👓 Ed-Tech That Makes Me Want to Scream | Inside Higher Ed

Read Ed-Tech That Makes Me Want to Scream by John Warner (Inside Higher Ed)
I'm not losing my mind yet, but it's close.

This makes me want to write out a full thesis of the fact that there’s a limit to individual human knowledge. Perhaps I could call it the Aldrich limit as a corollary to Shannon’s limit? I suspect it could be a part of a larger thesis about the various levels of knowledge and how to protect freedom.

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Reply to a reply to Dan Cohen tweet

Replied to Reply to Dan Cohen tweet by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (BoffoSocko)
Dan, There are a lot of moving pieces in your question and a variety of ways to implement them depending on your needs and particular website set up. Fortunately there are lots of educators playing around in these spaces already who are experimenting with various means and methods as well as some of their short and long term implications.

@jbj Given the number of people I’ve seen experimenting over the past months, I’d be happy to put together a series of short pieces for @ProfHacker covering the areas of overlap of between #edtech, #DoOO, #indieweb, research, academic publishing, samizdat, commonplace books, etc. Essentially tighter versions of some of https://boffosocko.com/research/indieweb/ but specifically targeting the education space using WordPress, Known, and Grav. Let me know if you’d accept submissions for the community.

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👓 Possible cultural & technological futures of digital scholarship | W. Ian O’Byrne

Read Possible cultural & technological futures of digital scholarship by W. Ian O'Byrne (wiobyrne.com)
I think there is a need to develop a system to track the draft of a manuscript from the beginning to the end of the process. This will open up new possibilities to scaffold new scholars while we onboard them in the process. This will also provide new opportunities for open scholarship and open science. Finally, this will allow researchers to replicate, remix, or reproduce the (research, reflection, writing, revision, publishing) process. The answer may be in indieweb philosophies, but the main impediment may be in the people and systems that make all of this possible. I think we have an opportunity for new technological opportunities in academic publisher, but I’m not sure if culturally we’re ready. Let me explain.

I think there is a need to develop a system to track the draft of a manuscript from the beginning to the end of the process.

If you’re drafting in WordPress you can set the number of revisions of your posts to infinite so that you can keep (archive) all of your prior drafts. see: https://codex.wordpress.org/Revisions

“pre-print” versions of manuscripts

This is just another, albeit specific, form of academic samizdat.

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👓 Notes from Virtual Homebrew Website Club: Blogging 101 edition | INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION

Read Notes from Virtual Homebrew Website Club: Blogging 101 edition by Greg McVerry (jgregorymcverry.com)
Well Cathy and I did not have any students looking for Blogging 101 help so we spent the hour in an #IndieWeb support group.

Wish I could have joined this. Certainly some interesting thoughts for improving the overall pieces for the #edtech set.

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📺 re:publica 2018 – Jim Groom: Domain of One’s Own: Reclaim Your Data | YouTube

Watched re:publica 2018: Domain of One's Own: Reclaim Your Data by Jim GroomJim Groom from YouTube

A Domain of One's Own is an international initiative in higher education to give students and faculty more control over their personal data. The movement started at the University of Mary Washington in 2012, and has since grown to tens of thousands of faculty and students across hundreds of universities. The first part of this presentation (5-10 minutes) will provide a brief overview of how these Domains projects enable not only data portability for coursework, but also a reflective sense of what a digital identity might mean in terms of privacy and data ownership.

The second part of this presentation will explore how Domain of One's Own could provides a powerful example in how higher education could harness application programming interfaces (APIs) to build a more user-empowered data ecosystem at universities. The initial imaginings of this work has already begun at Brigham Young University in collaboration with Reclaim Hosting, and we will share a blueprint of what a vision of the Personal API could mean for a human-centric data future in the realm of education and beyond.

A short talk at the re:publica conference in Germany which touches on the intersection of the Domain of One’s Own which is very similar to the broader IndieWeb movement. POSSE makes a brief appearance at the end of the presentation, although just on a slide with an implicit definition rather than a more full-fledged discussion.

