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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

Okay need your help on a new collaborative song . Son wrote song in shower and typed up lyrics on blog. I told him if he sang t I could probably find someone on web to put it to music or remix it:

Greg McVerry

Here is a great chance to writ collaborative music

Greg McVerry

@telliowkuwp More importantly, what's this make blowing wind? I am going with a Eureka moment.

Greg McVerry

Hey everyone in this week's module my students start to explore their literacy mantra. Do you have one? A short post? A poem? a lyric? What is literacy how do we teach. Let us know.

Greg McVerry

If you are an person using feel free to add your name to this list. @wiobyrne and I will be publishing it in our blogging chapter of the book:

Greg McVerry

Opening My Class Has Damaged my Workflow #ccourses #clmooc #edu106

2 min read

In my last edition of the newsletter, Albatross News, I detailed how I was going to open up our private class stream.

I flipped the switch

And I might have ruined my workflow.

In the class students have their own blogs. I use an RSS feed and the class stream to aggregate our work. I would leave comments on both their blog and the private stream.

On a students blog I would interact with content and try (withouth success) to start a wider conversation. On the private stream I would offer critical writing feedback.

Being a writer means being vunerable. I think some feedback is better behind closed doors. I am not comfortable explaining to someone they need to include topic sentences and the letter "I" is capitalized. Many of my students have not developed strong academic blogging or writing skills yet.

Calling them out may hurt my pedagogical goal and may not allow students to see the benefit of learning in the open.

I liked leaving the comments on the private stream, however, so they were semi-public. Many of the mistakes students made fell in predictable patterns. Calling out a few examples of misconception had a waterfall effect on improving the writing of others. 

So I have a few options:

  • I can make the class stream private again.
  • I could leave critical feedback through email.
  • I could just leave it in the open and encouarage a process of revision.

I also need to explore how private notifications work in Known.

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
Women, Community, Technology”
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
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 “Mommy” 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:                                                ​December 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:, 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. 

Greg McVerry

Few Recent Pages I Have Been Building #clmooc #teachtheweb #literacies

3 min read

As part of a graduate class we have been discussing what it means to learn to read and write. We have discussed the correlations between core skills such as phonemic aawareness and phonics while reading Heath, Au, and Gee.

Much of the discussion has revolved around the boundaries of explicit instruction, the role of poverty, and if reading is taught as a cultural practice or a cognitive process.

I wanted to highlight some recent writing and learning I have been doing to add to the complexity.

This summer I took on a project to earn some extra scratch, re-doing the department website. I am not a web designer. I am not a programmer. Instead I am self taught who learns to build stuff by copying others.

HTML/CSS code is alot like phonics for reading and text structure for writing. It is a repeated pattern and I would bet also learned in a very similar and predictable pattern.

Your links are much like your CVC words and your headings a thesis. You then may expand and start looking at strange vowel combinations or hover effects. Your creativity when working with pixels just like paper is boundless.

These are four pages I am currently working on. They are in draft form and will probably change:

Direct Instruction

In each case direct instruction was central. Yet unlike the classroom it is usally distributed and on-demand. If I combed through my web history you could see every objective and outcome.

When I got desperate I would ask colleagues at work or ping on Twitter and Discourse.

Mentor Texts

In each case a mentor text was always involved. For example the design ideas and some of the CSS for the  scholarship page was modified from here and the other half  from here. The programs page came from here

The department directory well that one I am proud of. Most of that I wrote myself but I checked my learning against the previous sources and some old Thimble makes I had. I even checked out Doug's old About Me page.


Beyond the Benjamins I am working to better myself. Motivation and interest are essential to learning to read and write. I think the focus on standards outcome could have just as much to do with the decline in pleasure reading with the publication of "Nation at Risk" in 1984 as it does with the birth of Nintendo and a truly stellar year in movies.

You need motivation and interest to push past the frustration; to get the rush of solving some problem or to conquer some text. Trust me I looked like a Pavlovian dog when I hit publish to see if the code I wrote actually worked. Ring the bell for bits.

Greg McVerry

Engaging in Discourse About Your Work

6 min read

I have searched high and low for the magic sauce. I haven't found it yet. I want the ingredient that makes community flourish in the online classes I teach.

I blamed the LMS. Studnets just worked through assignments and if you said post and respond twice. That is exactly what they did.

I realized it is in't the LMS that suck it was me.

I tried every configuration of tools to try and crowbar "social" in. No matter the format my class ended up looking like a pinterest board of student assignments. I could have just taught via email.

I realized what my students were missing was a model of federated and distributed discourse. In the class I give no minimums of how many posts and how many replies. It seems contrite. So this iteration I have told my students I expect interaction. They simply will not do well if they just post their completed assignments. Engagement is required...but I did not provide support.

That is the purpose of this post. Look at how social media engagement occurs in the wild

In the tweets below you will find the conversation threads surrounding this post.

Here are my tips to engage with others:

  • Be proud of what you write and make
  • Share it out across networks. It is okay to share posts beyond class
  • Invite discussion (But don't end posts with "What do you think? Just leave a comment." That's cheesy)
  • Share more than a link. Tell my why your post is important. Why should I care.
  • Pictures included with social media increase engagement.

You want to not simply post your work but live it. Have an emotional attachment to your ideas and your words. Discuss what you write and watch it travel.

I then pinged people in my network I knew who would be either interested or willing to challenge my ideas. Hopefully both.

Some left comments on the blog.

Then some folks really wanted us to annotate the piece.

This brought in the interest of the Hypothesis Team

Some people then shared their own work to back up their claims or challenge my claims.

We discussed research and assessment methods

We debated the boundaries of action, thought, knowledge, and assessment.

We kicked people off the boat

Greg McVerry

#CLMOOC I have to be doing this wrong

1 min read

I am working on some iPad tutorials (I hope to get to game making) and wanted animated gifs. These are my fav way to do tutorials. My workflow is probably messed up. Here it is:

  • Use reflector to send iPad to Mac.
  • Record to Screencast-o-Matic.
  • Edit with overlays.
  • Upload to Youtube.
  • Make gifs using Imgur.

I originally added annotations using Google's new tool but that be html and not encoded in the video. It didn't go with the source to Imgur.

Is there a better way?