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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

To Dream Big, Think Small #IndieWeb

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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 mcverryj1@southernct.edu 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 mcverryj1@southernct.edu

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

mcverryj1@southernct.edu

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 http://citizencodeofconduct.org/

 

Greg McVerry

Hey the lurking discussion continues with some of the building blocks used to support and encourage lurking https://boffosocko.com/2019/06/02/lurking-twitter-the-commons-and-private-posts/

Greg McVerry

Greg McVerry

Seven Steps to #ProSocialWeb

7 min read

1. Begin with You

Ghandi never said "Be the change..." still doesn't mean it ain't great advice. We need to be the web we want to see.1 

In fact in  my recent efforts into (my approach to getting at ) I have focused on the words of another Yogi (correctly attributed) 

Change yourself and you have done your part in the changing the the world. Every individual must change [their] own life if they want to live in a peaceful world. Paramahansa Yogananda

The web is no different. Be pro-social if you want the web to be pro-social.

I also think beginning with you in terms of learning goals strengthens the . When you have shared goals with others in your network people learn. Humanity always worked this way.

The web is no different. Constantly model learning and reflection. Ask for help when needed and offer when asked.


YOU! flickr photo by Marcy Leigh shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

2. Create Innovation Systems

Recently I have focused my efforts on the idea of innovation systems. I remixed this concept remixed from those who take an ecological viewpoint of sociotechnical systems

According to Freeman (1987) Innovation Systems are “networks of institutions, public or private, whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify, and diffuse new technologies.” This is usually towards a shared goal.

Massive corporate powers have quickly created market-based systems. I am not one to think these goals are diametrically opposed to (but some do) yet they are different. The goal of a corporation is the stock price. In fact in the United States it is a legal obligation for corporations to focus on profits. Sometimes, often, people suffer.

The web is no different. We need to focus on change but this change occurs at the system level only after a swelling at the agent level.


Climate Change flickr photo by garlandcannon shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

3. Use What You Build

The will only thrive when you have your own space online that you control, preferably from your own domain. The silos built for the masses and the web suffered.

I'd rather have a tent in the fields I own than rent a room is a Castle with someone else's rules....where I toil all day for someone else to profit.

Also something happens when you write from your own place. Folks are not as willing to write graffiti on their own house or shout profanities from their door step. But is more than that. People find an immersive joy in owning and shaping their own truth.

The web is no different. These tools and ways of being exist. Step one in a web is to build out your personal cyberinfrastructure. 

You will never know all the tech and we should never expect people to do the same. Instead, we want folks to know what they do not know and then how to go out and ask the right people to learn it. What Castells and Cardoza called "self programmable learners"

The web is no different. You have a goal and want to learn something just get a website or blog and start documenting the journey.

If you need help just ask us.


workshop flickr photo by martingautron.com shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

4. Keep it Purpose Driven

Find your niche and you can find your community. For many of us we hang in academic spaces or creative writing spaces ike and . Our crew, our people, our tribe.

A shared purpose unites us and this aligns with our personal goals. 

The web is no different. Network around ideas and not people.


2010113-purpose flickr photo by Chris Piascik shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

5. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Many find controlling and owning your space online to beyond their means "in financial cost, ability, time, and confidence."

This has always been the case with literacy. I consider literacy to be one of the great equalizers in society (up there with birth control, suffrage, expanding markets, and open borders). We need to fight for basic web literacy as a human right. A means not building FOR the most vulnerable but building WITH everyone to ensure we do not recreate the past.

Silos provide both a haven and a hell for marginalized people. When the web was born people did their identity work building the web. Now, this identity work gets sold back to us.

When we claim we can not "do tech" in communities of color or expectations of owning your content do not recognize historical inequities we end up reinforcing these equities.  

We simply can not name the problem. We must actively work to solve the issue.

Yet even today the Open Source community is the whitest and most male of the tech sector. We can not fix this in the board room or through outreach. Efforts must begin in the classroom and the community. This is where always developed

The web is no different. Make the "Community the Curriculum." We must focus on web literacy across the globe. The time is now. 

This why I think the is more local than decentralized. I keep putting in grants to bring and to local schools and libraries....where we always taught literacy.


Rainbow flickr photo by Michael M Stokes shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

6 Go gLocal

Not sure where @wiobyrne got the idea or who he lifted the meaning from but the has strong local nodes (like Antogonish) and these Local networks connect to a much bigger global one. Either with direct relationships or as allies. Go gLocal Ian says.

Creative Commons is trying this approach right now. Mozilla tried with Clubs but looked for VC like growth overnight, their more successful Reps programs and Firefox contributors, in general, reflect a gLocal approach. IndieWeb has been running camps for nine years with minimal funding.

EdCamps, as an innovation system may represent the best model. 100s of camps occur each year and 1,000s of teachers get connected

The Web is no different. Build strong local groups connected to a global movement. 


It's our world too... flickr photo by tim ellis shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

7. Post Positive 

We all struggle with what to write. The tyranny of the blank screen can drive many into the welcoming arms of social silos. Yet the simplest way to support a is to Post Positive

Be a good person. Say nice things. Document the good you and others do. The lesson we learned in preschool can still teach us much.

The web is no different.


A Balance of Healthy Words flickr photo by Carol (vanhookc) shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

1. h/t to Tantek for pointing out the misattribution of Ghandi and sending me into a months long rabbit hole into famous misquotes.