Toward the end, Groom makes mention of MyData, a Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing, which I’d not previously heard of but which has some interesting resources which look like they might dovetail into some of what those in the IndieWeb are looking at. I’m curious if any of the folks in the EU like Sebastian Greger have come across them, and what their thoughts are on the idea/model they’ve proposed? It looks like they’ve got an interesting looking conference coming up at the end of August in Helsinki. There seems to be a white paper outlining a piece of their philosophy, which I’ll link to below:

MyData: A Nordic Model for human-centered personal data management and processing by Antti Poikola (t), Kai Kuikkaniemi (t), Harri Honko (t)

This white paper presents a framework, principles, and a model for a human-centric approach to the managing and processing of personal information. The approach – defined as MyData – is based on the right of individuals to access the data collected about them. The core idea is that individuals should be in control of their own data. The MyData approach aims at strengthening digital human rights while opening new opportunities for businesses to develop innovative personal data based services built on mutual trust.

Based on a quick overview, this is somewhat similar to a model I’ve considered and is reminiscent to some ideas I’ve been harboring about applications of this type of data to the journalism sphere as well.

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👓 For now, our own | Music for Deck Chairs

Read For now, our own by Kate Bowles (Music for Deckchairs)

Over the last week I’ve been skirting a significant conversation begun by Maha Bali (“I don’t own my domain, I rent it“) and continued by Audrey Watters (“A domain of ones own in a post-ownership society“). Never far away is Andrew Rikard’s Edsurge post “Do I own my domain if you grade it?”

The question for me is how the idea of “own” works as a metaphor. It’s complicated enough as it is: my own, to own, owned, owned. We own our mistakes, we own our work, we own our politics, and none of this is quite like the way we own our homes—which for most of our working lives means some version of renting, in a funhouse world in which access to credit, like debt itself, has become an asset.

Conceptually, home ownership makes an ironic pass at all this, promising dominion over property that is actually quite a temporary thing in geohistorical time. Home ownership offers a misleading sense of permanence in relation to our provisional space in the world. A home that’s owned is always haunted by both its past and future. Far from sheltering us against the churn of things, it’s a daily reminder that we’re not here for long.

An interesting piece about ownership and the web.

I’ll try to say more about these ideas which have been swirling about the #EdTech space for a bit, but I thought I’d outline a few bits before I forget them.

  • 9/10 of the law is about ownership
  • Commons is an interesting framework, but perhaps is an outmoded concept given that the majority of ownership is now either private, corporate, or governmental. Commons is now generally part of governmental ownership now rather than the older versions of what commons used to be. We need some oversight, management, and support for the governmental portion now. Perhaps Hacker’s book has something interesting to add here.
  • No one is taking the next step to say that either government or educational institutions should be footing the entirety of the bill for marginalized students. Why? Again Hacker et al may have something interesting to say here.
  • The analogy of ownership to things like houses is fine, but it’s still only that, an analogy to help people more easily think about an abstract idea about which they’ve not got direct knowledge. What about the lack of “ownership” we get from “free” services like Twitter and Facebook? Recall the example of an editorialist saying roughly that we (rich, privileged Americans) shouldn’t leave Facebook because it will potentially damage service to third world groups which then wouldn’t have anything. (include citation). What does all this look like 10 years hence when more people have direct knowledge and we no longer need the “house” ownership model?
  • What could be added to the discussion at the IndieWeb’s longevity page?
  • Considerations of evolving complexity and mashups found in examples like When Ideas Have Sex.
  • Considerations from Why Information Grows (C. Hidalgo) and the creation of value in links as well as the evolution towards larger knowledge entities.
  • The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. The same could also still be said about the Industrial Revolution which is still slowly coming to rural third world countries. Recall that it was only until the early 1900’s that the vast majority of people in the world were subsistence farmers.
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Following Adam Procter

Followed Adam Procter (adamprocter.co.uk)

designer-practitioner-researcher

I'm the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Games Design & Art and Senior Teaching Fellow at Winchester School of Art (WSA). I sometimes get the chance to make Apps, Web stuff and work as UX and UI designer, developer and consultant.

I run the research-led teaching programme BA (Hons) Games Design & Art and am responsable for the programme structure, ethos, recruitment and attainment of all students. I teach across a wide range of games subject areas in all years as well but my main teaching revolves around year 3 and the development of final projects which can be viewed here http://winchester.games. I keenly teach both the academic theory and the practical application.

"Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting." — Ivan Illich

The area I  mainly research is connected technology and edutech. I am investigating how to design tools for design education and the digtial medium via connected devices. My focus is on ethical, delightful design practice that embraces the studio culture. I am keen on open education, open practice and co-ops. This research is currently within the structure of a Webscience PhD, you can keep up to date at researchnot.es.

