Replied to Agenda for Nov. 22nd Meeting by Todd ConawayTodd Conaway (Teaching and Learning on the Open Web)

We should make some agreements about our focus.

  • Are we continuting with various tools and sharing them on this site?
  • Should we focus more on building out our own domains and share that process?
  • Both? Other? 
  • Where shall we go?

Todd, I’ve randomly come across this post today and thought I’d toss out some additional ideas to consider if you haven’t already made up your minds.

If you’re thinking about doing something like WithKnown (aka Known, the CMS your post is on), and interested in the WordPress portion, you might consider doing a full/partial Domain of One’s Own program through Reclaim Hosting or even rolling your own. Even if you go small with just a few classes, you might consider adapting the Homebrew Website Club model at your site where you invite students to tinker around, help each other out, and then show off or demonstrate their work. The related IndieWeb wiki and online chat are free to join and can provide a wealth of information and help for students (and educators!) working at owning their own domains.

Incidentally, if you’re unaware, WordPress now has a suite of plugins that will allow it to have a lot of the site-to-site communication capabilities that Known does. I’ve not done it before, but I’m fairly certain you could run it on a multiuser installation of WordPress much the same way you’re using http://janevangalen.com/cms/.

Another interesting option would be to have students try out accounts on micro.blog which are relatively inexpensive, though I suspect if you touched base with Manton Reece and explained what you were doing, he might offer free or significantly reduced hosting for a reasonable period of time. I know he’s given away a year of free hosting to attendees of IndieWebCamps who are starting out with their own domains. If he did then you might be able to use some institutional funds to purchase domains for students to get them started.

I’m happy to spitball ideas in these areas if you’re interested. I’m glad to see others experimenting around with the ideas around DoOO and IndieWeb for Education!

By the way, good on you for opening up your planning process for teaching and learning on the open web. It certainly sets a useful example for others who are exploring and following in your footsteps.

Bookmarked Reclaim Open Learning (open.media.mit.edu)

The internet is an amazing place for learning. But recent high-profile forays into online learning for higher education seem to replicate a traditional lecture-based, course-based model of campus instruction, instead of embracing the peer-to-peer connected nature of the web. The networked and digital world offers an unprecedented wealth of resources for engaged, interest-driven, lifelong learning. Reclaim Open Learning intervenes in this debate by supporting and showcasing innovation that brings together the best of truly open, online and networked learning in the wilds of the Internet, with the expertise represented by institutions of higher education.

Reclaim Open Learning is a collaboration between the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub at UC Irvine and the MIT Media Lab. The thematic initiative is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

Bookmarked Teaching with WordPress (blogs.ubc.ca)

This is an open online course on Teaching with WordPress, running June 1-26, 2015. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:

  • open education, open pedagogy and design
  • WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
  • examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
  • plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other

Throughout the course, you’ll be creating your own WordPress course site, so that by the end you’ll have a beginning structure to build on with your learners.

Bookmarked Connected Courses: Active co-learning in higher ed (Connected Courses)

Mission

Connected Courses is a collaborative network of faculty in higher education developing online, open courses that embody the principles of connected learning and the values of the open web.

Our goal is to build an inclusive and expansive network of teachers, students, and educational offerings that makes high quality, meaningful, and socially connected learning available to everyone.

Our Course on Connected Courses

For Fall 2014 (from September 2 to December 12, 2014), our major focus is on running a course for developing and teaching connected courses. The course is designed and taught by faculty from diverse institutions, some of whom are the folks behind successful connected courses such as FemTechNetds106phonar, and the National Writing Project CLMOOC. You can find the syllabus here, and the people involved here.

A cool concept here and also an example of a course built on WordPress with a planet-like syndication model that allows people to post on their own websites and syndicate their content into the course via RSS. I suspect that Alan Levine built the site and that it’s based on FeedWordPress.

It’s not quite as open as or as “simple” as the IndieWeb News model which allows individual syndication by means of webmention, but it certainly gets the job done and is an excellent example of how this model works.

Listened to Ken Bauer | Gettin' Air | voicEd by Terry GreeneTerry Greene from voiced.ca

It’s a crossover episode! Ken Bauer is the host of the Ask The Flipped Learning Network podcast (@askthefln) and an associate professor of #CompSci @TecDeMonterrey in Guadalajara. We chat about our respective podcasts, Virtually Connecting, Open Education, hockey, tacos and a wide variety of things in between.

Cover image of Gettin' Air Podcast

On shared, cross-over podcasts the running time should run as a function of the number of co-hosts raised to the second power, not as 2x.

