Today I just wanted to quickly review an awesome tool called Hypothesis that I've been using all semester for two of my English classes (Currents in American Lit and Critical Theory).
I’ve spent some time talking about open pedagogy at several universities this Spring, and in each of those presentations and workshops, I have usually mentioned The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature, an OER anthology that my students and I produced last year for an American literature survey course I taught. When I talk about the anthology, it’s usually to make a point about open pedagogy. I began the project with the simple desire to save my students about $85 US, which is how much they were (ostensibly) paying for the Heath Anthology of American Literature Volume A. Most of the actual texts in the Heath were public domain texts, freely available and not under any copyright restrictions. As the Heath produced new editions (of literature from roughly 1400-1800!), forcing students to buy new textbooks or be irritatingly out of sync with page numbers, and as students turned to rental markets that necessitated them giving their books back at the end of the semester, I began to look in earnest for an alternative.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
Most of the actual texts in the Heath were public domain texts, freely available and not under any copyright restrictions. As the Heath produced new editions (of literature from roughly 1400-1800!), forcing students to buy new textbooks or be irritatingly out of sync with page numbers, and as students turned to rental markets that necessitated them giving their books back at the end of the semester, I began to look in earnest for an alternative. ❧
Repackaging public domain texts and charging a steep markup too much above and beyond the cost of the paper is just highway robbery. Unless a publisher is adding some actual annotative or analytical value, they shouldn’t be charging outrageous prices for textbooks of this nature.
August 13, 2018 at 12:14PM
If OER is free, what hidden costs exist in its production? Making these textbooks is taking me a chunk of time in the off-season. Thanks to my salaried position, I feel ok about putting in the overtime, but it’s a privilege my colleagues who teach under year-to-year part-time non-contracts can’t afford. Who should be funding OER creation? Institutions? Students? For-profit start-ups? How will you invest time in this project without obscuring the true costs of academic labor? Right now, we pass the corruptly high cost of academic publishing onto the backs of academia’s most vulnerable members: students. But as OER gains steam, we need to come up with funding models that don’t land us back in the same quagmire of exploitation that we were trying to get out of. ❧
This is a nearly perfect question and something to watch in the coming years.
August 13, 2018 at 12:35PM
working in public, and asking students to work in public, is fraught with dangers and challenges. ❧
August 13, 2018 at 12:36PM
What David told me was his energy, enthusiasm in the class was at a much higher level with the OER approach. Sure we choose the polished “professional” textbook because of its assumed high standards, quality etc, but then its a more passive relationship a teacher has with it. I make the comparison to growing and/or making your own food versus having it prepared or taking it out of a package. Having produced our own food means we know everything about it from top to bottom, and the pride in doing that has to make the whole experience much more energized. ❧
As I read both this post and this comment from Alan, I can’t help but think again about scholars in the 14th century who taught students. It was more typical of the time that students were “forced” to chose their own textbooks–typically there were fewer, and at the advent of the printing press they were significantly higher in price. As a result students had to spend more time and attention, as Robin indicates here, to come up with useful things.
Even in this period students often annotated their books, which often got passed on to other students and even professors which helped future generations. So really, we’re not reinventing the wheel here, we’re just doing it anew with new technology that makes doing it all the easier.
As a reference, I’ll suggest folks interested in this area read Owen Gingerich’s The Book Nobody Read which I recall as being one of the texts I’ve read that references early teaching and textbook practices during that time period.
August 13, 2018 at 12:44PM
Imagine a jet plane cruising down a road. It’s possible, though a clear case of underutilization of the technology. Now take that imagery and apply it to Open Educational Resources (OER). While they are available for adoption by faculty as learning content, the full potential of OER goes underutilized. How so? At the Open Ed ’16 Conference, held November 2016, I learned how faculty are taking on that challenge and finding new ways to create and use OER.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
Our work, said Campbell, is not to graduate more students, but to enable students to graduate themselves. ❧
August 13, 2018 at 12:01PM
Disposable assignments are the ones students hate to do, faculty hate to grade and are quickly forgotten. Think ten-page term papers. ❧
There’s no reason that the 10 page term paper couldn’t be repurposed for the greater good. Why not post it up on your own website and allow it to be part of the bigger part of academic research?
