WPCampus 2019 Draft Proposal: Dramatically extending a Domain of One’s Own with IndieWeb technology

Below is a draft proposal which I’m submitting for a possible upcoming talk at WPCampus from July 25-27, 2019 in Portland, OR. If you don’t have the patience and can’t wait for the details, feel free to reach out and touch base. I’m happy to walk people through it all before then. If you’re looking for other upcoming events or need help, check out any of the upcoming Homebrew Website Clubs, IndieWebCamps, the IndieWeb Summit 2019, or even Domains2019.

Session Title

Dramatically extending a Domain of One’s Own with IndieWeb technology: How to improve your online research notebooks, commonplace books, and digital pedagogy

Session description

(This description will be edited and used on the website. Please include 1-2 paragraphs and a list of key takeaways for the audience.)

Having a Domain of One’s Own and using it as a “thought space” to own your online identity and work is just the tip of the iceberg. Can you imagine how useful it would be if you could use your Twitter account to reply to someone on Facebook (without needing a Facebook account) or vice versa? Open web technology from the IndieWeb movement that utilizes simple plugins, modules, or even built-in functionality now exists so that people can now use WordPress, Drupal, WithKnown, Grav and many other content management systems on any domain name to have rich site-to-site communications in a simple and intuitive way. Third party (and often unethical) corporate platforms are no longer needed to have rich interactions between scholars on the web.

It is now easily possible to have a teacher write a post on their own website and their students to easily reply/react to that post on their own websites (along with a useful reply context) and send that reply to the teacher’s website for possible display. Each participant can now own a copy of both sides of the conversation.

  • Teachers and students will learn how to (individually or together) collect, analyze, write, collaborate, and interact easily online while doing so in a space they own and control without giving away their data to third party platforms.
  • Researchers can now easily bookmark, highlight, or annotate portions of the web and keep this data (public/private) on their own website (aka digital commonplace book or notebook) for future reference or use.
  • We’ll show how courseware can be decentralized so that the instructor and the students each own their own pieces of the learning processes and can keep them for as long as they wish.
  • We will demonstrate how one can use their WordPress-based website with a few simple plugins to own all of the traditional social media types (bookmarks, items read, highlights, annotations, comments/replies, photos, status updates, audio, checkins, etc.) on their own site while still allowing interacting (if desired) with other websites as well as in social spaces like Twitter, Instagram, Swarm, etc.
  • We will demonstrate a new generation of free feed readers that allow composing in-line responses and reactions that post them directly to one’s own website as well as send notification to the site being read and interacted with.

You can now have the joy of a Domain of Your Own and still easily interact just as if your site were a (better-than) first class social media platform.

More Information About Your Session

(Please describe your session in greater detail for the organizers. You may be more casual in this description as it will not be posted on the website.)

In some sense, this session will be a crash course on using IndieWeb technologies and building-blocks with WordPress in the Education space. I’ll aim to remove a lot of technical jargon and keep coding examples to a bare minimum (if using any at all) so that those with the technical ceiling of downloading and installing a plugin can immediately benefit from the talk. I will also provide enough pointers and describe the broad outlines that developers will have a broad overview of the IndieWeb space to find and extend these plugins and functionality if they wish.

I’ll be covering the basics of new W3C recommendations like Webmention, Micropub, and WebSub along with forthcoming specs like Microsub in combination with IndieAuth (a version of OAuth2 for login). I’ll show how they can be applied to personal websites in research, teaching, collaboration, and other educational domains like creating Open Educational Resources. Many of these can be easily implemented in WordPress with just a handful of simple plugins that allow the web to become the social media platform we all wish it would be.

I’ll use examples from my own personal website and several others (which use Drupal, WithKnown, Grav, etc.) to show how these plugins can be used in educational settings and will walk through a case study of a course built using DoOO and IndieWeb philosophies and technologies (EDU 522: Digital Teaching and Learning at Southern Connecticut State University) on which I collaborated with Dr. Gregory McVerry.