👓 H5P Test-Drive | Jo Kehoe

Read H5P Test-Drive by Jo Kehoe (jokehoe.ca)
I’m test-driving H5P – an open HTML5 content creator that promises many things! And for the most part, it delivers. I tried out a few of the 20 plus content types that they have available here. I’ll continue to add to this as time goes on. Since it’s currently October, there is a pumpkin-spice flavoured theme to these examples (love it or hate it!).

Some interesting edtech tools here. They remind me somewhat of the type of formats and layouts made possible by the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress, but geared toward academia. I could see things like these being useful little blocks within the upcoming Gutenberg interface.

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Following Paul Hibbitts

Followed Paul Hibbitts (Hibbitts Design)
Exploring and Building Open [Source] Software for Learning Ecosystems

Educator and interaction designer. Building #FOSS for distributed learning ecosystems/#DoOO/#OER. Using @getgrav + #CanvasLMS as open & collaborative platform.🚀

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🔖 WPCampus 2018 Call for Speakers

Bookmarked Call for Speakers (WPCampus 2018 Conference: Where WordPress Meets Higher Education)
WPCampus is looking for stories, how-tos, hypotheticals, demos, case studies and more for our third annual in-person conference focused on WordPress in higher education. This year’s event will take place July 12-14, 2018, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The call for speakers will close at midnight PDT on April 7, 2018.
The planning committee will begin their selection process and be in touch shortly thereafter.

h/t to @wpcampusorg

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🔖 PressForward in the classroom

Bookmarked PressForward in the classroom (pressforward.org)
Do you want to work with students to publish class assignments or research? Instructors use PressForward in the classroom to consolidate and review student assignments, help students learn to survey their fields, and create opportunities for collaboration, communication, and research. The Lewis & Clark College Environmental Studies Program produces Environment Across Boundaries, a student-led publication that cultivates interdisciplinary perspectives on environmental issues. Participation gives students an opportunity to engage with their discipline through experiential, project based learning. They develop skills both in their field and with a suite of digital tools.

An interesting use case for PressForward: creating a “planet” website to aggregate and/or showcase work of students in an entire classroom who are all posting content to their own separate web spaces.

Sketch idea: create a standalone WordPress site for a course, install the PressForward plugin, input the RSS feeds for students’ websites to aggregate all their work collectively into one space. Various ideas include:

  • Use the feed for students and teacher to keep up with the entire classroom.
  • Publish an OPML file for students to easily subscribe to all feeds in their feed reader of choice.
  • Optionally publish the highlights of the best work or even all of it.
  • Teachers could use the feed to check that students are posting/keeping up with assignments for grading purposes.
  • Use the read/unread functionality to “mark” pieces as graded/ungraded or seen/unseen.
  • Use the internal commenting system to keep private notes on student’s work.
  • Create output feeds for specific tags and/or categories
  • Works with any student sites that produce feeds, not just WordPress, so students have choices of different CMSes.
  • Use the nomination functionality to quickly aggregate and disseminate online sources for classroom assignments or readings.

I had contemplated planet like aggregation at the recent WPCampus online conference. It’s interesting to see that PressForward has considered it as a use case as well though I’d love to hear about or see examples of this in the wild.

How else could this rich, multi-functional Swiss Army knife-like plugin be used in education?

Cartoon diagram with a funnel collecting content from sites like YouTube, WordPress, Drupal, Blogger, RSS being aggregated into a single computer-based website.
Diagram of PressForward functionality as a content hub or “planet” courtesy of PressForward.org
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🔖 ScholarlyHub sounds like IndieWeb for Education

Bookmarked Scholarly Hub (ScholarlyHub)
At ScholarlyHub we believe that a critical attitude does not stop with the platforms we use. Growing threats to open science have made it more crucial than before to develop a sustainable, not-for-profit environment. One that allows you to publish, share, and access quality work without financial constraints; find and work with colleagues in fields you’re interested in; develop research and teaching projects; store datasets securely, and mentor and be mentored in order to improve your work and help others. Above all, we want to foster an environment that meets our needs as individuals and scholarly communities and where we are in control, not myopic political agendas, greedy publishers, or data merchants. We believe that scholarship does little good behind pay walls, that metrified rankings rarely promote innovative research, and that transparent communication is vital to quality scholarship and healthy societies. Therefore we’re taking the best of the new and the best of the tried to create a truly open-access repository, publishing service, and scholarly social networking site, with large scope for members' initiatives. And it will be run by scholars: not for profit, greater market share, or political kudos, but for their own growth and everyone’s benefit.

It looks to me like a lot of what ScholarlyHub is doing sounds very similar to the principles behind the IndieWeb. They’re just applying them to the education and research sector.