August 13, 2018 at 12:03PM
A week ago, I got into one of those spontaneous Twitter discussions with two of my good friends from the University of Oklahoma, Laura Gibbs and Stacy Zemke. Laura and Stacy are passionate advocates for open content, and innovative thinkers when it comes to online course design. Our Twitter conversation focused on the relationship between OER and open pedagogy. Not surprisingly, our tweets soon became a phone conversation that, in turn, became a draft list of qualities for open pedagogy.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
They are allowed to operate independently and explore with personal freedom. ❧
There is still typically a “thing(s)” they need to learn, a goal they need to reach, or standards that are typically set, so the freedom only goes so far.
August 13, 2018 at 10:48AM
I want us to set the bar really high when it comes to education technology -- both in its development and its implementation. I don't think it's too much to ask. I mean, we're talking about teaching and learning here, and while I believe strongly we should all be lifelong learners, most often when we talk about ed-tech, we're talking about kids. As the Macarthur Foundation's Connie Yowell said at the recent DML conference (and I'm paraphrasing), there's value in risk-taking and failing fast and often, but not in "high stakes environments with other people's children."
new to queer twitter? just made your account? came out recently? well, lucky for you, i’m going to save you a whole bunch of heartache with the official:
JESS FROM ONLINE GUIDE TO QUEER TWITTER ETTIQUITE
1. REPLYING TO SELFIES
this is everyone’s first mistake. does the poster follow you? if not: you are a “rando”. a stranger. do not tweet at them as you would a friend. what does this mean practically?
- do not proposition them
- do not make a “playful” rude joke
- do not make a sexual comment or observation
best general rule: do not place yourself in the reply. if you want to compliment someone, you can do that, but be careful with “i” or “me”.
yes, this includes “i’m gay!”. while not true of everyone, many people will be made uncomfortable by the way that places *you* into the compliment. this is okay to do with friends, but not when you’re a rando!
final note: jealousy is not a compliment! attempting to compliment them but telling them how you wished you looked like that or how much better you look is you venting your dysphoria, not a compliment, and can be very upsetting to read!
2. RETWEETING SELFIES
some people love having their selfies retweeted. some people absolutely hate it. it’s best that you know which someone is before you RT that selfie. if a selfie has 10+ RTs already you’re probably good. otherwise, if you dont know, ask first!
3. FOLLOWING LOCKED ACCOUNTS
many people have a private “locked”/“sad”/“vent” account and a private “AD”/“lewd” account
if you come across a private account and you don’t know who it is or you’re not mutuals with their main DO NOT REQUEST TO FOLLOW
4. OTHER PEOPLE’S MENTIONS
if you see two people talking in a reply chain and you don’t know either party (or if you’re being safe, both parties) DO NOT FAV OR REPLY. reply chains are a private convo between two people and many people find it very uncomfortable!
5. CAREFUL WHO YOU TAG
if someone mentions a person, especially a microcelebrity, who has a twitter account, but doesn’t use ther @, that’s probably for a reason! don’t tag someone you don’t know just because someone else you don’t know is talking about them.
6. HORNY ON MAIN
here’s a controversial one. while not everyone finds it acceptable, it’s not uncommon for queer people to be horny on their public accounts nowadays. that said, THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO BE HORNY AT THEM.
a person having sexual content on main says “i am okay with you opting into seeing my sexuality” not “i am opting in to seeing your sexuality”. if you’re a rando, you probably shouldn’t reply with or tag someone in horny-on-main content.
