Learning Technology Index


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What is it?

Mastodon is a free, decentralized, open-source, and self-hosted social networking service. It offers microblogging features, which are run by members with their own code of conduct, terms of service, privacy policy, privacy options, and content moderation policies. So, any Mastodon member can start up a network of their own by regulating it according to their needs and values.

What is its purpose?

Mastodon provides an alternative social media platform that promotes decentralization, privacy, user control, community engagement, customization, accessibility, and content moderation which serves as an alternative platform for students and instructors to engage in coursework discussions. Mastodon allows students and instructors to join instances (i.e., servers) on various subjects that would assist in maintaining focused discussions and minimizing distractions by keeping conversations on the intended subject.


How do I use it?

Visit the Mastodon website or download the app from App Store or Google Play Store.

Choose an instance that aligns with your course subjects and values. You can find a list of instances on the JoinMastodon website.

Once you've decided on an instance, visit its website and look for the "Sign up" or "Join" option. Fill in the necessary information, such as your username, email address, and password. Some instances may have additional registration requirements or restrictions.

Why would I use it?

Mastodon's decentralized model offers more control and autonomy to users, as each instance can have its own rules and moderation policies. It helps avoid the issues associated with centralized platforms, such as data breaches, algorithmic manipulation, and content censorship.

Mastodon allows you to control the information you share and customize your privacy settings. This can be particularly important when discussing coursework or sensitive topics, as you can have confidence in the privacy of your discussions.

Mastodon fosters community engagement and facilitates connections with like-minded individuals. You can join instances that focus on specific interests or topics related to your coursework, allowing for meaningful discussions and collaborations. Mastodon's federation model enables you to interact with users from different instances, expanding your potential network and learning opportunities.

Quick Facts
Synchronous Sessions
Rating Level 
Web Search
Last Modified
09 November 2023
30 June 2023
License Available 
More Info

Security Concerns
Technical Support 
Web browser, Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android

Ratings Information

CITL Rating

Select any category below for details about the criteria for each rating.

Functionality: ★★★
Works Well.
Ease of Use:★★★
Works Well.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Instructors):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Technical support is provided by the vendor.
Tech Support/Help Availability (for Students):★★☆
Minor Concerns. Technical support is provided by the vendor.
Hypermediality :
Not Applicable.
Accessibility: ★★★
Accessibility Standards:★★☆
Minor Concerns. Mastodon offers limited accessibility guides.
User-focused participation:★★★
Works Well.
Required Equipment:★★★
Works Well.
Technical: ★★★
Integration/Embedding within a Learning Management System (LMS) :★☆☆
Serious Concerns. The tool is not integrated or embedded within a Learning Management System (LMS).
Operating Systems:★★★
Works Well.
Web Browser:★★★
Works Well.
Additional Technical Requirements:★★★
Works Well.
Mobile Design: ★★☆
Works Well.
Works Well.
Offline Access:★☆☆
Serious Concerns. The mobile platform cannot be used in any capacity offline.
Usage and Account Set Up: ★★★
Sign Up/Sign In:★☆☆
Serious Concerns. All users (instructors and learners) must create an external account or additional login, and/or personal information is collected and shared.
Cost of Use:★★★
Works Well.
Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data :★★★
Works Well.
Data Privacy and Ownership:★★★
Works Well.
Social Presence: ★★★
Collaboration :★★★
Works Well.
User Accountability:★★★
Works Well.
Minor Concerns. Learners’ familiarity with the tool is likely mixed, some will lack basic technical competence with its functions.
Teaching Presence:
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
Learning Analytics:
Not Applicable.
Cognitive Presence:
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s):
Not Applicable.
Higher Order Thinking:
Not Applicable.
Feedback on Learning:
Not Applicable.

Security and Privacy

There are currently no security or privacy concerns for this tool.

Support Information

What is Mastodon? is Mastodon's official and comprehensive user guide that elaborates on its features.

Mastodon User's Guide is a good resource that outlines the basics of the tool.

The About page of mastodon.social gives basic information on this instance.