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!
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
@sleslie oh, yuck. Didn't know that.
@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. Scholar.social 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
social.coop is a cooperatively-run corner of the Fediverse. The instance is democratically governed by its members, who generally share an interest in the co-op model, but topics of discussion range widely.
Our instance is supported by sliding scale contributions of $1-10/mo made via Open Collective. You must have an active Open Collective account to apply for membership; you may set one up here