish everyone luck with the last couple of days of finals week and thank you all for being amazing classmates. This was one of my favorite classes this semester and I have really learned a lot from Professor McVerry, and all of my peers.

I also feel like being able to take this class and learn has been the main reason why I have done so well this semester. All my work has improved and I feel like this is one of my best classes grade-wise and I am very grateful for that. I would recommend this class to many other students on the SCSU campus because not only does this class teach you a lot but it gives you a private/public space to vent and be able to tell how you are feeling.

To professor McVerry, I wanted to thank you for being one of the best professors I have had on Southern's campus.  You have taught me a lot about new literacies and being able to open up to others around me. I really appreciate everything you have done for me and the class during this pandemic


With class nearing its end, I wanna say it's been a great class. Shame we didn't get to spend more time in class because of the outbreak. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the classroom

It was fun, the professor was kind, respectful, and most importantly: Patient. I truly admire this quality in people, more so in teachers. He always made sure to get to everyone's question and didn't blow a gasket if someone repeated a question already asked, he simply just answered it again so for that he has my undying respect. I wish there were more professors like him that realize new students are rookies to the subject and don't have the same level of understanding as he does.




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