Indieweb for Education

From IndieWeb

IndieWeb for Education is the application of indieweb principles to one's personal site with a particular emphasis on use cases for education, pedagogy, research, academic samizdat, and collaboration. It is generally synonymous with the aims and goals of the A Domain of One's Own or DoOO movement.

While the general principles of IndieWeb can apply to anyone's site, in an attempt to help foster the next generation of potential IndieWeb adopters who may be focused on teaching, education, and research, whether at the K-12, undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, or other levels, we're compiling some specific hints, tips, pointers, and examples which may be germane to these particular audiences to assist in their motivation and adoption.

I mean, what does an alternative to ed-tech as data-extraction, control, surveillance, privatization, and profiteering look like? What does resistance to the buzzwords and the bullshit look like?

I don’t have an answer. (There isn’t an answer.) But I think we can see a glimmer of possibility in the Indie Web Movement. It’s enough of a glimmer that I’m calling it a trend.

—Audrey Watters in Hack Education

In addition to the material below, be sure to see getting started, which is an excellent place to start for all people. For additional help and discussion, feel free to visit the IndieWeb chat rooms.

IndieWeb Academics and People

A group of people closely identified with the areas of research, teaching, academia, other:

  • Amber Case - Studying the impact of technology on how we live. Author: Calm Technology + An Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology. Fellow @BKCHarvard + @CivicMIT.
  • Kris Shaffer - R, Python, JavaScript, Data Science, Music, Open Source Ed Tech, Critical Pedagogy. University of Mary Washington. His site has a variety of posts about IndieWeb and he's closely related to A Domain of One's Own
  • William Ian O'Byrne - Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at the College of Charleston. Has both WordPress and Known installs and has participated in Known's Google Group.
  • Anelise H. Shrout - New cliometrician. American historian. Atlantic historian. Native of NJ, transplant to CA. History, cartography, #DH, & sometimes my dog. Opinions my own, etc. Has used Known for teaching. Personal site on WordPress, experience with Omeka.
  • Rick Wysocki - Doctoral candidate interested in queer rhetoric, archives, new materialisms, and media theory.
  • Jeffrey Keefer - Director of Training & Knowledge Management + Educational Researcher + Professor + Poet + Wikipedian = Liminality + Actor-Network Theory + Open Education
  • Ken Bauer, Associate Professor of Computing Science at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara uses Known on his primary site.
  • Davey Moloney - a Technology Enhanced Learning Manager in Graduate & Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland, where I’m involved in the design and production of flexible online and blended postgraduate and professional education programmes for distance and workplace learners.
  • Will Monroe of - is an Assistant Director for Instructional Technology and adjunct instructor in educational technology and library and information science.
  • Adam Procter is the Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Games Design & Art and Principal Teaching Fellow at Winchester School of Art (WSA). He also sometimes gets the chance to make Apps, Web stuff and works as UX and UI designer, developer and consultant.


People working in the space and at least tangentially knowledgeable or aware of the IndieWeb movement:

I've started mixing regular and micro blog posts. The idea is really interesting; a way to share small thoughts (like on twitter) but retain control over the content on your own publishing platform. My is at

People are heartily encouraged to look into the depth and breadth of other examples on the pages spanning the remainder of the wiki.

IndieWeb Examples

LMS Examples


Naturally any project could be used for educational or research purposes, but the following either are geared toward the academic/research spaces, or are heavily used by them and have a relatively rich ecosystem of additional functionality or plugins to expand their use specifically toward these areas. New users, particularly those of generations 2+ who may not be programmers/developers by nature may be advised to take a look at one or more of these for their base functionality.


Main article: Known

The Known CMS was built as an opensource IndieWeb project from the ground up, but the business side of the project is geared toward the education market, thus making it a convenient choice, particularly for classroom and collaborative use. Known's education specific page has some great motivation for using IndieWeb in learning and research environments.

Topics Getting Started with Known
Content Plugins VideoRecipeReviewsFoodWatchingReactionsJournalRead
Syndication plugins TwitterFacebookFlickrFoursquareLinkedInSoundCloudLinkedIn (alternate)WordPressTumblrDiigoGithubKnown
System and Security HTML Output sanitisationTwo Factor AuthenticationSitemap.xmlBitly URL shortenerOAuth2 ServerNIST PasswordsAkismetMatomo for Known
Import and Export Flickr ImportFile PickerMoves Import
Misc plugins Chrome ExtensionGist SupportUserColorsPushoverKnownTracksMarkdownInstagramShimLightboxEmoji renderingShort ProfileCleverdevil CustomizationsMastodonEmbed
Themes Han Shot FirstMaterialNature
Assistance Join the #indieweb chatIRC and other chat optionsKnown channelKnown Dev Google GroupOfficial DocumentationDevelopment on Github


Main article: WordPress

WordPress is a commonly used CMS in general, but there is a large and engaged community of educators, researchers using it for a variety of academic specific plugins and functionality.