Most of their manifesto sounds very familiar to me. Because of a lack of plurality, I’m guessing they’re generation 1 creators concentrating on building an inexpensive platform for generations 2 and on.

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📅 RSVP for WPCampus Online: A Virtual Conference for WordPress in Higher Education

RSVPed Attending WPCampus Online: A Virtual Conference for WordPress in Higher Education
Our next (free) conference, WPCampus Online, will take place Tuesday, January 30. It will be a free event and completely virtual. View the schedule and join us for a full day of professional development. No travel required! The WPCampus Online schedule is filled with 16 free sessions focused on using WordPress in higher education.

This looks like a cool event at the end of the month. I’m curious to see what #edtech and #IndieWeb-esque things they may be touching on during the day.

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Reply to a Comment on Supporting Digital Identities in School

Replied to Comment on Supporting Digital Identities in School by Christina Smith (Read Write Respond)
Your post reminded me of a challenge I see every time Couros posts about students having those three aspects of a digital identity: no matter how much we as educators may encourage this, ultimately it is up to the students to make it part of their lives. I have been blogging with my students for some years now, and when it is not a class requirement, they stop posting. I think part of this digital presence that we want students to establish – the \”residency,\” as Robert Schuetz said in the recent blog post that led me here (http://www.rtschuetz.net/2016/02/mapping-our-pangea.html) – is not always happening where we suggest. I know my students have an online presence – but it\’s on Instagram and Snapchat, not the blogsphere. Perhaps instead of dragging kids on vacation to where we think they should set up shop, we need to start following them to their preferred residences and help them turn those into sturdy, worthy places from which to venture out into the world.

This is certainly an intriguing way to look at it, but there’s another way to frame it as well. Students are on sites like Instagram and Snapchat because they’re connecting with their friends there. I doubt many (any?) are using those platforms for learning or engagement purposes, so attempting to engage with them there may not translate for educators. It may have the colloquial effect of “I’m on Snapchat because my parents aren’t; if my parents join I’m either going to block them or move to another platform they’re not on.” Something similar to this was seen in cultural teen use of Facebook as parents swarmed to the platform over the past decade. To slightly reframe it, how many high school teachers in the past have seen students in the hallways between classes socializing and thought to themselves, “I should go out and teach in the hallway, because that’s where the students are and they seem alert?”

It might also shed some light on our perspectives to look at what happens at the end of a quarter or semester in most colleges. I always remember book sellback time and a large proportion of my friends and colleagues rushed to the bookstore to sell their textbooks back. (I’ll stipulate the book market has changed drastically in the past two decades since I was in University, but I think the cultural effect is still roughly equivalent.) As a bibliophile I could never bring myself to sell books back because I felt the books were a significant part of what I learned and I always kept them in my personal collection to refer back to later. Some friends I knew would keep occasional textbooks for their particular area of concentration knowing that they might refer back to them in later parts of their study. But generalizing to the whole, most students dumped their notes, notebooks, and even textbooks that they felt no longer had value to them. I highly suspect that something similar is happening to students who are “forced” to keep online presences for coursework. They look at it as a temporary online notebook which is disposable when the class is over and probably even more so if it’s a course they didn’t feel will greatly impact their future coursework.

I personally find a huge amount of value in using my personal website as an ongoing commonplace book and refer back to it regularly as I collect more information and reshape my thoughts and perspectives on what I’ve read and learned over the years. Importantly, I have a lot of content that isn’t shared publicly on it as well. For me it’s become a daily tool for thinking and collecting as well as for searching. I suspect that this is also how Aaron is using his site as well. My use of it has also reached a fever pitch with my discovery of IndieWeb philosophies and technologies which greatly modify and extend how I’m now able to use my site compared to the thousands of others. I can do almost all of the things I could do on Facebook, Twitter, etc. including interacting with them directly and this makes it hugely more valuable to me.

The other difference is that I use my personal site for almost everything including a wide variety of topics I’m working on. Most students are introduced to having (read: forced to maintain) a site for a single class. This means they can throw it all overboard once that single class is over. What happens if or when they’re induced to use such a thing in all of their classes? Perhaps this may be when the proverbial quarter drops? Eventually by using such a tool(s) they’ll figure out a way to make it actively add the value they’re seeking. This kernel may be part of the value of having a site as a living portfolio upon graduation.

