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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 check out Mia's goals. I think sentence variety is like the spice in a recipe...actually no the meat and veggies, it is different.

Greg McVerry

Help Save @MozDevNet, Protect the Open web, Stop the MDN going to React!

3 min read

MDN is going to React???? The day you can't hit "View Soucre" and see human readable data on Mozilla web documents will be the day the Manifesto truly becomes meaningless

I'm not angry really sad. MDN is supposed to be the model of web standards.

Mozilla employees are like frameworks they come and go but HTML is forever. Choosing a framework because a team knows it is wrong, short sighted, and destined to fail.

You need to be hit "view source" and read not see a much of scripts. Greg McVerry. I know folks say well MDN code will be available in the repo. In my browser window when I hit view source, if the mission is equity and access....sayign "here's the repo" is not the same. Mozilla teachers throguh source code not frontend frameworks

As a contributor to MoFo and MoCo I have seen this story play out and always looked to MoCo and MDN with the commitment to HTML first as a north star

MoFo would be all about the latest and greatest framework trying this and that making resources harder and harder to remix (they very essence of what being open means) while MoCo always held firm. Always stayed committed to an open human readable web.

I worry those days are over

Look at MoFos track record of developing software and platforms literally every single one is gone and failed. Look at anything Mozilla has done in HTML. It is still there. Forever

Every existing product built on REACT is a MoFo project and almost every single one is marked for sunsetting and deletion.....

We have enough data to know this is a failed path. Like every time we tried.

Go read the top reason for choosing React:

> David has 18 months experience with it; Schalk was already learning it.

Choosing to abandon the open web because one person on staff knows it is a bad idea. Employees will not last longer than HTML.

> Web components will eventually be the standard component system for the web,

NO! Web components ARE a standard and an OPEN standard. They only survive in the face of corporate greed when Mozilla stands up.

> The MDN has ambitious goals for 2019 that we can't share.

When did Mozilla lose its attitude to open? This shift to React and away from  open reflects an organisational turn at Mozilla and can feel like a growing  isdain for Mozillians who want to contribute. We are just seeing another example of Mozilla turning our back on the Manifesto.

I mean @davidflanagan MUTED HIS OWN THREAD basically saying we don't care what the community thinks. We are Mozilla we make software FOR open source contributors but we no longer have any desire TO BUILD with open source contributors.

I know the team feels JQuery and javascript present limited choices fro complicated UI (so use less), and I won't hype web components more than they are. , I struggle with front end design as well battle every, but I made a promise to the open web. Mozilla should do the same.

We need to work together but r to make it better using open standards in a web first way, will always support MDN...but just hope I can still click "view source" and not see gobbily gook

Greg McVerry

A successful Homebrew Website Club New Haven

2 min read

Creating a learnign space on campus for students and alumni to gather to share their experiences has enriched my online teaching and provided students with an avenue for agency and artisty

On 2019-02-06 the local New Haven Homebrew Website Club met. As part of the global movement we join together to hack on websites. For many of my students this means building a site for the first time. For @SCSU alumni who attend they carry the website they began as students out in the real world and bring examples of how they use their sites in their classrooms.

New Name

At Wednesday's meeting we did decide a few things. Participants do not connect with the Homebrew Website Club. They do not know the history of the computer club once attended by Jobs and Gates and do not really care once they learn. So after some discussion we decided to revert our name back to the Elm City Webmakers. We will still host homebrew websiote club meetings but will brand these gatherings of the Elm City Webmakers.

Great Location

picture of room

Huge shout out to Dean Hegedus for building the active learnign lab where we meet. Today I was joined in person by two people. Natalie Caldwell, a student, and Drew McWeeney, an almuni

Awesome Goals

Natalie began byworking on her WordPress.com site. She wanted to learn how to add Bridgy and then to customize fonts and colors. Natalie even played with a bit of microformats

Drew came to the Elm City Webmaker gathering to work on his Grav site. Drew is working on instructional design for the American Red Cross. After discussing why he was using Grav for whta was a single webpage we decided to roll up opur sleeves and learn to spin up a web page by writing HTML.