The list below isn't specifically IndieWeb related, but are plugins, some with an IndieWeb flavor, which people interested in these areas may find useful.

  • Anthologize - Grab posts from your WordPress blog, pull in feeds from external sites, or create new content directly in Anthologize. Then outline, order, and edit your work, crafting it into a coherent volume for export in several ebook formats, including PDF, EPUB, and TEI.
  • CommentPress Core - allows readers to comment in the margins of a text. You can use it to annotate, gloss, workshop, debate and more!
  • FD Footnotes - Elegant and easy to use footnotes
  • JQuery Hover Footnotes - Lets you add footnotes with qualifiers of you're choosing, then dynamically displays them when you hover over.
  • Knight Lab TimelineJS - A simple shortcode to display TimelineJS.
  • ScholarPress Coins - Makes your blog posts readable by various COinS interpreters.
  • Zotpress - Bringing Zotero and scholarly blogging to your WordPress website.



Main article: WordPress/Themes
ASU Labs Theme

An opensource theme for professors, educators, and lab or research groups with an integrated approach

Topics Getting Started on WordPressAdvanced WordPress Set UpPluginsThemesExamplesWordPress with BridgyDevelopmentDataSecurity
Primary Plugins Indieweb PluginWebmentionSemantic LinkbacksMicropubIndieAuthPost KindsSyndication LinksWebSub plugins
POSSE Plugins Syndication LinksSocial Network Auto PosterJetPack PublicizeWP CrosspostTumblr CrosspostrDiasposterMastodon AutopostBridgy Publish plugin (deprecated) • Medium (deprecated)
PESOS Plugins Keyring Social ImportersDsgnWrks Twitter ImporterDsgnWrks Instagram Importer
Other Plugins IndieBlocksShortnotesActivityPub PluginAperture Refback pluginIndieWeb Press ThisWordPress MF2 Feeds PluginWordPress uf2OpenIDSimple LocationParse ThisIndieweb ActionsPressForwardYarns Indie ReaderWhisperFollowblogroll2email
Themes SemPress • (SemPress Child Themes: SemPress Lite, SenPress, and Index) • AutonomieIndependent PublisherIndieWeb Publishermf2_sTwenty Sixteen IndieWeb-friendly forkIndieWeb Twenty Fifteen ThemeDoublescores
Assistance Join the #indieweb chatIRC and other chat optionsWordPress FAQWordPress Outreach ClubTroubleshooting TipsWordPress toolsWordPress channel
See also WordPress related wiki pagesCategory:WordPress pluginsCategory:WordPress themesCategory:WordPress sessionsWordPress.comWordPress using IndieMarkAWS Tutorial


Main article: Omeka

Omeka is a CMS built on a LAMP stack and designed for scholars, museums, libraries, archives, and enthusiasts to create complex narratives,share rich collections, research, exhibits, and digital projects.



Main article: Drupal

In addition to the standard Drupal core set up which can be extended with modules for additional functionality, there is also the Open Scholar project which is geared toward use by professors as well as reasearch groups, departments, and even entire universities.

Domain of One's Own

Main article: A Domain of One's Own

A Domain of One's Own (or DoOO) is a project at University of Mary Washington that allows students, faculty, and staff to register their own domain name and associate it with a hosted web space, free of charge. With their Domain and corresponding web space, users will have the opportunity and flexibility to design and create a meaningful and vibrant digital presence.


Main article: Grav

Grav is a flat-file CMS built on PHP, with Twig templating, and YAML + Markdown for storing articles (YAML for metadata, Markdown for the content).

Paul Hibbitts has some Grav related resources available with regard to education.

2020-03-09 Theo Acker Grav Tutorial Lesson Level: Beginner


Elgg is a social media networking engine used primarily in educational settings now (as of early 2023) supports (or can support) microformats2, Webmention, and Microsub according to inspired by Kristof De Jaeger’s Drupal IndieWeb module.

MLA Commons

MLA Commons is a scholarly network for MLA members. Users can discover the latest open-access scholarship and teaching materials, join language and literature discussion groups, build a WordPress Web site for a class or conference—or to showcase your own work—and grow your readership by uploading materials to CORE, our open-access repository. This is a growing "open" network in academia that allows for Gen2+ users an easy way to create websites (particularly WordPress based sites), generally for academic purposes.