7. REPLYING TO RTS
don’t make us tap the sign. if you’re going to reply to a retweet, either be 100% sure it’s Premium Content or, more safely, pull up the tweet separately so you can reply to it without including the person who retweeted it.
don’t make me tap the sign pic.twitter.com/WIOor5EgMw— Casey Kolderup (@ckolderup) December 19, 2017
8. TWEETS YOU “SHOULDN’T SEE”
twitter is terrible and implements features that break ettiquite patterns. as a general rule: faving or replying to tweets of people that you don’t follow that haven’t been retweeted or visibly quote tweeted will likely make someone uncomfortable.
9. CURATE YOUR FOLLOWERS
this is more advanced, but also important. if you allow bad followers, it means that you expose those you retweet to bad followers. unless you don’t plan to ever retweet people, it’s impolite to be irresponsible about followers. what does this look like?
first, if a rando is homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. in your mentions, block/softblock.
second, if someone breaks these rules in your mentions, gently correct them. if unsuccessful or dont have the bandwith, then block/softblock.
third, are you trans? especially a trans woman? do you post selfies? you’re going to start getting chasers! these are men who fetishize trans people/trans women and will follow you to jerk it to your selfies. it’s disgusting! (cont.)
for the sake of both those you RT and *yourself*, watch out of chasers. i vet almost every follower, but a good rule of thumb: no icon, generic male name and icon, or entire bio in language that is not your’s, means check their “Following” or
“Likes”. if they’re a chaser their likes will usually be full of pornography of trans women and their “Following” will be contain mix of both porn + non-porn accounts of trans women. BLOCK THESE PEOPLE ON SIGHT. i usually block a couple each day.
10. DON’T REPEAT YOURSELVES
this is a good rule in any twitter community: before you reply with a joke or suggestion, especially to a popular tweet or account, check the existing replies. make sure this isn’t the second (or tenth) time someone had said the same thing. i realize some of these rules are unintuitive! this is why i’m collecting them; it’s always felt a little unfair that people are expected to “just know” them. it’s ok to have messed up. many of us learned the hard way. but hopefully this will help that happen less often!
11. TAGGING OUT
almost missed a big one. if youre going to have a conversation in replies between two people who aren’t the original poster, you should remove the OP. anything more than 2 back and forths without OP and make sure you tag them out aka remove them from reply chain.
12. BIGOTS IN REPLIES
similarly, if you feel like you need to reply to a bigot in someone’s mentions, do NOT include the @ of the OP in the reply. they may have even blocked the bigot and now your replies to them are in OP’s mentions, and that is Not Good. something i’ve definitely learned from having this thread go viral is just how many people are fine being rude and making people uncomfortable because they “disagree” with a social convention
This is a great set of general rules for everyone on Twitter, not just for the particular audience to whom it’s directed. There are a few things on it that I’ve been aware of but sometimes don’t actively practice, though I’ll try to make more of an effort in future.
hat tip to Greg McVerry
What is new about how teenagers communicate through services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do social media affect the quality of teens’ lives? In this eye-opening book, youth culture and technology expert danah boyd uncovers some of the major myths regarding teens' use of social media. She explores tropes about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying. Ultimately, boyd argues that society fails young people when paternalism and protectionism hinder teenagers’ ability to become informed, thoughtful, and engaged citizens through their online interactions. Yet despite an environment of rampant fear-mongering, boyd finds that teens often find ways to engage and to develop a sense of identity. Boyd’s conclusions are essential reading not only for parents, teachers, and others who work with teens but also for anyone interested in the impact of emerging technologies on society, culture, and commerce in years to come. Offering insights gleaned from more than a decade of original fieldwork interviewing teenagers across the United States, boyd concludes reassuringly that the kids are all right. At the same time, she acknowledges that coming to terms with life in a networked era is not easy or obvious. In a technologically mediated world, life is bound to be complicated.
Read introduction through page 20 of 296
Ultimately I think I was bored after reading the table of contents. Not seeing any indication there that I might encounter any interesting new ground given my experience I may have to give up.
