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Chris Aldrich

IndieWebCamp for Education

2 min read

I ran across a good, short video the other day related particularly to success in MOOCs, though I feel it's fairly applicable to many classroom situations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8avYQ5ZqM0

Parts of it made me think back to some of the guiding principles about personal websites and interactivity stated on IndieWebCamp which have direct application to flexible learning environments that allow student interaction as well as the ability for students to "own" their own data and interactions about the content they're creating as they learn.  Though I've built some of this type of infrastructure for myself on the WordPress platform in conjunction with some indiewebcamp plug-ins as well as Brid.gy(all for free), the technological hurdles can potentially be daunting for some.  

For those with tech-fear, I might suggest looking at WithKnown's Education landing page which uses these same types of guiding principles and is geared particularly to the education space.  Their corporate structure is very similar to that of WordPress in that they give away everything as free opensource advocates, but also provide hosted and paid subscription services for those who prefer the help and additional support. If nothing, their website has lots of interesting stories and use-cases which can give teachers a variety of ideas on how they can use the web in their classes.

For educational use, some of my favorite functionality is that a teacher can make an initial post with information/questions to which the students can reply to on their own sites. The technology is set up so that the reply appears on the teacher's site (for grading) as well as on the student's own site where they'll "own" that work for perpetuity rather than relying it to live on the teacher's site. These types of functionalities assist in threaded commenting that all sides can keep for themselves as journals of their work during the class as well as long afterwards. Additionally, there are plugins so that comments on students' content that is shared on social media is back-fed to their original post - for example if their blog post is cross-posted to Facebook, all of their friends' likes and comments are posted back on their own site as native content.