Overall a great first meeting this month. I am looking forward to seeing even more people in two weeks.

Greg McVerry

After spending time with @drewmcweeney and talking about his goals we decide Grav is too much for a single page website... Decided to scrap it and write an HTML file.

Lot happening at Homebrew Website Club New Haven

Greg McVerry

Wow thanks for being so honest with your goals. Sentence variety and punctuation can make so much difference as a writer. Now that I know this is your goal I will drive my feedback in this direction.

Greg McVerry

Embracing the Struggle while Feeling Vulnerable #EDU307

1 min read

My first blog post! This is exciting!

Yes, something about blogging makes our writing special.

I feel that my goals as a writer are a little tougher to think about. I think my number one writing goal is to understand that it is okay to struggle sometimes.

I want to thank everyone for struggling in this class as you set up blogs. In any classroom, you must ask students to make themselves vulnerable. That is at the heart of intellectual risk.

The addition of blogging to a class that for many of you is your first online experience...That takes vulnerability and struggle.

Thank you for sticking with me.

Quotes from https://educationjulia.school.blog/2019/01/27/julia-rauccis-week-1-blog-goals/

 

 

Greg McVerry

Elizabeth these are tips and teacher could hang in their classroom: "Modeling good reading behaviors, Setting Goals for high expectations, Who said reading doesn’t have to be fun" Though I would add, "teach a ton of content"

Greg McVerry

As graduate coordinator, given 145 hours (1 class buyout) advise 50-70 students, handle all grad applications, oversee curriculum development, write tons of reports on how I am hitting diversity targets or raising test scores. now take over enrollment goals too

Greg McVerry

Thinking through goals:
students as researchers
student success i terms of professional growth
timely advising
creative activity around Lab School and Autism Center
interdisciplinary work
programs fully online

Greg McVerry

Submitted Application for the @Mozilla Responsible Computer Science Challenge

20 min read

Concept Description:

 

The Computer Science Department, Research Center on Computing and Society, and School of Education at Southern Connecticut State University propose this work to fund the creation of a Virtual Reality recording and editing studio, with accompanying coursework on storytelling and WebVR.

Specifically, this project will fund the creation of the VR lab and openly licensed pedagogical materials other computer science departments could use to learn ethics, WebVR , or both. Through these courses students will create scalable, remixable content around issues of ethics in computer science in order to leave our program understanding of ethics as a first-design principle.

The project will proceed in two stages. The Responsible Computer Science Challenge award will fund the first stage. During the first stage we will develop the animation and WebVR lab as well as the curriculum. Successful results of this stage will lead us to seek follow up funding to design a dual-purpose Virtual Reality live recording studio while maintaining planetarium functionality.

Stage One, funded by the Responsible Computer Science Challenge, is a formative design research project that revolves around the  pedagogical goal of understanding how perspectives, history, and personality shape ethics and technology. We will develop a class cross listed in philosophy and computer science will teach digital storytelling through narratives of ethics and revise computer science classes in web design and security to include WebVR.

SCSU  is uniquely qualified for this award. Our Research Center on Computing and Society, founded and led by Terrell Ward Bynum, has explored the ethics of computer science and technology since 1988. Dr Heidi Lockwood, Professor of Philosophy, will join the project. Dr. Lisa Lancor, Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department will serve as Principal Investigator on the Project. Dr. Greg McVerry, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Learning, and long-time Mozilla contributor, will lead our efforts to facilitate the development of course curricula  that align our long history of exploring ethics and computer science with theories of open pedagogy.

Theoretical Principles

We draw on John Dewey and see digital literacies and ethics in computer science as necessary for efforts in democratic education. The pedagogy used will center around production-based inquiry methods. We will also encourage all participants to reflect openly on a blogging platform. We will encourage further involvement of the larger Mozilla WebVR community in the project

Why WebVR

We believe webVR has the greatest reach and impact when teaching ethics. While the cost of full virtual reality rigs and the computer to power these systems are out of reach for most of the global population, WebVR is accessible to anyone with a phone and Mozilla’s virtual reality web browser.

