Skip to main content

I play with code to understand comprehension as I have no way to comprehend code.

My Description of Class for My Tenure File...and because I miss everyone.

6 min read

Class Description

EDU106 New Literacies: Digital Text and Tools for Lifelong Learning s a technology fluency class I teach at Southern Connecticut State University. We learn a crazy amounts of tech but the class is really one of philosophy of self and growth. The class gets broken into four components

  • Tell Your Story
  • Learn Something
  • Teach Something
  • Do Something

Due to covid19 outbreak and this hybrid class moving online I removed the "do something" requirement and had students publish their teach something units as a portfolio. This was a hard decision but the correct one. The "Do Something" are so important to me. Students organized campus wide fundraisers for my terminally ill nephew, started a campaign for restaruants to add screen readable menus, and a chapter for a youth cancer fundraiser that still exists today. The "Do Something" subjective is simply, "make yourself or the world a better place"

Learning how to learn online while their professors were learning how to teach online was enough.

In tell your story we trace the shapes of stories. We started with Kobe Bryant's "Love of Basketball" and then looked at the shape of well written emails. Then we looked at the shape of both qualitative and quantitative research articles and learned how to use these shapes to be active readers and notetakers.

On the technology front we explored the selfie as an artifact of self and wrote About Me pages while learning HTML basics. We then did a photo challenge to practice basics of photo editing. Tell Your Story culminated in an unselfie project.

In Learn Something students focused on collaborative essay writing as we practiced our research writing skills. In small groups the class learned how to write a single case study using basic matrix analysis. They had to choose a community and analyze it from a lens.

We integrated digital texts and tools as students were tasked to go out and learn anything they wanted but to post reflections on what they learned. First students had to bookmark sources and explain why they chose these as both credible and relevant sources. Basically everyone wrote their own textbook. Next students had to create a podcast and post five episodes reflecting on what they learned.

The outbreak happened just as we finished up our "Learn Something" units. Instead of a community the students had to switch it up and study an online community. I decided to remove the "do something unit" and move into teach something. One outcome of the being locked down was seeing intergnerational learning happening. Daughters working with dads, and sisters with brothers. Family, especially heirloom recipes have always been a feature of this class.

In the final unit students first explored what good teaching looks like and they wrote posts giving advice to SCSU on how they should improve their teaching. We then explored effective screencasts. Students practiced video editing as they had to post a screencast or video teaching something and then an Ignite Talk. An ignite talk is a presentation where 20 image driven slides auto advance every 20 seconds.

For the portfolio final students choose one of four pathways: video, photo, podcasting, or web design and then they had to put together a portfolio of blog posts and videos to teach the rest of the class something.

They also had to create and analyze a survey for basic descriptive stastics. Students elarned how to write survey questions, the different types of data, and how to use google forms to make spreadsheets and charts.

Then students had to either use the websites we started in class or choose their own place to publish a portfolio (Blackboard, WordPress, Tumblr). Tumblr was the CMS of choice this year.

Student Portfolio Sites

Some students chose to openly share their portfolios with the world. We learn about the differences between privacy and open and all students are allowed to publish and license their content in anyway they see fit.

Chris's Dungeons and Dragons

Shaoshi's Penny Boarding

Lily on Baking

Low Carb Baking with Maria

Student Comments

Sharing comments that were published openly on student blogs.

I wanted to wish everyone luck with the last couple of days of finals week and thank you all for being amazing classmates. This was one of my favorite classes this semester and I have really learned a lot from Professor McVerry, and all of my peers.

I also feel like being able to take this class and learn has been the main reason why I have done so well this semester. All my work has improved and I feel like this is one of my best classes grade-wise and I am very grateful for that. I would recommend this class to many other students on the SCSU campus because not only does this class teach you a lot but it gives you a private/public space to vent and be able to tell how you are feeling.

To professor McVerry, I wanted to thank you for being one of the best professors I have had on Southern's campus.  You have taught me a lot about new literacies and being able to open up to others around me. I really appreciate everything you have done for me and the class during this pandemic


With class nearing its end, I wanna say it's been a great class. Shame we didn't get to spend more time in class because of the outbreak. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the classroom

It was fun, the professor was kind, respectful, and most importantly: Patient. I truly admire this quality in people, more so in teachers. He always made sure to get to everyone's question and didn't blow a gasket if someone repeated a question already asked, he simply just answered it again so for that he has my undying respect. I wish there were more professors like him that realize new students are rookies to the subject and don't have the same level of understanding as he does.



Hey everyone, here is my Ignite Talk:

BTW just found out my grades are due 5/20 so I can give everyone until 5/17 to get me their work.

Video on how to make your ignite talk slideshow in Google Slides:

Here is a video on how to plan the ignite talk storyboard.

Well for half the live stream I was muted and then I recorded again and the video file came back empty....grrrr. I will just record a quick screencast for filling out the ignite template.

I am going to livestream my planning and recording of an ignite talk. I am going to be teaching poetry (surprise) and choosing the podcasting pathway. I have been recording and publishing a daily poem since 2020-04-01 here is today's:

If you want to join me as I plan a poetry Ignite Talk my video link is