Thoughts on open notebooks, research, and social media

I remember thinking over a decade ago how valuable it would be if researchers kept open notebooks (aka digital commonplace books) like the one Kimberly Hirsh outlines in her article Dissertating in the Open: Keeping a Public Research Notebook. I'd give my right arm to have a dozen people in research areas I'm interested in…

👓 Dissertating in the Open: Keeping a Public Research Notebook | Kimberly Hirsh

Read Dissertating in the Open: Keeping a Public Research Notebook by Kimberly HirshKimberly Hirsh (Kimberly Hirsh)
I’m making a few notes to myself here to document my process for keeping a public research notebook. They might be of interest to you, too. First, I’m talking here mostly about keeping up with the literature. There are (in my opinion obvious) ethical implications of actually sharing your data on...

Reply to Open Science notebooks | Ryan Barrett

Replied to a post by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (
Notebooks like Jupyter and Observable are great for research, data science, and really any interactive computing or documentation. I want to start using them for ops/SRE projects too. Thomas Kluyver‘s bash_kernel works, but has lots of rough edges. Anyone have any other ideas?
I've been watching that space for a few years. Apparently you saw the same article push them into the broader mainstream consciousness. I would mention Mathematica, but you're certainly aware of it. There are a few other math-related platforms I've used, but I suspect they're not within the realm you're looking for. I've seen one or…

Following Open Pedagogy Notebook

Followed Open Pedagogy Notebook (

Sharing Practices, Building Community

There are many ways to begin a discussion of “Open Pedagogy.” Although providing a framing definition might be the obvious place to start, we want to resist that for just a moment to ask a set of related questions: What are your hopes for education, particularly for higher education? What vision do you work toward when you design your daily professional practices in and out of the classroom? How do you see the roles of the learner and the teacher? What challenges do your students face in their learning environments, and how does your pedagogy address them?

“Open Pedagogy,” as we engage with it, is a site of praxis, a place where theories about learning, teaching, technology, and social justice enter into a conversation with each other and inform the development of educational practices and structures. This site is dynamic, contested, constantly under revision, and resists static definitional claims. But it is not a site vacant of meaning or political conviction. In this brief introduction, we offer a pathway for engaging with the current conversations around Open Pedagogy, some ideas about its philosophical foundation, investments, and its utility, and some concrete ways that students and teachers—all of us learners—can “open” education. We hope that this chapter will inspire those of us in education to focus our critical and aspirational lenses on larger questions about the ideology embedded within our educational systems and the ways in which pedagogy impacts these systems. At the same time we hope to provide some tools and techniques to those who want to build a more empowering, collaborative, and just architecture for learning.

👓 What Open Education Taught Me | Open Pedagogy Notebook

Read What Open Education Taught Me by Jaime MarshJaime Marsh (Open Pedagogy Notebook)
A Keene State College undergraduate reflects on her experiences with Open Education:
So…for those of you just joining me on this 16 week journey through Tropical Marine Biology (and our 9 day trip to Turks and Caicos in 2 days), you might be wondering what all these blog posts are about, and why are we doing them? As a junior, and incoming senior studying Biology at Keene State College, several of my teachers have changed their teaching philosophy to open education. Open education is the philosophy and belief that people, even the world should produce, share, and build on knowledge that everyone has access to. It is believed that open education will promote a higher quality education and community that has been so limited by the textbook companies and licenses.
Nice student-written piece about open pedagogy within her biology program. Nice to see that the author has her own website where she also owns a copy of this article. Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia is okay. YOU choose what YOU want to learn, and how YOU want to do it, and when YOU want to…

📺 Open science: Michael Nielsen at TEDxWaterloo | YouTube

Watched Open science: Michael Nielsen at TEDxWaterloo by Michael NielsenMichael Nielsen from YouTube

Michael Nielsen is one of the pioneers of quantum computation. Together with Ike Chuang of MIT, he wrote the standard text in the field, a text which is now one of the twenty most highly cited physics books of all time. He is the author of more than fifty scientific papers, including invited contributions to Nature and Scientific American. His research contributions include involvement in one of the first quantum teleportation experiments, named as one of Science Magazine's Top Ten Breakthroughs of the Year for 1998. Michael was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of New Mexico, and has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as the Richard Chace Tolman Prize Fellow at Caltech, as Foundation Professor of Quantum Information Science at the University of Queensland, and as a Senior Faculty Member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Michael left academia to write a book about open science, and the radical change that online tools are causing in the way scientific discoveries are made.