A short distance in seemed to confirm my initial bias, so I’ve ultimately decided to press on to something else which seems a bit more fruitful.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
1 identity why do teens seem strange online? 29
2 privacy why do youth share so publicly? 54
3 addiction what makes teens obsessed with social media? 77
4 danger are sexual predators lurking everywhere? 100
5 bullying is social media amplifying meanness and cruelty? 128
6 inequality can social media resolve social divisions? 153
7 literacy are today’s youth digital natives? 176
8 searching for a public of their own 199 ❧
Just reading this table of contents reminds me that this “analysis of teens” seems a lot like the perennial contemplations of adults who think that the generations of teenagers coming behind them is different, weird, or even deviant.
A typical case in point is that of the greatest generation looking at the long-haired 60’s hippy teens who came after them. “Why do they like rock and roll? They do too many drugs. There’s no hope for the future.” “Damn kids. Get off of my lawn!”
Is the way that current teens and millennials react to social just another incarnation of this general idea?
As I began to get a feel for the passions and frustrations of teens and to speak to broader audiences, I recognized that teens’ voices rarely shaped the public discourse surrounding their networked lives. ❧
Again, putting this into historical context, is this sentence different for any prior period if we remove the word “networked”?
It’s been a while, but the old saw “A child should be seen and not heard” comes quickly to mind for me.
the kids are all right ❧
Given danah’s age, I would suspect that with a copyright date of 2014, she’s likely referencing the 2010 feature film The Kids are Alright.
However that film’s title is a cultural reference to a prior generation’s anthem in an eponymous song by The Who which appeared on the album My Generation. Interestingly the lyrics of the song of the same name on that album is one of their best known and is applicable to the ideas behind this piece as well.
given that I was in Nashville to talk with teens about how technology had changed their lives. ❧
I have to wonder who the sociologists were from the 60’s that interviewed teens about how the telephone changed their lives. Or perhaps the 70’s sociologist who interviewed kids about how cars changed their lives? Certainly it wasn’t George Lucas’ American Graffiti that informed everyone of the issues?
the internet? ❧
What if we replaced the words “the internet” in this piece with “the telephone” in the 1960-1970’s? I wonder how much of the following analysis would ring true to that time period? Are we just rehashing old ideas in new settings?
the more things had changed, the more they seemed the same. ❧
When they did look at their phones, they were often sharing the screen with the person sitting next to them, reading or viewing something together. ❧
Over history, most “teen technology” is about being able to communicate with their peers. From the handwritten letter via post, to the telephone, to the car, to the pager, and now the cell phone.
But many adults were staring into their devices intently, barely looking up ❧
Socially adults have created their longer term bonds and aren’t as socially attached, so while their teens are paying attention to others, they’re often doing something else: books, newspapers, and now cell phones.
few of my friends in the early 1990s were interested in computers at all. ❧
I would suspect for the time period they were all sending text messages via pager.
Unlike me and the other early adopters who avoided our local community by hanging out in chat-rooms and bulletin boards, most teenagers now go online to connect to the people in their community. Their online participation is not eccentric; it is entirely normal, even expected. ❧
There’s a broad disconnect between her personal experiences and those of the teens she’s studying. Based on my understanding, she was a teen on the fringes of her local community and eschewed the cultural norms–thus her perspective is somewhat skewed here. She sounds like she was at the bleeding edge of the internet while most of her more average peers were likely relying on old standbys like telephones, cars, and pagers. Thus not much has changed. I suspect that most teens have always been more interested in their local communities and peers. It’s danah boyd who was three standard deviations away from the norm who sought out ways to communicate with others like herself that felt marginalized. The internet made doing that far easier for her and future generations compared to those prior who had little, if any outlet to social interactions outside of the pale of their communities.
“If you’re not on MySpace, you don’t exist.” ❧
In prior generations, if you couldn’t borrow dad’s car, you didn’t exist…
Cross reference the 1955 cultural touchstone film Rebel Without a Cause. While the common perception is that James Dean, portraying Jim Stark, was the rebel (as seen in the IMDB.com description of the film “A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.”), it is in fact Plato, portrayed by Sal Mineo, who is the true rebel. Plato is the one who is the disruptive and rebellious youth who is always disrupting the lives of those around him. (As an aside, should we note Plato’s namesake was also a rebel philosopher in his time?!?)
