Mastodon Homes for Open Educators

I have been watching the rapidly expanding burst of interest in open federated options for social media (Musk Effect?). Thanks to all who joined our conversation on Get Federated? which led to an OEG Connect profile modification to include Fediverse identities, yielding a directory of, so far, 42 Fediverse Pioneers, OEG Connect members who are now part of that space.

Many more people are likely still trying to understand the concept and/or trying to decide where to establish themselves. To some degree, it does not matter, because the beauty of the federated platform is you can communicate with anyone, no matter where they have made their home.

For some, an instance of commons interest offers the benefits of a “local timeline” similarly interested people.

A Short List of Mastodon Homes for Open Educators

I was curious seeing the addresses of where our Fediverse Pioneers have set up, and assembled a definitely incomplete list of ones focused on openness.

It’s moving quickly! What others should be listed? You can edit this directly, as this post has been turned Wikistyle to be editable. But if you have a comment, you can reply below.


3 posts were split to a new topic: Seeing / Using Mastodon Local Timelines

My colleague @IslaHF suggested of possible interest a Mastodon instance for wiki enthusiasts, sort of belongs above, right?

Instances are popping up every minute (?), has anyone else spotted any new ones of relevance to open education?

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More useful threads to follow! Thanks to a post by @clintlalonde I was able to quickly set myself up on and I now have many follows from Tweeps who have spotted my profile link on Twitter. I love how this community rolls up sleeves and gets helpful info out there!

That’s great to hear, Teresa, that you found a “home” there. I’m curious to hear as well from others, if the local timeline (meaning posts from others on the same instance) has value. Because of the way federation works, if you want to see posts from people you follow, it may not matter where your “home” is.

As @Mackiwg has noted, the instance you are on may have some cyclic peaks from participants in the OERu courses, and why they are offering as well “homes” on their new instance listed above on FOSSDLE Commons (migrations are easy).

It’s all new in many ways, we are all learning/shaping this as we go.

I started on on the OERu instance years ago, but migrated to the FOSSDLE instance to help it get going. Like Alan says, the migration was just a matter of following a short list of simple directions. I know the OER Foundation is keen to do a lot with FOSSDLE and I want to be part of it!

I asked this question on this post here - but I’d be curious to hear what members of this thread think too …

So … as we devour buckets of popcorn as Twitter implodes, I am curious about the unexpected consequence of the Fediverse – in that, if we are all sequestered in our little elephant-shaped silos how will we ever “see” others who are not like “us”, especially others with alternative views.

Are we just creating our own echo chambers? And is that a good thing?

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I started back in 2016 on an original instance
After thinking about it for awhile, I decided to move to Fosstodon: Ken Bauer Favel ( - Fosstodon

I made a “short” (and rough/quick) video about why/how to choose your instance that may be helpful to some at Choosing a Mastodon Instance #TechEduTips - YouTube

I replied over there @IslaHF Thanks for the excellent question.

I also got on board that … and the mathstodon server. Still figuring things out – when I tried to use a hashtag, then I found out my posts weren’t public, and have to change from private for eery single one.
Still lookin’ for the right collaborative community :wink:

Hi @IslaHF - waving to you from :new_zealand:

I totally agree - exposure to alternate views and cultures is critical for digital citizenship. However, over the past years I found the toxicity of the Birdsite exceeding the value to be gained from diverse opinion over there.

With 7.5 million users in the Mastodon network - there is a lot of diversity with a multitude of sites all interacting with each other. The Birdsite is just a micro-blogging platform, but the fediverse is a diverse array of technologies including blogs, picture sharing, event organisers, video sharing enabled by the Activitypub protocol that has many genre’s of communication all interacting with each other. We’re not silos, but rather a network of networks, reclaiming the Internet for our citizens. I’ve found it way more exciting and enriching than the Birdsite ever was :smiley:

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My wish is to see open education ‘build back better’ after the pandemic. When campuses were shutting down there was very little authentic collaboration and cooperation between and among HE institutions. Sure, some institutions released their check-lists for pivoting to online learning under CC licenses, but very few organizations actually collaborated on the development of shared learning materials and shared infrastructure.

The FOSSDLE (Free and Open Source Software Digital Learning Ecosystem) Commons is a nascent idea for building shared infrastructure (people, processes and technology) as a community garden for open educators. We’re adopting a learn-by-doing model using the range of Federated technologies we have avaliable to widen access to OER-enabled learning.

Not as a centralized monolith - but a decentralised network of networks building back better. I’m committing the last decade of my working career on moving the dial forward in this space and so far, having a lot of fun doing it!

Open question to the list - If you were building a FOSSDLE Commons, how would you do it? What advice do you have to ensure future success?


Echo-chambers are a challenge for sure, but it seems the evolution of distributed architecture for social media platforms like Mastodon looks like a positive step – especially in the way that we verify our identities in the process of signing up. Having said that, it depends what we might choose to use a particular platform for. I choose LinkedIn for professional work-related stuff, Instagram for personal sharing, Twitter mostly for academic purposes (& I will continue to use it) … I’m anticipating that my experience with Mastodon will enrich the academic conversations & sharing of useful info & links … & be less cluttered with ranting & brawling

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