Open Pedagogy

Every participant will have their own website domain and a  content management system. Our theoretical underpinning is that agency and belief in oneself as a writer is essential in order to engage in the reflective thought required in ethics education. In today’s networked society (Castells & Cardozza, 2006), a new set of skills and practices have emerged, and we must design for diversity and inclusivity by acknowledging computer science has not been a safe space (boyd, 2018) (1,137 characters)

Formative Design

Collect Baseline Data

We will begin with focus group interviews with students who have completed CSC 235 Web and Database Development and ask about how they felt the class integrated lessons of technology and allowed them to develop their own space online. This class will include introductions to building A-Frame as students learn HTML.

We will also collect efficacy data about how participants feel towards storytelling. They will be asked to choose a picutre from a set and explain how the picture represents how they feel about their skill level. 

Develop Learning Interventions

We will then create and file the necessary paperwork for our new and revised courses. These courses will be designed in conjunction with our students and assigned a license that allows for . We will work with Mozillians already creating content on Glitch to develop WebVR tutorials.

Implement Interventions

We will then implement the courses and collect student feedback. The class will be open to SCSU for credit but open to global participants to play and contribute. Data will be triangulated using their blog posts and plus delta charts at multiple time points.

Analyze Data

After the first run of classes we will analyze the data to determine which factors inhibited and which factors supported our pedagogical goals.

Iterate on Learning Interventions

We will then revise the coursework and run the classes again.

Analyze Data

Finally, we will analyze  data one last time using content analysis to identify themes that brought us closer to our pedagogical goals.

 

 

 

Working Open:

 

We will open this project to the wider computer science and WebVR world. In fact, as we write this proposal, we welcome Pull Requests and issues at GitHub

Open Begins on Your Own Domain

As we develop this project, all participants will be encouraged to blog and share their reflections and learnings.  We believe working open involves not only "documenting and sharing your concept with broader audiences",  but inviting  audiences to get involved and help shape both the project and our openly networked space for learning.

To this end, all participants from the PI to each student will be given a url and a blog. We will use a social reader and technologies called to connect learners.

Open Pedagogy

The two courses designed for this class will carry an open license. In fact, they will be built using readily available tools. Members of Mozilla's WebVR community have already expressed interest in both designing and taking the course.

Open Data and Privacy

No participant will be required to share openly and will have full control to license their own content as long as they meet the requirements of any reused code or previously licensed content.( 

 

 

 

Internet Health:

 

In a recent survey on Internet Health, specifically the future of connected devices, Mozilla found that those who identify as ultra nerds are more optimistic about the web than those not always online. This result mirror's danah boyd's twentieth anniversary critique of John Berry Barlow's original manifesto. Ultra-nerds come from a place of privilege, and this usually means white, male, and from the global north. We never designed the web for diversity because the original designers had never felt threatened, were never stalked. This explains why, even today, Amnesty International find female journalists get attacked every ten seconds online

In college I did have a stalker. It was a very scary experience. I come to technology with a different perspective because of that experience. It is not a matter of techno panic but a matter of self-preservation....lots of people in Silicon Valley who have never had a Stalker. They are not thinking like that. If you get more people involved that have had …well…Diversity improves technology in a way that makes regulation less necessary Stacey Higginbotham, This Week in Google.

We seek to improve internet health by ensuring that ethics, especially the areas of diversity and inclusion, gets taught as a principle of first design. WebVR provides a useful avenue for this approach as we can put hypothetical characters in situations that would not be ethical to do to real humans. Furthermore, early research into counseling, PTSD, and autism finds virtual reality may help to improve empathy.

We will utilize a series of case studies as models and encourage students to record and create A-Frame content. The use of a WebVR first approach also allows us to reach a much larger audience with our message of ethics in computer science. While the price point on high end virtual reality rig  the cost makes it inaccessible to almost 100% of the world population. Anyone with a smartphone and a compatible lens can use WebVR.