Plato’s first disruption in the film is the firing of the cannon at school. While unstated directly, due to the cultural mores of Hollywood at the time, Plato is a closeted homosexual who’s looking to befriend someone, anyone. His best shot is the new kid before the new kid manages to find his place in the pecking order. Again Jim Stark does nothing in the film but attempt to fit into the social fabric around him, his only problem is that he’s the new guy. Most telling here about their social structures is that Jim has ready access to an automobile (a literal rolling social club–notice multiple scenes in the film with cars full of teenagers) while Plato is relegated to an old scooter (a mode of transport focused on the singleton–the transport of the outcast, the rebel).
Plato as portrayed by Sal Mineo in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Notice that as the rebel, he’s pictured in the middleground with a gun while his scooter protects him in the foreground. In the background is the automobile, the teens’ coveted source of freedom at the time.
The spaces may change, but the organizing principles aren’t different. ❧
I am still working out the kinks of the Hypothes.is website, so i had trouble connecting my reading to my annotations, (I had made a hard copy in a lined notebook to feel like I had stepped back in time). I think there is a very big difference between free reading and reading for a purpose. In my cl...
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
I believe, and I try to emphasize to the students, that annotation is a deeply personal activity, my annotations may look different from yours because we think differently. ❧
We often think differently even on different readings. Sometimes upon re-reading pieces, I’ll find and annotate completely different things than I would have on the first pass. Sometimes (often with more experience and new eyes) I’ll even disagree with what I’d written on prior passes.
This process reminds me a bit of the Barbell Method of Reading
August 06, 2018 at 04:39PM
They did that to the point where there were more asterisks on the page than stars in the sky. Despite all this, the annotations did not mean anything to the students. ❧
Keeping in mind that different people learn in different ways, there’s another possible way of looking at this.
Some people learn better aurally than visually. Some remember things better by writing them down. I know a few synaesthetes who likely might learn better by using various highlighting colors. Perhaps those who highlight everything are actually helping their own brains to learn by doing this?
This said, I myself still don’t understand people who are highlighting everything in their books this way. I suspect that some are just trying and imitating what they’ve seen before and just haven’t learned to read and annotate actively.
Helping students to discover how they best learn can be a great hurdle to cross, particularly at a young age. Of course, this being said, we also need to help them exercise the other modalities and pathways to help make them more well-rounded and understanding as well.
August 06, 2018 at 04:47PM
The following is my first attempt to share my EDU 522 goals by creating an infographic. Instead of voicing my goals that I’m still unsure of, I suggested articles to consider, as my views materialize through what I read and learn…
I like the presentation here and it makes an interesting version for presenting one’s goals. Kind of wish I had more graphical skills to attempt something like this. Perhaps Venngage can help me there?!
As a post however, maybe a photo post would have been better to highlight this instead of a quote post type? You might also want to download a copy of the image and save it by uploading it to your site to protect against the day when Vennage no long exists to host the content you’ve made.
Reminds me that I need to figure out what my projects are going to be. I’ve been narrowing them down, and hope to be able to post something concrete shortly.
By choosing images over links, and by restricting markup, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are hostile to HTML. This is leading to the plague of infographics crowding out text, and of video used to convey minimal information. The rise of so-called infographics has been out of control this year, though the term was unknown a couple of years ago. I attribute this to the favourable presentation that image links get within Facebook, followed by Twitter and Google plus, and of course though other referral sites like Reddit. By showing a preview of the image, the item is given extra weight over a textual link; indeed even for a url link, Facebook and G+ will show an image preview by default.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I read Megan McCardle's Ending the Infographic Plague on The Atlantic a few days ago. Someone had said it at last! As useful as a really well-produced infographic can be, there's some real dross out there and it's time we talked about the problem.
There seems to be some confusion uin #edu522 about when to add a title and when to leave a post with a title. This is the #IndieWeb the choice is utimatley yours. If a one word post deserves a title..give it one;…a 3,000 word treatsie doesn’t need it…then skip it. Best Practice Yet here is a q...