Followed Will Monroe (willtmonroe.com)

Will MonroeI am the Assistant Director for Instructional Technology at the Louisiana State University Law Center. I also teach courses in the College of Human Sciences and Education at Louisiana State University. And I earned a doctorate in educational leadership and research with a concentration in educational technology from Louisiana State University.

My community, university, and professional service keeps me busy.  I serve on the Board of Directors at the Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families.  I also serve as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for the School of Library and Information Science and as a peer reviewer for Codex, the Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL.  I am involved in a variety of campus committees including the LSU Learning and Teaching Collaborative and Academic Technologies Advisory Committee.  I have presented at national and international conferences.

I love teaching!  I designed and continue to teach Introduction to Classroom Technology (ELRC 2507). In this course, we create professional websites, use Creative Commons licenses to share content, and use digital storytelling for educational purposes. I also designed and teach Information Literacy Instruction (LIS 7807). In this course, online graduate students in the Library and Information Science program use systematic instructional design to help library patrons with information needs.  During the Fall 2019 Semester, I will be facilitating a course the focuses on the development of multimedia for learning scenarios.  I have also taught Program Evaluation (CIED 7355) in the College of Education at Sam Houston State University.

My family and I live in Baton Rouge, LA. We love to travel together and are always making plans to do so. But I also enjoy watching films when I can and swimming as much as possible.

Followed Sadik Shahadu by Sadik ShahaduSadik Shahadu (The Open Advocate)

Sadik Shahadu

Sadik Shahadu is an open advocate and a professional project manager with over 4 years of experience in managing community projects. He is a certified professional at NTEN and currently volunteer in coordinating Wikipedia related projects in Ghana. He is the co-founder and Director of Communication and partnerships for GOI Foundation.

Domains, power, the commons, credit, SEO, and some code implications

How to provide better credit on the web using the standard rel=“canonical” by looking at an example from the Open Learner Patchbook

A couple of weeks back, I noticed and began following Cassie Nooyen when I became aware of her at the Domains 2019 conference which I followed fairly closely online.

She was a presenter and wrote a couple of nice follow up pieces about her experiences on her website. I bookmarked one of them to read later, and then two days later I came across this tweet by Terry Green, who had also apparently noticed her post:

But I was surprised to see the link in the tweet points to a different post in the Open Learner Patchbook, which is an interesting site in and of itself.

This means that there are now at least two full copies of Cassie’s post online:

While I didn’t see a Creative Commons notice on Cassie’s original or any mention of permissions or even a link to the source of the original on the copy on the Open Patchbook, I don’t doubt that Terry asked Cassie for permission to post a copy of her work on his site. I’ll also suspect that it may have been the case that Cassie might not have wanted any attention drawn to herself or her post on her site and may have eschewed a link to it. I will note that the Open Patchbook did have a link to her Twitter presence as a means of credit. (I’ll still maintain that people should be preferring links to their own domain over Twitter for credits like these–take back your power!)

Even with these crediting caveats aside, there’s a subtle technical piece hiding here relating to search engines and search engine optimization that many in the Domain of One’s Own space may not realize exists, or if they do they may not be sure how to fix. This technical subtlety is that search engines attempt to assign proper credit too. As a result there’s a very high chance that Open Patchbook could rank higher in search for Cassie’s own post than Cassie’s original. As researchers and educators we’d obviously vastly prefer the original to get the credit. So what’s going on here?

Search engines use a web standard known as rel=“canonical”, a microformat which is most often found in the HTML <header> of a web page. If we view the current source of the copy on the Open Learner Patchbook, we’ll see the following:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://openlearnerpatchbook.org/technology/patch-twenty-five-my-domain-my-place-to-grow/" />

According to the Microformats wiki:

By adding rel=“canonical” to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination of that hyperlink should be considered the preferred or definitive version of the current page. This helps search engines avoid duplicate content, and is useful for deciding how to link to a page when citing it.

In the case of our example of Cassie’s post, search engines will treat the two pages as completely separate, but will suspect that one is a duplicate of the other. This could have dramatic consequences for one or the other sites in which search engines will choose one to prefer over the other, and, in some cases, search engines may penalize one site for having duplicate content and not stating that fact (in their metadata). Typically this would have more drastic and averse consequences for Cassie’s original in comparison with an institutional site. 

How do we fix the injustice of this metadata? 

There are a variety of ways, but I’ll focus on several in the WordPress space. 