Our MVP case studies we propose and will develop with our students include:

  • Greening the Web: Do you really need React or Blockchain when HTML will do?
  • Code of Conduct: Better conferences or Kangaroo Court?
  • False Positives: Do Algorithms protect us?
  • HTML First: A Matter of ?

Our students will then work in distributed teams with open participants across the web to create additional case studies.

 

 

 

 

A scan of scholarly articles and a survey of virtual reality and computer science specialists found no evidence of anyone else trying to teach ethics through the use of WebVR. We posted messages to GitHub repos, Telegram, Twitter, and Slack in communities that focus on webVR.

While we did not find anyone currently doing similar work, we did find a large expressed interest from people who want to contribute. In fact, we are already collaborating with the two most popular A-Frame  teachers in the greater Mozilla networks.

However recent outreach on Twitter https://twitter.com/jgmac1106/status/1088453939861712897 lead to emergin connections to other researchers in the State of Connecticut may lead to partnerships on scale up efforts. 

 

 

 

 

Key Personnel

Dr. Lisa Lancor (an 8.3% effort, or 1.0)will enable her to oversee course development and program instruction as well as administration of the project funds. Dr. Lancor will also revise courses following their operation and analyze data collected.

Co-PI Greg McVerry (a 9.4% effort, or 1.13 Academic Months). He  will act as a pedagogy and instructional design expert helping to design courses. Dr. McVerry will also coordinate with third party developers creating learning tools. He will also devote 0.5 Summer Months above and beyond his normal duties to the project, for an additional 4.2% effort

Additional salary support for Co-PI Heidi Lockwood (a 2.7% effort, or 0.3 Summer Month) 4% of time will provide assistance in applying the philosophy of ethics to our course design.

Other Personnel

Student 1 $15 per hour for 20 hr/wk. This student will help to record and edit instructional videos, data collection, provide four hours of open online office hours for help, and spend four hours documenting the program through our website and social media.

Student 2 will be paid $12 per hour for 10 hr/wk  He or she will handle  office logistics and filing of university required paperwork. They will provide technical assistance in the lab during class time. 

Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits for are protected under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Dr. Lancor  64.70% rate on summer work; Dr. McVerry 83.47% rate on course release and 49.72% rate on summer; Dr. Lockwood  72.73% on summer work. Students do not receive fringe during the academic year.

Materials and Supplies

Insta360 Pro II Spherical VR 360 8K Camera, Extra Battery & Charger Kit, $6,000

 Audio recording equipment $4,000

3 Garmin VIRB 360 Action Camera $2,100

Audio remixing and studio equipment, $2,900

5 high-end desktops or laptops $20,0000

Other

  • Professional Installation, 2000 for the set-up of the audio recording studio
  • Developer, Malcom Blaney,¬†[FJ1]¬† at $75 for 65 hours.; Create a ledger and micropub client for issuing and recording webmention badges. and HTML.
  • Developer, Grant Richardson, $9,000 at $75 for 120 hours; Create a lightweight blogging CMS using nodejs. Include webmentions, indieauth, and micropub endpoints. Create a microformats parser for tracking class participation.¬†

Indirect Costs: SCSU maintains a negotiated indirect cost agreement with DHHS. Copies of SCSU’s NICRA are available upon request.

 

 

Risks:

 

As a university sponsored project, all research activity funded by this grant will require approval from the SCSU  Institutional Review Board and any consent and assent from participants.

Humane Tech isn't Engineered

Mindsets do not shift easily. Many developers look to engineer their way to the perfect social solution. This world belief that "Code can save the world, but only I can write it" traces its roots, as Sara Wachter-Boettcher (2017) points out, back to bias engineered into computer science since the 1950's when  identified loner men as the most apt for programming and then built assessments to identify these types of employees. Yet  of bias of perfection, impostor syndrome to explicit bias around competition, verbal discourse, and neurodiversity have weeded their way through all of our history (Banaji & Greenwald, 2017).

We cannot code our way to better community. While what we engineer reflects our bias, engineering alone can never overcome perspectives and pasts. Instead we must carve anew; placing our principles before our pull  requests. To overcome the risk of settled mindsets we will first put a focus on listening to voices who tech does not serve or has not served safely.

