Open Education- Get (or Is) Federated?

I like this idea. Totally support.



I really like this idea :sunglasses: :innocent:

The ability for individual institutions to reuse, remix and host federated open online courses (OER-enabled of course) is the strategic point of difference for open when compared to closed. The proprietary for-profit model needs centralization to create artificial scarcity to generate profit.

When we federate - we generate real competition, build diversity for resilience and have a fighting chance to ensure education as a public good.

Bring it on!


Just seems to me like a return to the real essence of education - sharing freely without gatekeepers. Full agency for all involved, no permission required from ‘on high’ because the is no ‘on high’. It’s just all of us, without 3rd party restraints and profit agendas. As you can imagine, I’m completely on board this bus!


+1 This is definitely worth convening to discuss and learn.

Spectacular idea! I’ve long said any open movement worthy of the name will have a strong commitment to using open tools. The Fediverse is a great example of something that already exists that belongs in that toolbox.


Something to consider - on our Discourse instance, we have created a custom field for Mastodon username on the Profile page (see for example my profile on

This could help OEGlobal Connect users find each other in the Fediverse which can be a challenge.


Definitely doable, look for a new field soon. I feel like I’m always catching up with you, Wayne!



Your wizardry in bending the capabilities of the Discourse platform for innovation in service of Open Education is a major attraction of being part of this community. We’re learning lots about how to tweak Discourse (which we use ourselves) in the spirit of the great OER remix.

Keep innovating knowing we are going to hack your ideas :-).


Thanks @cable – in typical style, I tossed an idea for which I have no plan or map. What would work? What could we do? There are so many elements to unravel.

Should we start with some collecting/listing of federated platforms/tools in use for open education?


FWIW, I follow the work of Doug Belshaw who has been experimenting with and thinking about the fediverse a lot, e.g.

I gotta invite Doug into this space.

The idea is that rather than spending time just in the platform megacities, digital malls (aka the Big Four?) we can have a much more diverse landscape of towns, villages, cities that are still interconnected.

What does this thinking mean for open education and our platforms?

Also, Doug shared a better reference for The Fediverse

I notice right away that their embedded video is from Framatube a federated alternative to YouTube (making use of Peertube).

Notice too how I get distracted out there on the web


It’s done!

Edit your profile to be like mine to now add a Mastodon username (working to enable as icon)


Neat, I’ve updated. :grinning:

Nice! Updated mine… Given the newness of Mastodon, might it be worth including an example of what a ‘handle’ should look like: @username@instancename? Might it also be worth changing “Mastodon” to “Fediverse, (e.g. Mastodon, Pixelfed, Pleroma, etc.)”? :slight_smile:

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Another useful Fediverse link, showing a good (but not exhaustive!) range of relevant “ActivityPub-enabled” apps:

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Thank you, updated mine too!

Thanks, Dave, great suggestions. Changed field name to “Fediverse User Name” and as suggested included example format.

I was worried that changing the label would disconnect entries, but Discourse is better than that!


Much appreciated - updated.

I’m experimenting with the user field, I made it searchable, meaning one could query the users here for values in that field

It does not seem to be fully indexed yet as the user search on “mastodon” is showing only 2 results, whereas mine should be there was well all the throngs of people on

Discourse has an impressive array of expanded (aka advanced) search of topics, posts, users which is hidden under the 3 bar menu in the top search field.

What I am going to seek and ask the Discourse folks is somewhat of finding or generating a report on all users who have entered a handle there. It might mean some custom query stuff.


Hey all! Familiar faces here, and glad to be invited in by @cogdog. As I say in that post, the Fediverse is more than just Mastodon - in fact, the original vision for MoodleNet (RIP) was to build a social OER platform using ActivityPub, the protocol that makes the Fediverse work!

I’m involved with Bonfire which is a ‘federated app toollkit’ that you can play around with here. It’s quite different to Mastodon (as are many other Fediverse platforms such as Misskey.

Having deactivated my (verified!) Twitter account a year ago, I can hand-on-heart say that open educators should be on the Fediverse - as @Downes pointed out in his talk :slight_smile:


Personally had been meaning to join Mastodon for over a year ago, and finally did last weekend. Loving it! Finding the conversations there is much more interesting and positive. Wish I’d joined years ago.

Happy to be moving away from this toxicity …

From a CBC story this morning about all the layoffs posed to hit Twitter today: Twitter employees brace for layoff notices today | CBC News

Seeing that this morning, made me finally broach that move with the people I am working with. Had been contemplating doing that all week, and that was the huge push I needed to do so.