A site to discuss better education for all
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.
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.
Sirius Reflections presents the musings of Amy Nelson, who teaches history (mostly Russian), studies animals (mostly domestic), plays with digital media and technologies (mostly related to history and animals), practices yoga (for peace), runs (for sanity), and knits (for peace and sanity).
The hub for my networked learning and research activities is amynelson.net.
- Inoreader has been working on a beta product that will make following social feeds in Twitter, Micro.blog, the Fediverse, and even IndieWeb sites with h-entry easier and prettier.
- Kicks Condor has been iterating and doing some interesting work on the FraidyCat reader over the past few weeks.
- Malcolm Blaney has a fantastic little feed reader in his Unicyclic site (not to mention that he’s also got a cool looking IndieWeb as a Service site with i.haza.website that I desperately want to have time to try out).
- The volume of different and interesting content going into IndieWeb.xyz as a discovery hub has been increasing lately.
- I’ve been admiring the discovery/aggregation work of Terry Greene on his OpenLearnerPatchbook and OpenFacultyPatchbook sites within the education space.
- CJ Eller and others have been contributing to Blogging Futures as an extended online conversation in the form of an aggregated blogchain.
And none of this even touches on the excellent continuing work on Microsub readers which continues to astound me. Even with all of this activity, I’m sure I’m missing some fun little gems, so please don’t hesitate to mention them.
This is an open invitation to contribute to the FemEdTech Quilt of Care and Justice in Open Education. Our Call for Participation complements the Call for contributions to OER20 with its theme of C…
a neologism to me, though the broader idea isn’t with respect to the pussy hats made/worn during the 2017 inaugural.
–November 19, 2019 at 09:40AM
This article has several examples of other examples of craftivism as well.
We need to critically examine all of our assumptions about conferences. How they are run. Who leads them. What kind of learning should happen there?
I remember the first time I heard the term “free riders” being used in the context of the open education movement. It was at the Open Education Conference in 2015 in Vancouver when, dur…
Of course the Open Education conference is just an open education conference and it certainly isn’t the only place to have these conversations. Regional events such as the Northeast OER Summit, the Cascadia Open Education Summit, Wisconsin’s E-ffordability Summit, the Statewide Colorado OER conference and others are wonderful options. Further afield, the OER conference and the Open Education Global conference are both events that welcome critical conversations. As do other events like Digital Pedagogy Lab and the many virtual conference hallway conversations facilitated by Virtually Connecting.
Nice list of open education and OER related conferences and communities.
At the OpenEd conference this week, David Wiley made an announcement that was more significant than it may have sounded.
After two amazing keynotes at #OpenEd19 this morning, I read the following statement to conference attendees: In 2003 I invited a small group of about forty people interested in open content…
Full Spectrum Learning (FSL) is St. Norbert College’s attempt to embrace and encourage diverse teaching and learning practices that elevate student learning. Because we at St. Norbert aspire to cultivate in students a love of lifelong learning inspired by excellent teaching, it is of vital importance that we come together in community to explore the ever-changing breadth of teaching and learning modalities.
I am a lecturer and researcher at Queensland University of Technology, teaching Connected Learning, Inquiry Learning and Teacher Librarianship. My recently completed thesis investigates how teachers experience professional learning through personal learning networks. My research presents a conceptual model of of learning as a connected professional, which makes a significant contribution to theory and practice in the emerging field of professional networks and learning, enabled through the affordances of social technologies. While I have based my research on school teachers’ professional learning, I believe that my research has implications for professional learning opportunities of individuals in many different fields. I am very interested in how we can break down the silos that exist between different professions, and would love to hear from others who wish to explore this further. I also hope that my research will build foundations for rethinking how we bring connected learning more authentically into our pedagogical practice.
I have previously worked as a librarian and teacher, and have been fortunate to have had many wonderful learning opportunities across a variety of roles, in a variety of contexts. When I’m not working, I love reading, playing with my Jack Russell puppy, Ruby and Whippet, Alice, and cooking. I’d love to travel more and see the world, and eat my way around many different countries and cultures!
Not sure what to expect at a camp? Here are some additional details for both in-person and remote attendance.
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.
This is the transcript from a keynote delivered November 11th at the Open Education Ontario Summit in Toronto. Thanks to David Porter, Jenni Hayman, Terry Greene, Lillian Hogendoorn, Ali Versluis, Jessica O’Reilly, and Lena Patterson for facilitating a smooth, engaging event and for giving me the opportunity to share some big, difficult ideas with the Open Rangers.