We will then root the story of ethics in Computer Science into the narratives of at-risk populations. We will study the shape of the story and come to understand how the prescriptive technologies (Ursula, 2004) control the shape of stories we tell. We will then create narratives through the webVR case studies.

This does introduce the risk of too many possibilities. Amy Burvall notes that constraints lead to greater creativity. We will mitigate this risk by first focusing on creating webVR using A-Frame technologies as a proof of concept before scaling up to a full virtual reality recording studio.

However, we will provide everyone with a Domain  of their own and a blog to ensure they own their stories.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Our use of webVR and A-Frame will require computer science engineers to study digital storytelling and narratology while English and education majors study computer science. The populations served by many community colleges and state universities in the United States have multiple jobs and families to raise. Adding additional domains of knowledge to already crowded curriculum can add stress to the lives of students.

To mitigate these risks, we will add additional scaffolds, a network of open participants, bi-monthly face to face meetings, and on-demand video tutorials.  We will also stress importance of community in Open Pedagogy and encourage participants to rely on each other and the knowledge we create and curate together.

Open and Privacy

Online communication, such as tweets, blog posts, and comments are generally out in the open and technically ‚Äúpublic‚ÄĚ 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 ‚Äúpublished‚ÄĚ 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. While this study will seek IRB approval, we also have stringent rules around users:

·       We will analyze and publish data that is de-identified or aggregated in ways that cannot be traced back to an individual.

  • Any identifiable quotes or descriptions of activities will not be used in a research publication or presentation without the permission of the individual. This includes anonymized or pseudonymized quotes, because they can be linked back through a search engine to an individual public posting.

Participants may also be contacted and recruited to participate in surveys and interviews for specific research studies. In these cases, we will offer a clear explanation of the consent and privacy procedures, how the data will be used, and what benefit the research will provide to the individual and the community. We will also allow interviewees the opportunity to review transcripts and quotes.

No student will be required to join the study. In fact, someone beside the class instructor will collect permissions and the teaching professor will not know who agreed to be included until grades are submitted.  Participants may be asked to complete an additional consent form that will be reviewed and approved by our Institutional Review Board..

 

 

Student Audience:

 

At Southern Connecticut State University, we design for a future where there is no separate tech industry, for we embrace the truth of the present that every industry is now a tech industry. Therefore, our entry level class in the program will be offered to all students as part of our Liberal Education Program. This class will focus on the structure of storytelling, character development, and storytelling.

We will fork and also participate in the online class . This distributed learning community is the longest continuously running MOOC  and will connect our Southern students to open web advocates from across the globe. These students will be invited to join our efforts at developing ethical case studies using traditional new media.

All of our Computer Science undergraduate and graduate students take a class in computer ethics. All the case studies developed as part of this grant will be deployed in this class to be used by all of our computer science classes.

We will also revise our graduate level ethical hacking class to include case studies specifically around the ethics of privacy and security. Every computer science graduate class offers this program.

We will also develop and propose a new class on learning A-Frame and WebVR. While students will not complete case studies in this class, they will take storyboards and scripts students wrote in DS106, apply greater disciplinary and tier-three academic language, then develop the webVR files using the editing studio funded by this grant.

 

All the material we create from this class, including participant blogs, will be made openly available on the Glitch platform and GitHub. We have already started to work with collaborators who have created A-Frame tutorials and host these files on Glitch as well. Participants will maintain the right to license their content  however they choose.

This strategy of providing locally curated content that we also open to the web at large will lead to the greatest number of students to be involved in the grant. Working openly also provides a greater voice for our students to get involved in the design of the classes and the projects. The SCSU computer science club has expressed an interest and reported to the department they would like instruction in virtual reality. Any student member can join the steering committee simply by showing up to a meeting or filing a pull request on the team repo.