2 To read more check out the hashtags , , and  .

Syndicated to Indie News

Greg McVerry

Why I chose Known over WordPress #IndieWeb

6 min read


Creative Growth 2013 Home show and fashion show (72) flickr photo by origamiguy1971 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Plurality stitches a beautiful quilt of complex choices, and each person adds their own unique spin on the  . As long as you wrap yourself in the warmth of building blocks you sew together new connections free of corporate control.

So the correct answer will always remain the one you choose. For me Known provided the solution to my path.

Personal Growth

I am beginning to look at spaces like as an innovation system. Change can only occur with a constant focus on personal growth and learning through agentive apprenticeships.

Recently I moved on from WordPress to Known on my path. This continued my growth as I began to spin up sites on  my school's CMS blogging as a teacher from 2002-2006. I then picked up the patterns of commercial blogging and went to Blogger in 2007.  Then in 2013 I began to weave meaning on WordPress, and then started on Known in 2015.

At first I kept a WordPress as my canonical "digital hub" and just spun up Known instances for different identities like CLMOOC and .

In fact, if you include all my kids' websites I am currently running thirteen instances of Known.

But really it came down to WordPress making it too hard for me to things I knew were quite simple to do in HTML. So I decided to throw up a few static pages on the canonical url https://jgregorymcverry.com and then use Known as my social stream of thought. 

I loved what WordPress enabled me to do but felt to constricted. I wanted to rip off the warmth of such a robust CMS and see how I could do on my own. 

Some Drawbacks

I still get annoyed sometimes at Known for making things complicated. It is a powerful CMS and over time I will probably fold some functionality into my main website but this provides a nice bridge for my knowledge growth.

Known works better on the IndieWeb than WordPress out of the box but it is a really hard box to open. Currently installing and updating Known takes specialized knowledge but plenty of us to help each other learn. Still, if the idea of GitHub, Terminal, Databases scare you then go with WordPress. 

The most friction-free WordPress approach is SemPress. You add that, Classic Editor, IndieWeb plugins and good to go. Everything will auto update.

I still add a page builder on top to get the visual control of pages I want (see main reason I left WordPress I want to control my design). 

How I Roll

It's not just the technical. Known fits my personal goals for growth as a writer and teacher. Out of all the tools out there it makes the best system for a Common Place Book. I set up to-do list, a , have private, public, and member-only posting. The syndication to Twitter works for now (eventually I assume Twitter pulls the plug on all the POSSE fun). 

If you want a private social network (multiuser breaks some functionality around logging in with your own Domain) it is still the best CMS out there. I have really only one question I use when judging my pre-service teachers, "Do I want my kid in your class?" I use Known with all three of my children (6, 7, 10). Known fits the way I teach. I have used Known in the classroom since 2014-2015.

Some Drawbacks

It doesn't always fit my mobile lifestyle. Mainly because of the way TinyMCE, the what you see what you get editor,  is styled, but this is fixable. I need access to source code. 

The status updates have some awesome features that auto converting hashtags and unfurling links but this also means HTML gets sanitized or ignored. Sometimes I just need a box to enter HTML. The current status update doesn't allow this and this messes up some micropub clients. 

Governance Model

Known also has a governance model more aligned to what I want in open source. I love what WordPress does for the web but in the end the ultimate direction of the project relies on a "benevolent dictator for life" model of leadership with Automattic sitting at the top.

This has created great sustainability but just not my style.

Some Drawbacks

Known is now just transferring to an open collective. Who knows what will happen. Still this excites I think we need new economic in the public space.

No structure exists, beyond IRC/Slack for quality control of community plugins. Many malfunction (especially the ones I build).

Predictable and Interesting Road Map

Known has a strong commitment to only using open APIs and protocols. They publish and share the roadmap. I can reliably predict when features get added and bugs squashed. 

I may not know that with WordPress. The WordPress community relies heavily on committed volunteers. The upcoming changes to WordPress as it restructures will require some major retooling. Seemed like a good time to jump ship.

Some Drawbacks

Like WordPress Known development relies primarily on two people: Marcus Povey and Ben Werdmüller but an Open Collective was created and support has started to trickle in. New community members have created plug-ins and PRs.

I am seeing a ton of folks start to spin up a site. Who knows maybe all those who have the PHP  experience and feel abandoned by WordPress may find Known an attractive home.

Choose Your Path

For me means to own your content and control your data, preferably on your own Domain. Everything else after that is extra and a deeply personal choice. 

You can not go wrong with WordPress or Known or so many of the other new blogging tools that include the building blocks to connect to the modern social web. 

 

Greg McVerry

A wonderful definition of and your reasons to engage in building the Commons are great. The last one, improving learning, though I would say is more potential than reality. is the . It is nothing without the and meaningless without people.

Greg McVerry

Also look to the Wikimedia foundation and different chapters. Creative Commons is starting a local council. You can look to MoFo has a historical case as well. There are some Google+ that were massive they moved variety of places, many stayed with EDU accounts

Greg McVerry

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

4 min read

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen and Listen

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

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

Take Advantage of Existing Knowledge

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

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

Connect to Larger Networks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Using Sustainable Tech

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

We wanted:

  • Agnostic Platform
  • Data Ownership
  • FOSS

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

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

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

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

CLMOOC

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