Another issue I often see, because I follow the space, is that many educational technologists see some value in these systems, but more often than not, they’re not self-dogfooding them the same way they expect their students to. While there are a few shining examples, generally many teachers and professors aren’t using their personal sites as personal learning networks, communications platforms, or even as social networks. Why should students be making the leap if their mentors and teachers aren’t? I can only name a small handful of active academic researchers who are heavily active in writing and very effectively sharing material online (and who aren’t directly in the edtech space). Many of them are succeeding in spite of the poor quality of their tools. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t think about one or more interesting thought leaders who I wish had even a modicum of online space much less a website that goes beyond the basic functionality of a broken business card. I’ve even offered to build for free some incredibly rich functional websites for researchers I’d love to follow more closely, but they just don’t see the value themselves.

I won’t presume to speak for Aaron, but he’s certainly become part of my PLN in part because he posts such a rich panoply of content on a topic in which I’m interested, but also in larger part because his website supports webmentions which allows us a much easier and richer method of communicating back and forth on nearly opposite sides of the Earth. I suspect that I may be one of the very few who extracts even a fraction of the true value of what he publishes through a panoply of means. I might liken it to the value of a highly hand-crafted trade journal from a decade or more ago as he’s actively following, reading, and interacting with a variety of people in a space in which I’m very interested. I find I don’t have to work nearly as hard at it all because he’s actively filtering through and uncovering the best of the best already. Who is the equivalent beacon for our students? Where are those people?

So the real question is how can we help direct students to similar types of resources for topics they’re personally interested in discovering more about? It may not be in their introduction to poetry class that they feel like it’s a pain doing daily posts about on a blog in which they’re not invested. (In fact it sounds to me just like the the online equivalent of a student being forced to write a 500 word essay in their lined composition book from the 1950’s.) But it’ll be on some topic, somewhere, and this is where the spark meets the fuel and the oxygen. But the missing part of the equation is often a panoply of missing technological features that impact the culture of learning. I personally think the webmention protocol is a major linkage that could help ease some of the burden, but then there’s also issues like identity, privacy, and all the other cultural baggage that needs to make the jump to online as seamlessly (or not) as it happens in the real world.

…perhaps we’re all looking for the online equivalent of being able to meld something like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Bloom’s Taxonomy?

I’ll have to expand upon it later, but perhaps we’re all looking for the online equivalent of being able to meld something like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Bloom’s Taxonomy? It’s certainly a major simplification, but it feels like the current state of the art is allowing us to put the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in an online setting (and we’re not even able to sell that part well to students), but we’re missing both its upper echelons as well as almost all of Maslow’s piece of the picture.

With all this said, I’ll leave you all with a stunningly beautiful example of synthesis and creation from a Ph.D. student in mathematics I came across the other day on Instagram and the associated version she wrote about on her personal website. How could we bottle this to have our students analyzing, synthesizing, and then creating this way?

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Reply to It might be a little way off yet, but …

Replied to It might be a little way off yet, but … by Ianin Sheffield (Marginal Notes)
The traditional way that most theses are presented is in the form of an 80 000(ish) word report. University regulations usually specify that this should be bound in hard copy format, and ready to be posted onto the shelves in the Library stacks. Recently, in the spirit of openly sharing knowledge, it is becoming common for Universities to also require a digital copy of the thesis for posting to the institutional digital repository. For me then, this will be through the Sheffield Hallam University Research Archive, SHURA. We are also now required, where permissible, to post the data that our research generates. This aligns with my own feelings about research being as open as is ethically permissible, so I have no problem with any of this.

I like the general thrust of what you’re looking for in this area; it’s certainly intriguing.

I’m glad to hear about Scalar and look forward to checking it out myself. I’m a bit surprised you hadn’t heard about Omeka. Their main site has some great examples of it in use which might help your investigations for examples. I recall seeing some interesting map-related projects by Anelise Shrout that used Omeka which you might appreciate for their interactivity.

Since you’ve got several sites on WordPress, you might appreciate potentially using it to provide some of the functionality you’re discussing.

For pop-ups on references you might appreciate the Academic Bloggers Toolkit plugin.

For highlights and potential feedback, you might take a look at Hypothesis which is an interesting highlighting and annotation tool. It allows private groups which a writer might share with an advising committee or even provide for public facing markup and sharing. There are available WordPress plugins for expanding functionality on one’s site, though the tool is a free-standing one.

I suspect that if you look around the plugin repositories for WordPress and Omeka, you’ll see a variety of plugins that can extend the functionality to do some of the things you’re interested in executing.

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