We also hope computer science, philosophy, business or education schools take up and use the case studies developed by our students. While we believe the learning and knowledge students gain by creating, editing and animating their videos will lead to greater knowledge growth, we will also develop the curriculum for programs that would just like to utilize our series of case studies.

The tutorials on A-Frame and WebVR that we will develop in conjunction with the Mozilla Virtual Reality community will also reach thousands. Having  tutorials framed around e ethics will further reinforce the concept that diversity and inclusion need to be a first design principle.

While traditional instructional design places a priority on learning objectives, ethics in computer science can never work this way. Inclusion should never be a rubric. No one should get a ‚Äú2.7 proficient in diversity‚ÄĚ score. Creating a culture of ethics as a first principle of design requires us to reshape society and not learners.

As Gary Stager points out (2005 pg 3), a focus on instructionalism, the measurable objective, direct instruction, forced response assessment, in education using the web leads to "delivering re-purposed content to students via the Internet. Communication, collaboration, community and construction are afterthoughts graded onto modern correspondence courses."

This data fetishization is a symptom of society rooted in the same problem that lead to the lack of ethics in computer science. Being inclusive doesn't exist on a Likert scale; it develops on a human scale

Therefore, rather than specific learner objectives, we will work with participants to set their "subjectives" (Cormier, 2015) and let them determine the goals in a class that is

¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Collaborative¬†‚Äď everyone, including the instructor, learns together and takes responsibility for everyone else‚Äôs learning.

·       Documented - the processes of learning are more important that the specifics of the knowledge constructed. The learning process, therefore, is documented in the...

·       Open - by exposing learning to colleagues and the public, students take the first steps in taking control of their digital identity and expanding their horizons as connected learners-John Becker, 2016.

Community we create will teach more about ethics than specific content. By utilizing case studies, we can connect with multiple perspectives and allow for growth and self-remediation yet we must live these lessons to the spaces and tools we build.

 

 

Measuring Success:

 

Measuring Success

Space as Variable of Interest

As our focus is more on measuring success in our spaces of learning, we will ask learners to plot how they feel the class supports learners in growing on the following scales:

  • Lead
    • Learn
    • Teach
    • Innovate
    • Evangelize
    • Organize
  • Communicate
    • Inquiry
    • Identify
    • Position
    • Empathize
    • Engage
  • Think
    • Question
    • Reflect
    • Analyze
    • Decide
    • Change
  • Create
    • Build
    • Test
    • Iterate
    • Differentiate
    • Scale

 

We will  will create a simple web app for participants to record not where they feel the majority of students engage with the participatory learning environments. After each class students, will simply click on across each of the four scales. We will use this data to iterate on how we meet our pedagogical goals.

Curating Evidence of Success

Each week all participants will be asked to select a picture and write a brief not explaining how the picture captures how they feel. Using content analysis and semiotic analysis we will explore the visual metaphors participants choose. This will provide evidence of knowledge growth from participants. This task is also designed to reinforce visual thinking in the creation of case studies.

Parsing for Growth

Because A-Frame is written in declarative HTML, we will be able to track knowledge growth by using HTML parsers and a type of metadata called microformats. These will be included in both the case study templates, student blogs, and the A-Frame starter kits.

We will also be able to track the number of changes students make using the history available to us in both Git and Glitch.

Webmention badges

We will also create a platform to issue badges. These have been piloted and successfully deployed. All class instructional pages will accept webmentions. Students will apply for a badge by writing a post in reply to the course explaining how they met criteria. If they met the criteria a webmention badge will be sent in reply to the application and to the student’s badge display page.

Circuit of Reflective Inquiry

Ethics requires a study of self and society through a process of self-remediation and democratic education. As we try to measure success of these efforts in Computer Science, we attempt to use multiple pieces of evidence that still put agency in the learner to focus on their subjectives. In this approach we hope to measure growth through Gee's circuit of reflective action:

We formulate a goal (and the goal could be answering a question) and then we take an action in the world. We see how the world responds to the action, ask ourselves whether this response was good or not for the accomplishment of our goal, and then, if need be, act again on better information or a redefined goal. The circuit of reflective action is an interactive conversation with the world.