👓 Ambitious futures for (digital) education: Perspectives from Tropicalia | domains.reclaimhosting.com

Read Ambitious futures for (digital) education: Perspectives from Tropicalia (Domains 2019)
Replied to a tweet by Kristian SerranoKristian Serrano (Twitter)

Come on in, the water’s fine! There’s a growing group of educators, researchers, librarians, and technologists listed in the IndieWeb wiki. And here’s the start of a list on Micro.blog.

Looking forward to brainstorming about  books at the next session at IndieWebCamp New Haven in about 30 minutes.

 

I’ve been researching all evening on some IndieWeb ideas as they relate to education. I’ll continue early tomorrow with IndieWebCamp New Haven, where I’ll be thinking and tinkering more with DoOO, SPLOTs, books, OER, and related topics.

Remote attendance is still a possibility for those interested.

Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (quickthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com)
https://boffosocko.com @reclaimhosting added Press book to their installatron could do that and I am remixing https://adactio.com HTML book great idea for and @IndieWebCamp New Haven

Me goes to sign up for a Reclaim Hosting account tout suite. I’ve been meaning to do it for a long time just to support them.

The tough question is what domain name shall I choose for experiments?

I’m planning on proposing an OER or other book related session at the upcoming IndieWebCamp New Haven next weekend. If you’re interested or want to propose other ideas for or , I hope you’ll join us either in-person or remotely.

Not sure what to expect at a camp? Here are some additional details for both in-person and remote attendance.

🔖 Schedule | Domains 2019

Bookmarked Schedule – Domains 2019 | June 10-11 in Durham, NC (domains.reclaimhosting.com)

Domains 2019 is a two-day conference on 2019-06-10 - 2019-06-11 geared toward Indieweb for Education, A Domain of One's Own, and EdTech spaces. Sessions will focus on learning tools, data ownership, IndieWeb, containers and the cloud, privacy and surveillance, accessibility, and art. It will be held at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina, USA

Please visit https://domains.reclaimhosting.com/register/ to register for the conference.

Notice the indie web sessions at this conference geared toward the education crowd.

👓 Medium import for Micro.blog | Manton Reece

Read Medium import for Micro.blog by Manton ReeceManton Reece (manton.org)
Micro.blog can now import blog posts from Medium. You can request a .zip archive of your content from Medium.com, then go to Posts → Import on Micro.blog to upload the file. Because Medium no longer supports custom domain names, we don’t think it’s a good long-term solution for blogging. If yo...

This is some awesome news, particularly for all the people fleeing Medium. Now they can own their own data on their own domain a whole lot easier. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the crowd joining Micro.blog as an option too.

👓 UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research | University of California | Office of the President

Read UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher in push for open access to publicly funded research (University of California | Office of the President)
As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to UC research while containing the rapidly escalating costs associated with for-profit journals.

This is some crazy bad-ass news. Almost everyone I know in higher education tweeted this article out today.

Now if only we could get them to all go IndieWeb using a Domain of Their Own and practice academic samizdat

👓 Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog | CBC Radio

Read Move over, Facebook and Twitter: it's time to bring back the blog (CBC Radio)
The return of Web 1.0

Reply to Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use by Tannis Morgan

Replied to Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use by Tannis MorganTannis Morgan (Explorations in the EdTech World)
Here’s the short of it. LMS’s do some things really well and are not going to go away. We still use an LMS at our institution, and while I would really like the vendor to invest some of our hard earned license fees into making it a more user friendly tool, we still need an LMS. However, I’ve tried really hard to make sure our online strategy does not start and finish with the LMS, and yes, it is an ongoing battle.

This article presents an excellent point. I also see a lot of what I would call IndieWeb philosophy bubbling up within this argument, and perhaps the edtech space could benefit from some of their ideas, set up, and design?  If you like, we could take the analogy IndieWeb:Social Silos::Educational Technology:Learning Management Systems and extend it.