Sadly this area of science hasn't opened up as much as it likely should have in the intervening years. More scientists need to be a growing part of the IndieWeb movement and owning their own data, their content, and, yes, even their own publishing platforms. With even simple content management systems like WordPress researchers can…

👓 Interviewing my digital domains | W. Ian O’Byrne

Read Interviewing my digital domains by W. Ian O'ByrneW. Ian O'Byrne (W. Ian O'Bryne)

Alan Levine recently posted a series of questions to help others think through some of thoughts and motivations as we develop and maintain a domain of our own.

I’ve written a lot about this in the past, and I’ll try to include some links to content/posts as I respond to the prompts. This is a bit long as I get into the weeds, so consider yourself warned.

And now…let’s get to it…

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia Having a domain is important to me as I research, develop, and teach. Highlight (yellow) added on June 21, 2018 at 09:07AM example of a domain as thinking out loud or thought spacesblogging as thinking This should be a space where you can create the identity that you want to have.…
Read Thread by whitney trettien (Twitter)
There are surprisingly few digital editions of commonplace books, especially given how the genre lends itself to digitization. What we've made isn't perfect but we hope it helps others think through/with these types of books. More about that here:… ❧ I've seen some people building digital commonplace books in real time, but I'm also curious…
The real super-power feature missing from Roam Research? My public Roam Research notebook being able to converse with someone elses' (or any other page on the internet for that matter). Webmention support might solve this. #RoamCult Reading about decentralized social media has imagining something like a giant web of independently networked Roam research-like pages where…
Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
I contribute to a wiki and a community that looks at some of the why and how questions which you might appreciate. There are also many academics and researchers who are in the space which may give you some examples. Some are talking about the space under the moniker of A Domain of One's Own…
Thirteen: Backfeeding ideas with Let's say I syndicate a thought to Twitter. I can use to backfeed ideas and interactions with my Tweet back to my original in my digital notebook (where it's most useful).  This helps outside ideas filter into and interact with my own ideas. #HeyPresstoConf20 You knew ideas can have…

A note taking problem and a proposed solution

tl;dr It's too painful to quickly get frequent notes into note taking and related platforms. has an open API and a great UI that can be leveraged to simplify note taking processes. Note taking tools I've been keeping notes in systems like OneNote and Evernote for ages, but for my memory-related research and work…
Replied to a tweet by Aram Zucker-ScharffAram Zucker-Scharff (Twitter)
#IndieWeb to the rescue. There are a few great options for this. None of which should require you to write any code!  One of my favorite is Kevin Marks' Noter Live (open source) which is great for live tweeting and creating long threads quickly, especially at conferences. When you're done, it's kept a record of…
Replied to A thread on in relation to Audrey Watters' Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2015: Indie Ed-Tech by Audrey Watters, Jeremy Dean, Dan Whaley (Hack Education /

it supports students and teachers and schools in managing their own infrastructure, their own labor, their own data.

—Audrey Watters

Ok, so is doing this? How can it?

  • my annotations must be better accessible/organizable --the current "My Annotations" is not enough
  • annotation must be exportable

—jeremydean on Dec 30, 2015

And ultimately, you need to be able to completely run your own annotation infrastructure, but create and access it through a universal client.

—dwhly on Dec 30, 2015

Sure. Less clear to me how that looks/works and what that I do today online is similar in "ownership." But does your "you" refer to students or teachers or schools or all of the above?

The first two (I list) seem key in terms of practical adherence to these principles for everyday users.

—jeremydean on Dec 30, 2015

It's similar in character to the Domain of One's Own initiative. From a long term perspective, you might be better off taking ownership of your own infrastructure, that you can carry with you and guarantee will be available over long time periods (decades to centuries). should at the very least permit you to do so if you prefer-- regardless of whether we continue to provide an annotation service at scale (which I very much think we should).

Your question around "you" is an important one. I might for instance, set up my own annotation server for my personal notes-- with the confidence that I'll always be able to find a reliable hosting provider for those. Similar to how I have my own web domain, and I host it at one place now, but I can always move it if that location goes out of business-- and my website will be identical to its current form in the new place. In the same way, my current personal email is through an address at my own domain. I don't need to depend on gmail being around forever.

As a teacher, I might use a more common service provider (like for class lessons-- one that my students are already likely to have accounts on. As web travelers, we're really accustomed to browsing seamlessly between servers-- it's understood to be the essential architecture of the web. Bringing it to the world of annotations has extraordinary benefits (IMHO) and will serve to foster more adoption and more diversity of applications.

—dwhly on Dec 30, 2015

I've been thinking over some of this question for the better part of a decade and even more pointedly since November. Some of what I've been looking at relates back to the renaissance ideas of the commonplace book as well as memory techniques dating back to ancient Greece and even further back. There are ideas…