Skip to main content

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.

Greg McVerry

Changes to My Core Instructional Design #literacies #digped

3 min read

I got some expected feedback from my online Children's Literature class. A reoccuring theme amongst my students is they feel overwhelemed by the number of tools. To me it fels like the natural tools of networked knowledge building but many students have trouble navigating the tools. I used o use:

  • Class website- for example
  • Class Feed-Linked on the page
  • website, usually a first, where they learn to blog
  • Slack-Our chatroom and hangout
  • Hypothesis-Online Annotation

This semester I am dropping Slack and Hypothesis. I love the tools but clearly my students want less places.....And I am itching tio add more like wikis....but I won't. The shift of mindset alone requires enough effort.


I always want to recreate the culture we have in our online pedagogy groups. A fool's errand. Many of us have hung online toggether for ten years. A decade of of practice can not be baked into one semester.

Though I am starting to get students who have helped to create learning speaces with me in two other classes so maybe this will improve.

Still no students hang out in Slack like we roll in Slack, IRC, or Twitter. The primary reason lies in the realities of the students I serve. Many have two to three jobs. 25% of of my undergraduates have children. Each as a unique life story and experience to bring. This ain't the cookie cutter white fence lives of Ivy League students or even UCONN students. They worry about making rent not the next Spring Break destination.

Having the capcity for networked learning reflects priviledge. No one used the channel. I tried Slack because when I used Known turned into a file cabinent to hand in assignments. If I wanted that I would use Blackboard. Slack was no different. 

Maybe I could have tried more welcoming messages each days, diret messaging people, but I coudl not increae engagement in any class.

The Replacement

I still need chat. It reduces student emails a hundred fold, plus it's how humans learn. So I added a chat room to my IndieWeb Course template.


I love hypothesis. My students do not. Partly because I did not spend as much time in the arrticle stream, but also just preference. Many do not want to read and take notes this way. I feel have a moral obligation not to demand students use a specific method for the external storage of knowledge.

The Replacement

I am going to have students publish Read posts and include block quotes and analysis, and then publish an analysis post synthesizing the readings. Our students, even in their sophmore year of college need support in text based analysis. I feel this step will add in greater reflection.

Class Feed

I have used inoreader the past few years and create a page of class feeds on the website. I am debating whether to try Malcom Blaney but all my students use so I wouldn't get the benefits of having a microsub/micropub social reader.

I don't have a one button push solution for IndieWeb sites and the best we can do with is webmentions with Bridgy.

Probably just stick to Inoreader.

Meeting the Student Needs

This will greatly reduce student navigation. They now will only have to vist the class website and post on their website.

Greg McVerry

@NomadWarMachine Here is one for the journal we are launching: You should get involved. First call went out, editorial board forming, first issue in May:

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

Greg McVerry

Hey if anyone is around and wants to learn more about @dshanske and I are going to start up an impromptu virtual Homebrew Website club in like five minutes...I will post a link in a few

Greg McVerry

Something about agentive writing. The sense of real ownership. It changes someone's relationship with data and information. You can not understand how truth is shaped online until you shape your own.

Greg McVerry

Welcome feedback on our proposal for the @creativecommons summit. We have never put in one of these sessions before (Due Tomorrow)

Greg McVerry

At what point in history did the syllabus become more a tool for external forces outside of the classroom rather than a tool to guide the learners in the classroom?

Greg McVerry

Attention all @wordpress users, after testing we can say post-kinds is 5.0 compatible BUT do not turn on Gutenberg editor. Post-kinds and other plugins WILL break

Greg McVerry

Given revelations that @facebook uses anti-semitic memes about George Soros and willingly tried or did sell user data while lying to user does @scsu and other institutions have a responsibility to quit @facebook and @instagram?