Much like the demise of the innovation on the web and within the blogosphere as the result of the commodification of social media by silo corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and others around 2006, the technology space in education has become too addicted to corporate products and services. Many of these services cover some broad functionality, but they have generally either slowed down or quit innovating, quit competing with each other, are often charging exorbitant prices, and frequently doing unethical things with the data they receive from their users. The major difference between the two spaces is that Big Social Media is doing it on a much bigger scale and making a lot more money and creating greater damage as a result.

Instead, let me make some recommendations to thought leaders in the space for more humanistic and holistic remedy. Follow the general philosophies and principles of the IndieWeb movement. Dump (or at least gradually move away from) your corporately built LMS and start building one of your own. Ideally, open source what you build so that others can improve it and build upon it. In the end, you, your classes, your departments, and your institutions will be all the stronger for it. You can have more direct control over your own data (and that of your students, which deserves to be treated more ethically). You can build smaller independent pieces that are interchangeable and inter-operable. The small pieces may also allow new unpredictable functionalities when put together. You can build to make better user interfaces, better functionality, and get what you’d like to have instead of just what you’re given.

Sure, doing this may be somewhat uncomfortable in the near term, but many hands over many institutions, building and crafting a variety of solutions will result in a much better and more robust product–and one that we all can “own” and benefit from. By open sourcing, many hands will make light work. Imagine what the state of online learning, Open Educational Resources (OER), and open pedagogy would look like if the hundreds of institutions had put all of their LMS related funding over the past decade into even a handful of open source programmers instead of corporately controlled interests?

Already within the article, there is a short list of potential solutions one could look to as LMS replacements. Those that are open source are literally crying out to not only be used, but to be improved upon so that everyone can benefit from those improvements. Other related options might include

For solid examples of what can be accomplished, we can also look toward individual developers like Stephen Downes and projects like gRSShopper or Alan Levine and his many open source repositories. There are also individuals like Greg McVerry, who is using free and opensource content management systems like WordPress and WithKnown to push the envelope of what is possible with classroom interactions using simple internet protocols like Webmention, Micropub, WebSub, and bleeding edge readers using MicroSub, and Robin DeRosa, who is creating her own OER materials. These are just a few of thousands of individuals hacking away at small, but discrete problems and then helping out others.

At the higher end we can see broad movements like A Domain of One’s Own (DoOO), which empowers students students and faculty by giving them their own domain names and hosting as well as web-based tools to leverage these benefits. (I often look at the DoOO movement as IndieWeb for Education, but without as much emphasis on building for oneself.)

There are even ethical companies like Reclaim Hosting who are doing some excellent and tremendous work in the DoOO space. The benefit of the way these systems are built and maintained however, is that should Reclaim cease offering their excellent support, benefits, and add-ons, individuals or institutions could relatively easily take all of their data and applications and move them to another provider. This provides a massive incentive for service companies to continue iterating and improving on their work as well as the services they offer. Sadly, some of these mechanisms don’t exist this way within much of the corporate LMS space. But they certainly could and should.

For those who are interested, feel free to do some research into some of these areas and tools. Join the DoOO or IndieWeb.org communities. Build your own tools, give feedback to developers of opensource projects to help them improve. Give them some of your time and resources to make these communities and spaces better and stronger over time. Feel free to join the IndieWeb chat to meet folks virtually and discuss these ideas, or use the IndieWeb wiki (the IndieWeb for Education page is an excellent place to start) to not only read, but to contribute back ideas, tools, links, and resources for others. (The wiki has a CC0 license.)

I’m always happy to help people begin to find their way in some of these resources if they need it to get started.

Reply to Greg McVerry about DoOO paper

Replied to a post by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (Quick Thoughts)
@chrisaldrich @jackjamieson and I are writing a case study analysis on and using GitHub markdown. It is a chapter for @shsabrams is editing. GitHub is a decent collaborative research space.

For a few minutes, I thought I was being drafted in as an author, in which case I’ll need some additional background information. I did find the repo.

Then I thought it might be a status update where it might be more apropos to replace the word “writing” with “living”.

But perhaps it was a simple @mention to notify me of an awesome little project?

In any case, I’m in, just let me know how much you need, when, and where!

🙂