I still need to figure out how I want to structure tags for individual modules. Is it really worthile? Who would use them and how would those be used?
While I like the idea of “backstage” posts, I’m not sure that tagging them as such has as much value to me. Since my site is my living commonplace book, such a tag doesn’t have as much meaning somehow. I’ll have to think about it and figure out what I want to do there. I can see some value for syndicating out, or potentially to fellow classmates, but I’d suspect that for the volume of content I’m producing with the edu522 tag, it may not be as valuable. Perhaps in a larger class it might or one in which I was producing a much higher volume of posts? Time will tell, but some of these mechanics could be useful/valueable to think about for teachers vis-a-vis their classrooms and digital pedagogy based on expected class size and post volume as well as how they might structure their “planets”.
The "controversy" over hiring tech journalist Sarah Jeong, explained.
I was just thinking about the Quinn Norton episode the other day, and along comes this nice follow up. It’s nice to see that big institutions are coming to understand the trolling- (and some might say bot-) culture and making more clear-headed distinctions.
Another related case can potentially be found with Kevin Williamson at The Atlantic.
I saw the internet create and destroy a bizarro version of myself.
I’ve been reading some pieces from my archive on context collapse and people losing jobs/opportunities as the result of online bullies digging up old social media posts which has become a bigger issue as of late. Many people have been wanting to leave social media platforms for their toxic cultures, and this seems to be a subset of that in that it has people going back and deleting old social posts for fear of implications in the present.
Quinn Norton has some relatively sage advice about the internet in this piece. Of course it’s no coincidence that The New York Times editorial board wanted to hire her.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
History doesn’t ask you if you want to be born in a time of upheaval, it just tells you when you are. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM
I have a teenage daughter, and I have told her all her life that all the grown-ups are making it up as they go along. I have also waggled my eyebrows suggestively while saying it, to make it clear to her that I mean me, too. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM
This taught me that not everyone worthy of love is worthy of emulation. It also taught me that being given terrible ideas is not a destiny, and that intervention can change lives. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:02AM
Not everyone believes loving engagement is the best way to fight evil beliefs, but it has a good track record. Not everyone is in a position to engage safely with racists, sexists, anti-Semites, and homophobes, but for those who are, it’s a powerful tool. Engagement is not the one true answer to the societal problems destabilizing America today, but there is no one true answer. The way forward is as multifarious and diverse as America is, and a method of nonviolent confrontation and accountability, arising from my pacifism, is what I can bring to helping my society. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:03AM
I am not immune from these mistakes, for mistaking a limited snapshot of something for what it is in its entirety. I have been on the other side. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:04AM
I had been a victim of something the sociologists Alice Marwick and danah boyd call context collapse, where people create online culture meant for one in-group, but exposed to any number of out-groups without its original context by social-media platforms, where it can be recontextualized easily and accidentally. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:05AM
I had even written about context collapse myself, but that hadn’t saved me from falling into it, and then hurting other people I didn’t mean to hurt. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:06AM
It helped me learn a lesson: Be damn sure when you make angry statements. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
Don’t internet angry. If you’re angry, internet later. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
Context collapse is our constant companion online. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
I used to think that showing someone how wrong they were on the internet could fix the world. I said a lot of stupid things when I believed that. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:08AM
I am not, and will never be, a simple writer. I have sought to convict, accuse, comfort, and plead with my readers. I’m leaving the majority of my flaws online: Go for it, you can find them if you want. It’s a choice I made long ago. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:09AM
If you look long enough you can find my early terrible writing. You can find blog posts in which I am an idiot. I’ve had a lot of uninformed and passionate opinions on geopolitical issues from Ireland to Israel. You can find tweets I thought were witty, but think are stupid now. You can find opinions I still hold that you disagree with. I’m going to leave most of that stuff up. In doing so, I’m telling you that you have to look for context if you are seeking to understand me. You don’t have to try, I’m not particularly important, but I am complicated. When I die, I’m going to instruct my executors to burn nothing. Leave the crap there, because it’s part of my journey, and that journey has a value. People who came from where I did, and who were given the thoughts I was given, should know that the future can be different from the past. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:13AM
In the Interdisciplinary Studies program where I have begun working, we encourage students to go public with their work. It’s a common idea well beyond interdisciplinary studies: for students to feel more engaged with the work they do, to feel that what they are doing matters, they need to do that...
