Slack alternatives
News broke a few days before Christmas that Slack was deactivating users it believed to have ties to countries sanctioned by the US government, including those of academics in my home province of British Columbia.

Slack closed my account today!
I’m a PhD student in Canada with no teammates from Iran!

Is Slack shutting down accounts of those eth
#fippa #mattermost #privacy #rocketchat #slack #sovereignty #teamchat

Also possibly of concern is slack accepting $250mil in venture funding from Saudi Arabian-backed fund, if you needed yet another reason to avoid this IRCv2 crap

@clintlalonde @sleslie Oh oh oh, this is a challenge. I use Slack in teaching.

Is there a reference for this funding information?


@sleslie @katebowles @clintlalonde

Blurgh. Pretty much every system vital to my network is turning out to be a bad actor. Where they aren't the people aren't there either.

@fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde I’m back to having a think about whether there is an open option, perhaps even a masto instance for learning networks. is much more about scholarly networking which I’m not fussed about.

But could a learning centred instance work like Twitter *can* work for course comms? I don’t know.

@katebowles An instance or several connected instances? Increasingly thinking about guerilla tactics needed to stay one step ahead of commercial an other bad actors... A small network of instances might offer the flexibility required...

@fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde

@tdorey @fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde

The challenge with surreptitious networks is labour and resourcing. I’ve been so impressed with server admins here, so I’m wondering about the human side of crafting robust, safe and respectful learning platforms that aren’t corporate keystroke harvesters or brand enhancers.

@katebowles This is absolutely the key to what I’m now calling “crafting a pedagogy of small”

The key is to develop networks of humans willing & able and then (or at the same time) to find small scale ways to economically support them

@fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde

@tdorey @fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde

Here I’ve been watching the support model. Patreon etc does create some sustainability but micropayments introduce issues of scale.

Reclaim has been another model.

Is it possible to imagine an open and community supported learning platform in resource terms (servers, admin)? The issue is not seeing it as having to meet institutional needs, which are always going to be too demanding.

@tdorey @fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde

But really I’m thinking about what made Slack so useful. It’s better for course admin than Twitter. It’s less bleak than our LMS, which is Moodle and which I only use as a gradeboom. It’s a safer space for sharing blogs—students can choose Slack only to share with the class or push out to their Twitter networks if they want to.

A federated Slackish thing would transform open education. Is there one?


@tdorey @fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde @actualham

Although I’m now thinking about gradeboom. Because actually the least learning part of it all is course admin and the part played by each individual course in the vast business enterprise of credentialling for sale.

Universities at the moment are all about the gradeboom. We have perfected transactional learning as a business proposition. What ethical openings are left to us?

It is a good, though bleak question. I think the ethical openings left are small, but the more they narrow the more important they become.

We need more "crazy profs who made us use this weird tool so we wouldn't be part of the capitalist system" and "dumb assignments that forced us to think about where surveillance is headed." And then we need to celebrate these "crazys" and "dumbs" every chance we. We need to teach tactics of resistance.

@fncll @sleslie @clintlalonde @actualham

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