WordPress core has built-in functionality that should set the permalink for a particular page as the canonical one. This is why the Open Patchbook page displays the incorrect canonical link. Since most people are likely to already have an SEO related plugin installed on their site and almost all of them have this capability, this is likely the quickest and easiest method for being able to change canonical links for pages and posts. Two popular choices for this are Yoast and All in One SEO which have simple settings for inputting and saving alternate canonical URLs. Yoast documents the steps pretty well, so I’ll provide an example using All in One SEO:

  • If not done already, click the checkbox for canonical URLs in the “General Settings” section for the plugin generally found at /wp-admin/admin.php?page=all-in-one-seo-pack%2Faioseop_class.php.
  • For the post (or page) in question, within the All in One SEO metabox in the admin interface (pictured) put the full URL of the original posts’ location.
  • (Re-)publish the post.

Screenshot of the AIOSEO metabox with the field for the Canonical URL outlined in red

If you’re using another SEO plugin, it likely handles canonical URLs similarly, so check their documentation.

For aggregation websites, like the Open Learner Patchbook, there’s also another solid option for not only setting the canonical URL, but for more quickly copying the original post as well. In these cases I love PressForward, a WordPress plugin from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media which was designed with the education space in mind. The plugin allows one to quickly gather, organize, and republish content from other places on the web. It does so in a smart and ethical way and provides ample opportunity for providing appropriate citations as well as, for our purposes, setting the original URL as the canonical one. Because PressForward is such a powerful and diverse tool (as well as a built-in feed reader for your WordPress website), I’ll refer users to their excellent documentations.

Another useful reason I’ll mention for using rel-canonical mark up is that I’ve seen cases in which using it will allow other web standards-based tools like Hypothes.is to match pages for highlights and annotations. I suspect that if the Open Patchwork page did have the canonical link specified that any annotations made on it with Hypothes.is should mirror properly on the original as well (and vice-versa). 

I also suspect that there are some valuable uses of this sort of small metadata-based mark up within the Open Educational Resources (OER) space.

In short, when copying and reposting content from an original source online, it’s both courteous and useful to mark the copy as such by putting a tag onto the URL of the original to provide it with the full credit as the canonical source.

👓 What Having a Domain for a Year Has Taught Me | Cassie Nooyen

Read What Having a Domain for a Year Has Taught Me by Cassie Nooyen (techbar.crnooyen.knight.domains)
This summer marks the one-year anniversary of acquiring my domain through St. Norbert’s “Domain of One’s Own” program Knight Domains. I have learned a few important lessons over the past year about what having your own domain can mean.

📑 Where Discover Doesn’t Help | Jean MacDonald

Annotated Where Discover Doesn't Help by Jean MacDonald (micro.welltempered.net)

Tip: One of the Discover curation guidelines is the Buddy Bench principle. If you want to find someone who shares a particular interest, write a micropost asking “Hey, are there any fans of ___ out there?” We add posts like that to Discover.  

Another useful tip on this front is to post a Micro Monday following recommendation aggregating a few people you know are interested in a particular topic. As an example, I posted one about a few educators and researchers I knew on micro.blog in July 2018 and it quickly blew up with lots of additional recommendations from others following me within the community.

Over time I’ve kept up with adding to it, and even within the last month that post is still helping to benefit others on the service:

blair says: “@c this made me very happy, thanks for tagging me, I’ve now got a bunch more interesting folks to follow!”
May 30, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Bookmarked Open Apereo 2019 (Apereo)
Open Apereo 2019 is an international, inclusive event offered by the Apereo Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and sustaining innovative open-source software solutions for education. Learn how higher education is using open-source software to help deliver the academic mission, control costs, and retain the capacity to innovate.

👓 Testing Webmention to EdTechFactotum site | Clint Lalonde

Read Testing Webmention to EdTechFactotum site by Clint Lalonde (ClintLalonde.net)
I am playing around with some Indieweb plugins, so this is just a test post to see if, by adding a link to a post on my EdTechFacotum site appears in the comments as a webmention. How much of this …

Hooray!

📺 Stephen Downes: Conversation with Ben Werdmuller | YouTube

Watched Conversation with Ben Werdmüller by Stephen DownesStephen Downes from YouTube

E-Learning 3.0 week 3 event with Ben Werdmuller. founder of Elgg, founder of Known, currently with Matter, on linked data, Indieweb, and related topics.

A great little overview of IndieWeb for the education crowd.

📑 Data sharing and how it can benefit your scientific career l Nature

Annotated Data sharing and how it can benefit your scientific career (Nature)
High-level bodies such as the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the European Commission have called for science to become more open and endorsed a set of data-management standards known as the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) principles.

Something like this could be applied to IndieWeb ideas and principles as well.

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.