Hello Campers and Guardians,

I wanted to take a second and introduce myself and go over your camper’s role in creating a positive community from their website.

About Me

My name Dr. J. Gregory McVerry. I am an Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Learning Department in College of Education at Southern Connecticut State University. I am also the College’s Associate Fellow for Online Learning.

I earned my PhD in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Cognition Instruction and Learning Technologies while a Neag Fellow at the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut.

I helped to found the Elm City Webmakers, which organizes the camp with CfAL. The Elm City Webmakers began when we had 7th grade Gear Up Students from New Haven on SCSU camps many years ago.

Our mission aligned to the IndieWeb movement, is to empower learners to own their data, control that data, and make better connections while sharing their passions from personal websites.

We do not want facebook, owners of Instagram and whatsapp, shaping adolescent identity with their code. Deciding what is cool and what is not. We want students to share and amplify their own voices. To own their story.

Your child’s website

Over the weekend, and then today your child was given a website. These are live on the web and we use a WordPress install. WordPress is a popular tool for publishing to the web.

All data, like words and pictures, lives on a shared server controlled by CfAL. This means CfAL has control of your child’s work. If you do not want their work living on our servers we can help you learn how to host a domain for your child but this does come with additional work and expense.

As a parent you have the right to request any post be deleted. Simply email myself or Jennifer Ricker and we will take care of it.

Changing Password

Your child should change their password when they were given the account. The passwords were sent by email. This can cause a security risk. It is a personal conversation between you and your child if you get their password. We can delete a post and we can delete an entire website but we will never give out a users password without that users consent.

Mandatory Reporters

Finally myself, Jennifer Ricker, and most of the camp counselors are mandatory reporters. This means we must report any interaction that relates to self-harm, harming others, or drug and alcohol abuse. This can include fiction or art pieces like comics, poems, songs etc. This includes posts your child publishes privately or just to the group. Please know all counselors have had the highest standards of training in child safety.

Security warning

You may see a security warning on your child’s website. That is okay. This is caused by us not having an s after http in the website address. This address, also called a url, tells the computer where to find the website files.

To get the s you need a security certificate. We have one and just need to add everyone’s website to it. We have Yale Computer Science Interns solving the issue.

IndieWeb Meet Up Tonight

Every Wednesday people from all over the world gather for IndieWeb Meet ups. This week Elm City Webmakers will host one at 7:00pm tonight. All campers, guardians, parents, siblings, and pets are welcome for a meet and greet to learn more about the project or how the websites work.

These events are not associated with the camp, attendance is totally optional, and with three at home myself with a pertner who works nights, hectic and messy is okay. You can drop in and out or stay the entire time. We will be demoing how to build the sites.

Want to Join Us?

Finally, and please, if any parents or guardians want a website so you can join in on the fun I will set you up. You have no idea how good it feels when adults send comments to students work. please feel free to email me if you would like a website on our network.

The Elm City Webmakers have been running programs teaching adults in New Haven for the last two years.

We will keep the camp a kid space, they need that, but everyone welcome to join us on the web. Name.com donated all the server space so feel free to hack at your identity and then let the kids know how proud we all are of their work.

Nothing is more powerful than inter-generational learning.

Dr. Mac

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