  • Its flexibility compared to self-hosted WordPress may be limited, but it could be a simple way to join a larger network of academics for additional work related functionality.
  • An inexpensive MLA Membership is required for full functionality on the platform. Compared to domain registration and hosting, the cost becomes a net positive when bundled with their other services.
  • Set up is fairly similar to or EduBlogs in terms of site flexibility, though it does provide interaction with a large network of other academics.
  • No support for webmentions (yet)
  • Not all themes properly support microformats


ScholarlyHub intends to be a paid platform to allow people, especially teachers and researchers, to own their own content and data and share it freely. While not specifically identifying as IndieWeb, many of their core philosophies are very IndieWeb-centric. In early 2018, they are attempting to raise €500,000 by 2018-31-07 to build what looks like a Gen2+ platform.

Your donation will help launch a new scholarly social network which is entirely non-profit, member-run and open access. ScholarlyHub will not trade in users' data, will protect scholars’ independence from conglomerate publishers’ market-oriented needs, and will make scholarship visible and accessible across disciplines and throughout the world.

Science Sites

Science Sites, Inc. is a Massachusetts 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization which was founded and directed by science writers to bring a journalistic approach to content strategy and website creation. Their goal is to "help scientists and scientific organizations engage with new media and best showcase and share their work online."

They believe that:

"Too many brilliant researchers with too much important research have no acceptable web presence. We believe that improving how their work is represented online will bring greater attention to their research and advance the public's appreciation and understanding of science."

  • Websites appear to be based on the SquareSpace platform
  • They provide hosting and maintenance and do charge for building sites for clients apparently in the $1K+ budget range
  • Their target market is for Gen2+ people.


Main article: Scalar

Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online.

Library Carpentry

Library Carpentry develops lessons and teaches workshops for and with people working in library- and information-related roles. Our goal is to create an on-ramp to empower this community to use software and data in their own work as well as be advocates for and train others in efficient, effective and reproducible data and software practices. Our workshops are based on our lessons. Workshop hosts, Instructors, and learners must be prepared to follow The Carpentries Code of Conduct.


Main article: TiddlyWiki
  • TiddlyWiki is a responsive website platform built as a single file in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript but which can also be hosted privately in a variety of locations like OneDrive, DropBox, or on your computer.


  • TiddlyWiki for Scholars beta version
    • TiddlyWiki for Scholars is a personal customization of TiddlyWiki 5.0.15-beta I made for note-taking from readings, but it can be useful for other purposes. The idea behind this adaptation is to show and to allow creating relevant data related to the current tiddler without leaving the tiddler.

  • Slides and Stories by Jan is a repository of the tools to optimize TW for scientific research and for presenting and publishing results.

Static Site Generators

GitHub pages

Main article: github-pages

Academics who need a personal website, check out my project, a ready-to-fork GitHub pages template supporting CV-style content. Difficulty is more than using Wordpress but lower than building your own site from scratch. Over 2,500 people have tried it out!

--Stuart Geiger via Twitter


Main article: Hugo

Related Conferences

Articles relating to IndieWeb and Academe


Educational Resources

Articles About Blogging with Students

Twitter hashtags

Poetry Fridays

  • Fridays is a weekly blogging meetup running since 2008. Each week one blogger is in charge of curating all the poems posted to the Poetry Friday group.


Main article: planet

Aggregating class-wide related work can be a common stumbling block for some teachers, designers, and technologists. Below is a short list of potential technologies geared toward solving this problem


FeedWordPress is an open-source Atom/RSS aggregator for the WordPress blog publishing platform with planet-like functionality. Taylor Jadin has set it up for this functionality in the past.


PressForward is free software built for WordPress for curating and sharing content from the web. While originally developed for journalists curating content, its core functionality adds a native RSS feed reader into one's site. It could be used as a planet in online course related settings.


gRSShopper is a personal web environment that combines resource aggregation, a personal dataspace, and personal publishing. It's a project built by Stephen Downes.


Known can be set up for an entire class with multi-user accounts. Better, it can be set up with syndication capabilities that allows users to use their own sites to post material and syndicate it into the shared class-based site. Chris Aldrich has set up something like this in the past.

Syndication via Webmention

While different than most of the above models, perhaps the Reddit like functionality of sites like or could be leveraged to allow students to post their content on their own websites and purposefully syndicate class-related pieces into a commons using Webmention. Having the ability to delete the content from the planet at a later date by editing or deleting the Webmention could be a beneficial piece of functionality.

Blogs as Notebook/Portfolios

Educators have always used blogs for electronic notebooks and student portfolios. This practice is most prevalent on Blogger, but edublogs, kidblogs, and SeeSaw among others are also used.


See also:

Miscellaneous Projects and Sources


Related sessions at IndieWebCamps

See Also