An interesting take on open pedagogy to be sure. On my own website, I often default to public without taking much thought for the difference between open vs. private–though to be sure I do have a lot of private posts hidden on my back end that only I or other invited guests can view.
This article is sure to be germane to those reading on the topic of Open and Privacy for #EDU522. Within that realm I have automatically defaulted to posting everything public, in part to act as a potential model for my fellow classmates as well as for how teachers and students in general could potentially execute on open pedagogy using an IndieWeb model built on webmentions.
While my website apparently gets about 400 views a day lately, I suspect it’s a very small and specific niche audience to the set of topics I tend to write about. Since I post everything that I post online to my own website first, I have a more concentrated posting velocity than many/most, but it also means that some specific topics (like #EDU522 for example) can get lost in the “noise” of all the other posts on my site. If one compares this to others in the class who’ve only recently set up sites which have less than 10 views a day likely, there is a marked difference in public/private for them. (The concept of “privacy through obscurity” similar to its predecessor “security through obscurity” comes to mind, but one must remember it only takes one intruder to cause a problem.) Of course this doesn’t discount the fact that one’s public posts today, which seemingly disappear from the immediate rush of information, may still be found in the long-tails of their personal data to potentially be found years hence. With recent examples of people being fired for Tweets they made years ago (often taken out of context, or with serious context collapse) this can be a troubling issue.
Some recent examples:
- Disney Fires ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Director Over Offensive Tweets1
- New York Times Editorial board hired and fired Quinn Norton on the same day because internet trolls created a digital effigy of her using old social media posts from years prior. Even more ironic, she’s written and extensively studied context collapse.2–4
Public figures and journalists5 are actively deleting their tweets as a result, though this isn’t really a new phenomenon as people know that employers and others can search for their old content. As Ella Dawson has indicated, “We’re all public figures now”.
I don’t suspect there may be anything too particularly controversial in my #EDU522 posts recently that I might want to make private at a later date following the course (or even delete altogether), but who knows? Perhaps the public thinking on these topics changes drastically and I would wish to make them disappear a decade or two hence? It’s definitely something worth thinking about.
One of the benefits of supporting many of the IndieWeb tools and philosophies is that I can quickly make my old posts private to just me and with syndication links on them indicating where I’ve syndicated them in the past, I could very quickly go to those silos and delete them there as well. Of course this doesn’t get rid of copies out of my control or in locations like the Internet Archive.
Within the realm of open pedagogy, IndieWeb technology (and Webmention), one could certainly default their classes websites to private or semi-private. The WithKnown platform may presently be the best one for doing such a thing, though there are a few hoops one may need to jump through to set it up properly. As a brief example, there would need to be a private class hub site on which the teacher and students would need their own accounts. Then, so that students might own all of their own work, they would need their own sites to which they might post privately as well. The hub and the students’ sites could then use the Known OAuth2 server so that students could post their work privately on their own site, but still automatically syndicate it into their account on the semi-private class website. Of course, even here a student is relying on reasonable data security for the semi-private class site as well as having the expectation that their professor, fellow classmates, or the institution itself wouldn’t put their semi-private data into the public sphere at a future date.
As a proof of concept and an example of this type of workflow, I’ll highlight two posts (though in this case, both public instead of private so that you can actually see them) which I’ve made on two separate domains both running WithKnown:
- A post on my personal website
- A syndicated copy of that post on a public and openly aggregated multi-user Known install
image credit (also used on Matthew Cheney’s original post): “Dundas Square in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada” by Pedro Szekely, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.